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Torque Advanced vs. C4 Engine vs. Unity Engine

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Or is the free choice of Blender good? I just downloaded blender to start learning on as after looking at reviews and the websites of literally dozens of engines over the past few days, blender was the last one open in the browser that I didn't need to pull a credit card out for. But let me frame my question properly... I have a few requirements that need to be met and I was hoping you guys could help me choose and engine to start learning on. •The development environment needs to run on Mac OS X, Intel. •I want to compile, without code rewrites, to Mac and Windows, minimum. •I need graphics that wouldn't be embarrassing to be seen on a game cover in EB and won't be laughed at when I ask at least $30 for it. •It needs to have integrated Physics, sounds, input control, AI, etc. This is a game engine, not a rendering engine. (I do not need networking though.) •I am not a programmer but I am willing to learn Python, Lua, or a version of C. I am willing to program my AI, but I don't want to reprogram the engine to use it. •I am an individual and would be buying such a license when I am ready to start developing. Price tags that seem reasonable are in the $100-$450 range. All of those points said, the choices that seem good that require license fees are Torque Advanced, C4, and Unity. Does anyone know good reason why any of these are bad choices? Are there major limitations to any of them? I need help in picking a final choice. Also, is Blender good by comparison to these? P.S. If I missed any clarifying points, just ask. I do have a pretty good idea of what I need, I'm jsut not sure of what I need in an engine to support it.

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Blender is more of a content creation application than an engine, nevertheless, there is Yo Frankie, the game project the Blender Foundation made on top of the Blender engine, I suggest you download that and give it a test run, see if it fits the idea you have in mind or if it falls short.

Torque... well, I am just not very happy with the way Garage Games does things, I was suckered into getting TGEA Early Adopters because I had a 1.4 license under the promise of Linux support to come later, which I am not even sure if it even came about, then they discontinued both TGE and TGEA because of Torque 3D, which costs about 5 times as much as the previous engines (more depending on whether or not you own a previous license, to me "T3D Basic" is a joke, I got to have source, the restrictions missing features makes it a "paid demo" IMO).
Documentation is poor IMO as well, so be wary.

I hear great things about C4, but I have none to say myself, never used it.

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I personally find Torque 3D amazing. The basic version doesn't have a source code for a reason. It's for you to really test out the engine and start some basics to a game. The engine is well worth it's price for what's included. I'm very happy they kept the price down that much because I thought it should be worth much more. All the things included with it should not have a low price. That's like trying to buy a BMW for the price of a Honda. You can't expect it to be cheap when it comes with all that's included. Of course this is my own opinion.

Also the current documentation is a small beta form, as is the engine itself. That's not the real engine or documentation. Give it a month and it will be released and than you can rejudge it.

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Quote:
Original post by JasRonq
•I need graphics that wouldn't be embarrassing to be seen on a game cover in EB and won't be laughed at when I ask at least $30 for it.
Graphics are largely based on what content you give the engine. Any of the engines you've mentioned are quite capable of rendering nice looking games assuming the content you gave it to render was created well.

I like Unity. I've used it before and if I had extra money I'd invest in it. Scripting in C# is really nice, mainly because I'm a professional C# developer so it's what I already know. The UI/tool is really nice and it seems to be a pretty performant engine. My only complaint is a lack of dynamic shadowing in the indie version, but otherwise it seems like a very good deal for $200.

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Quote:
Original post by Avneet
I personally find Torque 3D amazing. The basic version doesn't have a source code for a reason. It's for you to really test out the engine and start some basics to a game.


Yeah, thats what I meant by "paid demo", I think they can do whatever they want with their product, I am just not interested in investing more of my money into it.

Quote:
Original post by Avneet
The engine is well worth it's price for what's included. I'm very happy they kept the price down that much because I thought it should be worth much more. All the things included with it should not have a low price. That's like trying to buy a BMW for the price of a Honda. You can't expect it to be cheap when it comes with all that's included. Of course this is my own opinion.


I respect your opinion, and I really have none myself regarding T3D, I lost all interest in it after finding out about its price, I have already invested $449 on TGE and TGEA, I ducked the bullet on the 1.4 to 1.5 upgrade, again, they do have a right deciding what to charge how and when, but their business model seems to be based more into re-factoring their product, repackage it and sell it to the same customers rather than create value in a single product and find new customers, understandable, I am sure the Game Engine Market is a Niche one.

Quote:
Original post by Avneet
Also the current documentation is a small beta form, as is the engine itself. That's not the real engine or documentation. Give it a month and it will be released and than you can rejudge it.


My assessment is from past experience with TGE and TGEA rather than current documentation for T3D, is it a trend? I guess you could tell in a month [smile].

[Edited by - Kwizatz on June 10, 2009 11:18:31 PM]

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Just a quick warning before reading my words. I'm bitter about the topic I'm about to mention, I hope it doesn't come through. Secondly, the point of view is more from the business owner and less from the designer.

Anytime you depend on third party as a critical piece of your design and/or development, you are placing your success of future grown in some one elses pocket. Two easy examples: IBM on Microsoft, government on Blackwater. Each started out reasonable and affordable. Then they slowly (or quickly) raised their rates until the goals/projects were dead. I've seen this happen to a company I worked for as well, but not a reference any one would know.

Do not depend on third party software to make you millions, in the end they will just eat your profits until you go under.

I apologize if I offended, but I feel it's a lesson people shouldn't learn first hand.

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Words to be headed indeed, but for those without the ability to roll one's own, middleware is the solution. If I could match even the worst of what I've been looking into myself, I might give it a go, but I have no experience. Hiring a programmer to write an engine for me is the next closest thing and honestly, middleware is still the cheaper and higher quality route.


Does anyone have experience of C4 or Unity?

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I got 7 years experience with Torque, and I've got TGE and TGEA. T3D is not on my radar because of the way they handled TGEA. Basically, it was meant to be next-gen but never got anywhere until later releases. Until then, OpenGL support (among other things) was non-existant and if you asked why it wasn't there (it was on the milestone list when I bought it) you got the answer: "Do it yourself, you got the source!" - which isn't very friendly. That's pretty much what goes today in the community too, if you don't like something you should be quiet and not criticise.

The community also isn't what it used to be. C4 on the other hand seems to have a very good community, however the tech demos they had didn't impress me as much as Torque's. Unity looks rock solid, but doesn't provide source in any of its lower price categories, which is a big deal to me.

That's my few cents.

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My limited experiance with GG has been via 3rd party reports mostly and my own trying of the XNA based engine, the main thing I took away from it was 'docs? what docs? we don't need no docs!'.

Unity is pretty awesome, indeed I would go for this if I didn't need an engine which could do a headless linux server.

I currently have a license for and as mentioned the community is very active, the code is clean (and you get the code) the updates are free and there is a decent roadmap in place for future features.

imo, look at Unity and C4, see if they both do what you want now and then pick one.

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