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With some holiday time coming up I thought it might be interesting to look to try and make a game that's been in my mind for a while now.

I'm a professional programmer so I have experience with most common languages (and I am not scared of picking up a new one if needed) but I've never done any graphics or game work before.

Basically what I'm after is an engine or toolset that will allow me to create a simple FPS (based around interaction with world objects, not physic based, just buttons) while hopefully avoiding as much graphics code as possible (don't get me wrong, I'm willing to learn it, I just don't want to spend my nights writing a lighting engine ;) ), so that I can spend my time on logic and concept.

tl;dr I'm looking for suggestions (and if available tutorials) of a simple engine to make a simple FPS on

I might be wrong but it seems that something like UDK might be graphics overkill, I'm happy for this to be ugly as hell.

As always, any help pointing me in the right direction would be amazing. Thanks!

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This is a very subjective question. There are no real requirements here, other than "simple" and probably the implied "free". There is a list of engines here devmaster.net/engines. The answers aren't going to be very useful other than a popularity contest. –  Tetrad Oct 29 '11 at 4:59
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closed as not constructive by Tetrad Oct 29 '11 at 4:59

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5 Answers

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If you can wrap your head around Unity, it should do exactly what you want. It's built around an entity system, which can be hard to grasp if you're not used to them (they aren't really compatible with object oriented programming, which can be a hard habit to give up), but it will handle all the graphics for you. It will also handle asset importing/exporting, physics, and a host of other things. Oh, and it's free. You can program in JavaScript or C#, and there are lots of plugins available to do things like animation and pathfinding.

It comes with an example FPS project that you can build on as well. In fact, that would be the main thing I'd look for in whatever engine you decide to use - it's much easier when you have a running game to alter than a blank screen.

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I would recommend writing a mod for either Unreal Tournament or Half-Life 2. They both have great communities, and great tools. Unreal uses their own well designed scripting language, while Half-Life 2 uses C++. In either game, you should be able to make your own weapons and intractable objects without having to deal with all of the lighting, bump-mapping, sky-boxes, networking, controls, UI and whatever else goes on in a 3D engine. The disadvantage to making a mod is that anyone who wants to play it has to own the game you modded.

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I would suggest using UDK.

Here's a great series of tutorials I found on Youtube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7AAgQHJWGc&list=PL649C1907D32B01C8&index=1&feature=plpp_video

I hope this leads you in the right direction :)

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UDK is very nice, but have a million gotchas. Especially if you are doing multiplayer and extending Unreal Tournament. –  Psykocyber Oct 28 '11 at 22:25
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I'm going to go against the grain. You need the minimum required set to get to prototyping the gameplay you desire. In that vein, I'm going to suggest Ogre3D. If you're familiar with C++ then you should be able to jump in with few worries. Documentation is great and building a simple 3D environment should be as quick as following a few tutorials.

Using anything else will provide multiple layers of knowledge that you'll have to attain before actually getting to build a simple simulation.

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Horde3D is really simple. You can get a simple game up and running within a few hours. Ogre3D is another great choice.

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