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narthex

"Pre-Made" FPS Engines Only Requiring Models?

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narthex    100
Hello,

I'm a hobby-level 3D artist fairly well versed in 3DSmax and Blender. I've done a few models for programmer acquaintances to use in mods and games but never programmed anything myself. Formatting/scaling a finished model to be imported into an engine is as close to "programming" as I've been. Quite frankly I'm not even sure what an engine does but lets not go there.

I'm one of those people who knows how to write "Hello World" in about 10 languages, but once the tutorial hits the apparently functionless jargon you need to "remember for later", I start hitting my head against the wall. Visual learner I guess. That combined with being a full-time student in a non-computer subject, I've given up on learning to program (for now) due to time constraints. However, I still want to "make" a game.

So it's not a "How to I learn?" thread, but rather a "Can I focus on what I already specialize in and end up with a commercial-quality game?" thread. In my case 3D.

I've noticed that even great programmers often opt for "pre-made" engines, since the fundamentals seem to be similar for a lot of games and don't warrant re-writing.

What level of knowledge do engine packages like Torque3D and Unity require? I'm guessing you actually need to know how to program to end up with a finished game after buying one of those licenses. True or false?

In my case, all of the unique ideas I have are related to models/textures/audio/dialogue/storyline/etc.

Not physics/gameplay. Whether the default gameplay is Battlefield 2-ish or Tribes 2-ish, it doesn't really matter to me, I can adapt to it. I'd like it to be decent. That's about it.

Basically my question is:

1. There are really professional "engine packages" (seemingly) for experienced coders out there.
2. There's really elementary "gamemaker" software out there for people with absolutely no computer skills (I've messed with them and they were very limiting in what you could import - they were basically mission editors).

...But is there a type of engine package out there that allows a skilled 3-D modeler to have total control of the artistic aspect (from-scratch character models, terrain models, sound, dialogue) without having to touch the code?

... Or should I just give up on going solo and find a programmer to work with while I handle my own area?

Thank you in advance...

[Edited by - narthex on December 3, 2010 11:32:23 PM]

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jyk    2094
Quote:
What level of knowledge do engine packages like Torque3D and Unity require? I'm guessing you actually need to know how to program to end up with a finished game after buying one of those licenses. True or false?
True (definitely with Unity, and as far as I know with Torque).
Quote:
...But is there a type of engine package out there that allows a skilled 3-D modeler to have total control of the artistic aspect (character models, terrain models, sound, dialogue) without having to touch the code?
Well, I'm a little skeptical of any game authoring tool that allows you to create games without coding, but you might take a look at this this (which claims, and I quote, 'no coding required!').

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narthex    100
Thank you for verifying. I figured stuff like Unity and Torque still required significant "literacy" and just handled the most mundane aspects. Oh well.

And your skepticism is warranted, at least in regards to the FPS Creator program.

There are a LOT of bugs and unless it's changed dramatically since I took a look at it, a lot of limitations with modeling.

For example terrain, walls, etc are, er, flat (for lack of a better term) and if you're like me and want to import your own terrain and/or very large map features, you have to access and edit the source code. Why someone capable of re-writing the source would be using such a program in the first place: A mystery. It seems to have more limitations than many mission editors in finished games.

It looks like I'm in a lonely niche. I'm just amazed a major studio hasn't come out with some vastly superior equivalent to the above program and blown everyone away.

It would be like when modular facebook/myspace pages replaced the old days where you either had to make your own website from scratch or choose from 6 awkward Geocities templates (which would be about where FPS Creator is at).

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LancerSolurus    630
There are actually alot of projects that could use your help so if it was me I would go with this line from your first post

'... Or should I just give up on going solo and find a programmer to work with while I handle my own area?
'

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