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First, there are so many 3D graphics engines and 3D Game Engines from open source to commercial. These engines range from several years old to current. Second, looking at these engines, it is impossible to even get the slightest information on installing and setting up these engines. Last, you think that these engines would come with tools, but most of them do not. They leave you stranded. I have investigated everything from CrystalSpace, Genesis3D, G3D, Jet3D, Irrlicht, Ogre3D, Panda3D, Lite-C (Game Studio 3D), Cube, Unreal Engine, Torque, XNA, DarkGDI, Blender, Quark Army Knife, TrueSpace, XSI, MilkShape3D, and Reality Factory. If I want to develope in XNA for example, then you are stranded in not having a modeler, level editor/world editor, terrain generator, image program, etc. If I want to develope in Torque for example, you have to fork out a lot of money for all of the tools. I am on a budget right now. Isn't there any tools (modelers, level editors, world editors) that can work with XNA per say and that are free? Isn't there a group of game programmers, developers, and/or designers that I can join? Doing this alone is impossible!

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Original post by JShofner
First, there are so many 3D graphics engines and 3D Game Engines from open source to commercial. These engines range from several years old to current.

Yeah, there's a lot out there.

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Second, looking at these engines, it is impossible to even get the slightest information on installing and setting up these engines.

Depends on where you look. I've found that (many?) decent engines and frameworks come with documentation and guides on how to get started.

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Last, you think that these engines would come with tools, but most of them do not. They leave you stranded.

Depends on what kind of tools you expect.

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If I want to develope in XNA for example, then you are stranded in not having a modeler, level editor/world editor, terrain generator, image program, etc.

If I want to develope in Torque for example, you have to fork out a lot of money for all of the tools.

I am on a budget right now. Isn't there any tools (modelers, level editors, world editors) that can work with XNA per say and that are free?

I think you're making a mistake here. You can use any modeling package, level editor and so on, regardless of the engine you use. The point here is the file formats. Those tools usually use different file formats, and that's where conversion tools come in. For models and images, these are usually easily available. Level formats are often more specific, that's where you'll likely have to build your own conversion tools.

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Isn't there a group of game programmers, developers, and/or designers that I can join?

Doing this alone is impossible!

You could join a mod team if you want. Or you could start out with a more simple project. First learn to walk, then run, as they say. A content-heavy 3D game is going to be a lot of hard work. But it's much easier to create an average Flash game.

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