The Great 2D Engine Stress Test Shootout

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by Martoon, Feb 9, 2005.

  1. tentons

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    You're right. I thought the license included Torque3d but I've now learned that they are totally separate products, so you couldn't actually jump into 3d as I first thought.

    Still, if anyone is interested in learning more about Torque2D, there's a gob of technical background.

    I am the one that said it pretty much leaves everything else behind, and judging from the technical background, I stand by that. I don't see any other 2d engine with as many integrated and advanced features (swept polygon collisions for sprites and tile layers, tile map editor, rigid body dynamics, advanced particle engine, etc.) plus the features of the Torque core such as input, audio, GUI system, scripting, and being cross platform on PC, Mac, Linux, and XBox. This is the most complete game engine I've seen for $100 (the price may actually be $50, I'm not certain yet). And you get all the source code.

    Productivity is the key attraction for me, and this eliminates almost every low level technical chore I can think of. I find that liberating and exciting because I can focus on game logic and not tinker with batch optimizations or worry about Direct-X compatibility.
     
    #61 tentons, Feb 23, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2005
  2. Melv May

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    T2D Info

    Guys,

    I've read the posts here on this thread and I'm not here to talk about X beats Y product because ultimately I believe that there's a product for everyone. Most of the time someone is attracted to a specific feature or capability that isn't available on the others or simply suits their way of thinking. It then becomes an almost religious debate over which is "better" but ultimately, it's all subjective.

    Doing tests to see which engine can render 500 sprites faster than the other is ultimately pointless as it doesn't prove which is the "better" system to use, not that I'm saying T2D is slow by any means; I'm just saying that there are more factors than how many rotating sprites you can render.

    I'd like the opportunity to answer any technical related questions on T2D. From the beginning, I've tried to be as open and honest as possible about what T2D is and what it most certainly isn't. If you don't know me then I'd hope that people that do can tell you the same thing.

    Some of the posts here, in my opinion, are plainly wrong with regards to T2D and I'd like to address those issues but I don't want to be confrontational at all; it's just that I've got more of a knowledge about what T2D is and isn't than anyone here but I do submit to peoples knowledge of other engine and I won't get drawn into a debate of that kind; it's up to you to decide which is better for you.

    The first thing I'd like to address is the issue of hype. I strongly disagree that T2Ds release so far is all hype. Sure, marketing guys have their role and every product, without exception, will have hype surrounding it. We have honestly tried our best to get the "real-deal" info out there and Josh Williams (GG 3rd-Party Dev Manager) and myself took time-out from T2D to do something which we didn't have to do, write an extremely detailed description of the working of T2D, what it is, what it isn't, what's still to be done etc. There's always going to be extra questions though and that's what I'm here for. If a question isn't answered then go to the forum and ask the damn question, don't speculate, it'll give you wind.

    If you've not read Joshs plans then shame on you for posting about something you know very little about. ;)

    With that cleared-up, I'd like to say hello to everyone!

    What I would really like to say though (and hopefully this won't get me in trouble with anyone) is that if you're expecting hundreds of wizard screens, sprite editors, animation editors blah blah blah from T2D in the release in a day or so then don't, I repeat, don't go out and purchase T2D. Wait for 6 months or so and get it then. T2D isn't competition for Blitz or anything else until its toolset is complete. T2D will stand or fall on its own.

    With that said, T2Ds systems are very mature and stable and has a very-large and fully integrated feature-set. The demos that were so easily brushed aside here were each written in approx 24-48 hours each, some much less. I would challenge anyone to not only do the same but be able to make major modifications to the products in such a short time period. These demos were done by only a few people. Almost all the people who've been involved in T2D were at first confused, like people are with any product, but after a week or so, all started giving some really positive feedback and these guys are not fanboys. The feedback we're getting from the release-candidate is just awesome and shows that we've done it correctly and it bloody works!

    I'd also like to address this issue of thinking that T2D is all about scripts and wouldn't be of interest to hardened C++ coders. Simply put, piffle! I'm not a script-guru, nor do I ever want to be. I absolutely detest scripting but I understand its role in the making of a game. Those who don't, well, old-school baby. I'm a C++ man, full-stop, been that for nearly 20 years. I understand the attraction to having everything as fast as possible but as developers there are more considerations than just speed, unless you're just tinkering or have a FPS fetish. T2D was written so that all the classes can be extended or be inherited from to create new objects for whatever you want. If you want to do everything in C++ then go ahead, T2D isn't going to stop you.

    T2D isn't yet complete, that's why it's an Early Adopter. Early Adopter isn't just a means to sell unfinished software, that's cynical and although this hasn't been said here, it has been said. The two people who're really looking forward to getting some quality feedback and ideas from people who purchase the EA are Josh and me, not some nasty corporation wanting your money. We're pretty humble guys.

    T2D sits on the new v1.4 TGE (not yet released) which contains huge improvements, too numerous to discuss here. T2D is a seperate product but this doesn't mean that T2D doesn't work with stock TGE. When you purchase, you get all the source-code for T2D as well as the source-code for TGE 1.4 but with certain, non-applicable bits removed although probably 95% of it remains. What we're not there selling is T2D+TGE, it's a seperate product; yeah? You can take the T2D C++ files, add them to any stock TGE code, build and run. Nothing else to do and that's a promise and it's been heavily tested. It's very important that anyone purchasing T2D can take it along with them if they want to then use it alongside 3D stuff. And, of course, there'll be a discount if you already have the TGE.

    I hope people don't think that when you purchase T2D you get TGE as well. Wouldn't that make a mockery of the TGE product? I cannot discuss prices here (some people will think that I'm hiding something here) as this is my contractual agreement with the publisher. This is their job to release this info when it is appropriate and hopefully I've not said too much already.

    People should remember that T2D is in early development and we're trying to get out both detailed technical info (plans) and demo shots as well as encourage all the people (and they are numerous) that have worked with T2D (including pro game studios) to come forward and honestly discuss their opinions. I'm personally trying to get T2D out the door so I can stop working on T2D for a week or two and play with my baby daughter. Been developing this for over 8 months and my daughter is 6 months old ... that's been hard!

    There's some great public info coming out from companies like Oberon Media, inc such as T2D Prototyping .

    Anyway, I'm here to answer any questions on the technical details of T2D. I will tell you what T2D has, not what it sort-of-has. I'm not here to hype, I'm here to provide info if you're interested. If you wouldn't consider using T2D then fine, I wouldn't want you to purchase something you didn't think was the correct tool for you. Sorry if I sounded too defensive in this post but I was trying to address lots of things in as sort a post as I could.

    Please ask me stuff about it if you're still interested... :rolleyes:

    - Melv May
    T2D Dev.
     
  3. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Thanks Melv, you are probably one of the most helpful developers I've had the pleasure of working with. I'm not sure exactly why there seems to be an anti-GarageGames sentiment in these forums. Perhaps GG appears too commercial for some? I don't know exactly, but I will say this. The guys who work at GG are some of the most hard core Indies I know. Josh (the one that Melv is referring to) is one of the hardest working guys I know. He's routinely up until 4-5am most nights of the week. If I send one of the guys at GG an email on a Saturday afternoon I get a response in 10 min.

    T2D is really cool, and as Melv suggests the topic of "best" is really only for people who like to debate. T2D in no ways "invalidates all other offerings" in the general sense. Blitz is a powerful tool and for some people it's the right tool. For others T2D may actually be the tool they've always wanted. The same could be said of Torque itself, it's an incredibly powerful engine with technology put together by guys with years (decades?) of experience. However, it's not for everyone. Not everyone feels comfortable working within the framework that Torque provides or wants to take time to learn it. There is nothing wrong with this.

    I don't know, but lately it seems that there's something of an "anti-success" attitude around here. It seems to happen a lot that an indie who doesn't post here all the time comes along and makes a post and people just jump down his neck. More often then not there will be a thread deriding that persons product and they'll have to come over and attempt to defend themselves.

    I know Melv, he's just like everyone of us. He has a day job, he's working on a game (or was until T2D took over his life). He struggles with the same exact things we struggle with. He doesn't actually work for GarageGames he's just publishing T2D through them. Why is it so hard to be supportive of his efforts? I've been playing with T2D for a little while now and I've seen people post in this thread making positive and negative claims about T2D that simply aren't true. It might be nice, for once, to take a "Wait and see" perspective, especially if you have no experience with the thing you are talking about. That doesn't mean repeatedly post "Wait and see" like you have an axe to grind.

    I would love to see Melv succeed here, he's worked his tail off on this non stop and I think the thing he (and Josh) have created is really quite impressive. Not for everyone but definitely a very cool piece of technology.
     
    #63 Dan MacDonald, Feb 23, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2005
  4. Dingo Games

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    Filesize

    Hey Melv, I've read some of the .plans and T2D sounds really nice.

    One question: what is the filesize of the executables that T2D produces? Preferably the filesize after compression, because that's what matters.

    Thanks,
     
  5. gmcbay

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    I think GarageGames is, on the whole, a great company and they are doing quite a bit to help the whole 'indie gaming movement', so please don't misinterpret my earlier post as being anti-GG. Torque2D looks great, and I've never seen Melv be anything but helpful on the GargageGames forums.

    Nevertheless, I stand by my statement that the tools support and documentation in Torque were horribly broken for a long time and I don't think the GG guys really even acknowledged this as a shortcoming until way later than they should have. I think some people's negative opinions may stem from that, though I think Dan might be right about there being a bit of an anti-success meme here with some people.
     
  6. Melv May

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    Guys,

    I totally agree with you on the state of the doco when TGE was first released. I was one of those people with a dazed look on their face whilst trying to overcome the volume of code in the TGE.

    Things have changed considerably but TGE still remains a huge and complex engine. I feel it's unfair to blame GG for bringing such a power-house to them for $100. No amount of doco or helpful resources in the world is going to give people a fundamental understanding of what makes a 3D engine tick. There's nobody on the GG staff who knows 100% of the engine either.

    What TGE has is a powerful scripting language and I wanted to have that in the 2D engine I developed. Anyone who thinks that TGE scripting is complex or would take them more than a few days to understand is getting it confused with the 3D script objects they're trying to control. T2D doesn't have these, or the complexity of setting-up the engine as the TGE does although we've left in the ability to do things like modding. T2D objects are lightweight, efficient and fast! More than that, they come with a huge set of features, none of which add overhead if you don't turn the feature on.

    Back to the point though; everyones entitled to their opinion but I do think it's not so cool to discount stuff before it's even released and to assume there's some deep, dark plan to rip everyone off. Alot of that going around at the moment.

    Anyway, enough of those bad vibes, let's talk about indie-games because that's what this site is all about yeah? cool!

    @DingoGames: Well, the TGE comes in at around 3.6-4Mb whereas T2D comes in, uncompressed at around 1.1 - 1.4Mb. I've just tried UPX and it goes down to 625Kb. The thing is here, we're at EA so that figure is for the Win32 platform only at the moment with only minimal work done to the underlying TGE 1.4 and therefore still has stuff that can be removed. T2D actually needs very little from TGE.

    @Dan: Thanks for your understanding. You put it much better than I did!

    On a final note; I'll just add that we considered releasing just before xmas but we knew that we needed much more documentation like a reference guide, tutorial and a host of demos, one of which forms a tutorial on making the game-demo itself. Documentation is very important. EA1 will have all this alongside the source-code and it will be continually changing/improving as we bring stuff online such as networking/predictive physics, integrated editors, blah blah.

    T2D will come with a particle and tile editors, both of which are not the final editors that will for the T2D Game-Maker or though they are very powerful and do provide access to all the features of the particle and tile sub-systems.

    - Melv.
     
  7. gmcbay

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    Valid point, but if you compare Torque to say Nebula.. they are both complex 3D engines but Nebula's got a much better core design that allows one to go in and add new things and modify existing things without having to understand every detail of the engine before you start changing anything.

    Torque... not so much.

    In any case, this is my last post on the subject. I think GarageGames is great and I don't regret licencing Torque at all. For $100 it is more than worth it even if I never actually use it in a product.
     
  8. MrPhil

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    Can you check that Oberon Media link? It seems to be about using Flash for games. Or was that the point? Oh I’m confused!!!

    As a churn-aholic I think a big problem a lot of us programmers have is fitting into someone else architecture or framework. I’ve struggled a lot learning TGE because my brain is screaming, “Screw this! Just pound out the code!†So lately I’ve been doing a lot of work in C# even though rationally I know that it makes more sense to take advantage of someone else work and effort through an engine.

    I’m personally excited about T2D because it looks like it’ll fit my game better than TGE and that might give me the edge emotionally I need to fit into someone else architecture. I’m working on a TBS (that’s turn base strategy) game and TGE isn’t exactly conducive to that, but T2D I’m hoping will. I’d definitely like to concentrate on my game play and art instead of implementing mouse events, and transformation etc.

    And don’t worry too much Melv you just can’t make everyone happy, but I’m positive you and T2D will make a bunch of people ecstatic.
     
  9. Ciperl

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    Just check out the conclusion of the white paper, which by the way I think Scott will be giving a talk on at GDC. In the conclusion of the paper, he mentions that they "may have to consider alternatives such as Torque 2D for their more action style fast paced games, and continue to use Flash for the slower paced games."

    That's why it was linked to in this discussion.
     
  10. yanuart

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    great, here r some questions :
    1. Does T2D provide ways to draw primitive shape, or at least textured triangles/polygons onto screen ??

    2. Does it comes with small, neat yet robust framework (it will be great if there's a leak on the doc/sample)? I've always get myself turned off with overhype features of an engine and prefer a small n petit engine/wrapper instead.
    I really don't care that much about physics, collision, particles, tilemap, etc if it doesn't come with a good wrapper and the ability to change it according to my needs.
    This happens too many times for me, I learned and went through the learning curve just to find out if a features on an engine will work on my game/app, this goes for non graphic features an engine usually provides.

    3. When will it be released :D ? Right now I'm still saving my 200$ to purchase a 2D engine.

    well that's all I guess.. call me sceptic but I really wish there's something to "look at" instead of .plan explaining what features there'll be.

    ps : actually for every features added, it got me more sceptical, why can't it be just a "cross platform 2D graphic engine" ?
     
  11. MrPhil

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    Courtesy of the IDD (Information Dissemination Department)
     
  12. Melv May

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    @gmcbay: I'm not going to argue with you there. My only comment is that I strongly believe that T2D will stand-up on its own over the coming months. People have to understand though that T2D isn't currently a GameMaker Wizard out of the box but it will get there. We'll always be shipping T2D as source-code-only for people who need to get to the underbelly and not be bothered by GameMaker style interfaces. We're not going to suffer from over complexity and poor design and you only need to focus on T2D, not the underlying platform. I do believe that TGE is so much better nowdays though, especially because of the hard work by Josh Williams, Ben Garney and Pat Wilson (to name a few). Only a very few people have been directly involved in the coding and so it has a consistent design paradigm, is extremely well commented, has a reference document for every function and data-field, has 6 fat demos, one of which is used as a tutorial and much more.

    @MrPhil: One of the things that has amazed me is the reaction from pro-game studios. If you didn't already know, Oberon run Microsofts X-Box Live Arcade Program. These guys are serious developers. If T2D has the ability to get the attention of studios of this level then it's got to be worth something. ;)

    @Yanuart: T2D does not currently draw primitives, despite the flash link above, it's not currently flash. Expect those really simplistic, almost trivial objects soon after EA release. There's just no point in me discussing T2Ds framework when you could go to Joshs plans and read all the details there. You know the link, it's the overhype stuff you mention. ;)

    If we release stuff with bugs then all people will talk about is bugs and we won't get anywhere. It's interesting to note that if you don't release any information then you get a hard time for not saying anything. If you do spend 3-4 days solid writing a detailed technical description that's practically a tutorial then you get told that you should just hurry up and release it and nobody reads the info. I never realised how hard it is to give people what they want, even if you genuinely try your best. My 6 month old daughter and wife know that I've been working as hard as I can to get this out the door and I can't wait to do so. Man we're only a day or so away from release anyway. You'll just have to take it on faith. ;)

    What does that mean? You don't want any features? Isn't T2D cross-platform, 2D, does graphics and is an engine? Perhaps you could clarify.

    - Melv.
     
    #72 Melv May, Feb 24, 2005
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2005
  13. yanuart

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    I'm sorry if my recent post sounds negative, pls take it with light hearted as i didn't mean to say something about an engine that do not exist yet :D
    Anyway, about that primitives drawing capabilities, yeah.. i'm not asking about drawing a circle/rectangle like flash does but I really like to see if someone add a capability to go as "low level" as they can in the engine.

    2D graphics with accelerated hw these days are handled differently, simply put we don't blit anymore :D. This will open a new vista in 2D graphics programming by incorporating that 3d acc HW and I just can't understand why ppl keep talking about sprites all the time.. it's sooo 90's (ugh.. i'm so gonna get a trouble by saying this).
    But, for ex, now I'm trying to make a 2D game in which I must render/draw arbitrary polygon on the screen, it's for the terrain in case you're wondering and so far I only found one engine that'll allow me to do this (of course I have to do like 50% of the code myself), in fact the engine doesn't have this feature but it allow me to go as low as possible to get the quads/tris and render it on screen.

    anyway, about that features, i think they're great.. i just said my concern based on the experience I had with engines. Too many features will make the learning curve steep thus sometimes ppl reluctant to learn all the features an engine has, not to mention that maybe they don't really need it at the first place.
    It's very hard to balance those things,too "low level" will mean your engine is just a plain API wrapper, too high level will mean your engine is just a GameMaker that dumbs ppl down and cuts creativity.

    Anyway, I'm still saving my 200$ (i hope T2D won't cost more than that) and wait which 2d engine must I purchase this year.
    So best of luck !!!
     
  14. Melv May

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    Naw...

    I think it's me who needs to apologise. Man, I've been at this bloody T2D thing so long that I can't think of anything else.

    Just read my post and I seem to be uncharacteristically defending everything. I need to chill a little, perhaps go have a beer.

    I think Dan said everything really. T2D is going to be a great product but not for everyone. Some people will find it more useful as the tools get developed, some want to jump in right now.

    Everyone will get a chance to make up their own minds soon. :)

    - Melv.
     
  15. Melv May

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    Developing your own stuff...

    @yanuart: Creating your own objects that have time-integration and are fully compatible with T2Ds scenegraph is so simple it's crazy. It's not in there at the moment but one of the very next things I want to put in is a simple render object example.

    The fxScroller2D object is a simple example of inheriting from the core and doing a little rendering anyway but I want to do a basic one that renders an arbitrary textured polygon or something similar. Anyone with a little C++ knowledge can figure it out, especially as there are lots of code comments, nearly equaling the code!

    The ability to add script commands in a few lines, immediately have cross-platform without doing anything special as well as giving your objects features like simple or rigid-body dynamics, mounting etc without having to do anything at all is very cool indeed. You don't have to drive stuff from the scripts either, I live in C++ and it'd be naughty of me not to think of all the C++ guys/gals out there. The core fxSceneObject2D is a nice and simple object to inherit from and isn't as fat as it sounds. Non of these abilities add any appreciable overhead unless they are turned-on.

    I don't know if you've seen Josh Williams .Plan or not but the price was recently announced. This package includes all C++ and script source-code, demos and editors (including demo and editor source code) and a continuous entitlement to updates up to and beyond the final T2D release, all for $100 USD or $80 or existing TGE owners. Soon after, there'll be a binary-only version (script driven) for considerably cheaper so it looks like you can have the whole lot and still have $100 to spend on yourself. :)

    T2D will be more expensive upon final release though but I've no idea of what that figure will be at this point. Some crazy rediculous price no doubt. ;)

    - Melv.
     
  16. yanuart

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    Melv:yup I've read the blog.. and didn't see the price was being mentioned :confused: oopps..**scroll down few times** there it is :D
    anyway I've also read about the other two blogs a.k.a .plan about the core system n t2d classes..
    uhmm no comment yet :D I think they're great but I'll wait till there's a detailed documentation, but I will comment on one thing though and I hope you don't take it personally, that Josh guy gotta stop mentioning how much he loves you :D .. but hey.. it's his blog rite ?
    Wait... so far I haven't read anything about sounds/audio features ??

    ps : that $200 is for the other engine I'm postponing to purchase, so if I decide to buy t2d.. thanks man coz i'll have 100$ extra to get myself wasted at a local bar.
     
  17. Melv May

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    No problem; that's professional love .. at least I think it is! :eek:

    T2D inherits audio from T3D as well as scripts, networking, GUI, blah, blah. :)

    - Melv.
     
  18. TamLin

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    Language bindings?

    I'm very intrigued by T2D, but I have little interest in programming a game in either C++ or TorqueScript. I wonder how difficult it would be to add bindings for another language (such as Smalltalk or Lisp). I realize that T2D is an engine, not a library, which complicates matters somewhat. I'm beginning to study TGEPython for guidance.
     
  19. yanuart

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    Hmm.. will there be any 2D effects ? such as :
    - color tint
    - brightness/level adjustment
    - saturation
    - blur
    - distorted sprite
    - etc
    both for sprites and screen ??
    I'm just wishing for the best here... :D
     
  20. Melv May

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    @Tamlin: Having T2D as an engine and not a library actually makes things simpler. You don't need to spend weeks learning every nook of the underlying engine, trust me. Having a library is more complex surely? Think out of the box dude! I guess it all comes down to whether you're interested in software technology or want to make games. Certainly on the GG site, there's way too much talk about technology and not enough people actually making games so T2D is here to address that issue and give people a jump-start but not be that dumb that more hardcore verterans can't use it. That's been one of the hardest balances to meet.

    @Yanuart: There's a damn good chance you'll see T2D running under TSE (Torque Shader Engine) so the possibilities there are staggering. Shader-driven 2D game, wow! Beyond that, at EA, not we've not got fancy distortion effects, the thrust for the EA was a robust, fast and extendable 2D engine.

    - Melv.
     

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