Which engine to use
Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:13 PM
** My Background **
I'm 45 years of age, my occupation has nothing to do with gaming or IT.
I've been running an OFP/Arma2 gaming community for over 10 years
In that time I have helped develop a ,mod, created add-ons and written quite a lot of code for the above game using their in game function library.
I'm also fairly competent with tortoise SVN
I've done some very very basic C++ coding a long time ago
I've developed a website using Joomla as the cms and done a little CSS editing
My strength is in coding and organising.
My weakness is in graphics/animations and sound editing, but I do have members in the community that I can fall back on for some help and do want to learn 3d modelling and texturing etc
** My Intended project **
Initially create a single player version of an open world 3d sandbox style MMO
with the following overview
Initially the world would be totally natural, no man made objects and visually very beautiful albeit small in area, (maybe anything from 10km x 10km to 100 x 100 At a guess)
Would include caves, rivers, seas, islands, AI animals, resources such as minerals, plants etc etc
The player would be able to alter the terrain, create man made objects, typically roads, building, tools, boats, harvest resources etc
Long term goal would be to turn this into (Hopefully open source, depending on the engine licensing) MMO with a much larger seemless area possibly multiple continents
Most likely with some PVP/PVE elements
I'm not in it for the money, more the adventure of what I can create
** My Resources **
I have a dedicated server
Fair amount of spare time
Not a lot of money to initially spend on the project
I'm initially looking for a free engine, either totally free or initial licensing free, well supported with tutorials with option to upgrade if all goes well
An engine that would at best guess still be around and being developed in 2 or 3 years time and graphically as good as I can get. (I'm wanting to create a realistic immersive Candadian wilderness type of environment for the initial Single player test)
I've looked at some of the available engines, but don't really have much idea which one best suits my project and level of competence, so I would very much appreciate some advice
Thanks in advance for your suggestions
Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:30 PM
You should have a look at Ogre, or c4 engine.
They come free or nearly free, have a large comunity of users and are stable , you wiil be able to find lots of tutorials.
Posted 03 July 2011 - 03:41 PM
Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:08 PM
a) roll your own best-of-breed that gives you overall control and flexibility. The issue is that, with an MMO, some of the popular "complete" engines are not suitable for MMOs, which forces you to this approach or the one below. The obvious downside is the learning curve and the extra effort. It will pay off, but...
license one of the online MMO stacks, like BigWorld or HeroEngine. They provide a whole stack, but at a cost, either up-front and/or share of revenues. And, once you get going, you get locked in.
Posted 03 July 2011 - 10:15 PM
edit: here's a link for setting up an MMO with Unity and SmartFox:
Posted 04 July 2011 - 09:13 AM
But otherwise unity is a good engine to choose, it has allot of the graphics and animation stuff built in, as well as having a good world editor.
Here what I managed after a few hours of playing with the terrain editor, note while this doesn't have and tree or grass and such there are a number of tools to add them ether by brush or procedural.
Edit: I just read a little deeper into your plans, are you trying to create a MMO minecraft? ;)
"Imagination is the only weapon in the war against reality."
"The polar opposite to Nintendo's bewilderingly name modestly powered little white cuboid is Sony's unoriginal titled monolithic black colossus the Playstation 3"
Posted 04 July 2011 - 05:18 PM
I have a lot to read and a lot to learn with many tutorials to work through
It would appear the engine that I need would utilise volumetric terrain (Voxel)
Although this would not be strictly required for the single player initial version, it would be required for the later MMO version
It would however certainly enhance the cosmetics of the single player game
Overhangs, subterranean caves etc,
Am I correct with the assumption that only the C4 engine at present is capable of doing this, or is there another engine that has this, or allows the importation of such a terrain engine ?
I'm sure that there are a lot of developers trying to do exactly that right now.
Without boring everyone, think of my project as a Survival simulator rather than a game
Single Player experience
a) Space traveller gets marooned on a planet with limited resources and equipment
b) Planet is inhabited by creatures based loosely on those from our Eocene period, basically bigger carnivores and herbivores than we have in our present day, Sabre toothed tigers etc making the player sit somewhere in the middle of the food chain
c) The player has to learn about the flora and fauna, adapt and or extract the resources in order to survive, flourish and explore
What I would aim to accomplish, is to create the environment and give the options with plausible outcomes for what would/could happen in real life if you was in that situation
- learn tracking, hunting skills,
Approaching hunted prey from downwind slowly for a better chance of a kill
protect from hypothermia, dehydration
Eat something poisonous, suffer illness etc
Would be based on the single player simulator but with added social elements, trading, community building, warring factions etc
The MMO version would need the ability for the player to alter the terrain, discover underground caverns and resources in much the same way it is done in Minecraft so they can build mines, roads between villages etc
Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:15 PM
Posted 05 July 2011 - 03:26 PM
I imagine this is going to take at least a couple of years to develop, maybe even more and by that time voxel based terrain engines would most likely have matured. They do seem to be the way to go
I'm familiar with some basic networking practices, syncing players and objects across networks. Deciding what code needs to be locally run, what needs to be globally run etc.
As per syncing every player in an mmo, or every voxel, that would seem on the surface to be overkill. What I assume would be more appropriate and certainly more optimised would be to only sync players and interactive objects that could come into rendering distance of one n other within a certain time frame.
Afterall what would be the point of one client node being updated about another players position if they were an hours travel from one n other
I'm a newcomer to this scene and I do thank you for your input, it's greatly appreciated
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