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I have a simple requirement: I want to put some ships (I have some mesh models) on a body of water, with islands, and play with various collision avoidance and command and control algorithms. So I need a environment where I can modify object behaviour but where the world and its mechanics are already coded. I was expecting that this would be trivial to find as this is such an obvious requirement for say, AI experimentation. But I haven't found anything open source or commercial. I've looked at Glest, Delta3D, Spring, Unity, ORTS, Strive, and VBS2. I looked for, but never found, the Homeworld Engine. I also found Breve, Lagoon (seemed perfect), ECSLent, but these were/are either no longer supported or documentation (if it exists) is confusing enough that it isn't clear what can/can't be done or how to go about it. Interestingly, it seems like you have to roll your own if you have a need eg. Breve, Lagoon.

So I'm putting the question to you: is there a virtual environment out there, with physics, that would allow a person to focus just on behaviour creation? What have I missed? Thanks for any guidance you can provide.

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I can't imagine that Unity can't do what you're looking for... Have you checked their documentation? –  Nate Dec 28 '11 at 4:29
    
I'd have checked out Delta3D especially it's strength in the simulation department. –  Tim Holt Dec 28 '11 at 19:18
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up vote 5 down vote accepted

Unity is probably your best option for this, but you're going to have to do some work to get what you want, it's not actually that simple. You could try checking the Unity store, though, to see if someone has made something close to what you want, or even exactly what you want. Something like Lagoon could be made fairly easily by going through the documentation and tutorials for Unity, at least in terms of setting up the environment.

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Thanks for the quick response! I'm taking a three-prong approach: ECSLent (follow-on to Lagoon), Panda3D, and Unity. If I can pull it off, I'll post a 'how-to' and make it available to others. Cheers. –  MikeB Dec 28 '11 at 18:11
    
@MikeB Good luck! –  thedaian Dec 28 '11 at 18:46
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