OGRE, Irrlicht, or something else?

Simpsons4261 101 Apr 11, 2007 at 22:13

Which open source engine is the best? I’m thinking either OGRE or Irrlicht, but there may be a better one. So any suggestions?

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geon 101 Apr 11, 2007 at 22:39

That depends mostly on your personal preferences and your coding style. I hear Irrlich is easy to use, so if you just want something up and running quickly, it might be your choice.

Otherwise you could hav a look at Open Scene Graph.

TMichael 101 Apr 11, 2007 at 23:12

Both of these are just rendering engines and not full-featured game engines, so comparing them to many of the other engines available would be like comparing apples to oranges (sorry for the old cliche).

Irrlicht is certainly easier to get started with than Ogre, but it also lacks many of the features available in Ogre, and it still has some big issues in a few areas (terrain generation comes to mind). So while more complicated at the start, I think developing in Ogre would save you time in the long run.

As far as open source game engines go, it would depend on what languages you are most comfortable with, what features matter most to you, and what game type you wish to create. Besides OSG– which would need added functionality to create a complete game just like Ogre and Irrlicht– another engine that shines would be Panda3D. Panda is full featured, well documented, and the API is accessible entirely through Python scripting (it is the same engine Disney used to create their ToonTown MMORPG).

Good luck,


Simpsons4261 101 Apr 12, 2007 at 01:21

With Panda3D can I still use C++?

Would it be possible to create an online game with it?

What about a FPS?

TMichael 101 Apr 12, 2007 at 03:16


With Panda3D can I still use C++?

Would it be possible to create an online game with it?

What about a FPS?

1) Yes, Python or C++.

2) Basic networking functionality is there and I have seen some fairly innovative networking examples in the forum– just do a search

3) You could build almost any type of game with Panda as far as I can tell… again, have a look around their forums to see some of the projects in progress (or their site for completed projects)

Since you are making an FPS, I would also recommend having a look at Blade3D (do a google search for their website, not listed here yet) and Beyond Virtual. Both of these engines allow you to develop for free (Blade3D is in open beta right now), and they both seem to be a bit FPS oriented.

Good luck!


quark 101 Apr 12, 2007 at 11:34

If you are going to make FPS, try http://sauerbraten.org/

Sauerbraten (a.k.a. Cube 2) is a free multiplayer/singleplayer first person shooter, built as a major redesign of the Cube FPS.

Much like the original Cube, the aim of this game is not necessarily to produce the most features & eyecandy possible, but rather to allow map/geometry editing to be done dynamically in-game, to create fun gameplay and an elegant engine.

The engine supporting the game is entirely original in code & design, and its code is Open Source (ZLIB license, read the docs for more on how you can use the engine).

skyfire 101 Apr 12, 2007 at 18:58

Check Sylphis 3D engine. It looks nice and it is open source now.
Or maybe Nebula Device 2. It is commercial quality engine developed by Radon Labs with wide community support. There are some real games using it. But it has a very uncommon architecture. You’ll need to spend some time understanding it.

Simpsons4261 101 Apr 14, 2007 at 00:16

To be honest, none of you have really helped me. Now I’m even more confused as to which one to use :P Please point me to the best one, and a map editor for it if it needs one. I would prefer to have one that includes a map editor. Thanks

Reedbeta 168 Apr 14, 2007 at 00:33

Best for what? There is no such thing as “the” best open source engine. Which one is best for you depends on your preferences and what you want to do with it….just as the first reply to this thread mentioned.

I’m sorry but there is no substitute for doing research and trying out a bunch of engines yourself. That’s what you need to do to figure out which engine you want to use.

irrdev 101 Jun 01, 2007 at 11:44

I have used both Ogre and Irrlicht quite extensively. It is surprising how many differences actually exist between the two. Frankly, Panda 3d seems quite limited, and the community is very small. The Panda 3d forums have only 1998 users, while Irrlicht has 6516, and Ogre tops all three at 12492. Also, Panda supports only Windows and Linux, while both Ogre and Irrlicht run on Windows, Linux, and the Mac. There was also several ports for Sony’s PlayStation and mobile phones. Since I don’t have much experience actually coding games with Panda, I’ll stick to comparing just Ogre and Irrlicht:
+Very good at bsp loading and indoor scenes. This is one major advantage over Ogre.
+Can load many different 3d formats- 3ds, obj, mesh, collada etc.
+Easy-to-use interface
+Rudimentary support for physics- however, you will probably still need to use a separate physics engine such as ODE or Newton
+Small executables and small dll.
+Promising scene support via the .irr format and IrrEdit
+Support for older hardware and OSs- runs on DirectX8.0

-Irrlicht is slower at loading 3d models
-Irrlicht doesn’t always take advantage of the newest graphic card features
-Shader support is not yet fully implemented(this will change in the near future)
-Fewer SDK releases than Ogre.
-No “titles” yet made with Irrlicht.

+Faster at loading 3d models than Irrlicht
+Release and Debug builds. Really nice for error checking. There is also an optionally compiled memory leak manager in Debug builds.
+The latest Ogre release supports threads, which drastically increases rendering performance on computers with dual-core CPUs.
+Has its own mesh format for optimizing performance
+Material, shader, and overlay scripts. You don’t have to recompile your code to simply change different settings.
+Nice dll and plugin based system. It is easy to create/modify/add to scene managers, render plugins, special effect managers or the Ogre core without recompiling the whole engine. Offers flexibility too.
+Optimized at rendering on the latest graphic cards available
+Really supportive large community. For example, I had 5 answers to my question within 3 minutes!

+/- Ogre is released as open-source under the LGPL, while there is a secondary “freer” license available at a price. The LGPL allows you to make commercial apps on PCs, but restricts you from development on Game Consoles. The secondary license is intended for game studios who need to support the console industry. In comparing Irrlicht’s zlib license, some users say that Ogre’s LGPL is beneficial, despite its restrictions. For one thing, it makes all users who make changes to the engine submit their patches. This obviously speeds up the project’s development time, and makes available some interesting enhancements.

-Ogre lacks at BSP loading. The BSP SceneManager is out-of-date.
-Ogre can’t run on many older OSs, hardware, or graphics cards.
-Ogre executables tend to be quite large. This can be slightly out-weighted by using a compression tool like UPX though.
-Ogre supports only the mesh format. Some users like it(myself included) while other users find it a negative.

Looking it over, my recommendation is to try both engines out yourself. There is no doubt that Irrlicht has fewer features, but it also allows for a slightly faster learning curve. In the end, personnal preference will probably help make your decision. I hope this helped!

stodge 101 Jun 02, 2007 at 00:56

Irrlicht: slow renderer, average quality
Ogre3D: fast renderer, excellent quality