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Best free open source engine for mapping? (Forums : PC Gaming : Best free open source engine for mapping?) Locked
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Feb 12 2013 Anchor

I've been making maps for Source Engine for almost 2 years now and I've reached the point where I am finally no longer able to put up with its limitations. Its SDK is buggy and outdated, hasn't seen a serious update in years. The engine itself is also really limiting me artistically, because of the poor optimization of the engine with regard to models and how they are lit. (Models in Source are lit and shadowed very, very poorly. The engine was designed for brushes, not models)

So now I'm looking for a new engine to move to. I've looked at Quake and Quake3- based games but they don't appear to be any better than Source when it comes to graphics.

Xonotic, the successor of Nexuiz, looks like a potential contender as it looks like they've seriously revamped the graphical side of things. But I'd like someone with experience with multiple of these engines to chime in, I could really use your recommendations/guidance.

Basically the biggest requirements for me to consider an engine are
1) free to play (so anyone can try my work without having to buy a game first)
2) dynamic lighting, or at least modern lighting/shadow standards for MODELS (as opposed to brushes).

If I can't find a suitable free replacement I might not have a choice but to just move to Unreal Engine (since I know that one is definitely great on the graphical side), but I'd rather avoid that if possible because I don't want people to have to buy UT3 just to play my maps!

Thank you very much in advance!

P.S. Please don't say Unity. I'm not a programmer, just a mapper and modeler. I'm looking for an actual game that already has existing gameplay mechanics in place.

Edited by: totakeke

Feb 12 2013 Anchor

if you use UDK you can release a whole leve done with all the UT3 assets for free

in fact you can use em in a commercial game everything Except the skeletal meshes as far i know

Feb 12 2013 Anchor

If you just want to fool around and hardware is not a limit factor, try the CryEngine, and since you state that dont want to code, Crysis 2 has it for a while now. I rather use Unity as it stand ALONE as the most modern tool out there.

Edited by: vfn4i83

Feb 14 2013 Anchor

Thanks for the responses, I'm seriously considering UDK and Unity now. One last thing though, I found out there are visual scripting addons for Unity (Antares, Playmaker, uScript). Does anyone know if these can be used to code an entire game? Or are they more just for basic I/O events? As a non-programmer artist, the idea of coding out a game's logic visually really appeals to me.

UDK4 looks really promising. Apparently they are upgrading Kizmet and making it capable of coding an entire game, without actual programming. It's too bad it's still far from public release. If it was already out I'd just use that for sure.

Edited by: totakeke

Feb 14 2013 Anchor

I never used those addons, so cant tell. ask at the UNity forum the guys there are really fast to answer

Feb 14 2013 Anchor

Funny you say you looked at Quake & Q3A based games & they're no better then Source, but say you might use a Quake GPL game as a base. :)

Darkplaces (Q1) & Berserker (Q2) both to real time shadows & what not. Doom 3 already does all that, built in. It's gpl too.

Don't forget Alien Arena. The latest version does real time shadows I believe. It's Q2+3 GPL based.

Edited by: TheHappyFriar


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

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