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Best Game Engine for Indie Game?

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55 replies to this topic

#41 donkey breath   Members   


Posted 12 January 2010 - 03:52 AM

C4 - Yes it's $300 but that's with lifetime of updates, although doubtful that will still be available after the next few months (by the way you should check out the ability to "sculpt" terrain). I really would recommend C4 if you can, check the forums and read old posts to see how helpful it is and how quick the replies were.

If it is $0 - $100 then Irrlicht and Essenthel both come with a lot of good reviews , although I didn't like the World Editor of Irrlicht. Cafu is one I prefer but it's not ground breaking.

Epic have released a "free" Unreal SDK but royalties are 25% (I think) and I've heard from several people it has performance issues.

#42 / Graelig   Banned   


Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:06 PM

For free noncommercial stuff, the unreal thing is the best bet but seems a bit complicated for hobby use. Even 2.5 has been free for some time for noncommercial stuff. Leadworks is good for hobby stuff. Good price, pretty good tools and some nice features.

For moderate money C4 is far and away the best thing out there. Unity has merit but also issues, and costs a lot for the version that has things like shadows, neoaxis is kinda unproven and a bit meh and torque3d is a complete joke that has lost any credibility with its customers (ie me) with their constant and ever more grandiose lies and hyperbole which have less followthrough than your average open source project.

#43 donkey breath   Members   


Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:01 PM

I think most people would tell you to avoid Torque3D. I haven't used it but most people will tell you to stay away from it. There is open source projects (Delta3D). Essenthal is another which is getting a lot of good comments but again I haven't used it.

It's worth noting exactly what you need (e.g. 3DS Max support, collada, scripting support, etc) as this will narrow it down a bit. Then have a look at the interface and the community forum (this is very important in my opinion) and narrow it down to those that do what you need and you are comfortable with.

#44 dgomezri   Members   


Posted 12 February 2010 - 02:45 AM


this is my open source graphics engine

If you dont know anything about opengl, and you dont wanna know this is perfect to you :)

See the videos

#45 Pwnzie   Members   


Posted 13 February 2010 - 01:19 PM

GLSL, Cg, HDR etc:

this should be complete also:

it's a fps game, in the install folder there are sources too, looks quite lean:

I'm rather newbie so don't ask me about particular features of those engine. I can only say Sauerbraten runs really nice (probably does not have all the eye-candy of recent games tho, but should be a nice starting point).

#46 Dreddnafious Maelstrom   Members   


Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:46 PM

I'd strongly consider the UDK for a couple of different reasons.

The toolchain is impressive and battle-tested. When it comes to content creation it doesn't take long to forget that X engine has X feature, what you remember is the toolchain.

There is a great base of developers that are familiar with the tools and a large number of artists familiar with the content pipeline, so recruitment hits a large base.

If you do make a AAA style game that hits the big leagues you can flip your license to Unreal and port to multiple consoles.

Here's a link to a game made in 30 days by a small team using the UDK.

Dungeon Defense

That link will get you to the source, the game demo, and the developer blog if you follow the hyperlinks.

#47 joew   Members   


Posted 27 February 2010 - 03:53 PM

Original post by Dreddnafious Maelstrom
I'd strongly consider the UDK

I strongly agree :)

#48 donkey breath   Members   


Posted 03 March 2010 - 04:22 AM

UDK certainly is the industry standard and would help get a job in a professional studio. It's not my personal choice as I have heard a lot of stories that it crashes and this happened to when I tested it after only 1 hour.

There's so much quality middleware out there (C4, UDK, NeoAxis, Unity3D, Cafu, etc) that you really have to make a list of what you require and find the engine that most closely gives you this.

#49 Lightness1024   Members   


Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:34 PM

There's a lot of talking of 3D engines in this topic, but there are also 2D engines !
and some fun tools like Boex2D :)
I'm talking about 2D engines like SFML made by Laurent Gomila, and of course carnage-engine because I did it :)

I seriously think that an "Indie" game can only reach its term if the programmer don't spend three years on very low level dev. So IMHO choosing a high level engine (like ogre3d for 3d, or SFML for 2d) is the way to go for amateurs.
A simple "proof" of this, is the number of finished half-life mods, compared to the number of finished MMORPG/FPS that everybody wants to do !

#50 ChandlerT   Members   


Posted 23 April 2010 - 08:06 AM

This has been a great read for me, really appreciate everyone's input, though admittedly it is a bit old at this point so some info is out of date.

I'm looking a starting up a project and have been doing some heavy research on engines. Of course, everything has their pros and cons, and it doesn't help that I don't have an incredibly expansive knowledge on graphical programming.

Through my research, I've found that my two personal favorites based on reviews are Esenthel and Leadwerks.

Just as a precursor, the project is a Third-Person co-operative (so it does require AI and Networking) multiplayer shooter. Mostly outdoor environments. Not sure if that affects which would be better, but I figured I'd mention it anyway. The reason I mentioned AI and networking is because I'm unsure if you don't have the engine source, can you add things like this (see question below).

Does anyone have experience with both of these that could make some comments?

One thing I've noted in reviews of some engines was if the engine license included the source or not. How much of a difference is this in indie development? What is something I might need to add or detract that would require needing the source?

Lastly, how do these licenses typically work or is it a case by case basis? What I mean is do I have to buy a license for each programmer and artist on the project, or is it per project?

Thanks for the help!

#51 Whirled Peas   Members   


Posted 10 January 2011 - 01:36 PM

This thread has been very informative to me. I've personally been looking to use an engine for a project of my own, and until recently I was set on using Panda3d, however I've hit a bit of a dead end with the physics engine as using either ODE, or the native Panda3d physics engine seems to be lacking in detailed documentation, doesn't like meshes other than the pre set collision meshes(spheres. boxes, capsules, etc), there also seems to be a lack of making the physics geometry visible for debug purposes which is a pain. I like just about everything else about panda but the physics has proven to be a deal breaker for me.

So I've been looking for a different engine, another alternative is Blender's engine as it, like Panda3d is open source, and uses panda as the scripting language which is a strong preference for me. However Blender has the problem that I feel incredibly limited by the logic brick system that they use, I much preferred the freedom allowed by the straight up ciode setup of Panda3d. I'd be willing to go back to Blender if I absolutely had to, being as it's physics simulation and graphics capabilities seem to fit my needs the best, but like I said I don't like the logic bricks.

Cost is a bit of an issue as I don't have tons of money, but if necessary I could pony up the cash on the scale of C4 or Torque.

My main requirements are:

Deal Breakers

decent physics engine, doesn't have to be too advanced, but needs to be able to reliably handle more complex geometry than basic shapes like cubes and spheres, they don't have to be really hi poly meshes though

at least mediocre particles, again nothing too fancy, I'm actually going for a retro sort of look so uber fancy particles won't be necessary, though they would be nice

some post processing effects, like bump mapping and some basic lighting effects, normal mapping would be nice but not a killer, and some kind of basic shadows but again doesn't have to be too crazy

Obviously cost, I can't go in with some real high end priced game engine that costs thousands of dollars per license, like I said before torque and C4 range pricing as about where I wanna go

networking ability must be present

strong preferences

python scripting as well as the possibility to fiddle with the actual engine source itself, I'd be willing to use C in stead, but really feel comfortable using python, plus i'm a bit rusty with C

free licensing, like zlib or BPL, free is always better, but I'd be willing to pay a price if the engine had everything else I wanted

I'm working on making a Descent/forsaken style shooter with a sandbox element involved, so any game engine which is too married to traditional FPS style gameplay is a nonstarter for me.

I've been seriously considering Irrlicht and C4, obviously Irrlicht I prefer because it can use panda for scripting and is free, and I gather it can reliably and relatively easily use Bullet physics engine which is the same as blender uses and seems to be able to use user created meshes quite reliably.

So what are others' thoughts?

Thanks in advance

#52 sio2engine   Members   


Posted 21 January 2011 - 04:28 AM

You should definitely check out the SIO2 Engine!

A cross platform 2D/3D game engine framework uses OpenGL ES as its core to deliver fast graphics and provide all the modern game engine functionalities. You can use this engine to develop on MacOS and/or Windows. http://sio2interactive.com

#53 GothSeiDank   Members   


Posted 01 February 2011 - 07:54 AM

Since I made my first Steps with UDK I am in love with it. But I don't get behind the System and the documentation is confusing for me.
For example, I managed after several hours to get rid of the standard player and menus, but I never managed to define my own controller. Did not find the documentation for that.
Seems like I need to buy a book or so.

What I like most: BSP Brushes. Bummer that Unity does not have this. BSP Brushes make your life so easy when you want to build indoor levels.
If you say "pls", because it is shorter than "please", I will say "no", because it is shorter than "yes"

#54 anael   Members   


Posted 07 February 2011 - 01:28 PM

What do you think of Maratis ?
I released it previous week, it's free and open-source,
of course it's not as powerful as UDK, but it's simple, visual and portable.

There is already professional games made with it, including on iPhone.
I'm actually working on tutorials, and I hope it can be useful.

See you !

#55 arijan   Members   


Posted 01 May 2011 - 02:30 AM

Shiva engine , 169 euros for many platforms and features

#56 NEXUSKill   Members   


Posted 31 May 2011 - 09:44 AM

I'm currently working on Unity and its a very comfortable platform, plus it works on virtually anything, Its best if you buy the license but you can use it for free.

Also I never miss a chance to indulge in some torque bashing, having suffered that engine for around 3 years I can say its not just a bad tool, paying a license of that engine is something you will hide in the darkest corners of your "shameful mistakes closet" and hate yourself a bit for it.
The last company I worked in went bankrupt largely due to sticking with torque as their main development tool, every single programmer there (except for the asshole who pushed it) hated it and agreed that in any other engine they would be able to work at least 3 times faster.
Torque makes your most trivial task take a minimum of a week to get it right. Documentation is inexistent, you will deal with networking bugs even on a single player game, there is an extremely toxic number of hardcoded values and hacks all over the damn thing and as you get deeper into it you will slowly loose faith in mankind.

Game making is godlike

LinkedIn profile: http://ar.linkedin.com/pub/andres-ricardo-chamarra/2a/28a/272