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Leveraging API for a Space Fighter Team Game

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Ok, so I've not been around for quite a while, but I do know quite a bit about programming. I also now have a design document and clear goal of the game I want to make, the first question I have is: what API/Library/Engine should I be looking at to leverage for developing this? Here is a summary of the game design:

Its a space fighter tactical team game in the style of the old X-wings/Tie Fighter (think gouraud shaded 486 gaming :D). The game will focus heavily on team play, with each player in charge of their fighter and one to three "wingman" which make up their support and say 4 to 8 of these groups per side. These are short-range craft, so they are always fighting in dense nests of much larger starships (like the fight for the deathstar as an example). This creates a dense field of slow moving objects to use tactically.

Now back to the question at hand. I know visually I need a few things: pretty skybox for stars, good model rendering for the ships, particle effects for the weapon fire, and a nice HUD overlay for the cockpit. Since I don't actually need a terrain, that takes some load of the engine needs. Network code is the nitty-gritty though, as I don't see myself wanting to write all that. Though I may be hard pressed to find an engine that sports a central server style, dunno.

My target audience is mature gamers, so I'm thinking at the moment I'm aiming for a Windows PC release.

Since I am out of the loop a bit and having done any dev in more than a couple years, what APIs/Libraries/Engines should I be looking at? Most of the ones I see stickied in the forum are for FPS and have a lot of terrain features that I don't need.

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