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Game demo platforms/engine?

By soulhuntre in Technology
Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 08:55:49 PM EST
Tags: Help! (Ask Kuro5hin) (all tags)
Help! (Ask Kuro5hin)

We have a project in house that is ready to move to the "walking tour" stage. We will need to allow first person perspective walkthroughs of a section of our environment - mostly to show mood and atmosphere.

We need a fairly sophisticated lighting model, particles would help and water would be a huge help. Transparency a plus. We are not building a full game at this stage, simply allowing our potential investor to walk through some of our setting, and using this demo as something to show other interested parties. We anticipate that we will use a high end engine for final development (LithTech, V12 or Croteam)

As I see it... we have a few choices:

  1. Buy Serious Sam and "mod" it with the included editor and tools. We really like the serious editor from what we have seen of it but there are a number of complaints over at their website. We have no clue of the scripting.

  2. Buy Unreal Tournament and use its included tools. We don't know what the scripting abilities here are like but it does allow for simple trigger/motion items. This will be good for us to start with. The community behind modding UT looks incredible.

  3. Buy Tribes 2, and work with modding/scripting it. It looks like it is fairly complete, but we know little about it as well. Looking at the mission editor it certainly doesn't look like it is as easy to work with as SS or UT.

  4. Hook up with the V12 engine. This is basically the Tribes2 engine with all the content stripped out. While this might be a good choice later on, for simply slapping together a fast walk through it seems this has a lot of disadvantages.

Are we missing anything? It really seems like the winner here is UT but we want to get opinions. Remember, this is just a walk through.


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Which choice?
o Serious Sam 9%
o Unreal Tournament 54%
o Tribes 2 0%
o V12 9%
o other (please specify) 27%

Votes: 11
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o LithTech
o V12
o Croteam
o Serious Sam
o Unreal Tournament
o Tribes 2
o Also by soulhuntre

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Game demo platforms/engine? | 26 comments (14 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
BlitzBasic or DarkBASIC? (none / 0) (#1)
by TheophileEscargot on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 03:35:49 AM EST

Er... I haven't actually tried either of these, and they are definitely not of professional standard, but they might do for a quick demo. They are meant for amateur gamers who want to quickly put together 3D games.


Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

Maybe in the future (4.00 / 1) (#23)
by StealthMonkey on Fri Aug 17, 2001 at 08:04:29 AM EST

Speaking as someone who has tried both, I don't think they are suitable. Blitz's 3d support is due in about a month. It's looking very impressive, but no demos are available at this time.

DarkBasic is barely tolerable. It's an interpreted language with few features - as you can't even extend the language, it's not worth considering.

[ Parent ]

Crystal Space (4.50 / 2) (#2)
by deefer on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 03:52:00 AM EST

I don't know how good it is, but have a look at Crystal Space.

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

Genesis3D too (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by Justinfinity on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 05:27:35 AM EST

Both Crystal Space and Genesis3D are very powerful. and helping the open source world doesn't hurt either :-) Both engines require you to open source any modifications to the engines themselves if you plan to sell the game. If the engines are not modified however, the game can remain closed source completely. (LGPL stuff)

Why don't you listen to me? If you listen, you get some of that clean, refreshing, new world Parent ]

One thing... (4.00 / 1) (#6)
by deefer on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 07:18:10 AM EST

About Crystal Space is I haven't seen any *games* using it yet. Not finished ones, anyway. I think Emmett Plantly (IIRC) was planning on making some mega game (Time City) which seems to have stalled a bit...

The only thing out there so far I've seen is Parsec which was pretty damned cool, but again, seems to have stalled...

Are there any playable multiplayer games out there in OSS land?

Kill the baddies.
Get the girl.
And save the entire planet.

[ Parent ]

Engines (5.00 / 6) (#10)
by AmberEyes on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 09:40:58 AM EST

Serious Sam - Pros: Huge worlds. Scripting language is rumored to be fairly easy to grasp. Nice algortihmic water effects - nice underwater lighting effects. Con: Lighting can be a royal pain to get right. Architectural tools tend to encourage blocky design.

Unreal Tournament - Pros: Decent lighting. Easy editor. Particle code can be whipped up fairly quickly - in fact, I know someone who did particle code. Nice algorithmic water effects. Con: BSP errors (in Unreal Tournament engine - not in the new engine, heh - more on that later). Very fine lighting is very difficult. No radiosity in lighting.

Tribes2/V12 - Pros: Terrain. Cons: Dynamix closed down - no real "support" should you go full blast at it (with Tribes2 engine at least). Also, better engines available, IMO. :)

Quake3 - Pros: Beautiful static (no dynamic) lighting, plus, true lighting radioisty. Textures look better in engine than Unreal Tournament. Cons: No transparent textures. Editor (QERadiant/GTKRadiant) is a bit harder to grasp than UnrealEd.

LithTech - Pros: Supports terrain - good support from Monolith. Cons: Better engines available, IMO. I've used LithTech, and I don't like it much.

Bottom line:

If I were you, I'd probably start the demo in either Unreal Tournament or Quake3, then move to Unreal Warfare if you get funding (Warfare supports lots of particle effects, and other nifty things that Epic probably doesn't want me talking about). The model effects are absolutely top notch, and terrain creation/tweaking (should you use it) is completely ingrained within the editor. However, maps between Unreal Tournament and the new Unreal Warfare engine are not compatible, so plan on scrapping your old stuff unless your coder can write a conversion program (or, if Epic does).


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
Also (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by AmberEyes on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 09:47:05 AM EST

Just thought of this.

Be wary about the V12 stuff. If your final product goes commercial, you HAVE to approach Sierra/Havas FIRST, to see if they want to publish it, etc. Again, if I were you, I'd stay as far away from Sierra as I could, unless you're really, really, really careful, and have a team of lawyers at least equal to OJ Simpson's legal team. Sierra/Havas is killing their developers and sub-companies off left and right, desparatly trying to save money.

Sierra/Havas == bad juju


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
re: Engines (3.00 / 1) (#13)
by /dev/niall on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 10:56:52 AM EST

Editor (QERadiant/GTKRadiant) is a bit harder to grasp than UnrealEd

It's really cool how different people can wrap their heads around different tools in different ways. ;)

I found QERadiant to be extremely easy to use, this is after using Qoole to make Q2 maps.

After QER, I tried to make a few UT maps and it took me a lot longer to get the hang of the editor.

I guess the void just makes more sense to my left brained self. I can see how an artistic type (who usually make better mappers) would prefer the UT concept; more akin to sculpting.

Thanks for the juicy bits on UW! Another engine I can't wait for. ;)
"compared to the other apes, my genitals are gigantic" -- TheophileEscargot
[ Parent ]

Heh (4.00 / 1) (#15)
by AmberEyes on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 11:58:33 AM EST

I've got both systems down, actually. Terrain (especially cliffs and mountain ranges - not hills and flat ground so much) is spot on, 400x easier to do in an additive engine, but interior design is 400x easier to do in a subtractive engine. It's a careful balance. I picked up both pretty quickly, although I am MUCH more proficient with the more advanced tricks in UnrealEd2 (zoning, polycount shaving, etc) than I am in QERadiant/GTK (like area portals, vising, and caulking). But, that's just me.

Useless fun fact: In the Serious Engine (for Serious Sam), it can design levels that are either subtractive OR additive. If your first brush operation is subtractive, that level switches in "subtraction" mode, ala Unreal. But, if you add a wall or floor or something first, it switches into "addition" mode, ala Quake. Pretty nifty.


"But you [AmberEyes] have never admitted defeat your entire life, so why should you start now. It seems the only perfect human being since Jesus Christ himself is in our presence." -my Uncle Dean
[ Parent ]
Legacy Doom? (3.50 / 2) (#17)
by unknownlamer on Thu Aug 16, 2001 at 01:20:36 PM EST

Legacy doom is a nice game engine. And, it is fully GPL. Legacy.newdoom.com, with up to date (2 or 3 days old at the max...) CVS snapshots (binaries, for source go to the legacy page and grab the source from their sforge CVS) at lamer.hackedtobits.com/doom/legacy/cvs.html (only for GNU/Linux ATM). Yeah, it is based on doom but it does have 3d floors and deep water (as well as mouselook and preliminary md2 model support). Probably not what you want, but might as well throw it would there as an option. Plus, it does come with the source, so you can modify it to your needs. Also, check out Crystal Space (Crystal.linuxgames.com).
<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
Nebula Device (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by donaldp on Fri Aug 17, 2001 at 12:48:05 PM EST

If cash is tight then I would highly recomend looking at the Nebula Device at http://www.radonlabs.de. It is a professional games engine released under BSDL license. It is scriptable using TCl and very extensible. I am surprised that it never aquire fame/popularity but thats probably because they advertise it bad and it takes a bit to setup initially.

It doesn't have a "native" map format so you probably would have to write a importer from whatever builder you decide to use.

V12 (none / 0) (#25)
by Ron Harwood on Fri Aug 17, 2001 at 03:48:15 PM EST

Pick up v12 - you can get it for $100 from garagegames.com right now... Just buy it for real when you're ready to make the real product...
BlackNova Traders - Tradewars for the web
The NeL engine (none / 0) (#26)
by Buddha Pow! on Sat Aug 18, 2001 at 09:50:19 AM EST

You should most definitly check out the NeL engine from Nevrax . It's technically excellent plus it's Free Software (GPL). A real game is being made on it!

engine (none / 0) (#27)
by la0s on Sun Aug 19, 2001 at 06:52:25 AM EST

what about the Max Payne engine? It has a lot of diff. utils to use. imho its pretty good

Game demo platforms/engine? | 26 comments (14 topical, 12 editorial, 0 hidden)
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