Struggling to find the right engine

mclarke1987 101 Mar 14, 2013 at 12:48

This has been an issue i’ve had for years. I’ve wanted to make games ever since I first played Kingpin: Life of Crime, but I only got into the dev aspect with the original Call of Duty. I loved radiant (map editor) and became very proficient with it. However, the one aspect I really lacked was 3d modelling.

here’s my problem, I can handle the programming, but i can’t handle the 3d artwork for character models/animations (which is a bridge i intend to cross later).

What i’m looking for is an engine that will allow me to (using brushwork such as the old cod) make the maps, even if only in spectator view as far as testing goes.

I don’t need a ground breaking new engine or anything as complex as UDK. I’m just looking for something I can work on by myself for the foreseeable future, with enough room for improvement (source code would be good) that down the line we could extend from it.

If anyone has any thoughts outside of Steam/UDK please let me know the Map editor is the most important part, if i could just import .map files then that would also work as I could just use the cod engine to build them out.

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mclarke1987 101 Mar 14, 2013 at 14:17

Not a requirement (can be built etc later one) if it supported a “bloom” effect would be very beneficial (game is based in a desert location)

Sol_HSA 119 Mar 14, 2013 at 14:26

And Unity doesn’t cut it because..?

mclarke1987 101 Mar 14, 2013 at 14:30

tbh I just dont like the all-in-one style unity3d went with. Reminds me to much of the valve sdk. Too much in one place complicates things for a v.long period until you become very proficient with it.

Its not completely a no go but if there are alternatives that seem more like what i’m used to i’d prefer to go down that route.

fireside 141 Mar 14, 2013 at 16:11

If you want something that you can configure to your needs than Ogre is probably the best way to go. I did a quick search and this editor came up.


v71 105 Mar 14, 2013 at 17:21

Everyone is in love with Unity, these days, i’d advice to give a try.

mclarke1987 101 Mar 14, 2013 at 22:52

I just came across Leadwerks3 does anyone have any experience or reviews on this.
From the pictures/videos it looked very capable. Just worried about diving in with an engine then having to change down the line.

fireside 141 Mar 14, 2013 at 23:20

The best thing to do, in my mind, is to look at the games and demos made with the engine. Also, I wouldn’t recommend paying anything for a 3d engine until you find out how much work is involved in making a game. Most people end up quitting unless they do a pretty small game and it’s just money wasted. Unity is still probably the best bet because it’s free, and there are lots of assets you can get free or cheap The one problem with Unity is it doesn’t do real time shadows unless you get the pro version which is quite expensive. The shadow maps look pretty good and you can do some simple blob shadows on players. It makes the games run on low hardware, which is nice in some ways. Unity has by far the most tutorials, and it’s easiest to find videos about it on youtube, etc. Terrain is just a tiny part of making a game. Maybe what you want is an editor for a game to make a mod. You’ll probably get more plays. There’s also a free engine called cube or sauerbraten that is more about making terrains for a shooter. It’s a bit dated, but unless you are really good at a lot of different tasks, it’s just for fun anyway.

mclarke1987 101 Mar 15, 2013 at 00:13

Well as it stands (still advancing) I’ve been programming for the best part of 13years now, varying from language to language but proficient in c, python etc, I’ve got “some” experience with 3d modelling (3ds max, maya), about 4-5years level editing using various version of the hammer/radiant editors & about 8years gfx experience (mostly web related tho) So as far as experience I’ve fairly well versed although with that said I have no intention of doing it all alone.

My plan is to do a couple of “demo environments” which I can use as a showcase to recruit other developers. I don’t want to keep doing mods as I’ve spent to long on mod teams for cod, half life etc.

I’m still considering Unity but looking at comparing a few, I’ll prolly use the free version regardless for a few months to make sure I have something worth investing in before i drop in some cash. I bought a couple of engine’s years back (realm craft & cipher) but that was purely as a learning curve thing rather than actual development.

Will take your notes regarding unity into consideration :) ty

tyree 102 Mar 16, 2013 at 02:57

one of the main reasons unity is popular outside of the free version. most programmers can use a language they already know. without learning a new one. Im not a fan of the interface. I find the help file useless. hoping someone has already asked the question you need answered. or constantly going on forums for answers is no way to make a game. but with a help file, that offers very little help. thats what it comes down to

you may end up coming back to unity but I also suggest looking at other engines. you shouldnt use it simply because its popular

xenobrain 101 Mar 17, 2013 at 07:59

Cube 2 / Sauerbraten is a joy to work with for quick n’ dirty level creation. It’s not brush based, as it’s focused more on subdivision, extrusion etc of geometry sort of like box modeling. However it’s actually extremely easy to get a handle on. It’s free, it’s fun, open source, and yes, has bloom.

However you mention that you prefer to import your maps (from Radiant?). In that case, your choices are somewhat more limited: OGRE, Irrlicht and G3D are the (rendering) engines I am familiar with that can import bsp maps. Of those I am going to go against the trend and actually recommend investigating G3D. The community is tiny compared to the other two but it is somewhat more comprehensive providing a good framework and examples, and has lovely well commented source that teaches a lot of game engine concepts.

mclarke1987 101 Mar 17, 2013 at 11:13

I’ve spend the past 2days playing with the Leadwerks3 demo and it’s somewhat similar to Radiant in alot of ways, some aspects can get a bit tricky (such as my failed attempt at switching from downward 3rd person camera) but generally speaking its v.easy to get the hang off. I’m star rating it somewhere around 8/10 for my project and moving to investigate the others.

I dont need to be able to import .map (or bsp) to the engine that would just be beneficial if there own level editor was a long way from it. I shall look into Cube 2 and G3D over the next week.

Thankyou all again for continued feedback its such a big decision that i just dont want to bugger it up.

BobHoil_5587 101 Apr 17, 2013 at 19:44

If I were to choose one of the suggested engines I would use Ogre3D personally. It is more barebones then some like Unity3D, but is very powerful.

Just requires a little more dirty work, at least from my experiences.