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Gamespace or Truespace?

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Which would you guys advise? I''m used to using Milkshape, but I''ve found that it''s becoming too limiting as my needs are growing (specifically in the areas of animation). So I''ve been hunting for an alternative. StudioMax is too expensive ($3500! Are you kidding me! I wouldn''t pay that if I was a huge corporation, much less as an independent). I''ve looked at the Truespace 6.5 demo and played around with it and I like it, and it''s price range is pretty reasonable ($600). But then I also noticed Gamespace, which is also by Calgari and sells for $300. Based on the Gamespace design, it is supposed to be for low polygon modelling for use in games. But I can''t figure out from their website what features I would be giving up by getting the lower priced package. There''s a review here I read on Gamespace which gives it a positive rating, but again it doesn''t really go into what features I would be giving up. Is there anything I am losing that I may find I need for game programming? Either way if I get the wrong package I waste $300, which I certianly want to avoid. I don''t want a package that is full of features I won''t use, but I need to have all the features I require to put together my models/animations. You guys know the sort of stuff I need, I''m sure. Model creation, texturing, texture animation, skeletal animation, exporting the models to x files, exporting the skeletal animations into animation sets. Animation blending would be nice too The usual sort of things you need for the 3D models of a first person game. I hope I don''t start a holy war here, that''s not my intent. Anyone have any thoughts? Anyone with experience with these packages and can compare them? -Ron

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I can''t speak for trueSpace; but I have been using the gameSpace demo for about a week now and I almost have myself convinced to make the purchase. However, at present time there are a number of problems with the gameSpace:

1) Basically the Undo functionality is unreliable at best; I find it works ok if you are only planning to undo the last change to your model.
2) The program informs you that you need to save your work and restart, crashes, and often runs out of memory.
3) The help files are terrible; basically if you search on a word it provides you with all of the chapters where that word or similar words reside. Furthermore in the demo version of the program, none of the help files are graphically; yet the interface is 100% graphically. This can make it extremely hard to find anything.

I realize that everything that I have said sounds bad, but I think that the program can meet most peoples needs if they save there work often; and once the bugs are worked out it is going to be a good program. Keep in mind that I am a game developer and not an artist so my needs for a 3D modeling tool are primarily at low polygon modeling and the overall price of the application.

Why don’t you download the fully functional demos and give them a try?


PS: gameSpace is only $249.00 until December 23, 2003; I guess we are getting a deal for being Beta testers.


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Understanding is a three edged sword...

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quote:
Original post by Sean Doherty
Why don’t you download the fully functional demos and give them a try?

I did Actually, I''ve had the truespace demo for a couple of weeks now. It is fully functional except you can''t save your work. I just got the gamespace demo yesterday (somehow on my first pass through the web page, I missed the fact there was a demo available). Yeah, it''s fully functional, but it''s also time limited to 15 days, which I can guarantee you I will not be able to become familiar enough with it to answer my questions in that amount of time, heh. I wish they would have done the same deal as with truespace and made it unlimited time but with no saves.

So I''ve been trying to crash course myself through it with the limited time I''ve got. Fortunately, it''s exactly the same interface as truespace, so I''ve got a bit of a leg up there.

quote:

1) Basically the Undo functionality is unreliable at best; I find it works ok if you are only planning to undo the last change to your model.

Yeah, I''ve found this to be the case also. Sometimes you can undo several levels and sometimes not. I think if you switch tools you lose the Undo''s for the previous tool.

quote:

2) The program informs you that you need to save your work and restart, crashes, and often runs out of memory.

Hmmm, haven''t had this issue at all. At least not yet.

quote:

3) The help files are terrible; basically if you search on a word it provides you with all of the chapters where that word or similar words reside. Furthermore in the demo version of the program, none of the help files are graphically; yet the interface is 100% graphically. This can make it extremely hard to find anything.

Ouch, that''s not good. I haven''t spent a lot of time in the help files yet (I''ve been working through tutorials from the web), but I just glanced at them, and I see what you mean. Perhaps the manual will be better? (I don''t have it, guess it doesn''t come with the demo version).

Thanks for the input. After two days of straight modelling, I''ve come to the conclusion that the modelling section seems pretty good. I''m going to work with it some more and see how the animation is. From what I can gather, this seems to be a weak point with the package.

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quote:

I wish they would have done the same deal as with truespace and made it unlimited time but with no saves.



Actually, I liked that fact that I was able to save my models directly to .x files and immediately incorporate them into my game. It game me a sense that the program would meet my needs.

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Understanding is a three edged sword...

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I have gameSpace and have used it off and on for a little while. Here are my observations:

The single perspective view is nice and I like the way the UI maximizes workspace. That being said, regardless if research shows it''s more productive, I find it much harder to import a drawing and build a model from it then the 3DS/Milkshape 4-pane approach.

gameSpace does make it a lot easier to create organic, MDK-looking-like stuff.

Sort of buggy - although the vendor has been pretty good about getting some improvements out there I would have felt better if a more polished 1.0 was released. 1.1 seems much better.

VERY good documentation. I am not talking about the help files, I wasn''t even aware they were there to be honest. The manual is huge and covers everything you need to know. If you go step by step through the thing, which requires some discipline, you will know how to be productive with their tool.

Includes Milkshape (full/semifull?) for additional export support - I would rather have seen this integrated but it''s a nice gesture and usable.

The 1.1 patch (well, at 60M it''s basically a new build) fixed a number of stability issues and the speed patch resolved the crappy load times.

Very nice vendor incentives - I have received emails notifying me of updates patches and special resources available to me. A lot of free models and textures mostly.

They are aggressively building a nice community with tutorials and resources for gameSpace users.


Overall, despite the love/hate relationship with the interface (it''s cool but I just like the 4-pane thing, subjective opinion...) you will be hard pressed to find the same number of features, FOR LOW POLY MODELING, in a comparable priced tool. They have a 60day money-back guarantee, but I would read it closely - just to make sure what the guarantee covers. If it was feasible I would buy 3DS, but $3000 for a casual hobby is way too frivolous a cash expenditure (besides, that covers my reference DVD player...). I would snoop the forums and read what other users are saying there as well.

Oh btw - I am NOT an artist in the least, so these observations would be from a true novice (shotgun models, simple ships, geometric art, landscapes, .. that''s about it).


Hope that helps..

#dth-0

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quote:

it''s cool but I just like the 4-pane thing, subjective opinion...



Did you know that you can change from a single pane to 4 panes?

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Understanding is a three edged sword...

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Have you checked out gMax? It is basically 3D Studio lite and, best of all, it is free. I am the same boat, trying to find a reasonable 3d modelling tool. I've tried Maya, gMax, Milkshape, and gameSpace. So far, gMax seems to be best, but that is an opinion.


[edited by - onebeer on December 16, 2003 10:11:32 PM]

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Gmax isnt free, what do you call free? Well, its not free if your interested in SELLING YOUR GAME that is. For modding others games it may be perfectly legit, but otherwise, sorry.

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quote:

Gmax isnt free, what do you call free? Well, its not free if your interested in SELLING YOUR GAME that is. For modding others games it may be perfectly legit, but otherwise, sorry.



I know that some companies that supply stripped down versions of their main products will have a non-comercial use in the EULA, but I checked out the gMax site and could not find anything. I checked out the EULA and it specifically states:
-----
Autodesk grants to you a personal, nonexclusive license to make and use the Software for the purpose of designing, developing, testing, and producing game content provided that you are the only individual or entity using said Software and provided that you do not modify or alter the
Software.
----

Now, I just glanced at the rest of the EULA, but I couldn''t find anything that placed further restrictions on the software. If you have something, please let me know because I would be very interested to know.

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look for blender - it's 3dsmax, but free (sort of)

for more animation control over milkshape models (and others) look for Character FX - great keyframing and IK stuff and only $15

or write your own - could be quite simple if you use cal3d as a basis

[edited by - mrbastard on December 17, 2003 10:36:59 AM]

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You cannot export files from gMax to .3ds or you own format. The Maxscript in gMax doesnt have file output functions. One way is to download the gamepak of a popular game file format and convert that format to your own or simply use that format.(MD2/MD3)

Blender has alot of features, but is nothing like Max in it''s interface or ease of use. I have tried it, but find it hard to adopt to it because im used to 3dMax.

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Wow, thanks for the suggestions guys. Very helpful!

Milkshape
Even with CharacterFX to help out with the animation work, I still think I want to get away from Milkshape. After playing with True/Game-space, I find I like modeling right in the perspective mode, which you can''t do effectively with MS. I have a multitude of little problems with MS, each one of which is trivial on it''s own, but when put together equals me looking to move on

gMax
Interesting! I didn''t realize 3DSMax had a free version. I will try it out. The lack of file export/import functions is troubling though, and the licensce issue needs to be resolved one way or the other

Blender
I''ve tried it, I don''t like it. One of the guys who does modelling for me swears by it though Just goes to show its all about what you''re used to using, heh.

Cal3D
I''ve looked at Cal3D. I''d rather have a modelling package to actually do my animations in though rather than trying to roll my own. Once I have the animations in x files, I will probably look at Cal3D as a basis for running them in my game.

So far, pending my investigation of gMax, I''m leaning toward gamespace. I think I''ve decided that truespace is unneccesary for what I want and gamespace has all the appropriate functionality for game programming. So now it looks like it might be a choice between gMax and GameSpace.

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