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Best Graphics Engine for Space MMORPG

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Hi, I've been developing an idea I've had for a while for writing a space MMOPRG, and I've got to the stage where I'd like to prototype it. I think "submarine warfare" is going to be more "realistic" than say EVE's open space battles. I want to try for a "DAS BOOT in space" feel i.e. tense! But substituting spacecraft "heat" etc. for submarine noise (visibility). Having Speed/Heat/Manouverability tradoffs. I'd also like to be able to have a "Predator vision" type scheme where you can "switch spectrum" to look out for different things. I also want to try a scheme whereby longer range scanner input comes from a server feed (with jitter), (so the game is hard to hack). The economy would be an emergent capitalist/ voluntary collectivist, based on Austrian school ideas i.e. let players create content, build reputation. Players bid to be police and collect fine/bounty revenue. I'll probably need to layer the graphics based on distance and also have multiple textures for different spectrums. Will it be quicker to write in OpenGL or DirectX, or use an engine?

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Well you definitely don't want to waste your time on developing an engine for the prototype version of your game. I'd highly recommend using an already existing engine for this purpose. And then if you later find that the engine you've been using for the prototype doesn't cope for the final version of the game then perhaps you can invest your time in actually creating an engine to replace it.
DirectX or OpenGL? No difference unless you already have a background with one of them. If you don't then you shouldn't be investing your time in making your own engine in the first place (that is if your goal is to make this game).

Hope this helps

Regards,
/Omid

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I'd take a look at OGRE (http://www.ogre3d.org/);

- Pretty decent documentation
- Active community
- Built-in support for GUI, and a GUI editor
- Tools for export/import of assets.

Irregardless of the engine you go for, I'd advice you look for those 4 things.

Allan

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Hi, this sounds interesting!

I'd second the Ogre suggestion - it's a very extensible engine.

Are you looking for assistance with launch costs / asset development / back-end development? I'm being cajoled by some contacts that a sci-fi MMO is a good bet, and if you can put together a decent project proposal I'd be interested to hear from you in terms of organising this as a second showcase for the libraries of code and assets my team and I are currently developing. Drop me an email to enquiries@winterdyne.co.uk and we can discuss things further.


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The thing I like most about OGRE is its attention to maintaining a clean architecture. It's quite well implemented.

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I'll carry the motion for Ogre, it's very easy to use for a graphics engine and the community forums are great for quick responses to questions - usually from the guy who started Ogre himself!

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You're kidding right? Irrlicht is better than Ogre? Irrlicht's source code is UGLY! Ogre does a MUCH better job abstracting everything out into a very powerful application API, unlike Irrlicht where you're touching most everything, using an enormous slew of functions that for every 10 functions named the same there is but one line difference between them (e.g. drawIndexedTriangleList vs drawTriangleList).

Go with Ogre.

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I hope this doesn't become a flame war. Ogre and Irrlicht are different hammers for different nails. Ogre is more Object Oriented, but that is also it's downside, it can sometimes be quite hard to navigate through all of it's features for a starter. Irrlicht is younger IIRC, and las time I checker was very easy to use. I didn't use Irrlicht too extensivly because it was still early but recently I saw it has some very nice features. I would also recommend Crystal Space (Clickly), but it is more like complicated version of Ogre with some very nice extensions. I also remember it had a space demo. However Crystal Space requires a lot of code to get started (or I didn't quite get the tutorials the last time I read them :) ). Hope this helps,

JVFF

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I'd also recommend having a look at OSG (http://www.openscenegraph.org), which I believe is very powerful yet quite simple to use. It might be less complete than Ogre to make a game, though.

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