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Commercial 3D Engines -- Whats the best?

Posted on 2002-06-10
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I'm looking to create a 3D Game for the PC but as a programmer I still have limited skill when it comes to "3D game programming".  I've heard of commercial 3D game engines to help alleviate the programming burden but unfortunately I have no idea which one would be ideal for me.

My game will be set in the Fantasy RPG genre for Windows based PCs -- think a more flexible, full world Dungeon Siege or Myth III.  I'm looking for an engine that can handle FX such as cloud movements, rain, wind, physics, collision detection, rolling fog, geometry morphing, texture animations, shadows, water, etc.  As well as having Direct3D support and open functions for modification.  Basically the engine is an effects monster juggling the complex mathematics in the background allowing me to simply insert my textures/geometry and make slight code modifications.

Obviously no engine is perfect but if you can provide me with a very powerful, flexible FX driven engine that can reduce the programming tribulations I'd be very appreciative.  The engine name with corresponding website would be perfect.  If you know the price for the 3D engine that would be useful too.

Thanks for any leads.

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Question by:barkin
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by:mov
ID: 7072360
http://www.powerrender.com/ is a very nice engine, check the pages to get more information about it, if I remember correctly it doesn't cost much as its only 300+ dollars.

http://www.radonlabs.de/
http://sourceforge.net/projects/nebuladevice/
Then there is free engine which is really powerful and useful and includes those what you did describe there and little bit more, its opensource, but this engine really surprised me when I did get into it, its called nebula device from radon labs.

http://www.lithtech.com/
Then there is lithtech 3d engine, which is documented really good and can do everything and is really fast and designed well. Only thing is that this engine costs from 20k$ to 250k$ depending on lisence, you should contact their sells for getting actual price for the things you need.

There garage games got 3d engine which is cheap, but they have this royalty agreements. You can get information more from their page http://www.garagegames.com/, documentation on this engine is poor, but they are developing it with nice speed.

Actually if I would be you, if I had money I would get lithtech, (if I would be millionaire I would get unreal engine :)). But Nebula device is great choice to get into 3d and also to use very scalable system.

There are also other engines like crystal etc. but I somehow disliked those. There are as many opinnions as there are programmers.
http://www.gamedev.net/, http://www.flipcode.com/ for more information about 3d engine resources, also if I remember correctly http://nehe.gamedev.net/ is opengl page, but includes also good links to 3d engine pages.

I hope you will find some nice 3d engine, if you find some other 3d engine that I proposed for you, could you inform me what 3d engine that is, so I could check it out myself :)

Thanks, and cheers, Jouni
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mov earned 300 total points
ID: 7072361
Oops. I meant that to be an answer, I was concentrated on writing that answer up there that I forgot to put it as an answer.

I hope you will find what you needed from my answer.
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