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I've had a good few months of experience with Ruby on Rails, creating my own CMS system, a social network and even a VOIP enabled answering phone machine. I'm also an established 3D modeller, and what I really, really want to do is create a 3D game that's executed in the browser.

I'm not talking Crysis: Online or CoD: Online, or even Doom. Nothing too graphically/RAM intensive. Not a shooter. I simply want to create a simple puzzle solving, hidden object game that can be accessed in the browser.

Maybe something along the lines of the Myst III+ games.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=turE_nFwXhM

Technically, they're very simple games, but by placing the camera inside a 3D sphere with its inner surface textured with an appropriately-distorted 2D rendering, they pull the player into thinking they're exploring a 'fully' 3D world.

They're not realtime, and I genuinely think this could be done online. Maybe some bandwidth issues with these high-res images, but by hiding loading screens behind doors that take a while to open, I think a seamless experience could be achieved.

So, is there a simple 3D engine for ruby? Open source, with a great community?

Apologies if you think I'm rambling, I've rambled in the hope that it'll give you a good feel for my technical requirements :)

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I think you are mixing up what the purpose of Ruby on Rails is for, and what the purpose of a game platform is for.

Ruby on Rails is for serving up and managing a web server, web-based content, and so forth - built very strongly around the whole idea of Model View Controller. And it ALL runs on the web server.

But a game engine is something that runs on on the player's machine. Which Ruby on Rails doesn't do.

What you can do though is use Ruby on Rails to manage the back end of your game. It can manage login authentication, keep track of player scores, leader boards, achievements, multiplayer matching, etc. I use it a lot professionally, and it's a great system for web servers and web services. At work we use it to serve up XML, JSON as well as special markup to the little touch screen front panel of some web-enabled printers.

As to what you use for the game engine, if you are looking for 3D, check out something like Unity 3D. It's free unless you're out to go for high end features and go commercial.

So don't lose hope in Ruby on Rails - it can be great for what you need to do on the back end of the game. But look into something else for the front end part.

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Excellent answer. Don't know if you've noticed but I'm often on the non-technical side of things! I think a ruby on rails backend to store and serve assets from a PostgreSQL database based on the players decisions/where they're clicking would be an excellent idea. Thanks so much for pointing me towards Unity. I think I can create some damn good looking games even with the free version, hence all my 3D particle effects will be pseudo-3D. (Prerendered and integrated looping movies) Thanks again! –  Starkers Apr 29 '13 at 8:29

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