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Game Engines

Noah's post got me looking at game engines again, and the options are better than last time I looked. My view is colored by my position as a mac developer of course.

Torque Game Engine (3D) by Garage Games
Torque Game Builder (2D) by Garage Games
Unity (3D/2D)
PopCap Framework (PC only?)
PTK Game Engine

Would anyone be interested in coming over to our house some weekend and having a mini game jam to try out one or more of these engines? Maybe one a month? Get the 30 day demo, grab some free art, and see what you can really do... I think it would be fun.


Feb. 8th, 2007 06:33 pm (UTC)
We'll have to find a weekend then. You're free to invite Anton, I don't know him very well at all, so I think it'd be weird coming from me. Are you doing anything presidents day weekend? Or the one after that?

And I've looked at a bunch of free engines in the past, and always concluded that they were missing the features that make using them really nice, you know, those features that are a pain in the butt to actually implement... But if you have one that you think looks really promising, we could try that. Which engine would you want to write a weekend game in first? I'd like to try Unity, but the price tag for cross platform deployment is pretty hefty. Which means I guess I'm more likely to try Torque first.

I'll take a look at Irrlicht, Ogre3D and CrystalSpace.
Feb. 8th, 2007 06:55 pm (UTC)
Torque and Ogre3D probably look the most promising to me. Depends if you're looking for 2D or 3D -- if the former, Torque Game Builder looks like it's probably the way to go.

Ogre3D doesn't have quite the feature set of Torque, particularly when it comes to the network model. But graphically it's actually quite nice. And I suspect we won't need a big complicated network model for the sort of games we could produce in a weekend.

Then again, I *am* really curious how Torque manages to do server-side physics, interesting computational physics, and reasonably low latency. That's very tricky in general, and apparently it's hard to match Torque's internal integration there.

I'm all good with finding a weekend. President's Day weekend won't work for me, Krissy and I are going to see Cirque du Soleil in Las Vegas while she's on vacation. The following weekend might, though. I'll ask her about that one. I know some friends of hers are in town at around that time, but I don't remember what we're doing with them, or how long it will take.
Feb. 9th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)
Okay. I've asked Krissy and bounced the idea off of Anton. I'll see how that works out :-)

As an aside -- the various Game Jam folks have tended to agree that having a theme, either technical or, um, thematic, is a good idea. For instance, a theme might be "physics engine", or "crowds", or "bouncing balls", or "building". Helps to keep people focused. So in addition to the basic technical theme ("let's see what we can do with Torque Game Builder in a weekend") you might want to consider a theme to help guide people.

Or you might not, but I figured I'd suggest it :-)