And yes, you can easily make a game which looks like a AAA game with relative amount of ease. In fact a couple of years ago I saw someone's game level which was on par with Far Cry 3 (They are partnered with Garage Games). The effects where stunning, and it did look good. . . . . Until you moved, the level ran between 4 and 12 frames per second on mid range machines (i5 6GB ram 2GB graphics card (unsure of the specific specs)). Adding any medium-high poly model to the level kills frame rate, and lighting/water effects only makes it worse.
Torque 3D is a fine engine if you understand what you are dealing with. It has its limitations. You will not be able to throw hundreds of particle effects into a level and still use tons of high polygon numbered 3D art and keep huge view distances. Yeah it looks good but hardly makes it playable. Low polygon models and the illusion of being in a huge world can be done(valleys, skyboxes, blocking view etc.). Triggers to spawn AI and trigger particles and effects is the way to go.
Unreal 4 is a fine piece of tech as well. But if you take the elemental demo and run it on a pretty good machine you will understand that games with such effects will demand some real killer machines. I ran that demo on my Alienware m17x R2 machine and it had some lags now and then ;)
Unity3D is also a valid option.
A Multiplayer mode, possibly a Versus-mode
Torque 3D gives you that out of the box. Also you should really download the latest binary version http://mit.garagegames.com/Torque3D-3-5-1.zip
Unreal 4 and Unity I have not used much with multi player.
Many scripted events
All three mention engines are fine here. Unreal 4 comes with the Blueprint system that is a visual scripting system. You can make your own blueprints with C++.
Nice special effects, such as "out-of-this-world explosions", etc.
Well that Unreal 4 can do but you have to tweak the particle system to your will. Torque 3D has a commercial plugin called AFX 2.0(http://www.garagegames.com/products/afx-2.0-torque3d) that gives you a whole new Torque 3D RPG engine with tons of already done special effects that you easily can twist(you work with datablocks and Torque Script). For example you can change the color of the zodiac art(circles with symbols etc.) for a spell in Gimp or Photoshop and twist range, animations etc and then you have new spells.
Of course I am kind of biased as I have been using Torque tech more or less full time
The community is utterly strong you can always find a solution to an issue on the website. Torque Script is still used and most solutions from years back can with few twist be implemented in your own game.
Torque 3D has some drawbacks:
- Not yet multi platform but it can more or less run on Linux now and Mac people are working on
- DX9 support only but DX11 is on its way
- 65 K polygon import limits(Collada) for models...
- No fbx support...
- Many people like to hate the engine...
- It is no longer supported by Garage Games as such. The community nurse and develop the engine(the Steering community)... okay hardly a drawback as the engine has seen a huge boost in stability and bug fixing since I started use Torque 3D 1.2 back then.
Some positive pros:
- MIT license(without plugins.. Clean engine)... Free to use it in any way
- No royalties
- Access to all the source code(if you need that, some don't)
- A fine simple C like scripting language
- Many awesome plugins and powerful techs you can implement or use external
Techs? What techs?
- AFX-2.0 explosions and storms here and now!
- UAIK, click drop and you got evil enemies or allies round you.
- PureLight(a little like Beast in Unity)... kind of expensive, awesome prebaked light. Dynamic lighting can then be used less and better fps performance is then seen when making killer awesome good looking levels/zones/areas.
- Embed HTML menus in your game? T3D Awesomium Search youtube for it
- You do not need to use 3ds Max, Blender will do fine for modelling and the export to Collada
Now then I can sleep well. I feel that with my post Torque tech in the 21st century has gotten a fair review and as such cons and pros of this tech has been presented to all who read this thread. Oh and as a side note I no longer develop in Torque 3D since a few weeks ago my company has moved to another platform. So I am no fan boy. I simply just feel that the truth should be told about Torque tech.
Torque 3D is a fine engine if you know its limitations and capabilities and you find them to fit your needs
If you want to see with your own eyes then this will amaze you: