Survey of Game Developer's Tools?

Member
Posts: 321
Joined: 2004.10
Post: #1
As a curious bystander, I'm trying to get a handle on
current tools and future trends. For simplicity, which
may be a big mistake, I'm lumping PC/Mac and consoles
together.

Game Engines - I assume that all 3D games nowdays use some
type of game engine (3rd party or proprietary). Anybody care to
guess about how many there are? Does anyone see a consolidation
in future?

Modeling software - I assume Maya rules the roost here. The only
others that I know off the top of my head is Blender and Wings3D,
but I don't believe these are "industrial strength" apps.

Textures/2D - Photoshop? Enough said?

I keep thinking that there will be a consolidation of tools etc
but now with all big three consoles doing their own thing, albeit
with IBM, this might not be the case.

Thank goodness for games; otherwise we'd still have IBM PCs with
amber monochrome screen. Oh wait, was the original Nintendo
around then? Maybe I should take that back.
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Member
Posts: 185
Joined: 2005.02
Post: #2
WhatMeWorry Wrote:Modeling software - I assume Maya rules the roost here.

Definately. Even ILM is using Maya now.
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Moderator
Posts: 613
Joined: 2004.09
Post: #3
WhatMeWorry Wrote:Thank goodness for games; otherwise we'd still have IBM PCs with
amber monochrome screen. Oh wait, was the original Nintendo
around then? Maybe I should take that back.

Learn to love the C64 =D

EDIT: Intelvision was around very very early too but I dont recall the exact date

Kyle Richter
DragonForged.com
Twitter: @kylerichter
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Luminary
Posts: 5,143
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #4
3D Studio Max has a massive place as a 3D tool.

I don't think it's the case that every game (re)uses an engine, I think there are still a substantial number of developers out there rolling their own. That said, UnrealEngine 3 has a massive presence in the next-gen consoles.
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Sage
Posts: 1,066
Joined: 2004.07
Post: #5
This is sort of tied in to here, with the recent purchase of Alias by Discreet, does anyone know what the future of Maya looks like? Or 3D Studio Max? Will Discreet support both or merge the two into one piece of software? My only fear is that Macs will lose a high-end 3d modeling app. It'd be really cool if the two were combined and made cross-platform.

There's the UnrealEngine 3, Source Engine, and Halo engine as far as big name engines that I know of (though only one game besides Halo used that engine).
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Member
Posts: 749
Joined: 2003.01
Post: #6
I guess there's a huge difference depnding on what kind of developement level you speak of.

You can speak of corporation level developement, where of course there is a heavy use of engines-tools-whatever, you can speak of amateur level development (like most of the stuff we do here), or you can speak of semi-pro level developement (say 1 to 3 full time devs with considerable experience)

All 3d games use either opengl or direct3d (directly or indirectly), you just cant avoid that

Many uses photoshop here (look at the OMG entries info). I use the gimp on windows, on mac os X it uses the unix emulator and it's a pain.

Audacity is fine for what I care about with sounds, changing the format, the tempo or the pitch (not that I use sounds really Rasp) [though on mac os X there's a bug that can screw up quicktime, run garageband after it to fix it!]

I dont know anything about 3D model editors.

"Game engines"? I know of Torque, Unity, and the one David Rosen is rolling (that guy is scary...), Blitzmax is an "engine" too but it's a bit higher level (its also a "language"). Blitzmax is a kickass engine for 2D, makes drawing really easy though you still have to do the physics yourself

©h€ck øut µy stuƒƒ åt ragdollsoft.com
New game in development Rubber Ninjas - Mac Games Downloads
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Nibbie
Posts: 2
Joined: 2009.01
Post: #7
Don't ignore lightwave, thats one nice modeler for games applications. And the other major engine not mentioned is the Doom 3 / Quake 4 engine.
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Member
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Post: #8
There are over 300 3D engines available for Windows, I found a full list with links once at some 3D forum, can't remember the name of it even though I signed up to thank them for listing us.

But anyway..yeah, over 300.
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Member
Posts: 40
Joined: 2004.12
Post: #9
A new major player in the 3D world is modo. Right now it is solely a modeller, but with version 2.0 there is talk about adding support for animation. This app requires a pretty high end computer (at least higher-end than my Quicksilver 733), but it is a very nice app.

Jericho
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Oldtimer
Posts: 834
Joined: 2002.09
Post: #10
Quote:A new major player in the 3D world is modo.
Besides, the creator of modo, Luxology, is a truly awesome company. They have a very nice licensing policy:
Quote:…when you buy modo you have the option of running on Mac or Windows, not one or the other. We sell modo to you, not to your computer. If you want to run it on your workstation all week and your laptop over the weekend, no problem. And when you buy modo, we create an account online so that no matter where you are or what happens to your computer you can always login to your account and download your copy of modo. Basically it comes down to respecting our user community. You trust us to deliver a great product, we trust you to use it properly. As long as we keep up our end of the deal, our users keep up theirs.
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Member
Posts: 131
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Post: #11
Nick Wrote:This is sort of tied in to here, with the recent purchase of Alias by Discreet, does anyone know what the future of Maya looks like? Or 3D Studio Max? Will Discreet support both or merge the two into one piece of software? My only fear is that Macs will lose a high-end 3d modeling app. It'd be really cool if the two were combined and made cross-platform.
Autodesk (Discreet) has been known to buy stuff just to obtain the technology. One case I personally know about is about one company called Ithaca which created HOOPS. Autodesk was using HOOPS I believe because their Heidi (sp) driver code looks exactly the same. I suspect they bought HOOPS/Ithaca to own the tech and not have to pay anymore maintenace costs to them. Our company was rather worried that Autocad would bury the product as it just sat on their shelf for about half a year until they spun it off as a separate entity (TechSoft America).

So my guess is that they are going to snarf all that they can from the Maya code base and put that into 3DSMax and once done maybe spin off another company for further development of Maya. But who knows, they may just bury it, one less competitor, although seeing it's stake in some of the big companies this may be a mistake not to take advantage of it's position in the entertainment industry... Meh, too much speculation.
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Member
Posts: 469
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Post: #12
People have reportedly gotten Irrlicht working on the mac... if true, it's a good option with lots of features and good platform independent code.

---Kelvin--
15.4" MacBook Pro revA
1.83GHz/2GB/250GB
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Moderator
Posts: 522
Joined: 2002.04
Post: #13
igame3d Wrote:There are over 300 3D engines available for Windows, I found a full list with links once at some 3D forum, can't remember the name of it even though I signed up to thank them for listing us.

But anyway..yeah, over 300.

Here's a big database:
http://www.devmaster.net/engines/

Notice the "advanced search" feature.
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Moderator
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Post: #14
There's also blender, which I'm sure a lot of amateurs use. (I know I'll be using it, since it's free, as well as pretty good Rasp) I was quite surprised, though, that as a "good student" I could get Modo for $100. :o
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Post: #15
aarku Wrote:Here's a big database:
http://www.devmaster.net/engines/

Notice the "advanced search" feature.
Of course, these are just publicly available engines, right? This doesn't include all the 3D game engines that are made by individuals and only released in their games. (in which case there would be considerably more)
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