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Please do not kill me for this thread; i know there are a lot of lists with free 3d engines, however, none of them is good enough to use in a commercial project, even in a hobby project. I'm in a situation to evaluate some free or relatively cheap 3d engines and so far I've looked att Cipher, Torque and Ogre but none of them is powerful enough. I bet there are a lot of people in the same situation as me, but does not has the "courage" to ask this question. So I beg for a moderator to put som glue on this post and that you guys out there can post a link to free or relatively cheap 3d engines, your experience with these engines and pros and cons. sincerely yours.

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I won't kill you ;), but Torque and Ogre not powerful enough?! Exactly what features are you looking for? I would say that Ogre should be able to handle just about anything you can think of. What is missing from Torque and/or Ogre, in your opinion?

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Ahh.. sorry... i shouldn't stated is as "powerful enough"... something like "lack of documentation or features" would be more correct:

Ogre is indeed a very powerful engine, but it seems to have some undocumented memoryleak-bugs that'll appears now and then and Torque is a pretty lame engine though all games created with it does all look the same...

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I don't think the core rendering part of QIII is open source. I believe that some of the surrounding elements are but the core I believe is closed. This might make shaders hard to implant. Don't quote me on that though.

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Yeah I was going through trying to find decent engines a while ago, and there are next to NONE. Ogre is the only one that comes close, and it is really hard to get to use--not to mention it KILLS old hardware.

For indie games, after my current project reaches beta phase (very soon!!) I'm going to be developing a generic, platform-agnostic interface for all sorts of games. If you can wait like 6 months then you'll have something to work with :P

Best bet I'd say is to "roll your own" and figure out how to get things done. Or use DarkBASIC--it's very powerful.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by johnhattan
Quote:
I'm in a situation to evaluate some free or relatively cheap 3d engines and so far I've looked att Cipher, Torque and Ogre but none of them is powerful enough.


Powerful enough for what?


well if you read my second post i said that was a miss by me, both engines are good, but none is flawless

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Sinbad (username of the creator that created OGRE) says when I told him about the memory leaks thing just now:

56k of D3D memory leaks I haven't managed to track down yet, stuff that's allocated in D3D itself rather than OGRE... leaks don't cause bugs, overruns do... i'm pretty sure we don't have any of those, unless they're in areas people don't use.... 95% of the time bugs are caused by other people or bad media.

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Quake 1 & 2 are free (under GPL). But be realistic, why would someone spend years of their life developing a commercial quality game engine then documenting it extensively, just to give it away for free?

If it's a commercial project, then fork out the cash for a good commercial engine, if it's a hobby thing then just accept that you game wont look as good as Doom3 or HL2... but you could aslo start developing 2D commercial games, if you want to make something commercial but dont have much money.

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I had downloaded crystalspace a while back and i never had got into it because lack of documentation and tools but i recently went to the website and i must say its looking real good. First its under the LGPL license. Second the documentation is good and there is a community. Its seems they've already implemented scripting engine bindings to quite a few languages including java, have integrated ode for physics, and have tools for mesh, level and character importation, and conversion. Finally from what i read in the manual (download this first to see if it fits your needs, it includes a copy of the library general public license) The level optimization seems similar to ut2003/4 in that you setup zones (in cs they call them sectors) and you setup portals between zones, you have occluders implemented with a coverage buffer, and frustrum culling. Again take a look at the documentation for details, but it looks like it could be a robust and potentially fast solution.

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Here is a small list of free 3d engines:

Irrlicht
Crystal Space
Ogre3d
Torque
Quake Engines are GPL'd.

Crystal Space has been doing a nice job of bringing their documentation up to date. The engine is very feature rich. The downfall it has IMHO is the size of it. The learning curve is very steep but if you stick it out it is well worth it. I also recommend getting the nightly CVS updates.

I have downloaded the Irrlicht engine and perused the code but did nothing indepth with it. I checked out the demos it came with and was impressed with it. Too bad this developer hasn't setup CVS access for download.

Sorry I can not tell you more about the other engines. If I get to them anytime soon I will post my thoughts on them( dunno if it would help or not ).

Anyways check them out. Can't kill you. :P

-------------------
optics

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Cube Engine
http://www.cubeengine.com/index.php4
http://cube-osx.sourceforge.net/

Catmother
http://catmother.sourceforge.net/

Irrlicht Engine (v. 0.6)
http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/

Nebula Device:
http://www.nebuladevice.org/
http://www.radonlabs.de/nebula.html

Neoengine
http://neoengine.sourceforge.net

Quake II
http://www.idsoftware.com/business/technology/

I believe any of these, as well as Torque and Ogre, could be used to make a commercial-quality game ... and some already have. The thing is --- IMO, you have to be willing to get your hands dirty with the engine. Which it sounds like you are. Yeah, the documentation may be lacking... but Torque's docs have improved substantially over the last several months, and many of the others seem reasonably usable.
Quote:
But be realistic, why would someone spend years of their life developing a commercial quality game engine then documenting it extensively, just to give it away for free?

Because that's not the part which is of value --- it's the GAME, not the engine.

Prarie games is doing just this:
http://www.prairiegames.com/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/prairieengine

The core engine is based off the Quake II engine architecture (I think). What his customers will be buying (in theory) is all the game data, maps, artwork, and in-game scripts that make the engine work. That is NOT an insignificant amount of work... the engine only represents a small part of what is needed to make a game.

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(Sorry guys, shameless marketing)

If you're a Maya fanatic, the Aurora 3D Rendering engine works extremely well for games requiring complex lighting. It's not freeware, but there is a free trial/demo SDK. The pricing structure is about to undergo a catastrophic change to make it more affordable.

Here's the link if you are interested: http://www.aurora3d.com

Thanks,

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Quote:

Because that's not the part which is of value --- it's the GAME, not the engine.


This is certainly true, however if your game will be multiplayer, having full source code to the engine gives hackers a leg up.

I am a Torque licensor, its a good engine and fast, though you need to learn to like TorqueScript(it isnt terrible, but I wish I could use lua or Small).

The docs are good, although the concepts are kinda peculiar.
The toolset is kindof fragmented outside of the built in Terrain editor. Interiors can be built in Quark or Hammer(Worldcraft). Models can be made in Milkshape3d, Max or Blender(this is beta I think, not sure). There is a plugin for JEdit for debugging and editing scripts. After plugging various things together using the conversion tools, creating a mission(terrain+objects+interiors) is actually very easy in Torque.

If you plan on buying torque the best bet is to buy '3D game programming All in One'. It even has the demo with the book since almost all mods are done with TorqueScript.

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If you want a 3D Isometric engine, you can try our engine (follow the link in my signature, download the source from the CVS, read the sourcecode license (it's in the CVS)).
While not perfect, it does it's job in our game, and it's constantly being improved.

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