Are there any alternatives to Torque Game Builder for 2D games?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by sofakng, May 16, 2007.

  1. spellcaster

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    Hehe. I was actually considering buying that book, but it doesn't seem to target TGB, but torque in general. If I _had_ to use TGB I might consider buying it. Good thing is that I don't have to.

    Right now, I wouldn't recommend TGB at all. We'll see how it develops, but right now it's not appealing enough. There are other (fresher) engines around that also provide nice scripting interfaces.
    CrystalSpace seems to be a direct competitor. Esp. with CELstart (http://www.crystalspace3d.org/main/CELstart).

    Other engines provide a really nice workflow, unity3D is a pretty slick engine, for example.

    Personally I'll stick with C/C++ right now, and play around with CELstart a bit.
     
  2. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley New Member

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    @tau:

    The developers of the Unreal engine have been working on it for years now and are selling it at hundreds of millions of dollars.

    I hate to break this to you (if you aren't already familiar with this in game tech), with a game engine there is never a true final product... if there is that simply means the developers have given up on updating it or moved on.

    Unfortunately you can never tell people enough info to prepare them for game dev. Sure there are areas that we could work on in our PR though I find no ground or basis for what you are saying. If you do have a basis for it then maybe you should share it instead of making generalized comments. The comment I quoted is completely empty... it's 100% opinion. Not a solid argument or very convincing.



    @Bad Sector:

    I'd have to agree with Bad Sector's post. A "final" product as you define it never comes for a living project like a game engine. At least it should never come, that simply means the engine won't be udpated.


    @Greg:

    A very fair statement. Very well said as well. There are definitely areas that we need to direct you to answers better, we are continually working on it as well. For the past few releases we've made improvmenets to the docs and the way you navigate docs. It's a slow process to work on and improve but we are making ground.



    @Spellcaster:

    Very true... though we don't have a direct link to it, in the Table of contents at the top we have a link to the TGB TDN page and the link I gave you to the whole list of tutorials is only a single click away from that TDN page. Given it may take a bit of navigation before you check that area we do in fact direct you to the proper location.


    We had a large request for seperation of the forums we currently have. If you remember originally TGB (back when it was T2D) had a single forum (this is before I came up to GG and was simply in the community helping). Multiple people specifically asked for a GUI forum as well. We get posts from time to time there, though as a whole people don't seem to struggle drastically with GUIs, usually only specific issues which are typically known quirkiness with the system... though overall compared to people learning how to script, gameplay scripting, etc, GUI editing isn't as troublesome area. The question you asked is one of the quirks of the engine that we get questions about from time to time, yes it is something we have on a list somewhere to get addressed though we have many lists... there's always improvements.


    Beleive me, I understand... it's archaic and though mostly quite functional it is quirky. We do want to address it though it's not as simple as it may seem on the outside. We have to be careful whenever we spend time working on something, for one we have limited resource so we can't waste, things like that also tend to break many other aspects when you work on them so we have to consider the overall effect and priority.


    I was mentioning it more towards what Bad Sector was saying. Our most common posts are in these three forums:

    General Discussion
    Getting Started
    TGB Scripting

    We get much fewer posts in our specific forums... this is a good sign to me considering when we had more issues in the engine we got more posts in those specific areas, considering if you have a problem with a GUI you would post it in the GUI Building forum, or a physics issue you'd post it in collision and physics.

    Those three listed forums on the other hand are fairly general... general discussion includes quite a bit of talk not related to issues but general questions, getting started is obviously a location for people who are curious on ways to get started or issues related to that... and TGB Scripting is usually for general scripting language questions, sometimes issues.

    considering the most popular forums are not related to specfic aspects of the engine (given TGB Scripting sometimes is used as that, though sometimes for people new to scripting in general or langauge specific questions from those used to other script languages) that is a good sign to me. Obviously it doesn't mean there are no issues with the engine and tools, just that when I see the forums moving towards this I note it as a good sign and showing that we are headed in the right direction.


    Not saying TGB is perfect or as easy to use as it could be (there could be many many things done and things we are doing), though "easy to use" is relative. I've talked with high school students who have found TGB easy to use, while adults struggle and vice versa. In fact I've talked to many Flash users w ho love TGB and find it amazingly easy to use compared to Flash, while other Flash users struggle.

    Obviously this means we have more work to do before it's "easy to use" for everyone, then again nothing will be perfect for everyone, plain and simple.


    We do have a TGB Public forum that anyone can access, a lot of questions from trial users get answered there. Also there is quite a bit of documentation with TGB... it's impossible to cover everything everyone would ever want to know... though we try our best. Though the private forums is an invaluable source. We have some great community members that really try to help everyone out. Thats why I'm at GG, because I was in the community and loved the community back when T2D started... TGB is more than just something we work on, it's our work of passion and what we choose to do and make sacrafices to do at times. It's far from perfect and has many weaknesses, though I also think it has some great strengths, some of these other options can't compare to.

    Well hate to break it to you but documentation for anything will never cover everything. I don't think I can say anything that will please you in this area considering you will always find something the documentation is missing. This is true about every single engine and product out there... So all I can say is we are doing our best, we are improving it drastically, it's also seen drastic improvements (remember when T2D launched and it had no visual editors, fully scripted only, and only one tutorial! It's come a long way :). The rest is up to you, if you really want to make a game with TGB you will do so, you shouldn't let things stop you... can we do more to help you, yes, though the best we can is do all we can with the time and resources we have.
     
  3. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley New Member

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    I appreciate your honesty and am sorry you feel that way.

    The recommendations really aren't valid considering they aren't 2D game dev options and they have their own bag of issues too (Unity being only dev'able on Mac and not ideal for 2D).


    TGB has some strengths and weaknesses... just like any engine out there. There is no all in one solution for game dev, some have found TGB to be theres, others have found other engines to be theres. There is nothing wrong with this. If TGB doesn't please you enough it doesn't mean it doesn't please others enough.


    @Joe & Rinku

    You are completely correct Joe. Behaviors allow for a very robust way to add multitudes of plugin style functionality in the editor.

    I'm still listening Joe :) Unfortunately I have to space out my responses or the docs won't get more work done on them and there's so much I want to do. We also truly take a lot of these suggestions to heart, especially the more constructive ones.
     
  4. spellcaster

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    Sure thing. Problem is that one can't try TGB. And right now, it's hard to say whether you will like it or not. Also, the learning curve is pretty steep - so the main difference to the free engines is that TGB does cost a bit and that detailed information about it can only be posted in the TGB forums.

    I really think that TGB has great potential. I'm also sure that it'll be a top notch tool for 2d development once the documentation issues and some other small things are sorted out.
     
  5. Matt Langley

    Matt Langley New Member

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    There is a 30 day TGB trial that gives you full access to the engine via scripts, tools, and all docs (simply a 30 day and watermark mechanism minus source code of course) :)
     
    #85 Matt Langley, Jun 7, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2007
  6. Backov

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    There was only a couple of reasons I didn't dig TGB.. The first was Torquescript. Ugh.

    The second was the GUI editor.. It's been a while, but doesn't toggling the GUI editor basically make you start editing the GUI of the level editor? Who thought that was a good idea? I agree with Spellcaster above that there needed to be an actual GUI editor structure in place, and not whatever they had there.

    I found the docs to be fairly decent, except when you needed to do something non-trivial. Or more precisely, something that didn't fit within the use cases the documentation guys had envisioned.

    All in all, I found it much easier to roll my own 2d engine than use TGB.
     
  7. Ojuzu

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    I've been a TGB user for over a year and while there are many things I love about it, there are some things that I really hate. IMHO, the worst aspects of TGB are the horrendous GUI editor and Torquescript. Outside of that, it's suited my needs pretty well and I've been able to deal with the negatives. However...

    I'm now curious about the video issues that portals are having with TGB produced games. Can someone at least briefly explain what the issues are? It makes me very concerned as I'm nearing completion on my current game and I'll be very frustrated and annoyed if I can't submit it to portals without "fixing" the engine. Anyone?

    As far as alternatives, Flash is now a different animal with the release of CS3 and Actionscript 3. And with the brand new virtual machine, performance has increased significantly. (About 10 times faster than Actionscript 2 and the old VM.) Additionally, Adobe will be releasing a new version of Director this year and supposedly they're going to target independent game developers. We'll see what happens, but it could be very cool...
     
  8. stanchat

    Indie Author

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    Here are the problems you will encounter. Hope and pray you have the Pro version or you will be forking over a extra $45 bucks to get it. Just bad pricing structure IMHO.

    $100 TGB Indie license
    $250 TGB Pro (with Source)
    $195 To upgrade from TGB to TGB Pro (Extra $45) :confused:



    ======================

     
  9. Joe Rossi

    Joe Rossi New Member

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    FYI Windows 98 is not listed as a supported platform, in fact it only lists XP on the Windows platform (not even Vista yet). Come on now, 98 is about a decade old...People who still use that OS probably can't afford to buy games anyway, and a good % of the new games they download won't even work, so they'll be accustomed to it. I say screw them, they can save that $ and buy themselves XP (not Vista :p ). Not that it would be a bad idea to support 98, just doesn't seem all *that* important, at least to me.
     
  10. membrain

    membrain New Member

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    I just feel a need to toss my shinny pennies in on this... Specifically in relevance to Game Maker-
    I'm an artist, not a programmer or "developer" per se... but with GM I'm able to make my games and for that I am greatfull.
    As has been pointed out already, it's all on the skill of the programmer when it comes to what comes out of it. I've seen some crazy things done in GM that I never thought possible... or anyone in the forum(s) for that matter-

    And thatx to GM, I can now look at code in general without my head exploding;) It was a good start for me, and is an excelent tool for the skilled... prototyping is nothing short of a synch with it.


    "Remember one man's meat is another man's poison..." - I don't think I've ever head that before, but it made me laugh... so it's alright by me :D
     
  11. spellcaster

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    I'm currently playing around with Game Maker, and I must say I am impressed ;)
    I am working through some of the tutorials right now. It even has an isometric map editor! Nice ;)

    Just wondering: How is a look like in this game done:
    http://www.yoyogames.com/games/show/2911#

    It looks like a projection of a hexmap grid. I don't think it uses the 3d (2.5d?) features of GameMaker because there is also a 3d variant of the same game:
    http://www.yoyogames.com/games/show/1602 - so how is the effect done? Looks cool ;)
     
  12. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    I suggest asking the author of that game how he did it, it looks pretty impressive for a Game Maker game (and I've seen some pretty impressive Game Maker games).
     
  13. Anlino

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    Ask the creator or post a question in the Gamemaker forums (gmc.yoyogames.com), you could also try to search for the game there, maybe you aren't the first one who is wondering :)
     
  14. Ojuzu

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    @stanchat: Thanks for posting that info, I appreciate it. It helps to know what the issue is so I can plan accordingly. I agree that Win 98 is pretty long in the tooth but for pure casual games it probably is important to maintain compatibility with it.
     
  15. Joe Rossi

    Joe Rossi New Member

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    Does anyone know why GameMaker is still only available for Windows? I think it would be awesome if it were crossplatform. The main reason I didn't go with GM is because it has no Mac support. Well that, and not getting the source code is kind of an issue for me too. It really is a good tool though, no denying that.
     
  16. RinkuHero

    RinkuHero New Member

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    Because it uses DirectX. Overmars has stated that he has no plans of porting it to other platforms unfortunately.
     
  17. amaranth

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    Wow, this is turning into a juicy subject! I thought I would add some notes...

    @RinkuHero
    I think that your module idea is awesome! This is something I've been silently thinking about as well for quite some time.

    @Joe Rossi
    I know it sounds crazy that people are still using Windows 98, but I found that about 25% of my customers are using this old software. Also, Neopets just did a survey and they found that 40% of users were on Win 98.

    @Matt
    One problem is that cheap game creation systems like GameMaker ($20), RPG Maker ($60) don't have problems passing the quality assurance testing by the major game portals. However, TGB ($250) straight out of the box will trigger several crashing bugs that require changes to the engine before a game will be accepted. I hope GG works on quality assurance testing next. Oh yes, and I think it was a great move for them to hire a technical writer. It's been fun watching the documents mature and expand.
     
    #97 amaranth, Jun 11, 2007
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2007
  18. Jack Norton

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    once again, ptk rulez

    OMG that sucks. Luckily with PTK the few times I had to deal with portals, I had to change NOTHING :D
     
  19. tau

    tau New Member

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    That's exactly what I meant :cool: But I did not expressed it as well as you did
     
  20. Greg Squire

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    Amanda makes a good point here, and it hits on why someone would use a pre-built engine or SDK in the first place. The two biggest reasons (in my mind) are to first to "save time" and secondly it provides functionality that one might not be capable (or unwilling) to write. If you have the source to the engine and the skills, then you can fix the engine, but you are no longer saving time. If it's an engine where you have no access to the source (or the skills to fix it), then you are at the mercy of the engine provider to fix it. Thus "reliability" becomes a big factor in choosing an engine. I'd have to agree that TGB isn't quite there yet. It's moving that direction, but not there yet.

    It's also interesting to me to note that a lot of engine modifications were done to TGB to get "Rack'em Up RoadTrip" out the door. I know some of that was for some specialized physics code to handle the complex pool physics at a lower level. However I would think there were some more generalized stability changes in there too. Not sure why those types of things didn't get rolled into the general TGB base? (Maybe they did; I'm just guessing here). Also, I do have to commend Garage Games for essentially "eating their own dog food" in creating this game. Ultimately by using their own engine, they can improve it for others. I still think TGB is a powerful engine; I just wish it was more "accessible" to most programmers.

    On a different note, I've been looking at a GameMaker quite a bit these past few weeks, and I've found a renewed interest in the engine. When I looked at it before a couple years ago, all I saw were really crappy games that were made with it, and I sort of wrote if off as a "toy that teenagers were using”. Since then I've come across more "professional looking" games built with it. Its still not a perfect engine (is there such a thing?), but it could possibly meet my needs, and it's also extendable. I would be nice if they had a Mac version though (maybe one day).

    If you could combine the power and functionality of TGB, with the accessibility of Game Maker, and make it super stable, then you might have something really close to my "dream engine".
     

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