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How to use free 3D Game Engines?

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Hello! I'm interested in creating a small 3D game demo, specifically, with a 3D character running around a simple outdoors world in 3rd person view, with the ability to draw two sample weapons to demonstrate an idea, and with the ability to call up external programs, like IE, to load webpages into a browser (outside of the game...or inside the game but mapped onto a object like a TV or computer screen...but has the same functions as IE or Netscape...i've seen it done somewhere a while ago...) Creating the content for this is no sweat...i'm big into 3D modeling and computer art, and i'm about to start school for media arts and computer animation. But, I don't have the slightest clue of how to use the free 3D engines out there, namely Crystal Space, since it's the only freeware engine that has the visual and techincal specifications we need (we want to be able to expand to a create multiplayer demo if we succeed at this, our other alternatives, GameBlender and WildTangent (it can but it's not a standalone EXE) can't do this... ) I know beginners C++ from a high school class I took. From that I expanded to learn ActionScript to build this flash program for a RPG forum (http://www.freewebs.com/timelesswoods/hollyifp.htm), and i've done a little in Python to attempt at a Blender importer for Anim8or .an8 files But I can't imagine how to start a project in Crystal Space(maybe it cause i'm used to GUI editors!)...I just want to know how to get a lighted 3D model into the engine with the ability to move it forward with the Up arrow, and I can quickly learn how the rest of things work! Any help or suggestions would be appreciated!

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That's going to a difficult if you dont have experiance in 3D programming.But a 3D engine no script runner, it provides you with a backbone for your games with stuff like models, map support, collision detection and other stuff like multiplayer support.You make a game on top of this.

Of course with an engine , tools come which make stuff easy but you will have to write the code that actually does the overall work.

Crystal Space Links
Crystal Space Tutorials
Crystal Space Official Site
Crystal Space Manual

Quote:

But I can't imagine how to start a project in Crystal Space(maybe it cause i'm used to GUI editors!)...I just want to know how to get a lighted 3D model into the engine with the ability to move it forward with the Up arrow, and I can quickly learn how the rest of things work!

If you just want an animated 3D model moving to key presses then GameBlender is the best for you.You did say you are used to 3D modelling , then using Blender's Game engine will be a snap.It's really easy to that much in Blender.Say about 5 mins if you have already have model.

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You should consider using the Nebula device, another freely available and very technology updated engine. It's still in development but is highly usable.
http://www.nebuladevice.org/

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I am suprised more people don't tinker around with Torque. You can download the demo engine and make your own scripts (or modify the existing ones), as well as bring in your own DIF/DTS models. Just run the demo, and press [F11] to go into the editor. Form there you can get a feel for the interface. You will will have to spend some learning the torque script, but its pretty easy once you get the basics down.

You won't have access to the torque source code, but you can do A LOT with just torque script alone. You also won't be able to sell any games you make on the demo engine.

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