View Full Version : Whats the best game engine to be used with LW?

07-16-2004, 11:26 AM
I know Unreal 2003 was made with it, and DE is using with another game, while id used in DOOM, but those engine are way expensive.

Who knows a engine with a great LW integration and affordable?

07-16-2004, 12:58 PM
there's a lot of engines around... I'm still trying to figure out the kinks in 3impact engine... I can go to .x file from lightwave using a plugin listed over at flay, but then when importing in to the engine it lost texture somehow... I think it's doable, but I just need to figure it out more...

I've heard that doom used lightwave objects in their native .lwo file format.

07-16-2004, 04:48 PM
unreal 2k3 was not all lw
lw was used in alot of the modeling of static props by player models were still max

there is a exporter plugin for lw to unreal now and the unrealed has native support for lwo as static meshs but thats it really there arent very many engines that have exporters for lw
which is sad really

about the fastest way to use lw in gamedev is to get a conversion program aand then export from there or from xsi maya or max or even milkshape 3d

the unreal plug can be found here
it is a little trickey to get used to but it works if you have any problems let me know i have been useing that for about 2 years now

07-17-2004, 04:25 AM
I can recommend Torque (www.garagegames.com). Very affordable and a great community. There's a free and usable exporter available for LW though it does not support skeletal animation yet (the exporter is under active development so I wouldn't worry about that too much).

TGE (Torque Game Engine) is a lot more approachable than Unreal (which has become quite a beast) and you get full source code with your license (which is just 100 bucks!). Lots of improvements have been made to the engine and there's even a new rendering pipeline supporting shaders that can be purchased separately.

07-17-2004, 12:29 PM
game engine that was buil on LW technology (too bad noone from newtek team talk about that) is serious sam engine
www.serioussam.com from developers croteam, www.croteam.com... this company use lw from day 1 and has developed entire engine and tools to work in charm with lw... i hope they will get more attention by newtek otherwise.. i think we will lose one more game develop team that use lw....

07-17-2004, 03:14 PM
Look at NewTek's profile page and you'll see Croteam. Look at their promo stuff and you'll see Croteam. Look at their LW8 feature shots and you'll see Croteam stuff.

I'm convinced NewTek has good relations to Croteam and there's no danger of "losing one more game development team" except they decide some other 3D app to better fit the job.

07-19-2004, 07:27 AM

Are you using the Unreal export for UT2K4?

07-19-2004, 10:35 AM
I just had time to view the thread now...i heard about Torque before, but my friends in brazil find creating a specific engine could be better...but for 100 bucks is looks a big deal! Any suggestion about bones animation outside LW - it looks that milshape can handle lw animation?????
Here in Brazil the video cards market share is 80% of DX 7 cards (TNT2, GF2 and 4mx), so Im not thinking at a shaders as a "high quality" option.
This year, GFX5200/ATI9200 started to become popular, what give us a some good use for DX 8.
Oddly, U2k3/2k4 is one of the best sellers here, and have average high requirements
Fortress, I only know deep explorer for converting format, is there another else? We´re thinking in go LW only...$$$$ :) . Milkshake does the job? I downloadinf it anyway
Unreal engine, cryengine, valve´s source, doom, ....what a dream for our little team!!!!

07-19-2004, 10:54 AM
If you want to keep a straight pipeline, go for the Serious Sam engine or Unreal 2k3/2k4.

07-19-2004, 11:10 AM
Don't fall into this "create specific engine" trap. You'll be investing work into it forever and never get to the real stuff (making a game). Go for Torque. That's my advice. You'll have a proven (even though not 100% state of the art) engine and you'll have a considerable community where you can get lots of help and engine improvements for free.

Have to revise myself concerning that bones stuff when exporting from LW to Torque. It is supported, by now. Visit http://www.gnometech.com/lwdtsmain.shtml for details.

07-19-2004, 01:14 PM
Originally posted by Lamont
If you want to keep a straight pipeline, go for the Serious Sam engine or Unreal 2k3/2k4.

What do you mean for straight pipeline? Better workflow...sometimes I dont "catch" the ideias....

Ok, I have some news =

http://www.bloodshed.net/devcpp.html you find a free c ++ compiler (im not a programmer, but i think its used to build your code in *.exe, right?) and free!

Torque looks great, cost 100U$ per license. The shader engine is not ready right now (150 pre order - and 295 U$ when ready). But it seems it dont have physics system...

Unreal engine = 350.000 US + 3% revenue, or 750.000 US royalty-free License (for unreal2 engine, its not the 3rd one)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:eek:

Quake 1 - GPL/free, or 10.000 (... For example, if you distribute copies of such a program, whether gratis or for a fee, you must give the recipients all the rights that you have. You must make sure that they, too, receive or can get the source code. And you must show them these terms so they know their rights...a quote from the GPL deal)
Quake 2 - same
Quake 3 - 250,000 and 5% revenue

Impact 3d = looks good, 99 US

Seriousengine = $20,000.00 starting - I think maybes its the best partner to LW. The 2nd version is under way, and its really hot, so not cheap as any hitech engine

I guess Torque more appealing, has a super price and has Tribes1and 2 in its gallery...

07-19-2004, 01:25 PM
Originally posted by ardee
Have to revise myself concerning that bones stuff when exporting from LW to Torque. It is supported, by now. Visit http://www.gnometech.com/lwdtsmain.shtml for details.

Thanx for all the help ev´rybody! There´s 5-10 friends of mine who´re planning to join in a gaming dev adventure. :D
Well, i read that nowadays 2/3 of a game dev team are of 2d/3d artist, is that right? We have 2-3 program guys, one of them is a java master, but has his c++ skills.
The other guys are Photoshop/LW dudes ... no sound for now :(
Would you know some site that has sound clips, likes "crash", "thunder", you know....

07-19-2004, 04:25 PM
Are you looking to license the engine? Or just make a Mod?

07-19-2004, 04:27 PM
Originally posted by Lamont
If you want to keep a straight pipeline, go for the Serious Sam engine or Unreal 2k3/2k4. By this I mean, you take your LWO/LWS file and bring it right into the engine. No problems at all.

07-20-2004, 01:25 AM
But it seems it dont have physics system...

There seem to be efforts integrating ODE into Torque. Have a look at http://www.garagegames.com/mg/forums/result.thread.php?qt=8201.

For sound material, http://www.indiesfx.co.uk may be worth a visit. Another place to be looked at may be http://www.castlesmusic.com/cmpShop.php.

For your game, I really wish you all the best. Don't give up! Set yourself realistic goals and then go for it.

(Keep us updated :) )

Edit: It just occurred to me that Crack dot Com, when they were shutting down, released their game Golgotha that was still in production, to the public domain. A good source for free, quality sound effects, too. Just search the web.

07-20-2004, 10:43 AM
Thanx again to you all! LW has a great community!

Lamont, now I understood! But our budget cant reach those engines prices, and even its not our goal, such hitech source

People must understand that the game market here in Brazil is very different from US, Europe and Japan. Its a little like Asia market, without broadband.
There´s a lot of piracy here, so we´re "trying" to start a new project, and it must have a cheap price to suceed. But our major concern is now (since the Torque engine is almost chosen for our first try) is financial support, which is low for pc games here (java games biz for cel phones are popin up here)

We´re thinking in 3 options - racing game (using some famous city like Rio de Janeiro), FPS (something "like" Halo) or a plataform (like Mario 64). We´re searching for numbers and what kind of game could be better now. The localization is a must for us. And there´s
3 big publishers to contact...wow

Well, some interesting links to share :
http://jonathanclark.com/golgotha free engine, stop been develop in 2000

Irrlicht Engine, look good http://irrlicht.sourceforge.net/

http://www.ogre3d.org/ another good free engine

Tenenbrae 1/industri uses quake 1 source and per pixel lightnining, normal mapping, very cool
Tenebrae 2 use quake 3 maps

I really think that Torque is the one (big price) and I read the forum, very good things are being developed there
OpenAL http://webster.fh-hagenberg.at/staff/haller/openal/

LW export for directx 9,95 US and Demo http://www.nuclearglory.com/lw2dx.php

Open Dynamics Engine http://ode.org/

Tenebrae 1 uses quake 1 source, with better meshes, texture and, like doom 3, per pixel lightning and normal maaping
Tenebrae 2 uses quake 3 map http://industri.sourceforge.net/

07-20-2004, 11:49 AM
Here's the most comprehensive list I know of:


free to use any ways (COMMERCIAL OR NONCOMERCIAL) on Windows C++ or Visual C++without need to release source code (for us lazy folks that don't document well) .. i.e. basically MIT type license or even freer than that... appears to be:

golgotha http://jonathanclark.com/golgotha/ - note - based on an old version of Direct X...

Probba, http://portaldemo.narod.ru/index.html

VTK http://www.vtk.org/ BUT: What's UnCool About VTK
Not a super-fast graphics engine...VTK uses C++ dynamic binding and a device independent graphics model. READ - SLOW!!!

Jolt http://members.lycos.co.uk/jolt3d/ - COOL!

Traktor http://www.pepperoni.nu/ - it's got it's own script language... not sure if I like it yet...

Project Vision http://www.bertolami.com/projects.html - not sure if it's REALLY free or not - email address is on the download link, so I emailed the guy just now...

Reality Factory http://www.realityfactory.ca/v3/
NOTE: Use of Genesis3d with Reality Factory AS IT IS PROVIDED WITH RF is perfectly fine for commercial & non-commercial applications, only if you wish to remove the G3d logo on RF Startup do you require a seperate license. Basically if you keep the logo, you can do whatever you want with RF.
NOTE ALSO: these guys have their own INDIE game devolopment system - so you may want to get a hold of them some day if you make games...

retribution http://www.retributionengine.com/ - VERY OLD SCHOOL - think Quake 2

graphics 3d http://www.graphics3d.com/ - just a library...

Q http://www.qubesoft.com/q/engine.php

Titan http://talika.eii.us.es/~titan/titan/index.html

already mentioned once.. nebula http://nebuladevice.sourceforge.net

Bolt3D http://www.geocities.com/SiliconVal...7233/index.html

eng 32 aka Station 5 http://www.infrasoft.co.at/hn/

http://come.to/polygone - Beam, Blast 3d, Raytrace, Raywonder, Quake2 Viewer, Orion - You don't have to release sourcecode, but do need to give credit to original author... Give credit where credit is due...

and that about sums it up...

and uh.. as far as ode goes, 3impact is based on ode, but it has network capability, and a lot of other stuff that ode doesn't... http://www.3impact.com

uh, of the above, Nebula and Qube look like the ones that have the best support and look the best/easiest to use...

There's a mailing list for Q (Qube) I think... http://qdn.qubesoft.com/qdninfo/pricing.html shows the pricing - for windows it's free!.. uh, but the licensing looks a little awkward, so I'm not sure if you can make commercial products from Q without paying. --- EDIT - YES YOU CAN USE Q FOR FREE, BUT WITHOUT SUPPORT! : Q 1.1 for Windows is now available for download and use in products under licence (view full licence). Any non-commercial or commercial product can be build for Windows using Q at no cost.

Nebula has an plugin or something that works with Maya... It'd be AWESOME if some plugin writer could figure out how to get similar to work for Lightwave - probably not hard? I am not a programmer, so I'm not up to speed on this stuff...

but they all have some use if you learn them/use them... for instance golgatha has a lot of mp3s that you could remix with to get your own tunes, etc.

07-20-2004, 05:16 PM
I think if you play your cards right, you should get Torque ($500 USD per seat), write your own parser/export for LWO/LWS files.

Each programmer should have a copy and the artist should have a tool to visualize the assets in the engine and test. So using Torque's rendering techniques, you can write a small app that will load the files you need so they can see them, and make corrections.

That will save time for the programmers being bothered by artist to see assets in the engine... and vice versa.

07-20-2004, 07:15 PM
... Torque ($500 USD per seat) ...

It's $100 per programmer, not $500 per seat.

write your own parser/export for LWO/LWS files

No need to. LWDTS does the job just fine.

I think it's important to make a distinction between just nifty little graphics engines and full-blown game engines. Most engines mentioned above are just glorified renderers and not to be compared to Torque/Quake/Unreal/etc.

Cube, as I see it, is very new, not yet mature enough and not proven in retail.

Nebula really can stand in line with the other big game engines, though I think Torque is more approachable, easier to set up and has a greater number of resources (like exporters for almost all major 3D apps) available. That's just my opinion, though.

07-20-2004, 07:42 PM
That is one thing LW needs more of is intigration with Cg and HLSL. I mean all the other major packages has the support even C4d [I know C4d does now as I'm currently reading GPU Gems by NVIDIA]. I guess that would mean they would have to open up LW's API-- but that would be a good thing.

07-21-2004, 12:49 AM
Originally posted by ardee
It's $100 per programmer, not $500 per seat.I am thinking pro.. not Indie. (http://www.garagegames.com/pg/product/view.php?id=31)

07-21-2004, 08:37 AM
have Cube and Nebula sites in my browser now...very interesting, thx for the links. Ill already saw the Torque demo also, its looks cool.

Well, really the programmers will have more weight in the engine choice...they´ll crack their heads coding it! :)

Yeah, theres a lot of difference in render tech and a game engine...tenebrae is a great render tech for the quake 1 engine.

Tnx Lamont for the tip, artists requests will be fewer with that instant feedback - I hope the torque shader engine to be ease to use too.

Well, Torque is 500 US for companies whose sales surpasses 250.000 US, i cannot see any difference between the 'indie"
and "commercial" versions

Impact 3d has really great dynamics, but has no big name in its gallery (ours could be the 1st:D ) and LW integration is not so complete like Torque´s one.

WizCraker, i agree. Im not a programmer, but I see this kind of support is a feature that game devs serach/need

For example, one company here in Brazil has the 1st localized MMO, see it in www.erinia.com.br, im already in contact with them - they use max :rolleyes:, dont know about the engine. i just know about this MMO here and another one - a soccer team manager game - we have a great market here to exploit (of course we´re not planning any MMO)

07-21-2004, 10:48 AM
is it's very new... It just came out end of last year, and Leonard has updated it a few times since... now on version 3 I think... He's the main coder for it, nice guy really - pays a lot of attention to the forums at 3impact.com - You may have heard of 3drad before... http://www.3drad.com - he's the guy responsible for that engine... 3impact bought out 3drad from him, and as result he now works for them.

07-22-2004, 08:45 AM
Im testing now Qube, it looks interesting, but is limited and has no LW support. It has a "streaming tecnology" that really is great = something like Dungeon Siege, that make the games have less loadind and bigger scenaries. But is not so friendly like Torque.
Ill see Nebula Device 1 after it. Both engines open source, so just need time to see 'em.
Nebula 2 is a DX 9 engine on progress, but really looks good. The interfacee look 3D MAX :(
Also im already in the Torque forum to get info about formats, modeling, bump map and, ...= and they are very friendly there! Remembers me another forum i love so much....:rolleyes:

07-22-2004, 09:19 AM
I'm not a pro programmer, but I started a thread to put feelers out for those that are...

07-22-2004, 11:26 AM
Thx, that would help not only me, but LW community...I see all the engines i searched 99% had MAYA/MAX integration....

Well, I skip Nebula for now, and saw some tuts and files about 3Dimpact = it looks very simple to learn, has some great fx (particles, mirrors, etc) but it looks very limited, like we have to put/code a lot of features. But it has a very cool physics system, and its really great to play!
It seems yet that Torque is the most complete, cheap, better install base and friendly GUI. But qube is free and has streaming, and 3dimpact has great physics...let´s study more

07-22-2004, 03:54 PM
you sold me..... Just spent 100.00 on Torque... So now I have 3impact, 3d rad, Torque, Qube, Nebula, Golgotha, Traktor, Reality Factory, Lightwave, trueSpace, and a bunch of other stuff on the computer... time to make a game so that I can get some portion of this freaking money eater back... geesh... my computer is eating more money than slot machines do.

07-23-2004, 07:45 AM
Originally posted by meshmaster
you sold me..... Just spent 100.00 on Torque...

Heheheh Ill get my copy next week...Im really liked Qube...and im playing a little with 3d impact...but Torque is what we really need...

Well, I read the ground control 2 enterview, and they said they used Reel Motion, anyone knows something about it?

07-24-2004, 02:57 PM
Originally posted by caesar
Heheheh Ill get my copy next week...Im really liked Qube...and im playing a little with 3d impact...but Torque is what we really need...

Well, I read the ground control 2 enterview, and they said they used Reel Motion, anyone knows something about it?


07-26-2004, 07:23 AM
Originally posted by WizCraker

:D oops

07-26-2004, 12:36 PM
Ya know folks, maybe You should be clever guys and get BlitzBasic3D or DarkBasic.
Why ? Because: these two game languages allow for rapid prototyping of game ideas (which means: easy and fast way to create a first playable prototype to actually PLAY the game You are designing), have huge support comunities of very clever coders, have LW exporters, are cheap to buy and the results are quite good.
If You really want to create games for the mid- or low-budget market, then these engines are probably easier and faster to "get to work" than Torque and all the rest, PLUS, You can just code what You need and don't have to deal with things that You don't need.
Sure, its nice to have the newest shader technology, but it takes a considerable amount of work/time to actually create the content to exploit these shader effect, which, IMO, is not necessary for the low- or mid-budget market.
These games benefit from beeing casual and fun, not gorgeous looking.

07-26-2004, 12:55 PM
I might agree with you... but all the engines seem to be more or less aimed at the same market and have more or less the same great type of community... I like Torque for one reason above Dark Basic - you get full source code and it's pretty much able to be ported to a different platform easily... you can't do that with Dark Basic if it's based on Direct x.... also, Torque goes for 100.00 while DB is 150.00... the only time I'd have to upgrade Torque above that to the other more expensive liscense is if I make over 250k off the game I make with it, which probably won't happen, and if it does, so be it - with that sort of money 400.00 is a drop in the bucket to upgrade to commercial from indie...



07-27-2004, 01:02 PM
Originally posted by Emmanuel
Ya know folks, maybe You should be clever guys and get BlitzBasic3D or DarkBasic....PLAY the game You are designing),... LW exporters, are cheap to buy and the results are quite good.

THX!!! I took a real fast look at these 2 engine, but I didnt see had LW support in their site, ... the ability to play without compiling is great...

What about this DarkPro, whats the difference?

I didnt got Torque yet, but still it looks #1 for me...

08-06-2004, 06:21 PM
Caesar, before you go buy Torque, buy a book called "3D Game Programing All In One". You can find it on Amazon.com. It looks like that book comes with a copy of the Torque engine to test out, but no licence.

08-07-2004, 11:47 AM

it might not be advertised on the BB forums (I guess it is somewhere though), but there is a pretty good exporter from LW-->Blitz3D that supports the material(s), UV-maps, bone animation, hierarchical animation, null objects.So basically, all You need :)
I only can say that it works, I use it for a low- to mid-range aimed game.
So far, no problems that could not be solved.
And Blitz3D is indeed versatile and fast, prototyping is a joy (it took us 2 weeks to get a working environment to test our objects/gameplay in) and the community is top.
The most important factor when developing for that segment is that the game is "instant fun", and therefore it is so important to be able to test the gameplay as soon as possible, because certain things need more work than others, and nothing is worse than developing something without knowing how it actually is at the end.
The cool thing with Blitz3D in my eyes is, as I said, You have the advantage of "programming from scratch" without the overhead C-programming usually requires, and You don't have to licence an engine where You have to get used to, first, because You *program from scratch*, so You don't have to deal with engine problems per se. Basic is fast, easy and lets You get things moving rapidly, which is good for the moral of the developer(s) :)
But then, our programmer is also a genious, so that has an influence, too.

08-07-2004, 05:01 PM
Ahh...the old Engine debate.

I would go along with DarkBasic or Bliz3D for prototyping. If you're going further, then I would write your own - but it depends how serious you are about it!!

LWO files are remarkably simple to parse, being just IFF's, and that gets you up and running with normal geometry real quick.

After that textures/materials are fairly simple, then vertex colours are simply an extension.

As I said... depends how serious you are :D

08-09-2004, 11:41 AM
Somnambulance, I didnt found the book you told about...but anyway, im not a programmer....thx gosh ;)

O goodness, my time nowadays are not being "lived", it´s being consumed by job...I download a lot of trials, but i coundnt see more of bitz or darkbasic

Some of the team is busy in personal jobs (well, the programmers guys indeed) so, Im just making my usual 3d research in contact with the others 2d/3d artists progress.

We´re very amazed by the high standard set with doom 3, and many high quality games today...the "instant fun" feature is really a must....but I´d love to work with normal mapeed characters and scene, it would allow so great detail!!!

08-09-2004, 01:57 PM
hi all !
just to say , doom3 engine is great 3d engine , the workflow of the editor iis wonderfull
With Lightwave you can create all static mesh and include this in your level
juste a little mistake :/
you can't animate character with lw,... there are blender, Maya and 3dsmax MD5 exporter but nothing for lightwave :(

08-09-2004, 04:06 PM
Ceasar, I give You a good advice which You might consider or not:
forget about that normal mapping stuff.
I might be wrong, but the amount of work necessary to actually produce the content of a game is *much* too high when You really start building high res stuff which is needed for at least the characters.
If You start that normal mapping stuff, You are obliged to use it for everything in the game or the quality will suffer, and You will actually be compared to the big guys, because if You don't go all the way, Your game will look ugly.
There are so many beautiful games that don't have normal mapping that You have enough competition with those alone.
If You try to compete with Doom3 or FarCry, You can only loose.

08-09-2004, 05:05 PM
Cesar, I am on chapter 4 of that book, and it is aimed at people who dont know how to program (or modeling, texturing, etc.). Here is a link to the book. (http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/159200136X/103-2415179-8619028?v=glance) Besides, $33.99 is cheaper and easier than to get the licence and engine from GarageGames.com, even if you are going to throw the book away.

I have several years experience programing in visual basic and I would not have even known where to get started in Torque without this book. It goes through all the processes of making a game, not just programing.


nevermind, none of the soruce code is on the CD, so you would still have to buy a licence.

08-10-2004, 10:35 AM
Thx for the hints/advices.
Well, I didnt thought about going "all-the-way" normal mapping a game...oh, well, maybe too expensive, too much manpower...
The book looks so great/complete, I think ill get a personal copy!

08-10-2004, 09:37 PM
We are using the Torque Engine. You can't beat it feature and price wise. Lightwave Dave over at Gnometech has upgraded the exporter recently, for mac anyways... Our LW animated models work just fine. Of course it doesn't hurt that our programmer is awesome at building resources to enhance the package.. :cool: