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Game Engine Marketing Models Compared 243

Posted by timothy
from the what-about-the-pacman-engine dept.
death00 writes: "GameDev has an interesting story about the success of Garage Games Torque engine (the engine behind Tribes 2). I especially find it interesting to see the number of developers working on high-quality games based on the Torque engine. The basic premise is that Garage Games gives a full license of the Torque engine to a team for a project for $100 USD per developer. The only caveat is that you must publish any finished works through Garage Games. Perhaps id software might consider doing this with the Quake III engine once the Doom III engine comes out. From my understanding, the Quake III engine currently licenses for significantly ($250,000 USD) more than that. Instead of waiting 2 more years and GPL'ing the full source, why not license it for cheap after Doom III comes out, then GPL later?"
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Game Engine Marketing Models Compared

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  • by Jorrit (19549) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:28AM (#4069889) Homepage
    I'm the project manager of Crystal Space so my opinion on that 3D engine doesn't really count :-)

    However I think that you should at least take a look at it. It is now becoming VERY mature and the API has stabilized about 95%. Several projects are now using it with great success.

    Crystal Space is an Open Source and portable 3D Engine licensed under LGPL. It runs on GNU/Linux, Windows, MacOS/X, ...

    Crystal Space has lots of features. In latest release (beta release) we also have support for shaders (bump mapping, per pixel lighting, things like that) and many other new things.

    Crystal Space also has a VERY active user community and an IRC room that you can visit (#CrystalSpace on the OpenProjects network).

    The url is http://crystal.sf.net

    Greetings,
  • Re:What the fuck? (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:38AM (#4069958)
    Actually, the article *is* a press release, which should make you very suspicious when it comes to discussions regarding GG's financial situation.

    The engine's actually quite good, but I think GG's business model is terribly flawed. Even with a good engine, game development is *very* expensive, in large part due to asset creation. If you're committing to a release-grade game in the FPS/3rd person/RTS/whatever mold, then engine licensing or development really shouldn't be your greatest concern.

    Nice idea, though. *shrug*
  • First off. (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:48AM (#4070042)
    iD Software aren't publishers, and they've shown no interest in becoming publishers. iD Software is essentially John Carmack, and that means iD Software is all about the Engine. Period.

    Secondly, they've already licenced the Quake III Engine to who knows how many developers, if they turn around and start selling the thing for $100, the lawsuits will come flying fast and furious.

    Third, there's no WAY Carmack will ever consider releasing the code to the engine until all of his licencees have released their games based on that engine. He's said as much on numerous occasions.

    Fourth, that $250,000 get's you alot more than the engine. It get's you access to Carmack, and as I recall, he (and iD Software) will help them implement up to two engine features exclusive to their product.

    Fifth, there's no need to do it at all, you already have all kinds of tools released to do major modification work with the engine. The only thing you don't have is the engine source code, which apparently does have value, since they can charge $250,000 for it, and they're not having any trouble selling that.

    Sixth, they've already got a great talent "minor-league", it's in all the Mod Developers, and level designers already working with the QuakeIII Engine, and the Tools already released, and it's been working pretty well for them, and other developers too, for that matter.

    So there is no compelling reason for them to make this about face on the engine licencing issue, what they are doing now, serves them quite well.
  • Real World (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:50AM (#4070062)
    Welcome to the Real World... where professional programmers have to fill out all kinds of paperwork and attend all kinds of meetings.

    Just getting the features of such an engine approved takes months when you are doing it for a large corporation. Even a small company would require enough paperwork to take up a week or 2. Lets say these programmers make $80,000 a year.

    The first month is all in "feel good" meetings and move-ins and proceedures and such.

    Lets say that this company is using ISO 9000, ok...

    Requirements. The clients (in this case the company) meet and gather the artists/programmers/so forth. They discuss what the game should do, physics, characters, so forth... to the degree that it will affect the engine. They go to buttloads of meetings for a couple of months.

    Specifications. The file formats, the colors, the network protocols... This happens AFTER requirements, and since it's a group write, it takes a while too.

    Design/Implement. Yeah, this would be quick and easy, but you need documentation for everything. You need to get everything approved by higher ups.

    Re-Implement. Artist A needs feature B that wasn't mentioned in the requirements or specs.

    Document. Before anybody can use it effectively, you need them to know what it is. This takes a long time.

    Just the MEETINGS required to start programming take more than a week if you're going to sell it. Now, if you're in your house and know exactly how you want EVERYTHING before you start, a week is probably more than fair. Profesional programmers in the environments that ID is selling to? You can't write an engine for what they're selling that for.
  • Re:Not that much (Score:2, Interesting)

    by jtdubs (61885) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @10:57AM (#4070117)
    I wasn't arguing over the same thing that you are responding too.

    I agree, making a mature engine takes time. I agree, paying money for a stable core and codebase IS worth it.

    No, I didn't mention implementing the networking, or sound, or mod system. In fact, I mentioned NOT implementing them.

    But, like I said. The tech IS old. The graphics functionality can be written in a week. I did it in a weekend.

    It's the rest of the codebase, and the maturity, that makes it worth buying.

    Justin Dubs
  • by Glock27 (446276) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @11:18AM (#4070258)
    "database busy, please try back in a few minutes. do not hit refresh it will only complicate the problem, thanks GG"

    Looks like lots of Slashdotters are signing up...I will be as soon as I get the chance!

    What a great looking product for such a low price! I agree with GG that this should lead to some real innovation (for a change) and will also let some new game development stars emerge who wouldn't have had the budget otherwise. AWESOME!

    Also, Slashfolk, don't miss the fact that this engine uses open technologies (OpenGL/OpenAL), is already available on Windows and Mac, and a Linux client is in the works.

    Too cool, I can't wait to get them my $100 so I can start playing... =)

    (BTW on the id issue - give it a rest. I suspect id prefers to not have the support hassles this would entail...id is making plenty of money already!)

  • by _|()|\| (159991) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @11:19AM (#4070270)
    It's not like id gets anything from other companies licensing their software OTHER than money.

    Actually, every successful licensee is an advertisement that increases the reputation of id technology. In fact, id has gone so far as to cultivate this in licensing Quake 3 [idsoftware.com]: "QUAKE III Arena engine licensees are part of an exclusive club that will remain exclusive because we are capping the total number of licensee companies."

    Effectively, Raven, Ritual, et al. compete, as well as pay, for the privilege of showing off id's latest engine.

  • Re:Not that much (Score:3, Interesting)

    by KelsoLundeen (454249) on Wednesday August 14, 2002 @02:38PM (#4071583)
    How about putting a demo of your weekend project up on your website so we can take a look at it?

The trouble with opportunity is that it always comes disguised as hard work. -- Herbert V. Prochnow

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