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(indie) RPG engines

Discussion in 'Codex Workshop' started by Q, May 22, 2008.

  1. Q Augur Patron

    Q
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2
    What free 2D engines, suited for RPGs are there in the net? All right, FIFE is the one, but are there any good alternatives? Please list them with their strong and weak points.
     
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  2. Flux_Capacitor Augur

    Flux_Capacitor
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    A couple questions:

    - What programming language(s) are you familiar with and/or which ones would you like to use?
    - How much development experience do you have?
    - Are you looking for any specific set of features, such as scene management, collision detection, alpha blending, sprite rotation, etc.?
    - Do you want access to the source? Do you want any particular license (eg. LGPL, BSD)?
    - Are they any set of included tools that you would like or need, such as a map editor?
    - Does the engine need to rely specifically on 2D techniques (ie blitting) for rendering? I understand that you want your game to be 2D, but emulating a 2D environment within a 3D engine is usually quite easy. Generally, this is how most 2D engines work, in order to take advantage of hardware and some special effects.

    Here's a pretty good list of engines, and their capabilities:
    http://gpwiki.org/index.php/Game_Engines

    To that list I would probably also add SDL (Simple DirectMedia Layer) and PyGame. They are a bit lower level, but they do have some good functionally for just 2D games. Neither seem to have gotten much development attention lately, but both are well known, and a lot of people have some experience with at least one of them. Pyglet is another that is similar, but seems to have a nicer feature set. Its also quite a bit newer, so I don't believe it has a large community yet.

    I've heard pretty good things about both HGE and the Popcap Framework, but I've only taken a cursory look at them. I've used OGRE a fair amount, but it might be a bit heavy-weight for what you are looking for. I also took a good look at Panda3D, but again, it may be too much.

    Depending on what you want to do, you may may also want to look at FRUA (Forgotten Realms Unlimited Adventures) and Dungeon Craft. They're definitely more on the tool end of the spectrum, and allow you to develop games similar to the old SSI Gold Box games.

    For the most part, you're probably going to have to bite the bullet, and try out some of the engines yourself. Everybody has a different style and need, so picking an engine will mostly be about how you feel about each of them, where you feel you can compromise, and what you can put up with.
     
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  3. mirrorshades Liturgist

    mirrorshades
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  4. Saint_Proverbius Administrator Patron

    Saint_Proverbius
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    You could try Construct, which is a game making software thingy. It's freeware last I checked.

    If you're going to make a CRPG, it's probably better to use something that isn't specifically driven for making CRPGs since things like RPGMaker and the like tend to force a few of their own concepts on the user as part of their code. It's better to script up the character attributes and definite them as you see fit as opposed to the game just giving you a premade character system that you're stuck with.

    I believe Construct even does 2D physics as well.
     
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  5. MisterStone Arcane

    MisterStone
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    Whoa, cool... has anyone here played Haxima from beginning to end?
     
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  6. Q Augur Patron

    Q
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    Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Torment: Tides of Numenera Divinity: Original Sin 2
    Thanks to all. I will consult on this matter with the team programmer when he will have more free time...
     
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  7. OsirisGod Scholar

    OsirisGod
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    I am about to check Panda3D wich is more of a 3D Game Engine but also has 2D , i also think 2D is a thing an indie should avoid since it requires more work on the graphical side , 3D is more productive for a small team as silly as it
    might sounds.This one is a wrapper in python and the libs
    are in C++ but can also be used with CXX but the docs
    for that are scarce now. It's open source and was developed by Disney and Carnegie Mellon university i think and has a few commercial games made with it to
    date. Seems to be the fastest production grade kit out
    there that unlike the GameMaker type of software does
    not come with any concept limits and offers a lot of freedom and flexibility.

    Also microsoft apparentlly released a full game dev kit
    for Visual C++ Express , called DARK GDK wich has 2D
    and 3D and a lot of other features if u got a C++ or C#
    coder.
     
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  8. Mareus Magister

    Mareus
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  9. OldSkoolKamikaze Arcane Patron

    OldSkoolKamikaze
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    Codex 2012 Codex 2013 Codex 2014 PC RPG Website of the Year, 2015 Codex 2016 - The Age of Grimoire Make the Codex Great Again! Serpent in the Staglands Dead State Divinity: Original Sin Project: Eternity Torment: Tides of Numenera Wasteland 2 Shadorwun: Hong Kong Divinity: Original Sin 2 BattleTech Pillars of Eternity 2: Deadfire
    Mareus, you're an awesome poster.
     
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  10. This thread should be stickied.
     
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  11. Kz3r0 Arcane Sad Loser

    Kz3r0
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  12. Aikanaro Liturgist

    Aikanaro
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    Not an engine - but there's a really nice library called libtcod (or The Doryen Library - not entirely sure which is the proper name) for making colourful ASCII games. There's a few components in it that are specifically for roguelikes but would fit easily with a cRPG.

    But yeah - it's not an engine, and you'd have to code plenty yourself to get it where you want it.
     
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  13. I mentioned this in another thread, but Xconq is a very mature open source strategy game engine. If someone were to tinker with the source code, I'm sure that RPG-specific features could be added.
     
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  14. SilasMalkav Educated

    SilasMalkav
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    I'm currently using XNA with the RPG starter kit. The kit is basically a jRPG shell (with battles done on a different screen than the world view) and comes with xml based characters and quests, and a few sets of sprite files. So far I've hacked it apart so that I can have a cursor and have the fighting done on the world screen. That only took me a couple of hours, and you can customise it to your heart's content since it's basically just a wrapper for directx. Tonight i'll be mucking around with selecting characters and moving them like in Neverwinter Nights.
     
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  15. Mojo Scholar

    Mojo
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    A question for those that follow FIFE development: How good, stable and up to date is is the engine up till now? Can you actually put a game together using it or do you need to wait untill the final version?

    Also, I would reccomend the Wintermute engine for an adventure/rpg hybrid or for developing a game in the vein of Darklands or King of Dragon Pass. It's easy to use, stable and it does the trick.

    http://dead-code.org/home/
     
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  16. I think at this time it's still just a kind of donateware tech demo. Not 100% sure, though.
     
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  17. bbr Novice

    bbr
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    RPG Maker XP
    Free to try and play around with, and quite decent.

    Full version is only 19 dollar I think, unless you can borrow a copy from a friend.
     
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  18. SCO Arcane In My Safe Space

    SCO
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    Shadorwun: Hong Kong
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  19. Apoc_Tao Novice

    Apoc_Tao
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    Well, no free engine is really worth the hassle. Trust me on this one. If you are really serious about wasting your time developing a game, you should fork out a few bucks. There are a lot of professional engines with decent price tags.

    I recommend C4. I've been working with it for over a year and I can assure you the price asked for it is really worth it. The code is clean, the documentation is complete and there's great support. The engine developer (Eric Lengyiel), actually reads his customer base demands and follows to implement. He actually implemented a few of my requests, believe it or not!

    You should really be careful though. There are a lot of overhyped engines that SUCK. I actually wasted a few months on Torque before moving to C4. That engine is a *nightmare*. Never trust any engine that has forums exclusive to license owners. You can never read the cries of horror from your poor fellow developers when the con is pulled that way around.
     
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  20. mvBarracuda Augur

    mvBarracuda
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    I'm Ridin' with Biden I'm Ridin' with Biden
    Hmm he was asking for 2d engines and you recommend a 3d one :) While I was hearing a _lot_ of good things about the C4 engine recently (check out this thread for example: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums ... _id=539070) it's not really what he's asking for. Working with a 3d engine adds some extra complexity to game creation that might be not what indie developers who start out are looking for.

    Do you have any proposals for commercial 2d engines that are worth taking a look into? Preferably with Linux support. Judging from my personal experience it's often a lot easier to find good Linux-based programmers but that might be due the nature of the projects that I'm involved in (open source development).
     
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  21. Lycaon Novice

    Lycaon
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    To be brutally honest you shouldn't be hiring or whatever programmers solely because they are on linux. If you're going cross-platform using a particular library, then it should be transparent enough that there is -no- Unix/Windows specific code. That just makes it a bitch when you do go cross platform, or when something changes on said platform.

    Tbh, I don't find abstracting 2D in a 3D engine all that difficult - it usually means you can do fancy stuff like better particle effects or 3d terrain (i.e hills and crap).

    But yeah, if you don't mind lower-level stuff try SDL/Allegro/etc which are all rather nice [allegro is more C-oriented, but still]. HGE is nice but windows-only. Also heard things about the popcap framework, old as it probably is.
     
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  22. Argosy Novice

    Argosy
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    If you're not looking to make a marketable retail product, and have a bit of coding skillz, it shouldn't be that hard to drum one up using a a library cabable of handling the loading of audio/graphics content, scanning input, and blitting bitmaps to the screen. GDI+, DirectX, SDL, and XNA are all pretty accessible(for 2D at least).
     
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  23. Yeah, we really need to corner that server admin market. :roll:
     
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