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Seeking Engine Help

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Semi-obligatory statement:
I have an awesome idea for a game. Enough of that. Here's goes...

I'm looking for some advise on engine selection. Clearly, my purchase power is indie so please don't suggest a quarter million dollar engine. Kthnx, haha. Anyway, I'm just looking for something that can load standard 3D object formats (maya, max, blender), either have integrated physics or be able to integrate a physics engine into it. I'm almost certain I would need access to the source code to add new functionality as I want to be able to make objects interact with each other that isn't standard as far as I've seen in current games. I guess the functionality I'm looking for is the ability to load scenery, load objects and 3D geometry, handle lighting and camera controls, a built-in physics engine and the ability to program custom shaders/visual fx.

I figured this would be a good place to start looking considering if you think an engine is a bear to work with I don't want to go anywhere near it and can better tell me what's quality and what's just plain rubbish. I'm sure I'm leaving out details that would help you help me so just let me know if I can clarify anything at all.

Thanks!

Edit: Primarily I'd like this to work using Direct3D. OpenGL is more a plus than a requirement. This was an after thought that was like "this is necessary!"

And another thing. Mutliplayer support would rule. My game is easily expandable to include multiplayer and have it make sense but the original concept is single player.

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Are you sure you'd need access to the source code? You say you want to have objects interact with each other in a way that isn't "standard"... that doesn't mean you need access to the source code. The big indie game creation solutions (UDK, Unity3D, etc) provide a scripting interface to allow you to have your objects interact in any way you want.

Why do you think you need access to the source code?

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Are you sure you'd need access to the source code? You say you want to have objects interact with each other in a way that isn't "standard"... that doesn't mean you need access to the source code. The big indie game creation solutions (UDK, Unity3D, etc) provide a scripting interface to allow you to have your objects interact in any way you want.

Why do you think you need access to the source code?

+1.

@The OP: Try Unity (or Shiva, or UDK, or any similar engine). With Unity at least, you certainly wouldn't need access to the source code unless you were doing something *very* unusual.

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Are you sure you'd need access to the source code? You say you want to have objects interact with each other in a way that isn't "standard"... that doesn't mean you need access to the source code. The big indie game creation solutions (UDK, Unity3D, etc) provide a scripting interface to allow you to have your objects interact in any way you want.

Why do you think you need access to the source code?

Truth be told I probably said that in total ignorance because I haven't attempted what I've thought about in code yet. But, I want to be able to "merge" items dynamically. For example, in game, I want to be able to take two objects and literally tie them together using string or rope, for example, or take two boards and, as literally as possible, "nail" them together. Also, if you were to untie these objects or pull the nail out then any physical changes done to the geometry would need to persist (i.e. being able to look through the new nail hole). In my mind this would require dynamically manipulating model geometry and being able to save the state of the geometry and loading it but also I think I'd have to load different textures to an object depending on how it's being manipulated, dynamically load/unload shader effects for fire, ice, and other things.

No, my game isn't a woodworking shop. :lol: But please take my word for it that this type of interaction is very basic to be able to pull off my idea and do it well.

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