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sofakng

What's the best (and cheapest) game engine I can buy for a simple game?

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I'm interested in making a simple 3D game and I'm wondering which engine is the best to buy. I can't afford anything more than $100 so I'm considering the Torque Game Engine (TGE) because of it's popularity and it's built-in networking support (which is very important to me). Anybody know if there are better engines available for that price? Also, does anybody know if that engine is any good?

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You probably can't beat the price for a full game engine and support, but there are many other viable options if you know your stuff.

You could probably take OGRE, Crystal Space, or many other free, well known 3d engines and roll in something like RakNet and Lua to get a pretty good engine. A lot more work, but free.

So, what it comes down to, is how much time is 100$ worth to you? If you are new to this and trying to get a game out ASAP, $100 might save you months of frustration. On the other hand, if you really know what you are doing, Torque might restrain you too much.

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I used TrueVision3D at school and it was good although I didn't like the way you had to specify each coordinate of a vector to functions like SetPosition(). I would have thought that overloaded functions are a perfect candidate for a function like this. Has this been fixed?

There was also an issue (for me anyway) of functions not accepting const ref arguments.

But my issues are aesthetic issues (if you can call it that) that does nothing to take away from the effectiveness of TrueVision3D. I learned how to write shaders while using TrueVision.
It even has a Physics wrapper (I think it uses the Newton physics SDK)

I would say go for the TrueVision3D SDK if you can fork out the extra $50.

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I heard a lot of people saying that OGRE is probably the best way to go if you want to have a cheap engine, since it is completely free ;-)
From the projects which use OGRE you can also tell that it probably leaves you with the most features and the best performance of the free engines available, plus a good community, which is also very important (probably most important).

A German Indie Dev-Team recently released a commercial adventure game (called Ankh) using the OGRE engine. They got loads of credits by national gamedev and gamer magazines for that game and quite a few noted the impressing graphics. Just to show you that OGRE does well fit for commercial projects... Never used it myself though, since I'm having fun writing my own graphics implementations ;-)

EDIT: Sorry, I didn't read carefully enough. The OGRE engine does not come with network support, it's only a gfx engine. However, there are a few plugins for physics, etc. available, or you might consider using RakNet (visage already mentioned that), it's pretty good...

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I'm just curious but why TrueVision 3D instead of Torque?

Ogre3D looks really nice for a free engine, but I think it would be a lot of [complicated] work to get physics and networking implemented. I'd much rather spent a couple of dollars (eg. $100 - $150) and have a fully working engine that I could create [mostly] simple games with.

As I mentioned, built-in networking support is one of the most important things for me... (eg. automatically keeping player movements in sync, etc, etc...) So that's why I'll probably avoid coding all of it with Ogre3d...

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Crystal space has ODE physics integration, there may already be a networking module and if not, you can use OpenTNL which is basically a GPLed version of the torque networking engine.

I would suggest taking a look at a few engines and Torque (there's a free demo version available that doesn't give you source access, just scripting) before deciding.

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