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A little frustrated.

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So I’ve spent some time tinkering around with game development, and learning pretty much a wide range of things involved with it. I have reached a point of frustration, not with the time and effort that goes into building a game, but with whats available for indie game makers in terms of game engines. I’ve used a few, some free, some not, but all of them seem to carry a lot of flaws with them. Some of the flaws are big, and some are minor (but still affect the general outcome to a point where it’s unusable in a serious project). I find most of the more affordable ones (non-AAA engines) are incomplete in some aspect or another such as poor documentation, poor support, poor or missing AI/physics/shader usage or support, sloppy coding, abysmal speeds, trouble importing assets, or something else that can really throw a wrench in the development that can bring the project to a grinding halt. Some even have insane licensing agreements that would basically forfeit your rights and ownership of the product you create. So, I really don’t know where to turn for a good full engine solution. I mean, I can see why the major commercial engines cost so much. Perhaps those who are more experienced with this can point me in some sort of direction, perhaps one I’ve overlooked. Now I am aware of modding community such as mods for commercial engines like Half-Life, but I’m not too knowledgeable about the rules regarding this. Especially when the target goal is a commercial release of a product. Is it even an option or possible to do? I’d like to use one of the commercial engines because it has everything I’m looking for that most others I’ve seen do not, but the price tag is probably completely out of reach. So is modding even a feasible option for a commercial game?

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Do you really need a full-blown, integrated engine? There are plenty of great libraries that can act independently of one another... OGRE3D for graphics, for example.

What specific "game engine" features do you need above and beyond the really good components that are available separately? Like, are you looking for level editors and that sort of thing?

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A fully integrated engine would be nice, since it would reduce the amount of effort spent tracking down bugs and flaws with various aspects of the engine and how everything interacts with one another.

I’m only concerned that if I take that route of using various libraries to handle the different aspects would lead more to developing a working and stable engine that compliments its different parts then actually creating the game itself.

Things like level editors are of little concern considering there are many apps available to create the assets.

I’m mainly trying to not “reinvent the wheel” as that famous saying goes, but trying whats available in terms of engines doesn’t really work too well, as there is always something crippling its potential for serious game dev.

Personally I’m wanting to make a game that’s playable in terms of performance, graphics, physics, AI, and that really doesn’t have to out-do any of the new games out there, but making a game that has similar features of those that came out 5 or 6 years ago seems reasonable (at least to me).

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Hi, could you look at Unity3d engine. They have offer 30 days trial. Just read their forum. Currently, they only have Mac version for development but can deploy to Windows, WII and iphone. They will release Windows platform in couple of months.

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