Torque

Jones
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Post: #1
This has probably been asked before, but certain posts on this forum have caused me to reconsider what I've read.

When I see a new thread with somebody asking where to start in game development I always see Unity suggested, along with BlitzBasic and TNT. But not so much Torque. Why not? Torque is cheaper than Unity, and gives you a better license agreement.

Is something *wrong* with torque? Would I be wrong in buying it? I'd rather write my 3D engine myself, which is what I'm doing (and will continue to do so), but I'm inspecting other ventures (a side project of sort) that will give results faster and prevent me from going crazy. Grin

So, torque?
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Luminary
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Joined: 2002.04
Post: #2
There are no Mac editing tools for it. It may be fine if you use Windows, but it's next to useless as a development tool on a Mac.
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Jones
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Post: #3
Aahh, that I did *not* know. Now I understand. It's cheaper because it has to compete *solely* with TGC and such.

EDIT: But you *can* compile it with xCode. That is a plus.
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⌘-R in Chief
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Joined: 2002.05
Post: #4
The only external editing tools you need are a object modeling package (Blender is the best supported of _any_ tool on any platform) and an "interior" modeler for making large objects (with bsp data etc), typically for buildings, caves, etc... That's it. Blender obviously exists on Mac OS X and Radiant does work as an interior modeler though not many people use it simply because most people just find a Windows machine and use whatever they like best.

Since the interior modeler is something that really should be specific to Torque itself, some developers have been working on a tool called Torque Constructor which is just that. It's written from the ground up on the Torque Core code so it's cross platform. It's apparently quite close to being released, and when it is there's absolutely no excuse to not use Torque because "there aren't any tools."

As is, it's still hardly next to useless.

[Image: ConstructorBeta2.jpg]
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Joined: 2002.12
Post: #5
OneSadCookie Wrote:There are no Mac editing tools for it. It may be fine if you use Windows, but it's next to useless as a development tool on a Mac.

With the modern Intel Macs and the availability of software such as Parallels and Boot Camp the lack of Mac content editing tools is not such an obstacle to developing with Torque.

If you are spending the money on Torque then the the little extra to buy a copy of Windows is not that much of an issue.
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Jones
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Post: #6
Well... that's a debatable. Torque is 100$ (US, I assume.) and windows XP is 120$. It seems strange to basically pay for torque *twice* to use it, not to mention buying a PC.

But I already have a PC and Windows XP, so I just need torque and I'm set. Smile

Aside from OS issues, is it any good? (Fast to develop? Stable and speedy rendering, easy expandability (could a write a plugin for torque) ? Anybody have experience with it? I'd appreciate hearing your first hand knowledge of it before I buy.)

Thanks!

(Also, are there any unexpected limitations with the indie version?)
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Post: #7
Jones Wrote:Aside from OS issues, is it any good? (Fast to develop? Stable and speedy rendering, easy expandability (could a write a plugin for torque) ? Anybody have experience with it? I'd appreciate hearing your first hand knowledge of it before I buy.)
Expect a learning curve of 3 months before you get anything really going. That's what their developer said, at least. I know they sell a book too, so maybe that would help. The rendering is really outdated. Their shader stuff is Windows only and isn't really out yet. (Early adopter stuff) Torque games crash on both of my Macs, but that's not a very scientific view of stability... just what I see. A plugin is irrelevant as you have the complete source code.

I don't know of anyone on iDevGames who actually use Torque, they have just bought it and poked at it for a while. (Feel free to link me to a build of someone who has)

-Jon
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #8
You don't need to write plugins because you have all of the source code. The indie version is exactly the same as the commercial version, you just to pay the extra $395 if you sell more than $250,000. That's the only difference.
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #9
aarku Wrote:I know they sell a book too, so maybe that would help.

I have the book, and flipping through it, it's quite nice. I just wish I had time to read it.


Quote:Their shader stuff is Windows only and isn't really out yet. (Early adopter stuff)

For the record, that's Torque Shader Engine which is an entirely re-written code base. OpenGL support is coming in 1.1. As for TGE, there have been a number of people who have modified it adding shaders and dynamic lighting (there's actually a $50 thing you can get to add it on really easily). That aspect of Torque kinda sucks, but it's not a killer. Anyway, also, transitioning from TGE to TSE (when that's all done and pretty it'll be the new "standard" engine) won't be too difficult because the engines share a lot of the same interface design.

Quote:Torque games crash on both of my Macs, but that's not a very scientific view of stability... just what I see.

Odd. I've never had any of them crash...


Quote:I don't know of anyone on iDevGames who actually use Torque, they have just bought it and poked at it for a while. (Feel free to link me to a build of someone who has)

I know there was at least one guy who had it but I don't know if he did anything with it. I've owned it for years but haven't had the time to use it. There is, however, a lot of people on the GG forums that use it.
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Post: #10
FreakSoftware Wrote:For the record, that's Torque Shader Engine which is an entirely re-written code base. OpenGL support is coming in 1.1. As for TGE, there have been a number of people who have modified it adding shaders and dynamic lighting (there's actually a $50 thing you can get to add it on really easily). That aspect of Torque kinda sucks, but it's not a killer. Anyway, also, transitioning from TGE to TSE (when that's all done and pretty it'll be the new "standard" engine) won't be too difficult because the engines share a lot of the same interface design.
They only have one Mac guy at Garage Games as far as I know. I met him and he's a nice guy (he put up with me) but he seems really overloaded. OpenGL support doesn't mean Mac support and he didn't seem too optimistic. There is tons of work one needs to do to support the wonderful weird OS / Graphics Card combos, which I think is something big you want out of an engine, as it is really horrible work to do yourself in my opinion.

-Jon
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Post: #11
Jones Wrote:Aside from OS issues, is it any good? (Fast to develop? Stable and speedy rendering, easy expandability (could a write a plugin for torque) ? Anybody have experience with it? I'd appreciate hearing your first hand knowledge of it before I buy.)
I still have Torque CVS access (got a free license for beta testing the Mac version) but I haven't checked it out in a while. The last time I tried, it didn't build out of the box - that's a big problem IMHO, since you can't just get down to making your game. I also don't like the scripting language much (it's too C++-ish) and if you need to make engine modifications you'll need good C++ knowledge and spend a few weeks going over the code - the engine source is BIG....

From a development standpoint on Mac OS X Torque is pretty blah. Most if not all Mac Torque games are developed on Windows and ported after the fact - with good reason.
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Jones
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Post: #12
Yeah, it seems like they give you something limited in some ways and then ask you to pay more to get your limitations fixed. Sounds familiar... [cough]The Game Creators[/cough].

Well, nevermind that then.

Back to work!
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⌘-R in Chief
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Post: #13
Frank C. Wrote:I still have Torque CVS access (got a free license for beta testing the Mac version) but I haven't checked it out in a while. The last time I tried, it didn't build out of the box - that's a big problem IMHO, since you can't just get down to making your game.

The only issue is some funky thing having to do with CVS sucking and you just have to run a command line thing on some libraries. After that it builds fine.
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Member
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Post: #14
FreakSoftware Wrote:The only issue is some funky thing having to do with CVS sucking and you just have to run a command line thing on some libraries. After that it builds fine.
Well, I gotta give the Torque guys kudos - I did a fresh check out and the PPC target compiles with no fuss (the Xcode targets fix the frameworks automagically). I do get a crapload of undefined symbols for the Intel target though, something to do with blender.o - haven't looked into it further...

EDIT: The UB target in the pre-packaged SDK builds fine, but the CVS code definitely builds a nicer Mac app. It would be nice if CVS commits were tested a bit more before being promoted to the trunk...

They've cleaned up a lot of Mac stuff for the UB update, and although I still see some performance problems on OS X (that never affected the defunct OS 9 version) the engine has come a long way since I last played around with it. I'm not sure the Xcode "getting started.txt" is accurate - as far as I can tell the PPC targets require 10.3.9 not 10.2 for example but overall the Mac SDK/code is much improved. There are some deprecated functions still in the mix and the targets could use a bit of clean up - they're still linking with DrawSprocket for some reason, but I don't think it's actually used.

I still don't like the scripting language - my opinion of course so take that however ya like - and the Mac is still somewhat of a second class citizen with no Tourque Shader Engine, and iffy tools, but if you can run tools on Windows and know your way around Xcode and C++ it's not a bad deal for $100.
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JohnWallice
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Post: #15
I have a Torque license. I really tried to like it but the problem is that there are no tools available on the mac to actually use it. I know there are many people on this forum who are pretty bitter about having wasted their 100$ on torque.

1. No tools on the mac, which means you will always need a pc at some point to create your game.
2. The source code is a complete mess. They say themselves it takes around 8 months to learn torque. And even once you learned all about it, it's still hard to find your way around in it.
3. Support sucks. They don't attempt to answer the tough questions. Their mentality when you run into a bug is, if it breaks you get to keep both pieces.


So my first point is. Whatever you choose, don't waste your money on torque. You will regret it.
Is there anyone who has actually created a game with torque completely on a mac? I dont think.

Second point. Unity is extremely good. I don't really know how to describe it but it just works. The whole way of how you script and how you make behaviours, is so straightforward, and especially effective. Unity is really just in a completely different category than any other game development tool i have tried so far. They even won an apple design award runner up, which just goes to prove how extremely slick Unity is.


It sounds extreme but seriously, if you value your time and your goal is to ship a game, Unity is the way to go.
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