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Need advice from Game/Mod Developers.

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Hello, I need some advice for a project that I am working on. I am an experienced programmer but a newbie in Game/Mod programming. I have a stand-alone application, reading some Hardware sensors from an external port (Serial Por, MIDI port, USB). The value from theses sensors is then translated into a simple floating-point value changing from 0 to 1. Now using this value I would like to interact with different kinds of properties (like the size, the color or the position) of an object in a 3D scene. I would like to use a 3D engine to do that. I took a look at Quake and Unreal because they are open platforms to develop and I would like to take advantage of their rendering, scripting and map editing capabilities. Any other platform will be welcome. Where should I start ? 1- Is Quake more simple then Unreal to program ? 2- Should I write a MOD or can just Scripting do the Job ? 3- How do I pass information from one application to a game system ? 3.A. – Can I use a socket to pass information from one process to the another. 3.B. – Can I directly read an external port inside the Game environment or are there restriction ? 4- Can I easily link object properties to my values. I realize that Game/MOD programming is very complexe, ANY information will be welcome.

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I don''t think commercial engines are the way to go for you. Simply because they''re undocumented, hard to understand and even harder to modify. They''re just not made for what you need here.

Instead, I''d recommend picking up on one of those open source 3D game engines (OGRE, Genesis3D, Crystal Space 3D, etc.; use Google to find them). Since I like OGRE, I''ll use it as an example. Although it''d probably be easier for you to work with a less advanced engine, but I don''t know any. So I''ll leave this for others to fill in.

Just download it, follow some tutorials on how to compile it. Then read about how it works (the basics, etc.). Being an experienced programmer will probably allow you to quickly pick up the basics, just enough to do what you need.

Anyway, entering the game programming world can be quite an overwhelming experience at first, even for a veteran programmer. So don''t worry if it seems hard at first, it just takes time to get used to.

Good luck with your project.

---
shurcooL`

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Yes, using a full 3D engine may be overkill here. What you want can probably be coded from scratch in little more than a few days. Or maybe something like OGRE (as already mentioned) or any other freeware/open source 3D engine would be simple enough. (Browse this and the General Programming forums for any of the many threads asking about 3D engines, and you''ll see some more suggestions.)

I''ll answer your questions:

1- No. Probably the opposite, unless you''re a C expert and never got into any other languages. Although I wouldn''t say the difference is very significant.
2- See above: either do it from scratch or use a cheap/free engine to help you. What you describe is so simple that you don''t need a full commercial engine.
3- Which application is this? Usually your input methods can be coded directly into whatever you''re doing, whether that is a mod or a standalone program.
3.A. – Yes, if necessary. It probably isn''t.
3.B. – If you code it yourself, there are no restrictions, providing you have a way to gain access to the port in question. In a mod, you may need one that lets you use native code rather than some sort of proprietary scripting language. However even a scripting language may have something like socket support, which as you already guessed, would let you interface with another program that monitors the input for you.
4- Yes. In virtually no engine, commercial or not, will changing the size, colour, or position of a model take more than a few lines of code.

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