making a crane simulator... two stupid questions...

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superamble 101 Jan 29, 2010 at 11:28

I have to make a crane simulator for my thesis (I’m studing management engineering so I’m not an expert programmer).
I’m looking for a graphic engine, I read abou Irrlicht, Ogre, SG, Unity, Torque, Quest3d, Vega Prime, Unreal Engine, C4, Virtool and Game Studio.

1.My supervisor want that I write the code in c++, I’ve seen that all of these engines are made in c++ but some of them have their own scripting language, in this case does it mean that I can’t use c++ ?

2.Do you think that one of them is more appropriate for my purpose. I mean that the physic will be very important for my simulator :
•is there any of theme that have a very good physic engine?
•can I use an external physic engine with all of them?

Thank you

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Mihail121 102 Jan 29, 2010 at 13:36
  1. If the engine gives you scripting tools, you’re not forced to use them, they are just an option and plain C++ will do the trick too, but it’s not as flexible (and dynamic) as scripting is.

  2. Yes, Unreal Engine for example is not pure graphics, but a whole game engine and is extremely complex to work with. It does come with full documentation, but you need physical time to go over it and understand what it’s about.

* You can always use external physics system, yes, but in some cases it’s easier to use the engine-native tools for that.

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fireside 141 Jan 30, 2010 at 04:35

1.My supervisor want that I write the code in c++, I’ve seen that all of these engines are made in c++ but some of them have their own scripting language, in this case does it mean that I can’t use c++ ?

If you aren’t an expert programmer, I think I would ask him why he is adamant about using c++? It’s not really a good idea in my mind. You are probably just increasing your debugging time and stand a chance of missing something that could crash later. Scripting should work well enough for a crane simulation if the engine includes a physics engine. The reason scripting languages were developed is because it’s more cost effective and only changes the speed very slightly since most of the engine is written in c++ but already debugged. Anyway, you should definitely find an engine with an included physics engine. I think Newton is supposed to be the easiest to learn, so look for that. You aren’t writing a game, you are writing a physics simulation and you should take every shortcut possible because it’s a lot of work.

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superamble 101 Feb 03, 2010 at 08:28

one more question please…
I would need that my simulator will work in a “commercial” pc(I mean a pc that I can buy with 800-1000 €):
•does it depend on the graphic engine and modeling software?
•or does it depend on the things that I will model?
•or does almost everything work on the actual “commercial” engine ?
Thank you

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geon 101 Feb 03, 2010 at 10:05

You would need to use a ridiculous amount of triangles and textures with advanced shaders to make it not work on a normal PC.

Don’t you have a normal PC for development? Then you’ll notice if it works or not. Just do the development in small steps and make sure everything is working all the way.

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superamble 101 Feb 03, 2010 at 10:16

Thank you for the answer…
You confirm what I supposed. But my supervisor wanted to be sure before to begin that it doesn’t depend on the SWs.
Do you think that even if I use unreal engine there will be no problem with the simulator?

One more thing:
the crane will be located in a big harbor…

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geon 101 Feb 04, 2010 at 00:01

The size of your world is irrelevant. It is the details that matter.

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alphadog 101 Feb 04, 2010 at 13:09

@superamble

My supervisor want that I write the code in c++

Good grief why?!? How much time do you have to work on this, and have you ever coded anything before?

My suggestion is to find one of those all-in-one “game makers” like 3DRad or RealmCrafter and go from there.

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superamble 101 Feb 04, 2010 at 16:57

last question:
which 3d modeler should I use?
I read about 3d studio max and blender,somthing else?
Do you think blender is enought? Or it has some limits…

Thank you

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fireside 141 Feb 04, 2010 at 20:03

Blender is a good modeler, probably the best free modeling/animation package around.

If you don’t know anything about a modeler, however, you might be better off using Google sketchup. You can probably learn it quite a bit faster and you won’t need to do animation in the package. You can make separate parts and animate them in the engine. There’s a trick to getting the kmz export into collada form so it can be read by some engines or converted though. You’ll have to do a search in google, but it can be done and then possibly converted if you are using an engine that can’t read collada.

Like alphadog, said, though, 3drad would be a good engine choice because it reads sketchup files, except your going to be doing some kind of funky things with it so I’m not sure if the no programming concept would work out. Anyway, before you learn any modeling package make sure there is a way to get the models into the engines you choose and test it out first.

I would choose the engine first, become familiar with it, and then find a modeler, unless you could talk your supervisor into using the Blender game engine. It has built in physics but uses Python as a language. Then it would be best to learn them both at close to the same time. That would be the solution I would recommend, though. The models are already integrated into the engine and the physics engine is quite easy to use.

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geon 101 Feb 04, 2010 at 22:15

If you don’t need to use C++ and code parts of the engine yourself, I’d recommend Unity. It works very well together with Blender, and you will get something up and running quickly. The blender Game Engine might be good too, although I have no experience of it myself.

I really agree with alphadog. If you don’t already know C++ and have experience of a suitable engine, C++ would be a retarded choice. Avoid it by all means.

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superamble 101 Feb 05, 2010 at 08:58

Thank you to everybody for your help…
I really appreciate your advice, but I have to do it as my thesis and I have to do what my supervisor want…
He told me that we can work on it one or two years …
In this case what do you think about my questions?
Which engine is better if I want to work in c++?
Isn’t there a good engine that have c++ as scripting language?
At the moment we are looking to these engine:
Irrlicht Ogre OSG UDK Quest3d C4 Torque 3dGameStudio Unity(He doesn’t want it because it isn’t in c++) VegaPrime
I think we will chose between them
Thanks

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geon 101 Feb 05, 2010 at 09:15

C++ isn’t typically used for scrpting. I know there are one or two C/C++ interpreters, but I don’t know of any project that uses it.

The main point of a scripting language is to make development quicker. Therefore, most scripting languages have features not present in C/C++, such as dynamic typing.

To answer “wich engine is better”, it really depends on yourself. You have a lot of time, so just download a bunch of them and try them all out. Go with the one you like the most.

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alphadog 101 Feb 05, 2010 at 15:58

@superamble

Thank you to everybody for your help…
I really appreciate your advice, but I have to do it as my thesis and I have to do what my supervisor want…
He told me that we can work on it one or two years …
In this case what do you think about my questions?
Which engine is better if I want to work in c++?
Isn’t there a good engine that have c++ as scripting language?
At the moment we are looking to these engine:
Irrlicht Ogre OSG UDK Quest3d C4 Torque 3dGameStudio Unity(He doesn’t want it because it isn’t in c++) VegaPrime
I think we will chose between them
Thanks

As geon states, C++ is not really a “scripting language”, although what you should say is interpreted and/or dynamic, again which C++ isn’t. Scripts are small, usually interpreted, blocks of code.

As for the solution to use, I don’t think you need to agonize over it; most any engine above will allow you to get a crane simulator done. I’m assuming you will not have time to push the limits of any package in your project, since you are starting from ground zero.

Also, determine whether you want a renderer only, or a full engine. Given your “noobness” :D and your supervisors inexperience (since he should be able to state which engine to use), I would look for an approachable API and a good, broad online support community.

For renderers, I would limit you to OGRE, Irrlicht and Horde3D.

For engine, C4 and Torque are your front-runners.

The difference is that with an engine, many things are integrated, like networking and such. While that may sound desirable, there’s a generally growing learning curve with each addition. If your requirements, for example for the UI, to the simulator is low, these generic packages may add unnecessarily to the learning curve and lessen your chances of proper completion.

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fireside 141 Feb 05, 2010 at 16:10

I think I would go with 3dgamestudio out of those choices. Maybe the c lite syntax it uses would be acceptable to your supervisor? It’s basically a scripted c language. It has built in physics and accepts a lot of model imports. I’ve never used Quest, but I think it’s quite a bit more expensive. You should probably download and try some of the others. Irrlicht and Ogre don’t have built in physics but it’s not that hard to attach them. 1 to 2 years is actually enough time so it’s not that important. 3d gamestudio has a built in modeler, I think, which might be acceptable for what you are doing, but personally I would choose a more well known modeler to learn so you don’t have to re-learn it if you later use a different engine. That would be if you didn’t mind spending the 100 dollars. I’m not sure about the free version of 3d gamestudio. I haven’t actually used it but it has a large user base. For a free engine, I guess I would choose Ogre, but it would be more work attaching a physics engine. The advantage to Ogre is that all the tutorials are in c++ if you are required to use c++ and not the c-lite version of 3d gamestudio. If c++ is a definite requirement I would make sure the tutorials I was using were in c++.

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superamble 101 Feb 14, 2010 at 09:55

Hello again….
I’m going to choose between Ogre and Open Scene Graph, actually my supervisor would prefer Open Scene Graph but he still want that I will use c++. Do somebody know if it is possible to find some tutorial or a manul about using OSG with c++?
I have to know it as soon as possible but the OSG web site seems to not work.
Thank you

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fireside 141 Feb 15, 2010 at 11:55

Do a search for “open scene graph tutorials” on Google.

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superamble 101 Feb 15, 2010 at 16:03

I know that I can Google it,but because I have to learn OSG it would be difficult for me to understand if a tutorial is well done or not;

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geon 101 Feb 16, 2010 at 18:07

The tutorial is well made if you learn anything from it. You will need to read more than one tutorial to learn enough, so it won’t really be an issue. Just read a bunch.

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superamble 101 Feb 17, 2010 at 17:46

I was talking about a tutorial about using OSG with C++.

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alphadog 101 Feb 22, 2010 at 16:32

http://forum.openscenegraph.org/index.php

I recommend asking there instead of uselessly bumping up your post.