Saturday, February 06, 2010

Open Source 3D Game Engines Updates

Crystal Space 1.4 is out. Features include improved animations ("integrating vertex based animation with skeletal animation") and terrain ("improves rendering and handling of large outdoor areas"), OpenAL for sound and an internationalization plug-in.

Engine screenshots are very informative. This is Panda3D by the way.

Panda3D has a prettier website, it released version 1.7.0 and apparently has a web-plug in. The new version makes it easier to crash the computer, but also gives a performance boost - with the magic of 'pointer textures'.

I have a little crush on Panda3D, because it gives access to 3D and audio with no complicated setting up through a scripting language (Python). On the other hand it requires 3D models to be in its own format and I find converting not very convenient. For example there have been problems importing animations into Radakan.

OGRE mascot

Ogre has a mascot, and it might even become freely licensed, somebody just needs to confirm this (by posting in the thread). :)

Besides that, 1.7.0 RC1 has been released, which is licensed under MIT license (before, it was LGPL). Here's what seems like a changelog.

OGRE wikis
Furthermore, the OGRE wiki moves from MediaWiki to TikiWiki. I suspect that a main reason is because a nicer OGRE style was made for TikiWiki, while the MediaWiki OGRE style looks bad. That may be a strange reason, but as long as it makes people use the wiki more, why not? Here's the discussion if you have an idea.

Just for kicks: a simple comparison of OGRE, Panda and Crystal regarding lines of code. What does it tell us? Well, that OGRE has the biggest codebase (even though it only handles graphics), that Panda3D is the most compact of the tree and that Crystal Space code size had strange ups and downs. Nothing more really.

Kambi VRML v2.0 is soon to be released, as is the final version of the demo game Castle (which will only mean additional eye candy to the game). What is more important, as soon as Castle 1.0 is released, work will start on Castle 2.

Castle 1 is a three-level game and I consider it hard (easy to die) and its controls to be rough. On the other hand the level design is great: the layout invites exploration the levels are linear, each with a goal to be reached. This way the levels actually are part of a game, rather than an open-ended tech demo. This is why I have a good feeling about Castle 2.0 already. Depending on whether the developers decide to work on Castle 2 on their own or to ask the community for contributions, we might see some more use of their forum.

Morrowind scroll loaded in OpenMW
OpenMW, the Morrowind engine implementation in OGRE switched from D to C++ (because of compiler availability and language popularity) and from svn+git to git-only (because of git-svn problems). Git clone instructions here. The next feature to be implemented are animations. A video was promised as soon as they are ready.

Old news: OpenGameEngine development stopped in October 2009, until a project manager wants to take over. The form in which the project is left is described as "usable" and "still too much work to make it worth the time investment".

Enjoy another ridiculous comparison of 3D (game) engines: OpenMW, KambiVRML and OGE. I just love diagrams. :)

We have a list of 3D engines on our wiki, if you want to dig some more. Also all FOSS game engine blogs that have feeds are included in the FGD development planet feed aggregator.