Is there a good place discussing various engines for a game newbie?

Post: #1
I am interested in getting to know more about game development and possible trying my hand at developing a game. I was wondering if there was a site or some other location that gave a comparision of the various "engines" available. Google returns quite a bit, but I seem to be getting a little overwhelmed. Most hits seem to return discussions on 1 or 2 engines, but not about what their strengths and weaknesses are. I have about 14 years of experience with multiple languages, but primarily in the corporate I/T world, so much of the game technology is new to me.

Some of the engines, for lack of a better word, that I have seen mentioned are:
Crystal Space
Python (various)

For learning, I will be working with a 2.5D spaceship type game. I tend to prefer Objective-C and Python for my language, but I am definitely flexible. Although I am starting to learn OpenGL, I am impatient and would not mind at all to build upon the work of others. Plus, others would probably do the OpenGL much better than I would. Ideally, I would like to be able to get something going where there was an image or model that I could have some real-time control over, and have this going without to much effort. I did not necesssarily want to get to bogged down in all the nice graphics effects is there was already an engine that would speed me along that curve.

If a book is the way to go just let me know. Or is it easy just to "roll your own", even at the early stage.

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Joined: 2004.07
Post: #2
I would suggest you look into the Cocoa API and use OpenGL for drawing. There are a few tutorials on Apple's website for these and another on this site for setting up the OpenGL view and learning a little bit. You could, from there, read up at NeHe for more about OpenGL that would help you learn drawing in 2D, 3D, and eventually get you into more complex topics.

If you're looking for cross platform capabilities, and you want that easily, I would then say stick with OpenGL but use SDL for your API to create windows and get user input and everything.

There are many ways to go. You could use an existing engine like Torque or make your own. I think for a simple 2.5D game, you could easily make an engine in a short time. I started game programming just last fall and had a decent 2.5D engine going in less than 6 months. It's not too hard and there are many sources to help you get through it.

I'm no expert on this stuff (yet anyway Smile) but I'm usually around and available to help so feel free to email or instant message me with any questions.
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Post: #3
I happen to love cocoa, because of it's relative simplicity and ease of use. however, the message send overhang is ~~bad~~. Because of this, you can make nice games quickly, though inefficiently, though they won't exactly be halo. For big games, which I think is what you're looking at, use C (or C++, for wimps). Well, I probably got all of this wrong as usual, but there you go. game programing on the mac Smile

It's not magic, it's Ruby.
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Post: #4
Thank you for the replies. You have given me some good things to think about. I will go ahead and start learning OpenGL with Cocoa.
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Post: #5
Would like to point out that Unity has a scripting language that is very similar to Python, namely Boo. Syntax is basically the same...

I'm doing a 2.5D game in my spare time (jeezuz, after years of coding games in the bedroom, I'm now a professional game developer, yet somehow I still spend my evenings doing weird games) in Unity and it works a treat. I really like the ability to just focus and whack something together in a few hours.

* Discalimer: I'm one of the guys behind Unity, so I'm probably a 'bit' biased

Nicholas Francis
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Post: #6
Nicholas, thanks for the suggestion. I will have a look.
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Joined: 2005.01
Post: #7
I must say, Unity looks *really* freaking cool...

Cryptic Allusion Games / Cryptic Allusion, LLC
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