Posts Tagged ‘torque’
Torque 3D is out of beta and officially released to the world. Torque was one of the first indie affordable game engines and they continue that work at Garage Games with a web enabled Torque 3D output much like the Unity 3D player.
The pipeline is not yet as streamlined as as Unity 3D as Torque has many legacy formats and components such as DTS models, DIF interiors and DSQ animation files that are specific to the Torque Engine. But they have added support for COLLADA models and the community is strong for Torque 3D. Also, since Torque 3D is built on an older engine but updated for modern uses, the file formats and loading is streamlined for low poly and web based games that need small asset sizes but still have quality.
Like Unity 3D there are many paths to truly get your game published and available to many platforms from desktop on Windows and Mac to web players in all major browsers (and iPhone, Wii and XBox with more $$$). This is an amazing time in game development.
When I initially got into heavier game development in early 2003 after moving from Half-life to Unreal and then the affordable Torque, there were two major things missing, a web player export and a good editor with intellisense. Torque 3D provides the web player export and Torsion is a great IDE for TorqueScript beyond using Visual Studio or XCode for C++ source editing.
Some really nice tools include the River Editor and Road and Path editor that complement the great terrain editor and scene and asset editors that make production fairly quick in the Torque tool chain.
Road and Path Editor
The good news is there is now two quality toolsets in Unity 3D and Torque that for about $1500 you can get a good pipeline and engine that will enable you to create great immersive games for many platforms and the web. If you got the skills the platforms are there to get your game out to the world whichever platform you choose. Similarly to the Flash vs Silverlight vs Canvas progress, with competition in this area it will keep both platforms innovating and supporting developers needs first.
For more immersive games that require hardware rendering beyond Flash capabilities Unity 3D and Torque 3D are now here for your creations.
Electronic Arts is using Unity 3D to develop Tiger Woods Online. The game is currently in beta. It was announced that they were using the engine in June on their blog but only on the reposted version here not the original post where the engine was just deemed “new technology”.
This is a major shift in the game industry and how it is being expanded into online properties that rival or better the console and desktop versions through online communities. Quake Live from id software uses their own system that wraps existing games (originally developed by Gaim Theory then bought by id Software) and instant action technology from garage games that runs instant action. All these systems have provided us browser based triple AAA style gaming fun. It looks like that movement will continue as more and more game companies and publishers see the valid capabilities of Unity 3D to deliver when you need really deeply immersive 3d experiences in the browser. Also other systems like Torque 3D, Quake Live technology and more will be seeing this trend continue when it comes to games online. It is also becoming a choice for online web based 3d MMOs such as Fusion Fall and Marvel Super Hero Squad.
Torque3D seems to have full featured browser surfaces that you can use in the 3d engine seamlessly, see the video below (at :38). This is amazing stuff.
Making games that integrate content from the web is especially required these days. It is a difficult thing to do within the 3d render because of all the plugins, styling etc that needs to be rendered on a 3d surface. Well Torque3D has a killer feature in that it supports entirely full features browser render on a 3d surface. So now you can integrate html content, flash video etc in your game easily.
You can play content in flash player content easily and have stripped down html but it is limited, you can play videos and have content in Unity3d but it is limited, even larger engines like Unreal 3 have difficulty handling flash and html content. If this is a good implementation Torque3D has a killer feature on their hands! Flash is commonly used as user interface elements and content within games but it can be challenging. This is pretty exciting if it works as advertised. Think of how cool all the little consoles, mini-games and controls in 3d games could be in flash easily.
See at :38 in the video…
It appears Torque3D is going to compete with Unity3D in a browser based 3d plugin front with a Torque3D toolset and pipeline that target the web.
They announced this on gamasutra recently on how instantaction and torque3d technology is similar yet different. InstantAction is an engine wrapper where the web plugin for Torque3D is more tighly coupled with the Torque3D engine. Instantaction.com technology allows you to wrap an existing game engine for the web which is a competitor with the gaimtheory engine that is used on quakelive.com.
I have been a garage games torque developer and member since 2003 and worked/bought with each engine they have put out from the old school Torque Engine, to Torque Engine Advanced for various game development projects and now they are throwing in on what appears to be based on their instantaction.com technology but using the Torque3D engine. This is very interesting, they might even have a channel/appstore to release games on instantaction.com?
So I went to mods in HL (quake 2 engine), Unreal and when I realized there was no way me or my friends could foot the license fees of either engine we went to Torque in 2003. It was great, large terrains and highly compact engine because it had to run Tribes with 64 players years before anyone else approached 64 players and arguably still played better than 64 player fps now. It was affordable. I have been interested in the movements to make torque an active x control in 2005/6 and Think Tanks did just that. It was very nice, I thought soon after it would be everywhere. But it has taken until now and a new engine called Torque3D before this has been realized years later. This is hard stuff to get right creating a plugin that works cross browser and performs well (browsers had to catch up as well). The culmination of that technology progression has happened and 3d on the web for game development appears to be bigtime in 2009.
For 3d, prior to Unity3D, the web was still owned by Director but that has changed in the last few years. It won me over for immersive 3d games that are web capable and able to port to other platforms and markets. Casual is still done with Flash and mobile space is targeting iphone. Unity3D can run on web, iPhone, Wii, desktop. Torque3D can run on web and also has paths to desktop, iPhone, Wii, XBOX360. You see what is happening here? It is very cool indeed. No doubt the competition in this area is getting to a point where some good innovation and happenings are taking place, what are you going to do with it?