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Right now, I'm planning a new FPS single-player Half-Life 2/Call of Duty: Black Ops/Crysis 2-like, and I'm trying to determine what game engine should I use. Right now, my team is me, as a programmer, and only one models/textures artist, so each model takes us a lot of time.

I thought about:

  • Source Engine - because it has a lot of existing content I can use to write my game much more quickly. The main disadvantage of Source is that it lacks in the graphics area (especially in vegetation).
  • Unity - the ability to use C#, which is my favourite programming language. It is perfect when it comes to graphics, but it doesn't have so much existing content like Source. Plus, it is cross platform.

I also thought about some open source game engines, but most of them (Ogre3D, for example) lacks in development speed and some graphics capabilities.

If there was some model/textures/sound repository (not necessarily free, but also not really expensive), I'd use Unity.

UDK is not an option, as it doesn't give me access to native code and I'll need to use some libraries wrriten in C++.

Are there any more advantages/disadvantages to each engine? Feel free to suggest new game engines. Also, in your opinion, what game engine should I use? Do you know some content repository I can use?

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Ogre3D is a rendering engine, not a complete game engine. As such, it's more likely to have the graphics capability that you are looking for at the expense of development time. -- Turbosquid is such a model repository. There is also the Unity Asset Store. -- IIRC to link to C++ libraries in Unity you would need to purchase pro licenses. –  Noctrine Apr 25 '11 at 20:39
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If you haven't had a history of successful games you've developed in the last few months, I would suggest wetting your feet with 2D. 3D is an order of magnitude harder (10-100x harder than 2D). –  ashes999 Apr 25 '11 at 20:39
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2 Answers

up vote 12 down vote accepted

It sounds like you know the pros and cons here. If it's between unity and source and it's just you, simplification is important for development time, and you want a large amount of support, Unity would be the choice I'de make.

Unity does have an asset store to buy from by the way. Unity also lets you use c++ extensions so you can actually use c++ with your code, but again if it's just you, avoid it! I spent 2 months making a puzzle game with two other programmers with unity and we took every shortcut we could given our deadline. If we tried that project in source it would have taken a bit longer as we didn't have to manage our scene or any of the resources.

I don't know your experience level, but if it leans on the side of beginner/intermediate or if you have no other help there's almost no choice here. In my experience, development time in source is much longer than in Unity.

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Thank you. BTW: Is accessing the Unity Asset Store requires the Unity Editor, or there is a web interface? –  Alon Gubkin Apr 26 '11 at 2:12
    
It requires the editor, click window then asset store –  brandon Apr 26 '11 at 2:12
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I would take a look at Garage Games Torque-3D engine. They have a very good community, some great resources you can buy to use in your games as well, if aren't making your own content from scratch.

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