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Game Engine question. (UDK, Torque or Unity?)


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#1 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 10:15 PM

Hi all, I am new to these forums, and am an aspiring game developer.

I intend to develop my own game that is similar to the Armored Core games (more towards armored core 4 and 5), and I am unsure which game engine would be best to develop in. I originally wanted to build it from scratch, but I realize that it would probably take much longer to get a stable game engine going and I thought it'd be best if I invested in an existing game engine and focus more on the game development.

I got these 2 books:
3D Games Programming All-in-One (http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/1598632663)
Advanced 3D Games Programming All-in-One (http://www.amazon.co...e/dp/1592007333)

and it seems like the book teaches game programming in torque.

However, I have read alot of unfavorable reviews for torque, and its user unfriendliness (which i hope the book solves), but at the same time, those reviews are 3-4 years old and may be outdated, and there are some few favorable reviews too.

Should I develop my game in Torque? or should I start looking at the alternatives (UDK, Unity, etc)?

edit: description of the game im planning to make

hmm okay, to elaborate on my game a little more:
- i plan for a multiplayer system (minimum 5v5, maybe going upward to 15v15) on a dedicated server.
- there will be a story mode which will have scripted events, etc where 1-3 friends may join to aid.
- the game will be in third person view, camera losely follows the character.
- There will be ranged and melee combat.
- I plan to use hitbox detection for weapons and shields.
- there will be aerial battles too (which requires jetpacks, aerial physics, etc).
- planning to implement a feature where the player may shoot grappling hooks onto walls and they may climb or rappel.
- wall jumping
- stealth effect (transparent warpy object)
- the player character models would have changeable parts dependent on what he/she equips (arms, legs, head, etc)
- AI for bots and the story mode.
- having multi platform options is always a plus too.

I'm rather mostly worried about the game engine's network code and limitations (who knows, there may be something that prevents me from doing what i want above).


Edited by Ixsiehn, 25 July 2012 - 01:01 AM.


Sponsor:

#2 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 23 July 2012 - 11:10 PM

Torque is shit. It's been shit for well over ten years. They know it's shit. They don't care. They just want your money. Then once they have it, you can go **$^ yourself for all they care.

I've never been a fan of the Unreal style going back to the late 90s. Also, the engine and tools target the high end market. UDK is suited to shooter games, and most other genres fail miserably. The toolset is massive and has steep system requirements. It's a great engine, it just fails miserably at anything that isn't a graphically intensive FPS.

Unity3D is more suited to general purpose games. It can be a pain in the ass at times, but it has lots of things going for it. The WebPlayer is great. You can compile things into your dropbox folder, and throw the link up on your twitter, and everyone can play your game instantly! It can get expensive if you want to update to the PRO versions, and you have to pay for every platform! But the free version will take you very far.

#3 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:07 AM

hmm from the sounds of it, i guess I should move over to unity (UDK seems to only work for graphics heavy FPS which isnt what im going for)?

Would it be able to make a handle fast-paced third person action game that is heavily scripted? (I am not too familiar with unity myself other than some suggestions ive read from forums threads, my original impression of unity was that it was a game engine for iOS)

Also, exactly what made Torque "shit" in your opinion?

#4 Alismuffin   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 12:16 AM

I would go for Unity3D.

Unreal has great graphics capabilities, but it has a very steep programming learning curve if you aren't already proficient in that area.

Unity3D is great at showing results straight away and has extremely good documentation. The compiler(MonoDevelop) makes things a breeze too. The main downsides are the expensive licenses for anything other than web or standalone windows free edition.

If you have little or moderate experience in game creation I would recommend Unity3D. If you are quite proficient in programming and want the better rendering engine, unreal is probably where you want to go.

These are just my opinions however, and are by no means 100% agreeable upon.

EDIT:

Would it be able to make a handle fast-paced third person action game that is heavily scripted? (I am not too familiar with unity myself other than some suggestions ive read from forums threads, my original impression of unity was that it was a game engine for iOS)

Unity is very good at being diverse. Almost any game you can think of can be created in it. I suggest having a look at the website showcase and forum posts. That will help you see whether Unity3D is worth your time or not.

Edited by Alismuffin, 24 July 2012 - 12:19 AM.


#5 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:06 AM

Torque is infamous for many things. Poor documentation. Product doesn't work as advertised. Fixes come in new versions that leave you abandoned and scammed, etc. No one ever produces anything with it. The best product produced with Torque is a shitty tech demo filled with programmer art on Xbox Live to market their engine.

Unity3D started out as a Mac game engine, then branched out to Windows, iOS, Android, a Web Player, Chrome Native, and now Linux. It's a general purpose, open ended engine. You import assets into the engine, assemble a series of scenes, and then add scripts to make your game objects behave in certain ways. It's very easy and quick. You even have several options for what scripting language you want to use.

UDK is also a great engine. But it's not as open ended or general purpose. You are basically modding Unreal, and then trying to shoe-horn your specific game functionality into it. It's very hit or miss. Mostly miss. The entire thing is just geared around the shooter game mentality. Arkham Assylum is one of the few exceptions. But in a lot of ways, it's very close to an FPS anyways until the melee fighting kicks in.

Either engine will suit you fine. They can both handle heavy games. They can both handle heavy graphical loads.

UDK has the edge on Unity3D graphically, but only at the level of a big studio producing tons of AAA graphics, and the gap is closing with each new Unity release.

Unity3D has the edge on ease of use, and being general purpose.

The Webplayer is a HUGE thing. You just build your game into your dropbox folder (or anywhere on the web), and anyone with the Unity3D Webplayer can play it instantly. A lot of people on the forums share their work like this, as opposed to just screenshots.

Unity3D is not perfect. The editor could use some improving. Asset importing can be a pain. And the engine itself suffers from the problems that come up when you try to be everything to everyone instead of more focused like UDK.

UDK gives you more upfront for free. Unity3D withholds most of the high end features like real time shadows, and render to texture for the PRO version. Although, you won't need a lot of this stuff anyways. The quality of the game is ultimately up to your art skills.

UDK is cheap up front with royalties later on if you profit from your game.

Unity3D is expensive up front, but nothing is owed later. Also, you have to pay for every version. They'll e-mail you in the middle of the night, without warning, ransom style, "Hey, we just bumped the version number! You have x amount of days of to pay us z amount of dollars if you want the special upgrade price" :)

Unity3D targets low to high hardware. UDK seems to focus on upper medium to high end.

#6 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 01:49 AM

Oh wow, awesome replies! thanks so much guys. I guess i will really give unity 3D a look, it may just be what i need.

Another question though, if say I first develop my game in the free version of unity, but in future decide to upgrade to pro, would it be easy to convert over? or would it almost feel like reprogramming the entire game in a different engine?

Thanks so much for the informative replies btw.

I also lol'd at the ransom bit (though i may not laugh so much once i experience it first hand, haha)

#7 Alismuffin   Members   -  Reputation: 135

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 02:03 AM

Another question though, if say I first develop my game in the free version of unity, but in future decide to upgrade to pro, would it be easy to convert over? or would it almost feel like reprogramming the entire game in a different engine?


This question brings up another issue with Unity3D that hasn't been mentioned yet. The compatibility between versions is horrific. Your scripts are always safe and can be backed up and transitioned over to another version of Unity3D, however the data storing what script is on what and where that texture is or this collider gets lost in the transition.

Worst case scenario, you have to manually reattach (From your memory) each component.

However, transitioning from pro version and free version as long as they are the same decimal version (2.5 or whatever it is right now) should be fine.

Edited by Alismuffin, 24 July 2012 - 02:04 AM.


#8 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 10:18 AM

Pro and Free are the same thing. Free just blocks access to advanced features. Free becomes PRO with a serial number, and then those options become available.

#9 epreisz   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 09:40 PM

BTW..in full disclosure...I'm the CEO of GarageGames. To say we don't care is total BS.

Poor documentation.

Check out our tutorial and judge for yourself. You can download the full engine (all features) but without source code. http://bit.ly/O6BetU

Product doesn't work as advertised.

There have been cases where something wrong has slipped through...and since I've been with the company we removed anything that was in a gray area. There was a time in our past history where we had some very lofty questionable language. On my first week at the job we removed anything questionable

Fixes come in new versions that leave you abandoned and scammed, etc.

We've spent well over two years fixing bugs. We had one paid for update in the past four years and we asked for $49.00. If you didn't want to upgrade, we gave you the bug fixes for free.


No one ever produces anything with it.

The reality is that a very, very, small percentage of indie developers produce games with any engine. Making a full game is very difficult and time consuming. There have been several Indie titles on Steam that were built on Torque. Here's a bigger list for you to look at:

http://www.garagegames.com/best-of-torque/torque-3d

The best product produced with Torque is a shitty tech demo filled with programmer art on Xbox Live to market their engine.

See above...

It's true that we have a very different product than Unity or UDK. If you want source code, you can't beat our engine. We do have a steeper learning curve and teams with strong programmers tend to do better with our tech. We also have the lowest price with zero royalties.

GarageGames was sold one and a half years ago. If you haven't tried Torque in several years then you are talking about an almost completely different company.
I am one of over 150,000 users of GarageGame's torque engine technology. Learn more about us at garagegames.com

#10 abcdef44   Banned   -  Reputation: 2

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Posted 24 July 2012 - 11:58 PM

Without reading all, they all fail for me. Why? M$ market share is already down to ~70% in Switzerland and I believe it will fall below 50% within the next years. So support for all main OS is my first kill criterion.
But also you don't learn to program, could not later use such as reference. You probably will even end in a impasse and need to go back and change everything, only because lack of full control over the source code.
So sorry, even if they would be free, no thanks. I'm happy with Ogre etc.

#11 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:10 AM

hmmmm, yes, i have read about garage games being sold recently and that Torque got major improvements recently as well. Hence i was quite skeptical about the 3-4 year old reviews.

I am rather still undecided about the game engine to use, I have read that Torque has a superior network code, which was one of the points that interested me.

I may play around with both engines and see which I like more, thanks alot for the informative replies, they are very much appreciated. Any more would still be welcome too, and would help me (or future aspiring developers) with the decision!

#12 epreisz   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:27 AM

Listen, we aren't perfect and we still make mistakes, but we've come a long way, and fixed a lot of things. And I'm very proud of the things we've accomplished over the past couple of years.

Ogre is a good rendering module, but not a full game engine so there is a lot that you don't get. Of course, there are several engines that are built around Ogre that you can choose from.

The bottom line is that there still isn't a perfect engine for every scenario/game/genre...and who knows...maybe there never will be.

When asking which engine you are interested in, it's best to describe what you are trying to accomplish and use the engine that best suits your needs. If you describe what your goal is, I can tell you Torque's strengths and weaknesses and I'm sure others can chime in with their opinion about the engines that they know well.

The good news for developers is that you can pretty much use any engine for free in one way or another until you decide what is the best for you.
I am one of over 150,000 users of GarageGame's torque engine technology. Learn more about us at garagegames.com

#13 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:59 AM

hmm okay, to elaborate on my game a little more:
- i plan for a multiplayer system (minimum 5v5, maybe going upward to 15v15) on a dedicated server.
- there will be a story mode which will have scripted events, etc where 1-3 friends may join to aid.
- the game will be in third person view, camera losely follows the character.
- There will be ranged and melee combat.
- I plan to use hitbox detection for weapons and shields.
- there will be aerial battles too (which requires jetpacks, aerial physics, etc).
- planning to implement a feature where the player may shoot grappling hooks onto walls and they may climb or rappel.
- wall jumping
- stealth effect (transparent warpy object)
- the player character models would have changeable parts dependent on what he/she equips (arms, legs, head, etc)
- AI for bots and the story mode.
- having multi platform options is always a plus too.

I'm rather mostly worried about the game engine's network code and limitations (who knows, there may be something that prevents me from doing what i want above).

Edited by Ixsiehn, 25 July 2012 - 01:01 AM.


#14 MrDaaark   Members   -  Reputation: 3555

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 12:59 AM

Cool story. Are you the CEO, or one of 150,000 users? http://devmaster.net...ne#user-reviews :)

lxsiehn, that's a lot to do, but both UDK and Unity will be able to handle it.

Edited by Daaark, 25 July 2012 - 01:01 AM.


#15 epreisz   Members   -  Reputation: 161

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:01 AM

@Daark - Actually, both. I started using Torque back in 2004 doing while working on a contract with NASA. I then left that company and started my own small business using Torque. I became the unofficial liason for the simulation industry and shortly after that, I started working for InstantAction, the parent company of GarageGames at the time. In 2010 I moved to a new position as director of the engine business. When InstantAction closed in 2010, the GarageGames division was profitable enough to attract new owners who bought the assets, hired me and the others, and we grew the division from 10 employees to around 30.

@Ixsiehn

i plan for a multiplayer system (minimum 5v5, maybe going upward to 15v15) on a dedicated server.


Out of the box, Torque 3D is best at handling around 32 players. The networking code hasn't changed a whole lot from when it ran Tribes. They built the networking for the days when people were still using modems, so it's been battle-tested in some pretty extreme scenarios. Torque is very much a networking engine that supports the development of games and the network object is the core of the majority of game driven objects. That's one of the reason Torque has such a steep learning curve...when you want to do something custom, you get pulled pretty quickly into the networking layer of the engine and it takes a bit to learn. You can also compile the engine to run as a dedicated server. With a little bit work, it's pretty easy to get Torque to compile in Linux as a dedicated server...although it's not officially supported out of the box.

there will be a story mode which will have scripted events, etc where 1-3 friends may join to aid.

Shouldn't be a big deal...but we don't really have robust camera support for scripted scenes.

the game will be in third person view, camera losely follows the character.

Again, not super robust support built in, but there are several free resources that you can look at for something more specific.

There will be ranged and melee combat.

Torque doesn't have built in melee combat, we fake it similar to other engines by running an animation and shooting a short lived projectile.

I plan to use hitbox detection for weapons and shields.

We do have pretty basic support for hitboxes.

there will be aerial battles too (which requires jetpacks, aerial physics, etc).

There actually might be some of the tribes jetpack code still in the engine. Never used it myself. We do have basic support for flying vehicles and hovervehicles, but I don't think those have been part of our QA test plans so I can't comment on the current state of the code.

planning to implement a feature where the player may shoot grappling hooks onto walls and they may climb or rappel.

Hrm....that's going to be quite a challenge in any engine. I can't imagine being able to do this in any engine without a lot of custom development.

- wall jumping
- stealth effect (transparent warpy object)
- the player character models would have changeable parts dependent on what he/she equips (arms, legs, head, etc)


Nothing too bad there...

AI for bots and the story mode.

Our AI support varies. Most people buy one of the AI addon kits. AI tends to require custom solutions to achieve the AI you are looking for.

having multi platform options is always a plus too.

Out of the box, you are only going to get PC. We have an OSX version of the current engine, but it's not out of the box ready and I'd only expect an advanced developer to find it useful. Same goes for linux.

------------------------------------------------
My biggest advice...scale your idea wayyyy back. The game you are describing would take a really big team, and from what I've seen, if you don't go into it with really reasonable expectations about what a beginner can accomplish, you will get frustrated very quickly. Consider starting with 2D. Your chances of finishing your first game go way up....and there's nothing more motivating then actually finishing your game and sharing it with your friends.
I am one of over 150,000 users of GarageGame's torque engine technology. Learn more about us at garagegames.com

#16 Dwarf King   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1854

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 05:22 PM

I have used Torque for a few months now. I have done a few tutorials in it and played around with the world editor and done some seriuos scripting as well as digging into the sourc codes as well(had to as I was rather curious Posted Image ). Torque 3D is by no way shit. I have done some simple stuff in Unity too and I liked that enigine too(do not like the price of 1500 $ though).

I would say try all three enignes by doing some simple tutorials and then decide. Do not forget to consider royalities, licensee costs etc.

I choose Torque 3D in the end due to the low price and access the source codes. Oh and no engine is going to do all the work for you, which means that no matter how you put it then the better programmer you are the more useful an engine will be.

The two books about Torque are great by the way(have them myself). Well that is my opion.

"The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education"

Albert Einstein

"It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education"

Albert Einstein

 


#17 Ixsiehn   Members   -  Reputation: 113

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Posted 25 July 2012 - 09:24 PM

yea, its a rather ambitious project. Though, im planning to make it a periodic release of content, learning while i program more of the things in, just needed to make sure the engine i select can at least do most of the stuff (at least by the time i get to developing that part of the game) so that i wont regret my choice down the road. Though it seems, all 3 game engines can handle it.

Thanks alot for the informative replies too, epreisz. I will definitely give torque a try too and see how it feels. I have actually created some 2D games although its mostly during uni, i decided i want to try creating a 3D game and decided to try something like this.

@Dwarfking: thanks for your input too, its also pretty much what i plan to do. I'm also glad to be assured that the books are good.

Edited by Ixsiehn, 25 July 2012 - 09:34 PM.


#18 laethyn1   Members   -  Reputation: 101

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Posted 28 July 2012 - 12:18 AM

The compiler(MonoDevelop) makes things a breeze too.


MonoDevelop is NOT a compiler at all. It's an IDE that supports multiple languages.
Personally, I use Aptana Studio 3 for my unityScripting needs. Was a pain to get the contextual code hinting set up, but otherwise, it works well (and lets me work not only on my Unity projects, but also my perl scripts, my css, javascript, and my Maya MEL scripts, and any other language I feel up to coding in).

I'm a big fan of Unity3D. They've done an amazing job with it, in my opinion. Throwing together a simple outdoor environment, with a drag n drop 1st or 3rd person controller takes only a couple of minutes. That will give you a textured terrain, trees blowing in the wind, water, a skybox, shadows (static, baked), etc.

Coming soon is an all new GUI Builder as well, which should ease the pain of coding your game HUDs and menus.

That said, for me, depends on the project I'm working on. These days, I use Unity3d for my more casual game projects, and udk for my bigger, more graphically heavy, project.

Either way though, I can not recommend unity3d highly enough.




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