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spyridonz

Trying to decide between C4 engine or XNA

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Recently I have been trying to decide on a game engine for my development and I think I C4 is the engine I want to go for. I like graphics rendering, editor, free updates to the engine with the liscence, and that you get the source code for the engine. My only worry is development time. I have actually seen some people saying that developing a full game in XNA would be quicker then in C4? How is this possible? I know C4 coding is done in C++ which takes a bit more time, but I cant see how it would take so much more time then it would take to make something in XNA? If I used XNA I would have to try to add the code to do everything that C4 could do in addition to the actual game code. I have seen others say that the neat coding of C4 kind of makes up for the fact that it uses C++. But I dont know how true any of these claims are.... Anyone have any advice on how long development time would be, or any recommendations that might help me with my decision?

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So what languages are you familiar, have experience with, have made text games with, etc?

What is your experience with C++? What is your experience with C#?

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Well I have about equal experience in both C# and C++.

I have used C++ with SDL in the past, and I have used XNA a little bit as well. I've made some simple games in both and have a couple books on each. If I choose C4 I'm going to pick up the books for that as well.

I'm not too worried about the learning curve for fully adapting to what I am going to use since I am about equally experienced, my main concern is with my development once I fully adapt to the engine or framework.

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Original post by spyridonz
My only worry is development time. I have actually seen some people saying that developing a full game in XNA would be quicker then in C4? How is this possible?


You cannot compare C4 to XNA directly. That would be like comparing C4 to DirectX or OpenGL. The XNA Framework is just a thin layer of framework on top of the DirectX 9 API's. It provides a means to create portable managed code that will run on Windows, XBox 360, and the Zune platforms. A better comparision would be between C4 and Torque X. Torque X is a commerical (for hobbyists) engine built on top of the XNA Framework.

I do not have experience with the C4 engine. However, I do have alot of experience with XNA and other 3D engines. Glancing over the C4 website, it appears that the engine would provide significantly more functionality then the XNA Framework alone. If your goal is to build a 3D shooter game, something like C4 could be the way to go.

Without spending much time looking into the C4 engines license, it does not appear to be freely available(?). Have you considered looking into any of the freely available engines/libraries such as Panda 3D, Horde 3D, or Ogre (to name a few)? They may be a cheaper solution if your just starting off.

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Original post by spyridonz
Anyone have any advice on how long development time would be


Honestly this is a very difficult question to answer. It really depends on a variety of factors. For instance, what type of game are you making? Is it 2D or 3D? How complex will the gameplay be? What technology will you be using? Will you be using a 3rd party engine, or will you be building one from scratch. Where will you be aquiring artwork, music, and sound effects from? All of these decisions must be taken into account in order to determine a time frame.

If your looking to build something quickly, you'll get the biggest bang for your buck using an 3rd party engine or library.

Hope this helps a bit.

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Original post by Billr17
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Original post by spyridonz
My only worry is development time. I have actually seen some people saying that developing a full game in XNA would be quicker then in C4? How is this possible?


You cannot compare C4 to XNA directly. That would be like comparing C4 to DirectX or OpenGL. The XNA Framework is just a thin layer of framework on top of the DirectX 9 API's. It provides a means to create portable managed code that will run on Windows, XBox 360, and the Zune platforms. A better comparision would be between C4 and Torque X. Torque X is a commerical (for hobbyists) engine built on top of the XNA Framework.

I do not have experience with the C4 engine. However, I do have alot of experience with XNA and other 3D engines. Glancing over the C4 website, it appears that the engine would provide significantly more functionality then the XNA Framework alone. If your goal is to build a 3D shooter game, something like C4 could be the way to go.

Without spending much time looking into the C4 engines license, it does not appear to be freely available(?). Have you considered looking into any of the freely available engines/libraries such as Panda 3D, Horde 3D, or Ogre (to name a few)? They may be a cheaper solution if your just starting off.

Quote:
Original post by spyridonz
Anyone have any advice on how long development time would be


Honestly this is a very difficult question to answer. It really depends on a variety of factors. For instance, what type of game are you making? Is it 2D or 3D? How complex will the gameplay be? What technology will you be using? Will you be using a 3rd party engine, or will you be building one from scratch. Where will you be aquiring artwork, music, and sound effects from? All of these decisions must be taken into account in order to determine a time frame.

If your looking to build something quickly, you'll get the biggest bang for your buck using an 3rd party engine or library.

Hope this helps a bit.


Yep... I know they cant be directly compared =( which is alot of my problem lol.

C4 is not free, but upon liscencing you get free updates for life, which is one good plus about it. When it comes to engines in a reasonable price range, I think that is the one I would pick.

When I say "Advice on how long development time would be", I mean only time spent coding - not doing the artwork etc.

The reason I'm debating going for an engine is because it would save me all the time of making my own, so I could focus more on developing the actual game.

I was pretty sure this was the right decision for me, until I seen others say developing a game in C4 would take more time then it would to make a game in XNA....

Which is why I'm asking about all this... I dont know how this could be true. As you said, they can not be compared because C4 is a full fledged engine and XNA is just framework. Wouldnt it take a very long time to code all the things that C4 does in to XNA? I know C# is faster to code in then C++, but I dont see how it could be so much faster that it would make up for all the time it would take to create a full fledged engine...

I just dont want to spend the money for the C4 liscence, and then be dissapointed because I found out I would have been better off using XNA...

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Original post by spyridonz
I was pretty sure this was the right decision for me, until I seen others say developing a game in C4 would take more time then it would to make a game in XNA...
Did you try asking the people in question why XNA would be faster than C4?

A few potential reasons:
  • For a user who is more experienced with C# than C++ (and additionally may already have some XNA experience) C4 would obviously have more of a learning curve and take longer to produce results.

  • For someone coming in as a near-absolute beginner C#/XNA have less potential pitfalls and "gotchas" to deal with than C++/C4; this type of person would also therefore probably get faster results from XNA.

  • For someone who is making a game that isn't particularly well suited to the features C4 provides (I believe it's best for first or third person games and shooters in particular but havn't used or looked into it in too much detail personally) XNA may be a faster development platform because they'd be working around or against some of the additional features provided by C4 if they'd chosen that route instead.

  • They might just be full of crap, or may be misinformed and havn't actually tried developing with both platforms. If they have tried both platforms they may have developed radically different projects with each (simple 2d game with XNA, complex shooter with C4) and are using that as a somewhat invalid basis for thier comparison. They have have tried C4 as a beginner and then XNA after gaining more experience thereby getting faster results.


As you can see, there are some cases where XNA may well be faster than C4, but there are also a whole bunch of cases (my last dot-point) that seem to suggest this but aren't really valid. It's really a person and project specific thing and can't be generalised to apply to everyone or neccesarily even to all projects by the same person.



If you're happy to licence C4 and have determined that the features it provides are suitable for the game you want to make then I'd personally say ignore input from others unless they provide some compelling reason to do otherwise and go ahead as you were originally intending - either option will get you there eventually, but only if you pick one and get to work with it.

Does that help?

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Original post by jbadams
Did you try asking the people in question why XNA would be faster than C4?


Ahh.. well I seen the people say it on the forums, which is why I chose here as the place to ask it =)

Quote:
Original post by jbadams
A few potential reasons:
  • For a user who is more experienced with C# than C++ (and additionally may already have some XNA experience) C4 would obviously have more of a learning curve and take longer to produce results.

  • For someone coming in as a near-absolute beginner C#/XNA have less potential pitfalls and "gotchas" to deal with than C++/C4; this type of person would also therefore probably get faster results from XNA.

  • For someone who is making a game that isn't particularly well suited to the features C4 provides (I believe it's best for first or third person games and shooters in particular but havn't used or looked into it in too much detail personally) XNA may be a faster development platform because they'd be working around or against some of the additional features provided by C4 if they'd chosen that route instead.

  • They might just be full of crap, or may be misinformed and havn't actually tried developing with both platforms. If they have tried both platforms they may have developed radically different projects with each (simple 2d game with XNA, complex shooter with C4) and are using that as a somewhat invalid basis for thier comparison. They have have tried C4 as a beginner and then XNA after gaining more experience thereby getting faster results.


As you can see, there are some cases where XNA may well be faster than C4, but there are also a whole bunch of cases (my last dot-point) that seem to suggest this but aren't really valid. It's really a person and project specific thing and can't be generalised to apply to everyone or neccesarily even to all projects by the same person.



If you're happy to licence C4 and have determined that the features it provides are suitable for the game you want to make then I'd personally say ignore input from others unless they provide some compelling reason to do otherwise and go ahead as you were originally intending - either option will get you there eventually, but only if you pick one and get to work with it.

Does that help?


Actually, it does.

I just wanted to be sure that there was not something I was "missing" about XNA as I have not used it for about a year now.

It seems by the responses that things are much how I thought they were prior to reading the XNA comments.

I still have a few weeks to decide, but I'm pretty sure I'm still going for the C4 liscence. I liked what I read about it, with the only thing worrying me being development time. But if the majority of development is development on my actual game with much of the engine work done, then I do not mind much =)

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I'm learning c4 at the moment and I say it has a steepish learning curve, not because it's in c++, but because the design is a bit quirky and there is insufficent documentation. On the plus side c4 has entire source code available and the source code is easy to understand.

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Original post by captainfreedom
I'm learning c4 at the moment and I say it has a steepish learning curve, not because it's in c++, but because the design is a bit quirky and there is insufficent documentation. On the plus side c4 has entire source code available and the source code is easy to understand.


Have you tried the guide on the website as well? heres a link - http://terathon.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22&zenid=84d37b254916d9c8f8157e1915a96b80

I plan on picking that up if I get the engine for sure, should at least help on all the basics up to your PhysX implementation.

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Have you tried the guide on the website as well? heres a link - http://terathon.com/store/index.php?main_page=product_info&products_id=22&zenid=84d37b254916d9c8f8157e1915a96b80

I plan on picking that up if I get the engine for sure, should at least help on all the basics up to your PhysX implementation.


Yes, I have it. It's ok, but it's mainly step-by-step examples, and doesn't explain enough the architecture concepts

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