MadMojo1

Greetings!

I have a development team working on an Xbox Live Arcade title for the Xbox 360 using XNA Game Studio Express. I have the option at this point of crafting my own custom game engine or using one that is readily available that meshes well with the XNA GSE + Xbox 360 development/testing environment we're using.

We are a small team based on the Oregon Coast. I'm the lead designer, writer, and programmer. We have a storyboard artist, modeler, sound designer, and animator. To be honest, I've been dreading doing all of the code work on a new engine myself. It's been a long time since I've crafted my own game engine and I'd prefer to focus the majority of my energy elsewhere. But we would need a decent 3D base engine (physics,collisions,etc..) that someone might be able to recommend. (I couldn't possibly ask on a forum like this for someone to devote so much of their time to custom build an engine for us, but we're not completely closed off to the idea of including another partner on the project.) Our project is going to require quite a lot of custom code that I'm prepared to handle personally to custom fit the engine to our project. But if I can avoid at least the basics without sending our costs skyrocketing, I'd prefer that.

I've been informed that "starter kits" will be available for just this sort of case when the XNA GSE Professional version arrives, but I'm a bit unclear on what that version will really include and if any of those starter kits will be usable for us. Should I wait Should I continue my search for a decent starter engine (do you have an engine any suggestions, please any signs of one becoming available soon ) or should I just roll my sleeves up, get dirty in the code, and blow people away with how much time I can waste re-inventing the wheel
*winces painfully at that thought*

Chris Rabideau (Xbox Live GamerTag: MadMojo)
Project: HW1

Please reply in this thread, over Xbox Live to "MadMojo", or send inquiries/suggestions to MadMojo@madmojogaming.com and mention Project: HW1 in your message, please. Thanks!



Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

DanM

If you haven't already, you can start off by checking out TorqueX from Garage Games.

In February/March, CTP versions of Visual3D.NET and XNA Magic should be available.

Also, checkout this blog from the winner of the recent XNA Homebrew contest: http://xbox360homebrew.com/blogs/alex/default.aspx p=1
He gives some very nice insight into his experiences making the game, Wildboarders, and how he was able to make use of community components, like the Farseer 2D Physics engine.

Also, take a look at XNA Components from the community at CodePlex:

Some of them may be of use to you.

Best wishes on your game!

 

 

 

 





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

MadMojo1

Thanks a lot, DanM. =)

I'm definitely looking forward to the beta release of XNA Magic sometime in February. And Alex's blog has definitely had some great insights and information I've loved reading.

I haven't had a chance to go over much of the components available at CodePlex yet, but it looks like there might be some good info there. They sure do have a lot of 2D stuff. I'm hoping some more 3D engines might become available soon. (Wishful thinking, I know. From experience I know how difficult a solid engine can be to create, but a man can wish! Heheh.)

Thanks again!





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

Jon Watte

working on an Xbox Live Arcade title


Do you already have the publishing agreement in place for this It's pretty hard to get the attention of the Live! Arcade people these days, and just developing a game, hoping you'll be able to publish it, would be pretty risky.

For engines, it depends on what your gameplay is. If you can walk around on a flat plane with simple bounding boxes to avoid bumping into trees/buildings, then the physics/collision detection job is pretty simple, and you could roll your own. If it's a physics-based FPS or platformer with rigid body dynamics, the job is a lot harder -- what I'd do (given that there are no 3D physics engines for XNA yet) is look into porting the necessary bits and pieces from some engine available in source.

Candidates would be the Open Dynamics Engine (www.ode.org), or the Wild Magic engine (which you need to buy a book to get) by Dave Eberly. Wild Magic has very nicely separated collision functions and physics integration functions which should be easy to re-implement in C#. While it's still "you" doing the work, typing in code from the web is a lot easier than rolling it from scratch :-)






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

MadMojo1

Thanks for your response, Jon. =)

No, we don't have a publishing agreement in place for our title. There are several publishers we have thought about going through. But our preference right now is to focus on delivering a full technology and gameplay demo to show the XBLA team. If it's not what the XBLA people are looking for, we still plan to launch the title into the XNA Creator's Club for other developers/clubbers( ) to enjoy on their Xbox 360s.

This particular title (HW1) is a labor of love and not simply a title we absolutely must see on the Xbox Live Arcade. (Although we really, really want to see it there. Heheh.) What we really want as a development team (and myself in particular, as it's my "baby") is to actually play our game on the Xbox 360 and be able to share it with our friends. I'd definitely love to see the title become a big hit on the XBLA, but it is _absolutely_ secondary to us finishing a quality title that we all will enjoy playing. =)

Thank you for the information on ODE and the Wild Magic Engine. I'll definitely be checking those out along with the other suggestions I've received directly. Thanks again for your response!

CR (MadMojo)






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

Jim Perry

Just wondering why madmojogaming.com redirects to Bungie's website




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

MadMojo1

Heheh. I've received a few inquiries about that, as you can imagine. ;) I assure you it is simply because I'm a fan and haven't set up an official website yet for that .com =) Figured I might as well pass people on to an interesting gaming site if they can't visit ours yet.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

waruwaru

Someone might get the impression that you represent or affliate with Bungie. I would at least put up a redirect page to explain.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

Jim Perry

Agreed. It's very confusing.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Xbox Live Arcade Title looking for Engine/Coder..

MadMojo1

Well, no website or host exists for that website yet. (Nowhere to place a re-direct page.) So I simply threw up a redirect address so it didn't simply advertise to some businesses that I knew nothing about. As soon as I get some time to get a website up, it will re-direct to that website. (The site should be available within the next month or two.)

If people make assumptions that I work for Bungie simply because one of my .com addresses re-directs to them... Heheh. Well, some people are just silly. =) I'm just a fan.