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Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by unreason, Apr 22, 2006.
If you want to focus on content, I highly recommend Torque.
I used Torque for a few months, just the regular version and it's not a bad engine. It does try to be a jack of all trades through scripting it's true. And outside of killer networking its not a master of any of those trades.
It relies on the MP even for SP games, unless you really butcher the engine, and this restricts you a lot, The art path is pretty poor, and lacking in really basic things like multitexturing unless it's on the terrain, or BSP compiled lightmaps. only 1UV set limits what you can do with the DTS format, even in TSE, unless your only doing single skinned meshes.
In the end we decided to make our own engine using ogre, which gives us more flexibility than torque offers, since using torque typiicaly feels like modding, and creating something new and exciting that stands out with the torque source seems pretty difficult.
Vehicles don't work all that well, the FPS aspect is very generic and would take a lot of effort to make something new and innovative in either of those areas.
What I do like about torque is how easy it is to throw characters in, and the animation blending id excelent.
I do a lot in Torque with the engine itself in C++, but I do try to dump any game-related tasks into Torquescript where possible. I know that Ken Finney's books deal with TorqueScript exclusively - it's far better documented than the underlying C++ code. But it's hard to do much with Torque (except a generic FPS) without getting your hands dirty with the underlying C++ code.
The problem is once you get in there, there is a lot to understand in order to be productive. You'll rapidly end up reinventing the wheel, or you'll spend hours trying to figure out why messing around in some no-longer-used code is not having an effect.
The advantages that Torque offers are:
* A VERY NICE terrain engine, with a nice water system (TSE is supposed to be even better)
* A nice BSP-style engine fully integrated with the terrain engine, capable of using .MAP-style levels
* Good animation system
* Totally kick-butt networking code.
* Scripting system (not a huge plus, as I'd just as soon hook up Python or LUA into another engine...)
* Support for several content tools for getting shape and map data into the engine.
* Really NICE UI system and built-in UI editor
* Nice built-in terrain editor.
* Mac OS-X and Linux support
It's got a lot of cons, too. Overly complex in some points, the engine is "mature" and can look a little bit dated (but is that a big deal to an indie?). But those were the deciding factors for me. The biggest hurdle is the complexity, IMO... it is only simple for initial prototyping. After that, it gets complex very fast.