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I've been working with the XNA-Framework(only in 2D) for over a year now. Now I want to try and start a bigger 3D-project. But somehow I have difficulties to decide which engine/Framework I should use. So far I gathered three possible Frameworks, I want to list here:

  1. XNA with the OX-engine: I already have some experience with XNA and the Ox-engine seems to be the best possible open source engine I could use here.

  2. OGRE-engine: Always wanted to get a little deeper into C++ and the engine seems to be well documented.

  3. Cryengine/Sandbox 2 or higher: Well this one also needs C++ knowledge, seems to be user friendly and lets face it one of the most powerful engines out there.

My goals are to start learning 3D-programming and to realize first 3D projects by taking baby steps.

So the question is what engine would you guys recommend? Is there any other stuff I have overseen? as mentioned before getting a little more into C++ would be great to but it is not a "must have" as I alredy worked with C/C#. Most important to me would be that I could lear stuff that I can use later on for example in other Frameworks. This is important to me because I want to get deep into one thing I will be doing for a long time.

Thanks in advance!

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Have you seen devmaster.net/engines –  Noctrine Sep 21 '11 at 15:05
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closed as not constructive by Joe Wreschnig, Noctrine Sep 21 '11 at 15:05

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3 Answers

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It really depends on what you want to do. Is it a game? Then use an engine like Unity. If you want to learn 3D programming and math from the ground, writing your own tech demos could work. Remember that engines are tools, nothing more, nothing less.

The DirectX vs OpenGL doesn't matter, pick one, learn it and you will easily change to the other. If you want to learn one of these start your own demo project from scratch, but don't expect being able to finish a game with it. If you just want to learn the graphics programming part of it, using any tool that supports writing shader code directly will work. Like Unity support Cg.

Note also that Cryengine is only just released. It doesn't have a large community or documentation yet. Unreal, while maybe more limited, does give you that.

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For starting, begin with free version of Unity3d, and start learning DirectX 11 or OpenGL in parallel.

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And what about DirectX vs. OpenGl? Pros & cons? –  bodycountPP Sep 21 '11 at 13:56
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Your objective is to learn 3d programming, using engine such as Unity will let you know what to do and what 3d is, to learn how to implement it, and to learn real 3d, you should learn openGL or DirectX, since you are a beginner, pros and cons of both is a less important concern for now. –  SpeedBirdNine Sep 21 '11 at 13:59
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You could use Unity3D, you can write your script in C#.

I haven't seen the Ox-engine before, but it seems that the last source checkin was over a year ago. I wonder if the project is still active..

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