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JohnOwens

Unity OpenGL Engine for iPhone

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Hi guys, I've worked in the industry and have worked on two published games but for the last few years I've worked with mobile phones. For a personal project I want to start writing games on the iPhone however I have no access to a game engine, tools etc. I have a few requirements 1) Free, this is a personal project and I will probably want to sell it on iTunes. 2) Support for Maya, ideally or at worse some means to get data from Maya. 3) Some sort of LOD engine, perhaps even a terrain LOD engine. 4) Ability to be ported to iPhone easily. 5) Completeness, I don't want to spend my time on the engine. It was never my skill. 6) A game editor of some description. 7) A scripting engine to run simple game logic. 8) Collision Detection and Physics, although this isn't required to be really complex. 9) Small in size and it must be efficient. No bloatware as phones have limited resources. 10) A UI editor, this isn't a dealbreaker however I've used engines that have a flash runtime and it just speeds up the whole process. Obviously I wouldn't want to release game code however if I do make any additions to the engine then I've no problems releasing that to the community. I have been looking at Irrlicht Engine. It seems to do the trick and I like the fact it's been used on commercial games. What do you think? Cheers, John.

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I'd advise looking very carefully at Irrlicht's opengl renderer before investing much development time. Irrlicht tries to shoe-horn opengl into a D3D-shaped mold, which doesn't always work very well. That said, most of the trouble I had with it was when trying to use newer opengl features like GLSL and VBO. It may be that for iPhone level hardware Irrlicht is an acceptable wrapper.

I suspect though that any 'engine' that hasn't been designed with mobile hardware in mind will perform sub-optimally.

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Just to point out, OpenGL|ES as used in the iPhone != OpenGL.

The APIs are different enough that trying to use an OpenGL based engine for an OpenGL|ES API isn't going to work.

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I wouldn't expect there to be a body of mature development tools for the device if the SDK has just now been opened up.

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Quote:
Original post by phantom
Just to point out, OpenGL|ES as used in the iPhone != OpenGL.

The APIs are different enough that trying to use an OpenGL based engine for an OpenGL|ES API isn't going to work.


Why? Which differences?
Thanks.

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After doing some more research:

OpenGL ES is a cut down version of OpenGL with stuff like glBegin and glEnd taken out plus alot less vertex formats etc.

This isn't really an issue as I would expect most engines to use vertex buffers anyway and as for formats and specific stuff. Now you really have to tailor your code to a graphics card so I can't see this as being much different.

I still haven't decided if to try to port an engine across as it's just been announced that the Unity engine is being ported to iPhone and this game engine seems to be getting alot of good press/reviews and it takes care of the art/content pipeline issue however I'm not completely won over with it as I don't think I can get at it's source (that worries me) and it's cost (however it's pretty cheap for what it does).

My MacBook Pro is arriving tomorrow so until then I won't actually get a chance to give it a go.

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Unity looks like it meets all your requirements except 1 and maybe 9. It might be worth taking a look at...

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