The top 10 game engines as selected by Develop starts today with Torque 3D. We will be revealing a new entrant to the list every day for the next two weeks, so keep checking back to see which other tech providers you should be looking at for your next project…
Platforms: PC, Mac, Xbox 360, Wii, iPhone, PS3, PSP
Browser support: Yes
Cost: PC/Mac/Web: $1,000 (indie, unlimited projects); $4k+ (studio licence, unlimited projects). iPhone: $500+ per seat. Console: undisclosed.
Published titles: Penny Arcade Adventures, Fallen Empire: Legions, Buccaneer, Dreamlords, Marble
Titles in development: Unannounced titles from EA, Bioware, Ubisoft and more
Middleware integrations: FMOD, PhysX, ODE, Pixomatic, pureLIGHT
The latest generation of GarageGames’ Torque engine, the slightly anachronistically-named Torque 3D, is gearing up to take back some of the market share that the firm – admittedly one of the very first companies to dual-target the indie/hobbyist and professional markets – has lost to competitors of late.
With a proven tech backbone that’s already available on multiple consoles – with PSP and PS3 set to join the crowd later this year – the focus for Torque 3D is the toolset. “It’s been completely overhauled, and we’ve focused particularly on the content pipeline for ease-of-use and iteration,” says the company’s Brett Seyler.
As such, as well as a robust COLLADA import pipeline, all assets are updated live in-engine from external tools, allowing for zero-second asset iteration. The world editor has also been completely rewritten, offering advanced editors for materials, decals and, most interestingly, rivers and roads.
That doesn’t mean that high-end graphical effects have been overlooked, though. The lighting model has been upgraded to a hybrid lighting model which it calls ‘light pre-pass rendering’ that the firm says is ‘similar to CryEngine’s’, supporting advanced effects such as screen-space ambient occlusion and light rays, soft particles and advanced wetness and precipitation shaders.
Although high-end features are a focal point for Torque 3D, the company is still putting as much focus as ever on low-end hardware, specifically netbooks, citing good performance on Intel 950 chipsets. The mass-market penetration is also targeted with the engine’s new Web Publishing features, based on technology GarageGames developed for its InstantAction web portal, which offers native performance through browsers.
Click here to read Develop’s new overview of the current state of the game engine development sector, which will be updated every day with links to all those that make the top 10.