TBBScorpion asks: "Lately I have been investigating 3D game engines. I was mostly paying attention to open source engines like Ogre3d, Irrlicht, Crystal Space 3D, and the like. Then I found out about cheap Indie licenses for commercial game engines like Torque Game Engine ($150), Torque Game Engine Advanced ($295) and the C4 Engine ($200 + free upgrades). I found a list of top commercial and open source game engines at devmaster.net in case anyone is interested (I didn't want to take the time to list all the engines, but there are more good ones that I did not list on this page). Now for my questions. Now, here's my dilemma. Which of the engines are worth investing in? Should I buy an indie license or hold out for open source? Or should I start with an indie engine and switch later if open source catches up?"
However, there is Torque Game Engine Advanced (TGEA) which adds shader support, the Atlas terrain paging feature, and a few other nice features, but since is DirectX9 based it is no longer cross-platform. I have also heard rumors about support for the engine to be a little on the lacking side, yet the Torque community seems to be rather large compared to other commercial engines. Are the complaints just from people who don't really know how to program expecting to be able to edit the C++ of the game engine, or are capable people really having trouble? I've heard rumors about stability of TGEA compared to TGE? For those of you who have used TGE or TGEA, would you recommend it over other engines?
The C4 Engine looks nice as well, but seems to be under active development and less mature, but might it potentially be a more modern game engine? Also, it supports Windows XP and Mac OS X, which is better then just Windows.
Here are the features I am hoping for are: a cross-platform engine, if possible; modern shader support; a built-in terrain paging system; and model, material and animation import from Blender 3d.
When it comes to the open source engines like Ogre3D, the main thing that seems to be lacking is the built-in editors, and at least Ogre3D is currently mostly a graphics engine rather then a complete game engine (i.e. physics built-in; does provide wrappers for ODE and other physics engines). My assumption is that is just a matter of time before Ogre3D and other engines catch up with the top Indie commercial engines?
Lastly, I will be using the game engine for not only making games, but for some scientific applications as well. Also, I started using C++ 10 years ago and have been using Python since January 2002, so I'm ready to dive into the engine code."