# Serious Game Engine Recommendation

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### #1Batman

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 01:35 AM

Hello one and all.

Firstly I am an artist, and I have 2 programmers on the team. We are creating a niche FPS, nothing too fancy but we would like an engine that would suit our needs. While we are willing to work hard on an engine, it is a must that the tools are in place so the artists can really get some progress.

I would like to point out that both the programmers have used Torque, and Ogre and wish to steer clear of them for our new venture. We have another 3 coming into the team in about a month when they finish up some deadlines at work.

As an Artist I am looking for something with reliable exporters and working tool sets (Particle Editor, Terrain Editor / Level Editor, Model Viewer, Shader Editor etc). Something that we can jump in on and get working immediately.

So what are the key features of the game?

1. Large Open Terrain (Seamless if possible, but we can programme that if we have the source.). Important to be able to place buildings on the terrain (I would assume a good scenemanager)

3. Physics (Preferably Physx, but we can add that)

4. Clean Code Base with good design (Hence why we want to avoid Torque)

5. Good Toolset, where artists can just get up and running, the programmers can handle most code changes if the code base is good.

We have around $5000 to spend, but can push it to$20,000 if we all dig deep.

Your recommendations please. (Yes I have looked through the database, but there is a difference between feature lists and what an engine can actually do.)

### #2davidhelgason

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 10:31 AM

Unity has pretty much all you need. It is being used to make several serious games at the moment

http://unity3d.com
http://unity3d.com/u...ious-games.html
http://unity3d.com/g...main/index.html

Specifically it probably has the best art pipeline in the business, so artists and designers can be extremely productive and actually integrate their work into the gameplay during the entire production. Unity includes PhysX and has great (and editable) shaders. Source code is not included, but you'll find that you don't need it, because you get a fast scripting engine (based on .NET), the ability to plug in your own DLLs, the ability to extend the editor.

http://unity3d.com/f...t-pipeline.html
http://unity3d.com/f.../particles.html
http://unity3d.com/f...es/physics.html

A graphical shader builder and a terrain engine are coming up in the next major release.

It will cost you US$4500 for three Unity Pro licenses, and you might have to add a couple of thousands since the development tool runs on the Mac. Feel free to drop me a mail me if you have further questions. d. (full disclosure: I'm one of the founders of the company that makes Unity) ### #3Peterweb New Member • Members • 3 posts Posted 08 February 2007 - 04:24 PM Torque is a great engine for serious games. No taxes, no royalties for each project... this is very important for serious games! ### #4davidhelgason New Member • Members • 18 posts Posted 08 February 2007 - 04:56 PM Since that was brought up, I should add that Unity also has no royalties or per-project costs. d. ### #5Batman New Member • Members • 9 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 12:52 AM But it can only be developed on a Mac (Tools wise?) and is it per seat? or per development team. ### #6Batman New Member • Members • 9 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:01 AM Peterweb said: Torque is a great engine for serious games. No taxes, no royalties for each project... this is very important for serious games! I'd rather not go near that evil again :P ### #7davidhelgason New Member • Members • 18 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 01:12 AM Batman said: But it can only be developed on a Mac (Tools wise?) and is it per seat? or per development team. Yes, the development tool is Mac only (though of course it can produce Windows games, and has a cross-platform browser plugin to suit). These days Macs are PCs too (being Intel based, you can run Mac OS X and Windows at the same time), so it need not be a big additional investment. The license is per-seat (unlike most game engines, but similar to most other software), but the price mentioned above is for 3 licenses of Unity Pro. There is also a lower priced license available... just check our website for details. Anyway, the simplest thing to do is to dive into the extensive tutorials, video tutorials, documentation and references, and of course download the demo. You just might be impressed. d. ### #8Peterweb New Member • Members • 3 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:57 AM Batman said: I'd rather not go near that evil again :P Well, I don't consider Torque the best engine, but it is a good option for serious games. It is not a good option for larger projects (AAA), but for serious games. ### #9Peterweb New Member • Members • 3 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 04:59 AM davidhelgason said: Since that was brought up, I should add that Unity also has no royalties or per-project costs. d. I know little on Unity. But for the that you explained, it can be a good option also. ### #10davidhelgason New Member • Members • 18 posts Posted 09 February 2007 - 10:22 AM These pages have in-game videos of serious games that are in production with Unity: http://www.globalconflicts.eu/ http://www.wolfquest.org/ Both companies are starting up new game productions, also based on Unity. d. ### #11Batman New Member • Members • 9 posts Posted 15 February 2007 - 01:39 AM Unfortunately given that it is for Mac Development only that would really set us out a little. Anyone have any other engines? ### #12deleteaccount New Member • Members • 12 posts Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:30 AM \\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\ ### #13darksmaster923 New Member • Members • 34 posts Posted 17 February 2007 - 03:42 AM well it depends on how much money you can spend ### #14lstockman New Member • Members • 7 posts Posted 17 February 2007 - 10:04 PM Two engine recommendations per your requirements: http://unity3d.com http://panda3d.org/ They make it seem easy to me and I've researched both. This is not to say that I use them, please make no mistake about that. Another option you have is to take a graphics engine, a physics engine and create the ground level of your own gaming engine since it does appear you have a good size team to do so. This can help work out the limitations of the engines recommended and your programmers would know the code better than if they picked up another engine. This is just my two cents and nothing more. :) Let us all know how the project comes along, maybe send a screenshot from time to time for us to drool over. ### #15Batman New Member • Members • 9 posts Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:26 AM I'll look into Panda3d, Once again Unity is out of the question given the Mac Requirements. With regards to how much I/The Team can spend : Well between$5000 - \$20,000

Obviously depends on the engine, as I would not be willing to spend money for the sake of a "Name"

### #16stodge

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 01:52 AM

I don't think Panda3D meets your needs.

### #17Batman

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 02:07 AM

stodge said:

I don't think Panda3D meets your needs.

Nor do I, I'm being polite ;)

Everything is worth a look

### #18Liquid7800

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:42 AM

Hello, first post here...
Just was curious, why do you think Panda3D is not for you? I went to their site and looked at their features etc. I am not associated with any engine out there but am an artist/ shader programmer myself and looking to begin a project (for a Maters program however) similar to yours.

Panda looked good to me but I really would like to know why you initially dont seem to like it?

As for Unity my buddy is going to use that for a game, but TOO BAD it is for Mac...sounds really good

You might have a look at NeoEngine, I was more impressed with the support and how accomodating they are. In fact their enthusiasm to help me was really refreshing and they do sport an impressive array of features associated with shaders.

### #19lstockman

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 08:33 PM

Batman said:

Nor do I, I'm being polite ;)

Everything is worth a look

I looked at the features and the price and found that the two I recommended almost fit most of the needs. Unfortunately, as we all know, not every engine will give us what we want but thank god we can create the rest if we're a skilled programmer or a group of programmers. Unity is very promising as is Panda3d. Panda3d does appear to lack the editing of models, particle and other such aspects as Unity would but when you take into account that it's an engine that was used to create an exisitng MMO, that does kind of give it a proven track record. I can not say the same for some other engines.

Again, this is entirely just my opinion and from the research that I've done. Myself, well, I've chosen Ogre3D as my graphics engine but it's not a game engine by any means. I just gives me a good starting point and I can build off of it for the rest of the needs.

Being as he does have the money to invest in a venture of this size, it's very possible that he can get a higher level gaming engine that might fit every need but we all know that every engine lacks in one aspect or another.

### #20stodge

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Posted 21 February 2007 - 05:17 PM

1. Large Open Terrain (Seamless if possible, but we can programme that if we have the source.). Important to be able to place buildings on the terrain (I would assume a good scenemanager)

Panda3D doesn't support this, or if it has terrain support, it's very new and limited (as far as I can remember)

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