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To Engine or not to engine?

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I''ve always used engines for my little games in the past. This is because I don''t wan''t to spend too much time for an engine I''d have to program myself. But lately I cannot find engines fitting my need. Either they are too old or not free... Right now I''m thinking about starting DirectX 3D programming. So I''m asking you guys out there who have already done it, what your experiences are. Are you satisfied with the result, tech-wise and time-wise? Btw, I know it depends on whether you want to learn more about graphic engine programming or more about game making. I''m interested in both, but my goal is to make games.... Thanks for your answers! ------------------------------ "Reality is nothing, perception is everything!" - First Wizard Zeddicus Zu''l Zorander

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This really depends on your goals, but keep in mind that an easy-to-use engine which is fast and flexible enough for hobby-programmers needs certainly takes a lot of time to implement.

So, if youre interested in the engine itself and you have enough time to do it, I''d suggest that, because it CAN be fun.

However, if not, you will never come to a point where you could do even the most simple kind of game, so you would want to stick to an engine which does not fit your needs 100%, but is already working.

Ah, and another thing: Do not develop both at a time. You should be clear about what kind of game you want to have and what features your engine needs, but don''t do both processes at one time, because that will not really be fun, I think.

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A lesser known open source engine under development over at sourceforge.net is...no, not crystal space, but the Ogre object oriented engine. It has well structured classes written completely with C++ inheritance...no messy C structures floating about. Its still incomplete, and /only/ features the basic rendering engine: it comes with no mapping or modeling tools, and you would have to go to a third party for networking modules and the like...the idea behind the engine was to leave it as flexible as possible.

However, if your already at the point where your considering writing your own engine anyways, this might be the project for you: you could write a game engine for this as a wrapper over the existing rendering engine.

The engine does have a plugin already written for it that reads BSP files, and someone is currently writing a 3d Max importer for it. I myself might consider writing a plugin to read Torque-based maps, or even a mapper that runs directly off the engine.

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The problem I think I''m gonna get is that I''m writing my engine (terrain), but the other games I want to do will probably need new engines (something similar to wipeout, a 3D beat-em-up). To actually stand a chance of finishing my current game, then getting a second one out there soon afterwars I should re-use the engine (maybe an RTS?) but I can see you having similar problems - a ''proper'' engine made by an experianced team is probably more flexible than one we''d write with a very narrow goal in mind. Either that or you''ll work so hard to make it flexible you''ll have problems completing it!



Read about my game, project #1
NEW (9th September)diaries for week #5

Also I''m selling a few programming books very useful to games coders. Titles on my site.


John 3:16

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I think your probably stuck in the exact opposite situation I''m in

I''ve been hacking away at an game ''engine'' for quite some time... and it''s basically gone through an outdoors terrain engine, space shooter, and vehicle sim... all through the same core engine.. It''s just I''ve always had the problem that whatever I''ve done, i''ve always been limited by something I can''t really help... pretty much always models, but sometimes other things, like just not having the mathematical background to solve a really tricky problem...

This being, it''s probably more than likly I''ll make it some kind of free to use game engine, instead of a full on game. I just feel thats best for everyone. Why not one or two nice games with no content, than a potentially large number..?

If I were you, I don''t really know, I have to say that the most fun I have had is probably making the engine it''self. When your making a game, you can get very, very depressed about things when something you can''t control is limiting you, when you just want to push on... This is what happened with me, and this is pretty much why my engine has kept going as long as it has... Overall I don''t really regret not releasing an actual game. Sure it''s nice knowing that something you made is out there and making people have fun, but at the same time I think about what I''ve learnt doing everything myself, and how the potential of the whole thing has just gotten bigger and bigger. I don''t really feel that could have happened had I, say, started from scratch each time, or used someone else''s engine. (which sorta leaves me in two minds as to what I should do anyway)

you say you want to make games. That has always been my goal, and make games I have, but I feel the most memorable stuff, and the stuff where I have learnt the most has not been when I have released a game, then given up on it (which happens in one way or another).. but with this project, and no matter what I''ve pushed on... It''s kinda hard to explain...

I''d aggree with the comment about not developing a game and an engine at the same time, on one level, but on others, I''m not too sure. If you have a definite plan of attack, then most definitly, but sometimes it may not be the case... No plan, no matter how detailed, will not change during the development of a game, and if those changes are major (and usually can''t always be predicted) then having the ability to have changes in the engine design reflect those changes would be greatly benificial..

but ohh well. I''ve raved on enough here. and am probably way off topic, being 2am and all...

<-- smile :-)

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I'm developing a 3D & Game engine, Extatica (check my sig)...

It's rather incomplete now, but it's slowly growing.

Could you please check my site and give me some feedback about what you can already see?

The engine itself should be avalable in a few weeks (version 1.0).

I'm aiming this engine at the unexperienced programmer (I was one myself, recently)... i'm trying to make it clean and easy to understand.

Cheers, ToohrVyk

EDIT: forgot to add sig... oh my...
The site is: www.extatica.com02.com

[edited by - ToohrVyk on October 19, 2002 2:20:31 PM]

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