Recomend a game engine please =oD

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 18:00

I am planning on making a game as a hobby with some friends and collegues. it is going to be over a massive environment and may need procedurally generated flora, fauna, buildings, roads etc etc. does anyone know of an engine that deals with such large environments? if you could recomend any i would really appreciate it.

the only thing that i have found that is close is Geist3d which is in early beta and hasnt got much documentation.

thanks again =o)

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 18:01

this thread will be closed in a matter of minutes (not by me), but what the comment will be is to look around the site first, and if you have a real question you can’t find the answer to, *then* you can post without the thread dying.

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necroside 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 18:35

Take a look around this Forum, maybe you can find one of the 1554354865485 threads about the same topic. Or at least very close to your question.

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 19:13

thanks for the replies guys. i do appreciate that a great many people are posting asking for advice on which engine to choose, i have searched the 240 odd engines that are listed and filtered that list and im at a bit of a loss. unfortunately none of the engines i have looked at seem to be suitable. i was hoping one of the knowledgable people on this site would have a text book knowledge of game engines and may, with a one word answer, be able to suggest something suitable. if that isnt the case then no worrys as deleting the post would have lost me nothing. worth a go i thought.

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 19:37

well, I’m not sure where reed is (hurry man you’re making me look dumb! :P).

Anyway, the least you need to do is make a more specific request. There are loads of engines (theoretically) for handling large worlds, but they are different kinds of large worlds. What kind of game is this? RTS, PRG, FPS (if you say MMO I’m not answering anymore, we are getting really sick of people asking how to make those, it’s not feasable)?

There are lots of LOD techniques and memory issues, and you need to make sure whatever engine you get can handle them properly.

One more thing to keep in mind, a question like this never has just a one word answer, and if someone gives you one I suggest you be very skepitcal or do your homework on it.

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Reedbeta 167 Aug 20, 2008 at 19:57

Really, what you need to do in a situation like this is just pick a few engines that have a free trial and download them and try them out. Then go with the one that you like best. Or, learn to program and develop your own engine from scratch. You will probably need to learn to program anyway because it’s not likely any engine will support the specific features you’re looking for right out of the box, and so you’ll have to extend the engine yourself to add them. This is just how game development works.

@starstutter: LOL but i’m not actually on this forum every few *minutes*. ;)

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 20:00

damn good advice i must say. i will definitely take that on board.

ok, quick synopsis.

this is (as is probably obvious) is going to be our first big(ish) project so simple to use is imperrative. we have modding and basic modeling/mapping/coding expirience but would like something with good documentation and some simple tutorials to get us on the right track.

its going to be a FPS. definitely not a MMORPG or anything of the sort. this is for expirence and a side project. an MMO would be simply to much on an undertaking.

will need vehicle support. although this will only be needed after we have the basic game mechanics in place and feel a little braver =o)

the graphics are not the main issue as what we are mainly going for is a simple enjoyable shooter although ugly isnt the look we are going for either.

to sum up i would say we are looking to eventually create a free roaming world with procedurally placed enemies, that is good fun and large. very large.

any ideas would be greatly appreciated

many thanks =oD

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 20:22

@baq99

this is (as is probably obvious) is going to be our first big(ish) project so simple to use is imperrative.

Be kind of careful about the promise of “easy to use”. If “easy to use” means heavy scripting with graphics framework done and requires occasional C++ work, then you’re probably ok. If “easy to use” means drag and drop, you will most likley not be able to finish the game, and the chances are slim to none you end up with something you’re really proud of.

Another consideration is, are you going to sell it? If so, the easier an engine is to use, generally the more catches there are in distribution rights and profit issues. That’s just speaking generally of course.

its going to be a FPS. definitely not a MMORPG or anything of the sort. this is for expirence and a side project. an MMO would be simply to much on an undertaking.

Good job. Seems like it would be obvious but I think litterally hundereds of MMO projects are started a day and %99.999 of them will never see the light of day.

the graphics are not the main issue as what we are mainly going for is a simple enjoyable shooter although ugly isnt the look we are going for either.

Your main focus then should be in the artwork and animation. This will be the only real thing controlling how pretty the game turns out. Keep in mind though that even with advanced technology, no amount of shaders can save big lumpy polygon art.

to sum up i would say we are looking to eventually create a free roaming world with procedurally placed enemies, that is good fun and large. very large.

By “procedurally placed”, do you mean randomly generated or is that more a LOD issue? If it’s random you should probably write your own algorithem as a custom solution.

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 20:47

just to let you know the reason we want a large environment is because we are going to create a zombie game with plenty of enemies all around. this is a free roaming run and gun foremost but may lead to more later. we want the feeling of being alone and feeling a bit helpless which is why we want the large seemless environment

back to your questions:

no drag and drop but complex coding isnt what we are looking for. as i said, we have basic coding experiance along with making mods maps an models for other games.

we are not going to sell this unless by some freak of nature we create the god of all games. this is highly unrealistic and we are just doing this for the expirence so no selling on the horizon =oD

MMORPG’s: yeah, expirienced this myself. im 25 and a few years back embarking on an unachievable project was always in the forefront of my mind. all i want to do on this occasion is make something we can complete and be happy with.

Graphics: yup, agree totally, although at this stage we are just looking for something that has the capability that we may use if needs be. we are litterally beginners in the indie dev world but we are all quick learners so any hurdle is a challenge no matter how high ;O)

ok so you think that maybe writing our own script would be better? maybe that is the way forward. will chat to the rest of the guys about this as we dont just want a random scatter of zombies it needs to be randomly organised if you know what i mean.

thanks for the patience bro

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 21:03

Hmmm, from what it sounds like you guys should think about 3D game studio. I have not used it myself, but have read a book all about it and it sounds pretty good for what you’re doing. There are expensive versions, cheap versions, and free versions all with increasingly advanced features, but the free one will definitley suffice for what you’re doing.

Another option to realisticly think about is building your own engine. I know that sounds kind of crazy, but if you’re just talking about basic graphics it’s really not hard. In fact i think learning an engine to the point of real usefulness is more difficult. D3D (which I think is easier) and OpenGL are the graphics options and I would suggest Visual Studio 2008 express for C++ coding. It’s good for bigger projects. In building an engine animation is probably going to be the most difficult part, but that will still be not too much of a hurdle. There’s tons and tons of books and tutorials on getting an engine up and running.

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 21:22

ok, you have incited a riot =oD lol

personally i feel i dont have the cofidence to dive in head first and code a new engine. i would prefer an engine that others have expirience with and can nudge me in the right direction should i go wrong. i would love to create my own love child engine but i just dont think its realistic unfortunately.

i did have a look at 3dgame studio but from what i saw and read it didnt look like it would be able to cope with a seamless open large environment which is the main thing we are looking for. obviously there is some compremise and in the mean time we have all been discussing load sections etc. but personally i think that would detract from the feel of the game (which is most important in my eyes).

all ideas so far are really appreciated greatly and any other idea’s would be welcome. cant thank you enough =o)

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 21:37

@baq99

personally i feel i dont have the cofidence to dive in head first and code a new engine. i would prefer an engine that others have expirience with and can nudge me in the right direction should i go wrong. i would love to create my own love child engine but i just dont think its realistic unfortunately.

Oh man matt would be having a field day lol.

Back on track here, I really think you’re overestimating the difficulty of writing one. Yes, an engine with impressive graphics would be painfully difficult for even an experienced programmer, but just writing enough to get characters and terrain on screen is about a 4-5 hour project for someone who’s familiar with DirectX and good object oriented C++.

http://www.directxtutorial.com/Tutorial9/tutorials.aspx

Before you make the judgment call have a look around this site and see just how little code is required to get a working renderer up and running. Besides, (and matt can tell you all about this, if he gets here) I also think you’re underestimating how difficult it is to learn to use an engine (even a game maker) effectivley. Not to mention if the engine has a bug or you need to change a key feature, that will be a nightmare, especially if you don’t have the engine’s source code (then it might be impossible).

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TMichael 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 21:40

I second 3D Gamestudio as a nice choice for beginners.

Is your team comfortable coding in C#? If so, Neoaxis might also be worth considering. It’s a fairly well rounded engine which features, among other things, octree scene support, material LOD support, and progressive mesh LOD (all of which should help in large outdoor environments). It also has an AI base for computer-controlled intellect and built in grid-based pathfinding.

If you follow Star’s advice about creating your own engine with C++, I would suggest having a look at OGRE 3D to handle the rendering. No use reinventing the wheel on that count, and there are some scene managers available in their forum which might help with the large terrain support.

Good luck!

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starstutter 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 21:44

@TMichael

Is your team comfortable coding in C#? If so, Neoaxis might also be worth considering.

Oh, I had totally forgotten about NeoAxis. That is a very good engine and (at least it appears to be) very solid. There are a few tech demos that take place in very large semi-open worlds.

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baq99 101 Aug 20, 2008 at 22:14

that neoaxis looks exactly what we are looking for! wow guys, cant thank you enough! will keep you up to date with whether we go for it or not on this one (and probs need more advice along the way if we need it lol) but really you have been very helpfull and thats good for us newbies =o)

thanks =o)

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Daddy_Warbox 101 Aug 21, 2008 at 02:28

NeoAxis doesn’t give you their source, though. Not without shelling out good money, at least. Same with Visual3d.net (another newer .NET-based engine that looked promising when I saw it).

Ogre3d I think is the most realistic compromise I’ve been able to find short of writing from scratch. But don’t count my experience as anything even remotely substantial just yet.

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starstutter 101 Aug 21, 2008 at 06:42

@Daddy Warbox

Ogre3d I think is the most realistic compromise I’ve been able to find short of writing from scratch. But don’t count my experience as anything even remotely substantial just yet.

Ogre’s just a graphics framework though (last time I checked at least). If these guys are making a product just so they can say they have a game and have fun doing it, I guess I don’t really see why source code is needed. If they were trying to polish it and sell it, yes, Ogre would be the way to go, but NeoAxis is probably a good practice run.

Not even to mention the valuble info you get from using an object driven editor and game maker. I started using the NeoAxis editor and scripting for fun and in the process I’ve learned invaluble info about how to set up user friendly engine formats.

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baq99 101 Aug 21, 2008 at 12:53

yeah, the expirience is definitely what we are out there to get. ending up with an enjoyable game that brings a smile to a few faces that we can say we have made is also a good outcome. like i said before the NeoAxis engine looks just about perfect and after a download and play with the tech demo matt and I think its the right choice.

Maybe in the future when we are accomplished game entrepeneurs we will create our masterpiece lol but for the time being i think this will suffice.

thanks so much for all your help. im sure you will be hearing from us again in the not to distant future lol =oD

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Hawthorne 101 Aug 23, 2008 at 08:47

Check out the Geoworld Game system.

It works with C#, VB.NET, C++ comes with VB.NET and C# AI Scripting, TONS of shaders (HLSL), its written on a proven SDK (TV3D6.5), it has paging landscapes, tons of management tools, heightmap importing, perlin land generation and a a bunch more.

http://www.zepadev.net
irc.truevision3d.com #geoworld

-Pat

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Deathbrush 101 Aug 23, 2008 at 09:11

This is a really hard spot a lot of new game designers find themselves in. Good ideas and just enough experience to know what you can do but not totally sure how to go about it. Though personally I agree with those that suggest building your own engine. It’s not as intimidating as it can seem at first, and if you have some people with basic coding knowledge your a step up on a lot of groups.

Get a good renderer like ogre3d or irrlicht will do most of the work for you and are well documented, add on some physics with newton or something (if your ambitious you can get a PhysX SDK), and if you want multiplayer you have RakNet. It’s not super easy but with a couple good tools to start with a lot of the intimidating parts of programming your own engine become a lot easier to handle.

I’m not sure what kind of budget you guys are talking, but if you still want an engine, and want something that is middling between making your own engine and something that you spend as much time struggling with to get it to do what you want as actually develop with it, you might want to check out http://www.3dgamestudio.com/ like a couple others have suggested. It’s comparatively cheep and you can do a lot with it.

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vibhanshu 101 Aug 25, 2008 at 13:09

hi baq99

i havent read all the posting here except your first one. Answer to that is:

use any engine, all are good actually. If you are targetting big then you must have programmers in your team who will actually do the job. You just can rely on an engine which can do all the optimization on button clicks. I hope you understand what I mean.
Still I would recommened C4 Or try any Open Source Engine (OGRE, etc) for various reasons.

Any engine you choose, the hard work is of same amount so hardly matters.

good luck!

Vibhanshu

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najak 101 Aug 27, 2008 at 18:27

@baq99

I am planning on making a game as a hobby with some friends and collegues. it is going to be over a massive environment and may need procedurally generated flora, fauna, buildings, roads etc etc. does anyone know of an engine that deals with such large environments? if you could recommend any i would really appreciate it. the only thing that i have found that is close is Geist3d which is in early beta and hasnt got much documentation.

If it’s large terrain support your seek, Visual3D.NET engine specializes in large full-earth terrains, pasted onto a planetoid, so you can start from space and then land in your area of interest. We are currently modeling areas that are 550km x 550km for one client. Our toolset and engine are approaching AAA quality, backed by almost a dozen full-time developers. We’re 100% C#/.NET with a clear path to Xbox360 planned. We invite you to come check out our demos and development toolset.

EarthBuilder1.jpg

Here’s a link to our top level Gallery.

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baq99 101 Aug 29, 2008 at 12:26

Thanks guys, you have all been REALLY helpful and have given us a lot to think about. we are really taking things back to the drawing board with regards to our ideas. we are making a complete process map of where we are now and where we want to be. we have cut many of the features until we have things underway and thanks to all of you guys we have a good idea of where we are going engine wise. hope to be showing you all a pretty polished product in a years time =oD