Thursday, March 13, 2008

TGB

Torque Game Builder has officially begun collapsing under its own weight. I've never had so much trouble with built-in physics or with such severe scoping errors. To the point where I don't know how anyone can make games in it any more.

The basic physics system is grotesquely outdated at this point, and their slap-dash upgrades over the years have just made it more kludgy. I don't like my avatars popping through walls. That's unacceptable, especially at the slow speeds I'm using.

The level design system "interacts" with "behaviors" in that any variables a behavior uses or sprites it creates at any time are permanently added to the level design. IE, saved to the hard drive. IE, next time you play, they will already be there.

This is nuts, and made ten times worse by GarageGame's incredibly worthless site, nearly empty wiki, and literally unsearchable forums.

I used to really like TGB... but it's been quite a while since I programmed in it, and this was not a pleasant return.

What other games middleware do people suggest? I'm looking for something with more punch than Flash, but easier to use than C++. Basically, I'm looking for TGB without the sudden suckage.

20 comments:

jim said...

This is probably a bit too low-level since there's no integrated tool chain, but I've been having good times with Python + Pygame + PyOpenGL.

Craig Perko said...

I'm not a fan of Pygame because I've edited the source code of games built in it. I find they quickly degenerate into masses of exotic library requirements. I don't think I've ever gotten a Pygame to compile in under three hours because it constantly pops up with unhelpful and frequently bizarre compile errors, usually related to having the wrong (IE most recent) version of a required library.

I'm definitely thinking of something more cohesive.

esden9 said...

The PopCap Developer Program's Framework is pretty nice if you ever wanted to go back to C++.

Have you tried Microsoft's XNA? It's free. It's fast. C# is a pretty nice language, and the VC# IDE is really helpful.

Anonymous said...

We are using Flash CS3 with Multidmedia Zinc 3.0 and Box2DFlashAS3 for 2D and OGRE3D for real-time 3D games.

Craig Perko said...

Anon: How pricey did that end up being? How difficult to set up and work with?

Esden: I was thinking about XNA, maybe I'll give it a shot.

PopCap's got a EULA I don't want to sign, though.

ninjascience said...

I second the nomination of XNA. TorqueX built on XNA is a really nice component based framework, but might not be necessary for an experienced game developer.

Craig Perko said...

I couldn't get TorqueX to even work. I'm going to get away from GarageGames, I think. I think they're on the way down.

Craig Perko said...

Oh, and, um, welcome to the blog everyone. I do appreciate the comments even if I'm snarky. I just really hate it when something that was good starts to suck.

NinjaScience: I've seen your avatar before... if it's unique, you get around quite a bit! It's nifty.

Olick said...

Yeah XNA is quite nice from a small-time perspective. It doesn't fight you, but you still have to set up a working dynamics system. Its probably more setup than Torque, but you always know whats going on (mostly). Even if its more work at first, less frustration is valuable.

Craig Perko said...

Looks like I'll be looking into XNA...

ninjascience said...

I haven't had any problems with TorqueX. I got a simple platformer up and running very quickly. The only thing that bothers me about is some of the weird scaling (and what it does to pixel art) and the XNA requirements for people to play your games.

I can't claim the avatar as my own, it's done by a Japanese artist who did most of the concepts for the recent Megaman ZX games. This particular image is a take on the Gundam series.

Yes, I've popped up recently on tigsource forums and pixelation forums. Trying to get serious about game dev as a hobby.

Craig Perko said...

I couldn't even start a new project in TorqueX. I've got so much dev software crammed into this machine that C# 2005 Express is conflicting with something else. When I hit "new project", I have no options for type of project. None at all.

IF I hit "new project" in the Pro edition (rather than the express edition) everything works fine, except that TorqueX isn't on the list.

Blah!

David said...

I guess you're looking for something a bit heavier than GameMaker, tho?

Craig Perko said...

To tell you the truth, I don't know for sure. I'll download it and give it a try.

Ryan said...

Not really my field of expertise, I can say that the small amount of stuff I've played around with has Gamemaker at the top of the easy prototype tool list. Nice clickable interface to add elements and behaviours. This seems to be the only competent middleware (outside of Flash) I've seen with a focus on developing games via a clickable interface as opposed to a library to be added to a language (ala XNA, Allegro or Popcap)

A good starting point might be this page in a Gamasutra article about indie game dev. It lists a number of technologies at the cheaper end of the scale (that includes gamemaker as well torque so I guess take it with a grain of salt).

Ryan said...

As a follow up, I just came accross an article on Gamasutra again regarding something called Blade3D that is a subscription based offering bult on top of XNA. The marketing gumph seems to offer a WYSIWYG interface, but I'm not a huge fan of subscription services.

You can find the article on Gamasutra here

Craig Perko said...

I'm testing out the trial version of GameMaker. It seems like it would be useful if you wanted to do a specific subset of things, but I'm not sure how flexible it is yet. ("Not Very", says my instinct.)

Often, you don't need the flexibility, so it's better to have something easy. As it's $30, I don't see any reason NOT to get it.

As to Blaze3D, I really hate subscription services. Since my games are 99% 2D, Blaze3D is close to useless.

Craig Perko said...

Blade3D, not Blaze3D

David said...

GameMaker likes platformers, but it's a pretty solid system and can even do basic 3D stuff. That said it can be a bit of a challenge if you try to step outside of Mark Overmars' plans, tho not impossible.

I find it a tad bit more useable than ActionScript/Flash but with a smaller potential userbase. And only slightly faster since it is also interpreted.

Brian Shurtleff said...

hmm, this is a great discussion for me, as I'm looking for game development software that has to fit a very specific set of qualities:
3D (able to import models from 3DSMax, etc), and yet require little or no programming ability to use.

We've had our students using First Person Shooter Creator so far, but it's very limited and buggy as hell and everyone involved hates it.

I'll look into Blade3D and some of the others now on the indie game dev article someone linked to, but in the meantime, if anyone has any suggestions off the top of their head, I'd love to hear them.