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open source engine or self programmed?

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I want to write my own small games. I can program with opengl... I know some opensource engines like -ogre -crystal-space -irrlicht there are some sdk's like -newton or ode for physics. What's the best for a small game: -programm everything on your own (except window management) -or use a complete engine (which *open source* engine would you use?) -or use just -small- sdks/libaries for some things, like freetype... Chriss

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Really depends on what you want to do. In general, though, if you want to produce a GAME, rather than teaching yourself by writing code, the more pre-built you can use, the better.

Irrlicht, Nebula2 and Torque are whole encompassing frameworks, whereas ogre is a rendering engine (you'd have to add scripting, physics etc separately). I'd probably go with that middle road: ogre + ode + lua + etc. The main point is to avoid having to write code yourself that someone else already wrote and debugged.

I think the For Beginners section (link at the top) actually has a reasonable list of starting locations for these kinds of things.

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If you want to get some games done, definitely take advantage of all the open-source and free tools and libraries you can get. In this case, being productive and finishing your ideas is the most important goal. As hplus0603 said, the exact tools you use depend on the kinds of games you want to produce.

However, if your long term goal is to learn to write game engines of your own, then I'd suggest making a couple small games/demos with open-source libraries, and then carefully choosing which things you want to write yourself. From there, pick things you like and dislike about the engine/libraries you used, and use those as guidelines to design your own.

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