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Cipher Engine

polycounter lvl 14
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Snowfly polycounter lvl 14
I was browsing for game engines and came across this one.. www.cipherengine.com

and was wondering if anyone here has had experience using it. it costs $100 and while the graphics engine isn't the most cutting edge of engines, the whole package seems like it will adapt well to several game types.


  • MoP
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    MoP polycounter lvl 16
    yup, i've worked with it a little, a friend of mine in the year above me in university was using it for a programming coursework project, we made a space combat game.
    its model and texture pipeline is pretty straightforward, especially if you've used Quake3 shaders in the past. The shader editor is very similar, although more advanced. It has a fair amount of nice pixel shaders, and supports bump maps (and normal mapping, i think), but we didn't use those.

    The model convertor is very easy to use, just drag and drop ASE files for static meshes. I didn't give the skeletal model format a try but it seems pretty straightforward too.

    for $100 i think it's a pretty good deal, it seems very versatile.

  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    working on my own engine stumbled upon quite many engines, mostly opensource so.
    cipher surely looks very solid and 100$ isn't that much.

    but if you want to just start with things you might try a total free engine first


    nebula2 is pretty good and used in commercial games, the max tools are also for free (tight integration to maya is commercial so) nebula2 also has pyhsics packages like using ODE, cipher looked like lacking decent physics.

    the engine is also supported by a real company, who try to push the engine and earn money by selling tools such as the maya thing.

    other big opensource engines:


    however most opensource engines lack nice graphical toolkits, like cipher's shader designer...
  • Snowfly
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    Snowfly polycounter lvl 14
    thanks for the feedback, as far as artist tools go, i'm happy with what i see in cipher, torque, and nebula. but i don't know how suited these engines are for tactics type games (altho i'm guessing that's not really a concern, given a skilled programmer)

    also, i overlooked the opensource engines, but now that i've gone over nebula and irrlicht, i am impressed! i can't find anything on publishing rights though. is it safe to assume i can sell games made with these engines and keep 100% of the royalties?
  • CrazyButcher
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    CrazyButcher polycounter lvl 16
    yes, be aware so that if the engine is under GPL you must opensource your game as well
    if it's LGPL you must opensource all changes to the original engine, but can keep your gamecode closed source

    nebula has the most free license among many, I dont think there are any restrictions for it.

    the main drawback of opensource engines mostly really is just the lack of tools, ie you gotta do a bit more work in writing text files or dont have as comfortable exporters.
    the other thing is that most engines are pure rendering engines, ie dont come with "game" stuff like entity, netcode, sound..
    the ones mentioned are pretty feature complete so
  • Snowfly
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    Snowfly polycounter lvl 14
    digging a little deeper, irrlicht and ogre seem like bloated engines. just a general impression i get, based on comments i've seen on the message boards.

    with regards to licensing, i read the under LGPL, i'm not obliged to release my game content, only the portions of the core engine i've modified. so if i write a plug-in for nebula that renders cel-shaded graphics, i can choose not to release the source code for the plug-in, since i made no changes to base code anyways. at least that's how i understand it. but just to stay on the safe side, i will probably stay away from opensource engines.

    among the licensed engines i've found, cipher has the best royalty deal, so i will most probably go with that. the tech demos on their site were enough to convince me that the graphics engine is far from obsolete.
  • Ruz
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    Ruz ngon master
    looks pretty cool. I have been messing around with blitz 3d for the last 2 years, but cipher looks very nice. just wondered if you can build your 'whole' level as max geometry?
    I probably would n't do any thing major in it, but its nice to build tech demos/level demos in engines like these
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