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How much would you pay for an engine?

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I've been writing my own 3D engine lately. I wounder how much would anyone pay for it's source code. Brief engine features: - octree - 3ds models loader - skeletal animation (my own file format used) - export plugins for 3DMAX that export meshes and animation - tga, bmp, jpg, dds textures - collision detection(using octree) - dinamic lightning(on vertex and pixel shaders) - suitable manager for managing vertex and pixel shaders - bumpmapping - cubemaps - VBO - pixel buffers - multitexturing - camera class - little and easy phiziks engine - 3D sound(OpenAL, playes .wav and .ogg files) - terrain rendering(very simple, no ROAM) - and a lot of more little features(such as logs and so on) Please, write how much would you pay for this engine. If you really get interested in it I can put a demo on the Internet, just write me on krot-s@mail.ru. p.s. I apologize for my ugly English.

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Well, you can get the Torque engine for as low as $100, OGRE is open-source, the Unreal engine will set you off at least $350k ($750k if you don't want to pay them any further royalties).

So... it really depends on the quality of the work, how easy it is to use, how reliable it is ... above and beyond any feature list.

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The engine is very easy in usage. I tryed to separate different part of it from each other as far as possible, thus you can take any part of the engine an copy it to your application with very little modification.

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The Bad News: $0. It's clear you've put a lot of work into this engine. Unfortunately, so have 300 other game programmer hopefuls (of which I was one once), and this is going to seriously devalue your product.

The Good News: With a working engine of your own design, it will be easier for you to experiment with higher-value technologies like:
- PRT
- radiosity
- lightmapping
- Spherical Harmonic lighting
- dynamic shadows
- particle effects
- AI
- dynamics
- complex physics (deformable solids, realistic liquids, etc)
- simulation
- natural language processing
- phoneme-based facial features
- networking
- collaborative gameplay
- run-time content creation & design
- level editing
- better terrain rendering
&etc.

This isn't a laundry list - it may be that you specialize in just one field and put out a really, really great demo of that feature, and this attracts the attention of some niche developer who needs exactly that feature for a game. Then you can talk money.

Good luck,

Tom

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There may be one other avenue open to you.

As a non C++ coder I have tried countless times to find worthy 3d engines to use in projects using (in the past) PureBasic and presently IBasic Pro.

Many people want to create games in these languages (simple syntax, C++ speed, inline ASM, etc) but the problem is that there are no compatible 3d engines.

If you could wrap all the engine functions into a DLL then you may be able to sell it that way, as there is an obviously unexploited market gap - IBasic's author is currently working on DX9 and OpenGL command packs, but I'm sure some choice wouldnt go amiss.

If it's possible with your engine's design then it may be one path to consider.

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$0, i need my money for the artwork and the beer (i mean jolt cola)...

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I would say the key to selling your engine is to have very EASY to use exporters for the most popular modelling software (3dsmax, maya, milkshape, ect...)

But most of all, have a WORLD EDITOR or some sort of level editor. This is what draws most people to your engine. Nobody wants to have to make a level in some 3rd party tool then figure out how to import it into the engine. If you do this, you're bound to sell copies.

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I think your target audience would be smaller development teams. But a price is hard to tell, because I wouldn't want to make a decision solely based on a feature list. Creating a professional looking web site for such an engine would be a good first step, not only because one can better see what this engine can do, but also because it comforts me that it's not some garage project with no support or community behind it.

Check out "Auran Jet" or "Torque" to see how others (granted, these are some of the bigger players already) are going about selling their engines.


If I should judge about the price of such an engine based on what you're providing, I'm sorry but I would have to second the other's opinions, $0. If I took a look at Ogre, it can do all that and has a large community so I could get help on whatever problems I might be encountering.

Furthermore, reading features like "tga, bmp, jpg, dds textures", that tells me this engine might be hardwired in some places (eg. no support for plugins or such for extensbility) and the author probably didn't even use existing solutions like Corona or DevIL. The same goes for many other points in your list.


Just some, hopefully constructive, comments. Don't take it too serious ;)

-Markus-

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If I was going to seriously licence an engine (whether I be looking at top end expensive commerical engines, or a indie sized budget engine), one of the biggest and most important things I would look at is the tools.

It's all well and good having the technology to render pretty images, but if the art pipeline sucks, then I'm probably going to end up writing my own tools - which is a bit counter productive and nullifies the original reason for licencing an engine. There's nothing more annoying than having an artist asking you to export something into the engine for them because "it's too tricky", then having to debug why things arn't coming out as expected.

Second consideration is support. Being able to email and get quick responses is pretty important, especially when you're on that tight deadline :). Forums are useful too, but not good as a primary support method. You could always sell priority support in a separate package (and just have the forum as the default).

Other than that, big things I'd be looking at would be flexibility, neatness of the source code (having access to the source is a must), whether it is still being actively developed. I'm a big fan of loose coupling, so if the engine compenents can be easily copied out without many/no dependancies, then that's great :).

Feature lists are all well and good, but they can be used to make the engine sound better than it really is. To prove the engine's capabilities, nothing can go past a solid (with at least half decent art) playable demo, even if it is only a couple of stages, showing the different capabilities of the engine.

As well as a playable demo, very simple code samples on how to user a specific features are quite handy.

If you can prove that there's good reasons to go with your technology over the various (rather good) open source projects and other cheaply priced engines, then I'm sure people will consider it.

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