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Game Engines - The Ins and Outs

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What exactly do Game Engines do? How do they work? I''ve always wondered these things. Are they just big, fancy parsers? They take input from say, a map file, then take that text and turn it into something renderable or whats the deal? I''m just curious to how they work, and all the information you can give is more then welcome. Thank you very much.

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correct me if i''m wrong people ...
but i believe a game engine is this:
take any game, remove all graphics, sounds, maps, map data, dialoge, storyline, and anything else that makes it entertaining, and you have an engine... an engine is the skeleton of the game, that does everything from loading the graphics that you see, to interpreting mouse movement, etc... of course you could make a game without one in mind and it would work just fine, but for example, the LithTech engine, was originally used in i think Shogo, but the same engine was also used to make some other game i dont remember the name of.. it looks alot like diablo... hmm... anyway, if you are (for example) too lazy to make a full blown 3d first person shooter engine, you could just use someone elses... you probably have to buy one though...

i hope thats what your asking...

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So basically its just told how to understand stuff like graphic files and map files, and renders them?

So the engine has like "Open this file, render it with this." but then like the Game file would have "Send this to the engine to get rendered, then come back." That type of thing?

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Basically, yes. The engine is the rendering and system, sort of a game-only API that your game uses. Your game itself is really just logic (Moving the character(s), acting on user input, etc.) that uses the engine to do it''s stuff.

Oh, and Tsu, the game you cannot remember the name of, the diablo-style that uses the LithTech engine, is called "Sanity".

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Guest Anonymous Poster
So then DirectX would be a game engine? According to the above?

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No, because all directX can do is render (aside from a few loading functions for x files)... It doesn''t know what part of a map/level to render. A game engine has to be able to interact with the user in some way at least (whether it is simply starting the program), while directX requires programming beforehand.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
So in order to create a game then you would essentially need like directX AND a game engine? They would some how work with each other?

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Yes, if the engine requires DirectX then you need DirectX, likewise if it worked under OpenGL.

A typical game engine could include scene rendering, object rendering, collision detection, input handling, audio, networking and so on among it''s feature list.

You could regard DirectX as a game engine, however it isn''t a very good one because it just does the very basics. It renders triangles, not complete scenes and so on, and needs lots of programming work to get anything started.

A good engine will be one which provides as many features as possible which your game needs. There will also be many sub types, i.e. indoor FPS engine, terrain engine, isometric engine etc.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Do you have any suggestions on which engine to use? Commercial or free ware, doesn''t matter.

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DirectX can do more than just render grpahics, Direct3D renders 3D graphics... there''s also DirectSound, DirectPlay, DirectInput, etc...

The reason why DirectX is not exactly a game engine, is because it does not tie all these things together.

They are usually more complicated than just scripts compilers, but many include scripting features that allow you to quickly & easily customize certain portions of logic (key binds in Quake for example).

you can check out www.auran.com/Jet for modern game developement tools.

Magmai Kai Holmlor
- The disgruntled & disillusioned

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