3D game engine for non-programmers?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by ERoberts, Nov 18, 2004.

  1. ERoberts

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    Hi, I wonder if anyone know of a simple and easy to use game making program that allows you to do 3D stuff easily? I don't need very high tech 3d stuff, but skinned animations would be nice...

    I've seen programs like game maker, that lets you create 2D games very easily, even if you can't program. Basicly I'm looking for something similar for 3D...
     
  2. Sergey Komar

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  3. Gary the Llama

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    Not to sound negative but IMHO there is no way you can make a 3D game without some programming experience. Take a look at those 2D "Game Maker" engines... Even they require getting your programming feet wet to do anything reasonably advanced.

    So if you're really serious about it, learn a programming language. You don't even have to learn C or C++. Fortunately, BlitzBasic (and it's many variations) is a fairly simple language to pick up and learn. You can literally get a simple game up and running in just an hour or so.

    http://www.blitzbasic.com/
    http://www.blitzcoder.com/

    The way I see it, programming the game is half the fun. You'll definitely feel like you accomplished something HUGE when you're done, even if it's just a simple game. Because programming is NOT easy. And making a game is even harder.

    I've been programming for over 10 years and I finally feel confident enough in my skills to make a full-fledged game. But don't give up... You'll run into a thousand different walls, you'll fall down a hundred times. Just keep going. It will be worth it in the end. But it will take blood, sweat, and tears to get there (not to mention, all of your free time).

    That's my opinion. Take it for what it's worth... But at least consider learning BlitzBasic. The sense of accomplishment is awesome. And programming is FUN! :-D
     
  4. ERoberts

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    @Sergey Komar: Thank you! That was exactly the sort of thing I as looking for. I'll have to look into that further, it seems like it might not be mature enough yet, but then again, it might be.

    @Gary the Llama: That doesn't help me at all. I don't need to know how "fun" it is to write code. I need to know about 3d game making programs that don't require you to be a programmer. As you said, it took you 10 years to feel confident enough as a programmer to make a game. I don't want to spend that time if I can get the result I want by using a visual tool. I don't mind simple scripts for advanced stuff, but I'm not going to pick up a full-fledged programming language, that's for sure.
     
  5. z3lda

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    I like to mention Virtools is way out of range for most indies. If you do a quick search a full comercial license for V3 is $9,000 USD. They also have publishing agreements, so you can't just sell your product. I believe someone here on this forum is using Virtools, so maybe they canmake a comment on this.

    I also would like to see if anyone tried using the Game engine that comes with Blender? Is this a viable option? I've just recently looked into it and downloaded blender but have yet to give the tutorials a go. Any feedback on that?
     
  6. Yossarian

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    Re: Blender

    I haven't tried with the most recent versions, but a while back I messed with it a little, and wasn't overly impressed. You can do a couple simple things fairly quickly, but the speed seemed slow, and it was far from intuitive (I've heard they've made big advances in that though).

    I've also messed with 3DRad before, and while you can get something 3D up in a short time, actually getting it to do what you want still takes time and programming.

    ERoberts, I think Gary *was* being helpful to you. He was pointing out that having the expectation of making the game you want through a visual tool just isn't going to happen without doing programming. Games do way too many things in too many different for there to be a perfect cookie cutter visual app. While eventually they will get better, the only real tools available are most libraries to help you with the basics, and then a few tools out there that provide an engine and the ability to plug in script controlled objects ( like the Torque Game Engine ).

    You will not be able to accomlish anything truly custom without programming the guts of whatever system you are building off of.

    Try googling "3D rapid application development" and browse through what you get and see if anything meets your needs.
     
  7. Gary the Llama

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    I apologize if I didn't give you the answer that you were looking for... But I gave you the truth. Making a game is hard work. Without at least one programmer on the team, you will quickly become frusterated by the lack of progress and/or limitations you run into.

    And finding a programmer to be on a "virtual team" is going to be very difficult because all the programmers are working on their own projects. If you want something done you have to do it yourself.

    Yeah, I know you don't like my answer but I'm just trying to give you some advice. And hey, maybe it won't take you 10+ years to learn programming... I'm just slow! :) (Although you NEVER actually stop learning.)
     
  8. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I second that. Even if the poster finds exactly what he thinks he wants, and its free to use, I still rate his chances at completing anything at all at exactly zero percent, just based on his attitude.
     
  9. DangerCode

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    Whoa! Where did that come from? Why so testy?
     
  10. exepotes

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    - quest3d, it's like virtools but cheaper.
    - 3d rad
    - 3d game studio
    - some research on google will find many, many more.

    i like the first one, but i don't know about the others... anyway, i'd suggest blitz3d. it's nice, and easy. but you still have to code...
     
  11. Vectrex

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    WHY is virtools so insanely expensive? It's not just a little bit expensive, it's MADNESS. Such a pity as it looks kinda interesting.
     
  12. Sirrus

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    Ask James C. Smith...
    He used Virtools for Buzzly's Buzzwords and Sealab...
     
  13. Vectrex

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    he wrangled a free copy somehow by doing stuff for them. They need some low volume deal for people not earning stacks. Which would be better for them as you'd have these people going into jobs pestering the boss to use virtools. but as it is theres no way i would even try as the prices are nuts AND they have restrictive licences... anyway this isn't the slightest bit on topic :)
     
  14. Applewood

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    I suppose it was a bit blunt. I just don't like to see people looking for a free ride, I guess.

    Making games is bloody hard work and learning a programming language is the easy bit. If someone doesn't even know this yet, he's wasting his time.

    It may be brutal, but I'm just trying to be honest and save him a lot of wasted time and heartache. I mean, seriously, writing a 3D game with no programming skills ? I find that directly analogous to me having a bash at open-heart surgery having read a good book on it beforehand.
     
  15. Sunshine

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    Actually I find them both pretty dam challanging, and usually I cannot see the line between the two.
     
  16. SunAndGames

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    Little Mixed Up Here

    I think your giving James a little more credit than he deserves here. I believe your referring to Beesly's Buzzwords which was written by FlashBang Studios. See here. James already has enough big winning games, without adding more to his growing empire :p
     
  17. GhostRik

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    True words are spoke here, but the easiest way to go about it, IMHO coming from trying most of the "instant 3D" products, is to download the free version of 3D Rad and do the tutorials that come with the HTML help files. You'll get a 3D game out of it (with tanks) and see how much effort would go into changing it into something else visually and programming-wise.

    http://www.3drad.com/dloadfre.htm

    Blender's game engine is "non-programming" in the same way that Game Maker (2D) is, with canned action blocks that are grouped to create a series of instructions that approximate a program. This system works much better in Game Maker than in Blender, though if you're a Python programmer then Blender might be wonderful (also if you're strictly interested in OpenGL or cross-platform portability). Game Maker has rudimentary 3D, requiring programming of its internal language, that isn't supported by its author. He gives the thing away so I'm hoping these are beta tests for the eventual evolution of this product. 3D in Game Maker would be outstanding because what I'd really like to see (assuming I continue to rely on game-making software) is 3D Rad with the Game Maker interface!
     
    #17 GhostRik, Nov 21, 2004
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2004
  18. Nexic

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    I've tried many non programming game making tools, and I have *never* managed to make anything good with them. At the time when I tried them I was already an experienced programmer and I could already make better games with C++ and DirectX than I could with tools like that, and in less time. I assure you it will be a better option to learn simple programming than it would be to struggle to make something nice on a non-programming game engine - you will just waste your time.
     
  19. Mark Sheeky

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    I have to agree with Nexic, Dark Basic or Blitz will probably be easier to learn and produce better results than a creator/editor thing. Don't believe some of the posters here, programming is actually quite easy. Making a game is laborious work, but it's not difficult work, we can all learn things after all. Just take one step at a time.

    Mark
    Sound Effects For Game Developers
    http://www.indiesfx.co.uk
     
  20. Matthew

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    Our experience with Virtools has been great. I'm the sole programmer for Flashbang, and I'm really more of a scripter (went to an art school, couldn't program a spinning-cube DirectX demo to save my life, etc). The Virtools schematic is a hugely powerful paradigm, although it does present a learning curve that's more of a wall than a slope.

    That said, though, I do agree with the sentiment in this thread that it takes programming to make a game. More specifically, I would say it takes programming to make a product. Virtools and other engines geared towards RAD are great for prototypes or for artists who need a pipeline to test out their characters/environments in a real-time fashion. It's difficult--not to mention risky--to move from that free-form, sloopy-is-almost-encouraged development situation into creating a flawless product for sale.

    I've been using Virtools for literally years, now, and I haven't really checked out competing technology in detail. The other suggestions in this thread are a good start for artist-friendly tools, from what I've heard.

    And FYI, for those who asked:

    - So far we've created demo content for Virtools in exchange for the required publishing licenses. It is insanely expensive to straight purchase their technology, unfortunately.

    - Back when Virtools was called NeMo, they did make two packages available: a low-cost version aimed at end-users and hobbyists, and a professional version. The result was that they dropped the low-end version completely and made a conscious decision to court gigantic companies (EA, WB Online, Microids, etc). My understanding is they felt they just couldn't profitably maintain a support structure while targeting hobbyists.
     

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