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Developing crane simulator

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Hello everyone! I have decided to make a crane simulator (first person with view from cabin). Mostly, I aim on realism as I want this simulator to be used by real сrane operators to upgrade their skill. That's why I need an engine to easily work with physics (such as wind, rain, weight of cargo and etc). Have to mention that I don't really care about graphics quality. Maybe, but this has the least priority, after completing the whole project I would need a VR version of it, but for now I am planning just a PC version. 

Here is main points of my project:

  • Physics has the major priority
  • Using tools suitable for a beginner developer
  • Ability to make a VR version of the simulator without rewriting of the whole project

My experience in programming is mostly in computer science, so I am familiar with C++ and Python, but only on a level of coding some cool algorithms. That's why I don't really depend on a specific language. 

What engine and developer tools would you recommend to use? Easy to being with for a low-skilled like me, but suitable for my project.

Thanks,

Mike

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Unity3D
Documentation: https://docs.unity3d.com/Manual/index.html
Physics: https://unity3d.com/learn/tutorials/s/physics
Programming can be done in either C# or Javascript which can easily be picked up since you know C++.
Learning curve isn't too bad.  You can get comfortable with Unity in a week if you play with it for about 4 hours a day.

Unreal Engine 4
Documentation: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/
Physics: https://docs.unrealengine.com/latest/INT/Engine/Physics/
Programming is done in C++ or Blueprint.  Blueprint is basically a drag and drop interface.
In my opinion, Unreal has a higher learning curve and can get really technical but is a good alternative to Unity3D.  I'm only suggesting it because you have a background in C++.


 

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Is this your first game/graphics project? If so - do yourself a favor and don't try to make a crane simulator. I don't mean to discourage - it is just VERY unlikely you will complete the project - even using Unity or Unreal or anything really... unless you have money to hire some people.

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