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I've just about started with a project I've had in mind for ages. I don't quite know how to start such big projects (bigger than Pong, anyway), so I thought I would get started by making a basic organization.

Now, in games like Freelancer and X feature large, open spaces. I ma aware that these have to be organised, to ensure collision testing don't happen continuously anywhere but only where the player can see it.

I thought first about a general scene graph, I am familiar with those, but it would just have almost all objects directly in the root node. The next idea was a Quad/Octree, but the objects are not quite static, and I don't know if it would make sense if you have to change the tree's organisation every second frame.

So, how is this done in real games? I'm using C# with XNA, if that matters, and would like to run the game on the XBox as well.

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Given the minimal information in the question, there is no general answer to that.

Except: Real games use engines that implement features as scene-graphs and proper data structures for collsion-detection and -optimizations, rendering, network, input, serializing and much more.

The idea is to write a game, not an engine.

Unity3D is such an engine for C#.

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Would the Blender Engine help me there, too? Unity looks nice, but are they good for a game like Freelancer? –  Lambda Dusk May 28 '11 at 9:56
    
AFAIK Blender only supports python as stated here –  Maik Semder May 28 '11 at 10:11
    
I don't know freelancer, but here is a list of games made with Unity, that will give you an idea. A video with a spacecraft-like-game called Zero-Chance and made with Unity can be seen here –  Maik Semder May 28 '11 at 10:19
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