What Package is best for Beginners?

Hi All

I would like to start making my own 3d games for the PC. I have VB programming knowledge but nothing else. I have been looking at DarkBasic and Torque. I would ideally like an all in one package that I can use to create objects and the world and to be able to get it all working together. I know that Torque has all of this but is it good? I would like to start of slowly as my oung son would like to learn it too. I would like to be able to package my games for redistribution but not for retail.

I have been kind of put off by the amount of scripting that seems to be needed in these packages. I would ideally prefer to get something going with a few mouse clicks. I am aware though that this would drasticaly limit my options.  I am only after building simple 3d games but if I'm going to spend my moiney I would rather buy something that I can add to or expand rather than have to then go and buy something new a couple of months/years down the line because of its limitations.

I guess my question is, Is Torque the best bet? If not what package(s) would you recommend.
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Well... depends on what you really need :)
I cannot advice anything as I had been working mainly on Java games and mainly starting from scratch or using some own precreated packages.. \
So all I can offer are a few links:
http://www.thegamecreators.com/ - it is way too automatic but had heard some nice thing about it
http://www.3drad.com/ is something someone showed me lately... haven't tried it yet.. no real time for game programming (wortking on other stuff lately)
http://www.thefreecountry.com/sourcecode/games.shtml - see this also
http://dmoz.org/Computers/Programming/Games/3D/ - no explanations needed I guess

This is a java one: http://fivedots.coe.psu.ac.th/~ad/jg/ - I know you said VB but just in case :)
jclothierAuthor Commented:
Hi Thanks for the links. I'm really after a recomendation though.
:) I know :) I just shared what I have. Hopefully the rest of the guys will show up and help.
I wouldn't recommend DarkBasic, its does have some nice features and being pretty cheap is one, however its not going to make a AAA class game, and if you find you are limited in a feature you are just stuck with it. But it also has a visual basic like language.

That being said, torque is a nice engine, all the source is giving for only $100, the source is in C++ with the math being in assembly (which is the way it should be). Torque is written for FPS games, if you are making a FPS game, you might not have to change any engine code and only work on TorqueScript, which is like C++.

There is some serious problems with starting with torque though. It has a HUGE learning curve for starting out, there isn't many good tutorials on getting started with the engine, there are now 3 books :
3d game programming, all in one by kenneth Finney
Game Programmers guide to Torque by Edward Maurina III
and Advanced 3d game programming, all in one by Kenneth Finney

I have read the first 2, and first one helps with getting started but not real good for a guide to getting started on your own game, just modding the example one. The second is a guide to the torquescript language which is helpful.

Another engine which was pretty good and had all the things needed was

If you want to make your own games as a hobby and since you know visual basic, darkbasic will be fine, but if you ever want to go pro, you will need to learn C++ and Torque will  help you learn modding an engine, and game.

However my recommendation is Torque, because it gives you all the source of a AAA engine, while it will take you a long time to make your own FPS game with it and even longer changing all the engine code to make a game of a different genre, it has a great commnunity that helps out new people.

I am just warning you a head of time, I bought the torque engine and I have been working with it for over a year and I found that buying many books on engine programming, and learning the basics of game programming will help tremendous with learning the torque engine.


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jclothierAuthor Commented:
Great answer compuken! Thanks. I think I will get a few books before I commit to a purchase
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