3D Engine Roundup

Here’s a well worth your time to read up-to-date roundup of 3D engines for your iPhone development pleasure. To skip details, the two that came out on top by this fellow’s requirements we’ve mentioned before:

  • SIO2 Interactive, SIO2: An opensource (LGPL) game engine for the iPhone. It uses the Bullet physics library and 3D objects and scenes are prepared using the opensource tool Blender. The project offers many tutorials (16) some of which are screencasts. The project also boasts a healthy number (15) of deployed iPhone applications available in the AppStore. The engine has a free version that imposes a flash screen (advertisement for the engine), an indie version is available without this restriction for $50USD. The volume of developer documentation in the form of tutorials is great, although the seeming dependence on Blender to prepare the 3D models and scenes used by the engine may be a deal breaker if there is no programmatic workaround.
  • Oolong Game Engine (on google code): An opensource (MIT License) game engine for the iPhone with some credibility given that it was developed in large part by Wolfgang Engel, Rockstar Games‘ lead graphics programmer. It uses the Bullet Physics Library for 3D physics and fluid studios for memory management. It has seemingly been used in a small number of titles (3?) currently available in the AppStore and proposes that it was used as the basis for the iTorque Game Builder. The source code comes with a number of demonstrations, although developer support documentation and tutorials are really lacking, and the mailing list is quite empty. This might be an engine for hard core developers.

… but there’s a bunch of others listed which we had not previously been aware of. In particular, the Ston3D engine looks like a worthy alternative to Torque and Unity. If the commercial engine thing is your gig. Personally, we’re more along the mindset of this Jason fellow, so we’re definitely going to follow his experiences with the engines of choice!

Alex | April 1, 2009

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