I'm obviously new here. And I'm obviously going to post a question that looks like what so many of you have learned to dread over the years. Except, this thread is really not like all the others (I hope). But apologies in advance anyway.
So, backstory: I'm a software engineer, and have worked for a couple of years as a game developer in the past. I don't have a well written idea for a game - just a nagging thought at the back of my head that I should do something fun with my spare time (wife disagrees, probably thinks I should do something else). I don't have a long list of features I plan on having, and I'm not making an MMO. =p
Anyway; what this thread has in common with the countless threads I just skimmed through without finding the information I needed, is that I am looking for an engine. Ultimately, I will choose one by myself, but I would appreciate recommendations while I skim through the database. I've enjoyed devmaster in the past, but much changes in 4-5 years.
What I am looking for is something flexible, that will get me started. Preferrably C#/C++, or something similar. I don't want to be stuck with something that isn't extensible enough.
I don't really know what to write. Suggestions appreciated (regarding good, modern engines, preferrably free or with flexible licenses).
That said, I will go continue my adventure into the DevDB.
Oh, there is one thing I appreciate above anything else: good documentation.
And if anyone wondered, I went for UDK. Thanks for all the replies. =p
Glad you found one. Like you say, there are a lot of these type of questions. I just missed this thread for some reason. There isn't a huge difference between engines, really, and none of us can try more than a few. UDK is professional and should work well for you.
I've seen a lot of cool looking projects created with that engine.
My only problem with UDK is that they take 25% of -all- your revenue after the first 50,000 USD. I'm not even sure if you plan on selling it, but if you do, these are the conditions:
@Pasted from UDK License
If you create a games or commercial applications using UDK for sale or distribution to an end-user or client, or if you are providing services in connection with a UDK based game or application, the per-seat option does not apply.
Instead the license terms for this arrangement are US \\$99 up-front, and a 0% royalty on you or your company's first US\\$50,000 in UDK related revenue from all your UDK based games or commercial applications, and a 25% royalty on UDK related revenue from all your UDK based games or commercial applications above US\\$50,000.
UDK related revenue includes, but is not limited to, monies earned from: sales, services, training, advertisements, sponsorships, endorsements, memberships, subscription fees, in-game transactions, rentals and pay-to-play.
I'm sure it is still a great engine (I think HeroEngine does something like this too?). If your game ever makes 100 million dollars, though, be prepared to give Epic Games around 25 million of it.
Edit: I've heard good things about the NeoAxis Engine. Good pricing too, it seems. Regardless, I wish you the best of luck on your project. Perhaps one day I'll have enough experience to make a game.
Maybe its late, but did you try the Cryengine 3 ? (www.crydev.net)
It has the better editor (no light baking, etc) and some really cool features.
I did check out cryengine 3 but not actually try it. So far I've been satisfied with UDK, though while the documentation is decent, the engine develops too fast for most of the documentation to keep up. That said, the class hierarchy is very flexible and should allow for creating just about anything (I'm working on something similar to Star Control 2's super melee, and have already a lot of the base code done).
Regarding the licensing, yeah, 25% is alot once you make a bunch of money, but I think that once you've actually made \\$200,000 using the engine, you're probably ready to buy one of the royalty free licenses.