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andyfive

Software recommendation for Golf Game

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Hi,

I am completely new to game programming (although not programming in general) and I am looking to develop a golf game (Windows based) which initially will involve just a 3D "Driving Range" environment. I would like the game environment to be as realistic in it's appearance as possible (e.g. grass, netting, range building, surrounding environment etc..) and also it is important that I can create the range environment itself to an accurate scale. Can anyone suggest any software (preferably freeware) that I could potentially use to create such an environment?

Many Thanks

Andy.

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If you want awesome graphics, you will have to pay for them with Unity 3D. There are lots of free engines, but most don't have really good rendering power. Nowadays, realism is not just good artwork (you still need really good 2d and 3d artwork) but also rendering features. Unity Free does not have real-time shadows, which is a huge thing with realism. Now, with the stuff you want, no real freeware is out there. The closest is UDK, which is $99 per game if you want to sell it (and more if you make money http://www.udk.com/licensing), but for a first time game designer, UDK is extremely complex.

GameStart 3D is still in beta, but looks very promising. It has great rendering features, on par with Unity Pro. Because its in beta, it is free (it will be $99 when it comes out of beta). It is very similar to Unity 3D, and is quite easy to learn. http://www.gamestart3d.com/

ShiVa 3D has some good rendering features, but its $400. It is very good for beginner game designers, and long-time ones too. I would recommend this, or GameStart3D. http://www.stonetrip.com/

My suggestion is to try out all of the engines I listed. They are all free to try out. And look for some other engines, there are lots of them. Neoaxis, DX Studio, Esenthel...the list goes on. But Unity, UDK, ShiVa 3D and GameStart3D are your best options.

Benton

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You might want to try and do what these guys have done. They just used photo images and invisible 3D planes. It doesn't get much more photo real. https://www.wgt.com

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Many Thanks folks for your great suggestions. Lots of things for me to think about. As a first time game developer, for me, the software will need to be relatively easy to learn/use to quickly develop the 'Driving Range' environment. My application is more of a Simulator rather than a Game and I will need to simulate the flight of a Golf Ball. I envisage being able to 'track' or 'follow' the ball after it is hit down the range. I have all the physics calculations myself so do not need the software to handle this as I will code it myself.

Anyway, many thanks again for all your suggestions.

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