Finding and "old" 3D engine

Discussion in 'Indie Business' started by Scurvy Lobster, Jul 17, 2007.

  1. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    I am thinking about doing a casual 3D game but worried that most 3D game engines today reqiure DirectX 9 installed. I don't want to limit my audience that much since I want people with and older computers to be able to play my game.

    Is there any good 3D game engines still out there that can make a DirectX 7 compatible game? I really don't need shaders and mind blowing graphics, just something that will run on nearly any computer.
     
    #1 Scurvy Lobster, Jul 17, 2007
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2007
  2. Indiepath

    Indiepath New Member

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    OGRE? BLitz3D?
     
  3. stanchat

    Indie Author

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  4. Dock

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    Blitz 3D (and the Blitz 3D framework for C++, etc) strikes me as the best option.

    It runs on all sorts of crap old hardware, and works fine in Vista also.
     
  5. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    Sounds like some good sugestions! I will have a look at them!
     
  6. mash

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    OGRE is a DirectX 9 / OpenGL renderer engine.
     
  7. Backov

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    ... that works just fine on a GF2.
     
  8. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    Yes, but you still need to install DX9 and I suspect that a lot of casual gamers don't do that. It's not sure that they even know what DirectX is.

    If there are more engine suggestions they are welcome!
     
  9. Greg Squire

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  10. Backov

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    So you're unable to run the DX web installer when you install your game then?
     
  11. Greg Squire

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    Also, If you're looking for something that will work on Windows, Mac, and Linux, there's the new open source 3D engine miniB3d for Blitzmax. Supposedly its very similar to Blitz3D.
     
  12. tentons

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    Distributing the DX installer might add too much to the download file size. Many devs (and portals) want to keep the download file size at or below 20MB.

    For a good game, it won't matter, but many people still try to hit that metric. Some portals may have strict requirements about it, even.
     
  13. Bad Sector

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    He said the web installer. That one is only an 45kb installer stub which downloads and installs DirectX only if it isn't already there.
     
  14. Scurvy Lobster

    Scurvy Lobster New Member

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    And then people will have to wait for another 30-40 MB or so before their downloaded game starts... They may even need to restart their computer for the new DirectX to work.
     
  15. Bad Sector

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    Indeed but that:
    a) would be after they decide to install the game. So at least they'll try the game.
    b) will happen only if they don't have DirectX installed, which is a minority of cases.
     
  16. datxcod

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    engine connoisseur

    When choosing an engine one of the most important aspects you should have in mind are tools, I think you shouldn't worry about having a DX7 engine as even widows xp comes with DirectX8 ( windows xp is a 5-6 years old operating system), and the first service pack comes with DirectX9.0. If you have a system with windows xp then it's very like that you have installed at least the first service pack.

    Most engines out there are nice and everything but lack in the tools department and the content pipeline is almost nonexistent, you'll have to make your own importers and exporters (for your favorite 3d modeling tool) and world editing tools (to place entities and set triggers & behaviors).

    I was in the same position as you and I found that two of the most complete engines out there are the "java monkey engine" or jME and OGRE.

    jME, is very nice, you can start working and seeing progress with your 3d game really fast, it supports collada for assets so you'll be fine using any modeling tool. It comes with a lot of examples, and a super easy to use GUI system (a very important feature) and on top of all that it is crossplatform. The only problem I found with jME (at the moment I was testing it) is that it only comes with a terrain manager, it didn't support portals or octrees (you'll have to implement your own manager for those), but I think that's not an issue for a casual game as they tend be lightweight and using a terrain manager would not be a big deal.

    I went with ogre because at that moment I needed an octree scene manager and ogre has several ready-to-use scene managers. I can get my content from max to my app really fast with a set of exporter tools developed by an ogre user (I just change my scene in max and export it, I don't have to recompile anything to test the new version). You can also get your assets from blender, maya or XSI using the right exporter. Ogre also supports several physics engines that are very easy to use, you can integrate any of the physics engines (including physx from AGEIA which can be used in commercial projects) in a short time.

    I also planned to use irrlitch as it supports directx7 but honestly it is a mess, if you don't mind fixing the engine and fixing exporters to suit your game then go ahead (bones system is basically crap).

    If I had to choose now I would go with jME because it is a java based engine, you can get results fast and it is crossplatform. But if you have some good C++ skills you can go with ogre too. There's also the option of blitz but it uses a language based on BASIC, and let's say that BASIC is not one of my favorite languages.

    Another great option for 3d casual games is the Panda3D engine, it also comes with a lot of examples and it uses Python, which is stupidly easy to use, almost embarrassing because it is so easy to get things done (easier than java), it is crossplatform and because it uses python you don't have to "compile" anything, and it supports physics engines too.
     
  17. stiill

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    Shockwave can do 3D, has decent penetration already, and a pretty fast and easy install on IE (always seems to fail for me in Firefox). These guys use it and apparently have a few trillion players:

    http://www.maidmarian.com/SherwoodLanding.htm
     
  18. datxcod

    Original Member

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    You have to remember that people who play mmoprgs are not exactly casual players, and they don't mind installing plugins and other things to play the game.
     

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