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Amablue

Taking a Game Programming Course next semester. Looking for advice

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I've been waiting 2 years to take this course. I saw it offered when I was a freshman, and I've spent the past 2 years knocking out the pre-reqs for it. Anyway, I was looking on the professor's old lecture notes from previous semesters that he's taught the class and it looks like he gives us a lot of freedom to do what we want. We group up into teams of two or three, decide what we want to do and set milestones and stuff. We also get to choose what game engine we want to use. On his website he links to a few suggestions: Genesis3D, Irrlicht, OGRE, and the Torque game engine. Or, if we like, we can build our own engine from scratch. Does anyone here have experience or opinions on any of those game engines? The only one I've heard of is Torque, and I know that costs money. There's also the option of starting from scratch which gives us some extra flexibility, but also means we have to do more work to get things going. In my free time I've been coding up a simple side scrolling game in C#. It's actually a SSB clone with sprites, but the engine could easily be adapted to a generic side scroller. In about a week I got in collision detection, animation, movement and some attacks in. I'm a stones throw away from getting knockback and KO's and stuff, but I've been busy with school. However, this is just a simple 2D game and I don't know if I'd be able to make 3D game like this. I suppose it would help to know what kind of game I'm making (and I have a half dozen good ones floating around in my head) but at this point I'm not sure, and I think it would be best to wait until class actually starts to decide what kind of game to make so I can talk to my group. Right now I'm just looking for general opinions on which game engine to use or whether to make one from scratch. If it helps, I know C, C++, C#, and Java (and some assembly, but I try to block that out to get rid of the nightmares)

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I suppose the lack of responses either means that no one knows about the engines I listed or that this topic fell off the front page before someone who does know got a chance to see it.

Suggestions don't have to be limited to those listed, if anyone has and suggestions at all I'd be really happy to hear it.

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Irrlicht has a great community, and it's constantly being updated, and the developers are very open to suggestions. OGRE is a bit easier to make a simple starting game that looks pretty decent. In my opinion, though, OGRE has a bit of an advantage of Irrlicht in terms of speed. Also, I've heard that Torque is worth what it's worth, though I've never tried it out.

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I took a game design course here at Kansas State Univ. It sounds very similar to the programming course you are going to take.

We ended up using the Torque Game Engine, and it was actually provided to us (and/or we could purchase it with a discount). From my experience, it is pretty decent. Like anything, it has it's fair share of stupid things going for it, but overall, our class came out with some cool projects.

The problem with creating your own engine is, you'll be spending all of your time making the engine, and less time making a game. I know that might sound stupid (hey, you're after coding experience, right?), but you'll get your fair share of programming if you just use an engine and build off of it.

I would use an engine of some sort, and if you have one that you have already built, then that is a leg up. But, don't start from scratch.

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