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bengaltgrs

Unity
Best Game Engine for Indie Game?

55 posts in this topic

Quote:
Original post by NightMarez
http://www.esenthel.com/?id=news

Really awesome c++ engine, 0$, 200$ or 1000$, depending if you wish to use custom shaders and or sell the game.

Some even says its better then gamebryo ect.


This is a pretty impressive engine, especially considering the cost.

Although, better than Gamebryo sounds a bit ambitious. Gamebryo has one of the best asset pipeline I've ever seen in a 3d engine.

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Does anyone have any experience with Crystal Space (http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/Main_Page)? I'm trying to decide on an engine for a RTS game that I'm working on.

I looked at Panda3D but was put off by the fact that it seems to be more oriented towards Python than C++.
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Wow I never knew there were so many engines.

I was about to suggest Quest3D until I saw the price which is really unfortunate because it really is a nice program.
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Hi,

How about ludiloom, it seems cool! And it's completely free as I can see from their site. Didn't test it yet, I'm also trying to start a new game and found this one on another forum.

http://www.ludiloom.com

Anyone has tested it yet?
Also, bengaltgrs could you edit your main message to include all engines people suggested? This is a very useful thread
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I would have to say that Unity is likely the top choice for indie game development now that it is free.
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Another recently free engine: UDK from Epic is basically Unreal Engine 3 but free. You can sell your games with some royalties after a certain amount (I want to say it's 25% after your first $5K but that could be completely wrong).
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Quote:
Original post by NickGravelyn
I want to say it's 25% after your first $5K but that could be completely wrong.


Yes, you're right about the UDK pricing.

It's free from concept through deployment and you only pay after the first $5,000 in revenue.
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There are a few other pluses for UDK that I don't see mentioned a lot because most of the time people focus purely on the technical aspects:

- There are a lot of people experienced in both using the tools as well as preparing assets for the engine (and since the release of UDK they have a constantly growing userbase).

- If you build a great game on the PC and decide to bring it to consoles you have much less work than with any other choice of engine. At the same time a publisher will view it as much less risk considering it is UE3 with a lot of launched titles on both 360 and PS3.

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Hey guys just wanted to say that I have played around with panda and done hobby development off and on for a long time. Stumbled across this thread and noticed it was recent and actually stickied. Anyways to the point, doing development in python is insanely productive. There is a reason some shops do most of the scripted behavior in languages like python.

There is a really good article called Why Python? by Eric S. Raymond that sums up why to use python. High performance code has to be written in c/c++, but the model panda used is perfect.

Another big thing is the event driven programming model. Panda has a very nice event driven programming model. Python works well with it because you can just throw functions around like nobody's business.

I have yet to complete a project, but here is a recap of what has happened in my projects.

- Multiple projects attempted with no skills, knowledge, additional help, assets, money. The outcome was poorly written code and a lot of gained knowledge and debugging skills with a lot of waisted time and a kinda cool version of pong...
- A 2D project was attempted where I used art that was ripped from Shining Force 2 and actually had title screen, login, and a simple zone that had a single mob that you could kill and he repopped on a timer. Other players could login and see you move around and kill the mob together. I consider this one mildly successful.
- Various projects attempted that I tried to roll everything. All ended up as a tech demo with just some candy.
- Panda project where I just focused on the actual game and ended up with killable monster a world some basic game mechanics and music manager. This was probably the most productive project, but took way less input than the others. The final nail in the coffin was when my sys admin type friend actually wrote the music manager with minimal help.

All in all, I have come to realize that it is unrealistic to expect to shell out a game that would normally take an entire studio from your home in your freetime. I think the OP sees that too and that is why he is asking here.

EDIT: OMGZ UDK!!! UnrealScript is very python looking too!

[Edited by - yoshscout on December 22, 2009 2:17:23 AM]
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I think you are going to have to look into every engine specifically. This might mean spending a week on each engine and getting a feel for everything it offers as there are so many factors to consider.

Does the engine have all the features you need and/or will need in the future?
Can you programming with the language used?
How is the asset pipeline for you?
How helpful is the community? This is strangely a very big factor for me.
What is the engine roadmap like?
How easy is it to integrate 3rd party software (e.g. physics)?
How much is this going to cost (e.g. consider if it is a limited license of 1 year, can you complete within 1 year?)?

I have tried most of the engines mentioned here before settling on C4. It's a good well thought out engine with lots of really good features and some great features coming. It does suffer because the demo is not very good at the moment, but that will change. It is very highly recommended by myself.

NeoAxis was an engine that was very good, great demo level (exactly what a demo should be as it shows all feature). What put me off was some of the development and the community is poor.

Unity is another great engine with some great tools. It does not have source code so you are limited to hacks if it doesn't do what you need out of the box.

Panda3D is a great engine but it's lack of GUI features stop me going further. Essenthal is a great engine that I recommend you try. Delta3D is another one worth mentioning as is Irrlicht.
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Cant believe this isnt already here, but the Source Engine (http://developer.valvesoftware.com/wiki/Source_Engine_Features) is one of the best engines ever. 3d, 2d, whatever its great. Now thats a big statement and theres plenty to back that up.

One of the things that makes it so great is the editing tools, they all have a nice WYSIWYG interface and everything is optimized as much as possible. A major thing is that it is still being actively developed and maintained by a huge team (50 - 100+!) and if you cant tell by L4D & L4D2's success its far from being "Last gen".
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Source is a good engine, must confess I've only ever looked at it and not actively used it. The licensing might be an issue...
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I'm wondering this too, I thought DarkBASIC was the only game engine beside huge commercial engines(Source liscense will cost you hudreds of thousands dollars so don't recommend it), so I went and started with DarkBASIC(it's free now) but now I think that it is not capable for large scale graphical games.

It does offer a graphical features, but not really fast: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FSEg31Ug4rQ

That is running in 40fps without much happening, add some particle effects, enemies with AI, etc. etc. and your game will be 25fps.

I've done "minigames" 3 years now to get used what game making is, but now I've come to point where I'd like to start big scale FPS game, that is up to date with current graphical standards.

As I'm doing this Indie, breaking limits is not my point and I know its beyound my reach (Graphical or game mechanical breakthroughts).
I want engine that is capable in today standards for game (Motion blur, post prosessing, AA, 3.0 Shaders etc. you see in modern games)
3D modelling is not a problem, I can handle that pretty well to cover a game full of objects and weapons.
Multiplayer features aren't needed though.

I've already started my game project in DarkBASIC, 1200 lines written for basic movement and animation controlling, but what you think, should I stop with DarkBASIC now before I end up with 10 000 lines of code that is running in 15fps?
DarkBASIC is constantly updated(7.5 now), so what comes to dated information, or some engine fanboyism, I'd rather not like to hear that.

But I take facts as facts, better is better no matter what the preference is.

I didn't ask this in TGC forums(very alive community, every problem has been solved in same day) because I'm quite sure of biased information towards DarkBASIC
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DarkBasic isn't the only game engine out there capable of making commercial games for a low cost. Unity, C4, TGEA and NeoAxis are able to do this for a small charge of less than $2,000 (I think it most cases). Adobe Director or Flash are capable of making games.

"Free" engines include are Irrlicht, Delta3D, CAFU and Ogre3D (although this is a render engine and not a game engine).

Peronally I like C4, Unity, NeoAxis, Cafu. C4 is the best professional engine I have come across for a low fee and it currently (January 2010) includes free updates for life, although this offer is about to expire. C4 community is the best I have come across.

I'd don't think giving up with DarkBASIC just yet is the best option but I would recommend looking at some of the other engines and seeing what they offer before you make a decision. Look at thier roadmap and the forums/community to get a better idea of all the features the engine can offer.

It's not a good idea to constaly change game engines (you don't want to become a 3D Realm), but it is a good idea to make the decision and stick by it unless you have no option but to change it.

[Edited by - donkey breath on January 12, 2010 5:26:28 AM]
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Quote:
It's not a good idea to constaly change game engines (you don't want to become a 3D Realm), but it is a good idea to make the decision and stick by it unless you have no option but to change it.

That is what i'm trying to avoid here, because I really haven't done that much my project yet, so I know that I would need to start from scratch if DB will limit the performance.

C4 looks interesting, but 300$ is worth months of thinking. Atleast DB is free(although plugins are very useful but not free)

Primarly I would prefer 0-100$ program because I'm quite sure that i'm not going to get money from it or do it in future. Just hobbying...
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C4 - Yes it's $300 but that's with lifetime of updates, although doubtful that will still be available after the next few months (by the way you should check out the ability to "sculpt" terrain). I really would recommend C4 if you can, check the forums and read old posts to see how helpful it is and how quick the replies were.

If it is $0 - $100 then Irrlicht and Essenthel both come with a lot of good reviews , although I didn't like the World Editor of Irrlicht. Cafu is one I prefer but it's not ground breaking.

Epic have released a "free" Unreal SDK but royalties are 25% (I think) and I've heard from several people it has performance issues.

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For free noncommercial stuff, the unreal thing is the best bet but seems a bit complicated for hobby use. Even 2.5 has been free for some time for noncommercial stuff. Leadworks is good for hobby stuff. Good price, pretty good tools and some nice features.

For moderate money C4 is far and away the best thing out there. Unity has merit but also issues, and costs a lot for the version that has things like shadows, neoaxis is kinda unproven and a bit meh and torque3d is a complete joke that has lost any credibility with its customers (ie me) with their constant and ever more grandiose lies and hyperbole which have less followthrough than your average open source project.
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I think most people would tell you to avoid Torque3D. I haven't used it but most people will tell you to stay away from it. There is open source projects (Delta3D). Essenthal is another which is getting a lot of good comments but again I haven't used it.

It's worth noting exactly what you need (e.g. 3DS Max support, collada, scripting support, etc) as this will narrow it down a bit. Then have a look at the interface and the community forum (this is very important in my opinion) and narrow it down to those that do what you need and you are comfortable with.
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http://likeanengine.open-codes.com/

this is my open source graphics engine

If you dont know anything about opengl, and you dont wanna know this is perfect to you :)

See the videos
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GLSL, Cg, HDR etc:
http://lightfeather.de/news.php

this should be complete also:
http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/Main_Page

it's a fps game, in the install folder there are sources too, looks quite lean:
http://sauerbraten.org/

I'm rather newbie so don't ask me about particular features of those engine. I can only say Sauerbraten runs really nice (probably does not have all the eye-candy of recent games tho, but should be a nice starting point).
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I'd strongly consider the UDK for a couple of different reasons.

The toolchain is impressive and battle-tested. When it comes to content creation it doesn't take long to forget that X engine has X feature, what you remember is the toolchain.

There is a great base of developers that are familiar with the tools and a large number of artists familiar with the content pipeline, so recruitment hits a large base.

If you do make a AAA style game that hits the big leagues you can flip your license to Unreal and port to multiple consoles.

Here's a link to a game made in 30 days by a small team using the UDK.

Dungeon Defense

That link will get you to the source, the game demo, and the developer blog if you follow the hyperlinks.
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Quote:
Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom
I'd strongly consider the UDK

I strongly agree :)
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UDK certainly is the industry standard and would help get a job in a professional studio. It's not my personal choice as I have heard a lot of stories that it crashes and this happened to when I tested it after only 1 hour.

There's so much quality middleware out there (C4, UDK, NeoAxis, Unity3D, Cafu, etc) that you really have to make a list of what you require and find the engine that most closely gives you this.
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There's a lot of talking of 3D engines in this topic, but there are also 2D engines !
and some fun tools like Boex2D :)
I'm talking about 2D engines like SFML made by Laurent Gomila, and of course carnage-engine because I did it :)

I seriously think that an "Indie" game can only reach its term if the programmer don't spend three years on very low level dev. So IMHO choosing a high level engine (like ogre3d for 3d, or SFML for 2d) is the way to go for amateurs.
A simple "proof" of this, is the number of finished half-life mods, compared to the number of finished MMORPG/FPS that everybody wants to do !
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This has been a great read for me, really appreciate everyone's input, though admittedly it is a bit old at this point so some info is out of date.

I'm looking a starting up a project and have been doing some heavy research on engines. Of course, everything has their pros and cons, and it doesn't help that I don't have an incredibly expansive knowledge on graphical programming.

Through my research, I've found that my two personal favorites based on reviews are Esenthel and Leadwerks.

Just as a precursor, the project is a Third-Person co-operative (so it does require AI and Networking) multiplayer shooter. Mostly outdoor environments. Not sure if that affects which would be better, but I figured I'd mention it anyway. The reason I mentioned AI and networking is because I'm unsure if you don't have the engine source, can you add things like this (see question below).

Does anyone have experience with both of these that could make some comments?

One thing I've noted in reviews of some engines was if the engine license included the source or not. How much of a difference is this in indie development? What is something I might need to add or detract that would require needing the source?

Lastly, how do these licenses typically work or is it a case by case basis? What I mean is do I have to buy a license for each programmer and artist on the project, or is it per project?

Thanks for the help!
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