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Thread: Torque 3D


  1. Posts
    22
    Well, this is VERY big point.
    I (and I'm sure not only I) want for as much people as possible could run code that I developed, in browser, via plugin, if possible, without installation of plugin.
    Unity Web Player is safe in this regard. Anything it downloads IS safe (after all, C++ plugins are disabled for that).

    InstantAction plugin(not sure about T3D,there still no beta to check) basically give way to run ANY executable (it does not matter if said executable must be made with GG SDK). So it's only matter of time when some malware will be distributing this way. And after that - no way any user how know about about will install such plugin(or even worse, AVs will start detecting plugin itself).
    Code signing is not fully solution for this. Suppose I'm indie, who bought T3D for 505US$(there is a way to get such price right now). Now that information GG has on me to sign my code?Credit card details? -

    "Per game" plugins are not solution to this problem. First, it's (again) asking user to install that plugin and multiple plugins could play not so nice with each other even by accident. So Unity has BIG advantage here.

  2. QFS QFS is offline

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    281
    There is one thing very concerning to me about the T3D licensing.

    If you take note its says the studio version "Allows Revenue Over $250K Annually", now this specifically doesnt say "Revenue over X amount in the last fiscal year" (like Unity does) ... So did GG leave a little loop hole open?

    Because what happens if someone with low-to-moderate income buys T3D basic or pro, makes a game that turns out to be a huge hit, make a million dollars or more in sales ... will this leave GG the legal loophole of being able to sue the crap out this person for not using the studio version?

  3. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    6,186
    I think we all need to keep things straight here:

    Instant Action: a browser-based distribution mechanism that downloads and launches an executable game. Every time they play your game they download the whole thing, engine and data.

    Torque 3D: a browser-based plugin that you must build, as such each game is its own plugin as opposed to a centrally distributed one like ours. Each time you play a new game you must download and install the plugin, repeated plays its data only. But again, every game must offer its own plugin.

    Don't mix the two, they're distinct and separate distribution options.


    Quote Originally Posted by QFS
    There is one thing very concerning to me about the T3D licensing.

    If you take note its says the studio version "Allows Revenue Over $250K Annually"
    Seems clear to me, "annually". Once you go over that amount you would in theory need to upgrade. I don't see any nefarious loopholes with their legal team waiting to pounce.
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback


  4. Location
    Sacramento, CA
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    158
    Well as a former TGEA developer I took a look at GG's GDC booth area, and chatted with their devs.

    I think that GG has started to listen to their customers and is trying to bring Torque to a "modern" standard. But its too little and too late when compared to what Unity offers. Besides, Torque 3D is at a very rough development stage, the shadows and shaders need A LOT more work in order to compete with Unity. All this means is that if you do go with Torque 3D, be prepared for a lot of bugs (just like TGEA).

    I for one will never go back to GG.


  5. Location
    Zürich, Switzerland
    Posts
    26,572
    I think the shadow / shader end is the one end where UT has to learn from GG

    The glow shader is totally useless for usage in projects, as the rendering order is completely borked. Foliage is beeing rendered after glow, which means that anything phantom glows through foliage which looks more then ugly.

    The ongoing threads on the serious problems with non-direction lights and shadow rings show the problem with the shadows.

    The third problem, at least to more sophisticated games, is the complete lack of any HDR capabilities due to Unity only supporting 8bit per channel textures, no float per channel.


    So its not like Unity is really that much better on that end than Torque, it just missbehaves in other aspects.
    It highly depends on the project which one plays nicer. Had my good time with TGEA as well as with Unity and very frustrating days as well.

  6. Unity Graphics Developer

    Location
    Unity Technologies, basement
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    3,974
    Quote Originally Posted by dreamora
    The glow shader is totally useless for usage in projects
    How so? Putting glow strength into alpha channel is one approach (taken by many). Just doing a color threshold + scale can be another approach - the built-in Glow does not do this, but you can do it yourself. There's nothing in Glow (or any other image effects) that make it somehow special - they are just scripts + shaders (with full source code in Pro Standard Assets).

    Foliage is beeing rendered after glow
    Incorrect. Glow is an image post processing effect, which means it processes the screen after everything is rendered. Foliage rendering definitely happens before Glow.

    What you probably have in mind, is that semitransparent foliage does not write to the alpha channel (because in general semitransparent things can't write sensible information into alpha, without resorting to multipass rendering). So any strong background "glows through" the semitransparent foliage. Which can be what you want, or it can be what you don't want. Again, changing the Glow effect to not use alpha (but use color threshold instead) is the way to go in that case.

    The third problem, at least to more sophisticated games, is the complete lack of any HDR capabilities due to Unity only supporting 8bit per channel textures, no float per channel.
    True. At the moment.


  7. Posts
    5,283
    It's funny, although i'm also missing certain gfx features i'm personally after, it somehow feels strange to me complaining about the visual quality in Unity, i guess i just used Director for too many years.
    I can't use these two things together.


  8. Location
    SIU (Southern Illinois University)
    Posts
    91
    GG change from allowing some non game products to not allowing any really disapointed me.
    Randy
    junkyardog


  9. Posts
    22
    for me it looks like GG had enough experience with 100-300 US$ Torque engines which (almost) DIDN'T got used to create any real games. Some of them were created, but very small number. And now they are interested in groups who are SURE what they WILL put SERIOUS effort in creating their game. And that's why such prices and limits.

    p.s.And at the almost same time MS introduces BizPark, very basically, MSDN Premium+'production' licenses for their servers with 3 year limit, for 100US$ -,they don't speak about Indie developers specificially but...


  10. Posts
    6
    Hey guys,

    I thought I'd peek my head up here and clarify a couple things. We have forum threads on GG that pop up often about Unity too of course, and do our best to keep them pretty civil. I wanted to say I'm happy to see a pretty calm, rational discussion of this stuff in the Unity community too. The Unity guys (Tom and David, + all the other nice folks I met at GDC) will tell you, and I'm pretty honest about saying that I'm a fan of this team and impressed by both the product and how well the business is operated. Definitely some smart people at the helm here.

    Okay...onto the clarifying...

    Quote Originally Posted by HiggyB
    I think we all need to keep things straight here:

    Instant Action: a browser-based distribution mechanism that downloads and launches an executable game. Every time they play your game they download the whole thing, engine and data.
    Not exactly, no. InstantAction Technology uses a very lightweight plugin (~150kb on FF) that allows sites like InstantAction.com (or others that use the same technology) to stream game data to a client's machine, execute and manage the game's state inside the web browser. The plugin also manages all communication between the game, front end web components (like chat, feeds, or player customization, or just UI) and back end web services (like stats tracking, player persistence, game patching, streaming data etc.) Game data IS stored locally, so it only needs to be downloaded once. The plugin provides this capability for all the games on InstantAction.com, and games on other sites like PlayLegions.com. This plugin works with any game engine technology once integrated with our SDK. It could work with Unity (if source were available) as it does with idTech, CryEngine, BigWorld, Unreal, and all the rest. Basic integration (the web rendering part) usually takes about a day. As far as we know, no one else is architecting a web publishing option that's engine agnostic in the same way.

    Quote Originally Posted by HiggyB
    Torque 3D: a browser-based plugin that you must build, as such each game is its own plugin as opposed to a centrally distributed one like ours. Each time you play a new game you must download and install the plugin, repeated plays its data only. But again, every game must offer its own plugin.

    Don't mix the two, they're distinct and separate distribution options.
    Indeed, IA Tech and the Torque 3D web publishing option are far different, but Torque 3D is not as described here either. Torque 3D provides seamless deployment to the web with no expensive code signing certifcate subscriptions to purchase or complicated "through the web" installation procedures for end users. The approach is actually very similar to Unity / Quake Live, but with Torque 3D, our licensees get full source for maximum flexibility and can brand the plugin themselves... and completely customize the installation. You can use standard installers which handle larger content sizes and dependencies such as .NET/DirectX/Visual Studio runtimes. You can aslo use our secure JavaScript <-> TorqueScript bridge to fully script the web page/game in both directions. There is, in fact, fine security control including scripting and domain checking (control what domains the plugin will allow itself to be run from).

    So, with Torque 3D, you CAN have a single plugin to power a single game, or a whole network of games. It's up to you. It's not a "Torque Web Player", it's your web player, however you want to use it. We went this direction because getting to plugin ubiquity doesn't seem like a reasonable strategy for us. I think we're far more likely to see a standard emerge from one of the big guys (Google native client perhaps) or to see a real rethinking of "the browser" that enables secure execution of native applications (like games) before a company like GarageGames could reach a "Torque Web Player" penetration rate of even 50% (about where Shockwave is now). We see really good conversion rates (on InstantAction) for people being willing to use plugins to access web content, so again, it didn't seem like a smart use of our energies given how fast web technology is moving.

    Quote Originally Posted by HiggyB
    Quote Originally Posted by QFS
    There is one thing very concerning to me about the T3D licensing.

    If you take note its says the studio version "Allows Revenue Over $250K Annually"
    Seems clear to me, "annually". Once you go over that amount you would in theory need to upgrade. I don't see any nefarious loopholes with their legal team waiting to pounce.
    Appreciate the benefit of the doubt =) Higgy is right. It's the same structure as Unity where it's only the previous year's revenue that matters.

    That's all! I'll go back to just casually lurking now =)


  11. Location
    Newfoundland
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    1,043
    Thanks all for your responses! And Thank you Brett for providing clarification. I started this thread to understand the new offering vs. tooling I'm currently using, and your clarifications are very helpful.

    My overall take, thus far, remains unchanged since I made the Unity vs. TGEA decision last year. Both are capable products, each with some pluses and minuses as you get deeper into the tools/APIs/engine/etc... Based on Brett's response I think I understand the GG positioning for T3D.

    Here's my tool choice reasoning, for what it's worth:

    The Unity 3D IDE approach is more mature (from a "this has always been the direction at Unity" point of view). I expect fewer bugs and a more solid experience from this tool set than the new T3D basic tool.

    The Unity Licensing model is less restrictive in potential applications of the tools (if gaming is not the only target market).

    The current Unity platform expansion fits well for my greatest likely opportunities (Win/Mac/iPhone). I have explored Wii but... that's not really a indie platform (at least not a starting point anyway).

    All these observations are taken from a "one man show" point of view. I'm modeler, animator (god help us all), Artist (pending trial for crimes against visual senses and humanity), Coder, marketer, financier, whatever.

    Now, I love source. Don't get me wrong. And I'd hate to buy Torque without source. The described tooling do have solid potential, with in the end greater flexibility (easy now... I'll get to it). With a team approach, particularily with code and coders, I can do things with Torque that I'm not sure I could do with the Unity Code if I wanted (Unity boys feel free to pounce on me, after I explain). What I would setup if given my chance:

    I'd setup a central source repository, central asset respository, something like Artifactory to serve base binaries to game dev, a central build server (likely using maven archtype files) and targeted build-deploy schema, integrated Unit Testing, a custom test harness (yes, I'd probably warp Torque hard to build genre specific frameworks in a component based model), then shoot for continual Integration.

    For teaming I'd setup base teams for framework(s), components, platforms, distributed (web plugin and MMO), then assemble game teams as necessary.

    With source in hand, I'd look for platform specific optimizing compilers (like Visual Studio plus Intel addon for Windows). (Ok, I get a little nuts around compiler theory ... heck, I sent myself into compiler hell for 2 weeks just looking at TGEA - which didn't support mac at the time)

    Oh a man can dream... now if I could just win the Powerball

    The net, for me at least, is as a very small indie developer, Unity gives me the most likely path of success, with solid tools (to compensate for my personal skills ). Torque looks like an excellent project, for those that have the necessary resources, I would like to see what some small shops produce when the product becomes available.

    Thanks!

    Galen

  12. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
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    6,186
    Quote Originally Posted by brett_seyler
    Appreciate the benefit of the doubt =) Higgy is right. It's the same structure as Unity where it's only the previous year's revenue that matters.

    That's all! I'll go back to just casually lurking now =)
    No worries Brett, I appreciate you stopping by to offer clarity!
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback

  13. QFS QFS is offline

    Posts
    281
    Quote Originally Posted by brett_seyler
    Appreciate the benefit of the doubt =) Higgy is right. It's the same structure as Unity where it's only the previous year's revenue that matters.
    I think people misinterpreted what I was attempting to say. I was merely asking if the condition of the annual revenue vs. app. version was based on of previous fiscal year revenues and not a carry over into possible future revenue.

    But thank you for clarifying it for me

    I always ask the hard questions, because I've been burned in the past and always look at agreements/contracts/conditions with a fine tooth comb and see if anything can be misconstrued or viewed in two ways by legal reps.


  14. Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2
    Dear All.

    Take a look at the Roozz plugin at www.3djam.com/roozz it will allow you to publish a TGEA or TGE based game on the web in a few minutes with out having to recompile your .exe file.

    This game is already using it: www.orangefps.com/game.html

    This page has some video tutorials that show you how to get started:
    www.3djam.com/roozz/default.aspx?c=tutorials.


  15. Posts
    22
    Tried it. And found following issues:
    - after plugin install it doesn't ask for browser restart. Good. But refreshing page doesn't work too
    - it appears they at least solve problem with 'sign every binary'. good.
    - it's not fully clear to me yet is plugin 'per game' or universal (as unity)
    - they say about future Mac and Linux compatibility. And it's unclear is this mean creating binaries for Mac and Linux or they will have something like Wine integrated(which is still require testing. In case of Unity - I'm pretty sure that IF code (no C++ plugins) works on Windows - it WILL also work on Mac OS X - and Linux(if/when support will be implemented) without actions on my side
    - BIG LEGAL license agreements shown 2 times during attempt to run game. I never see this on Unity Web Player games. And it looks
    - logo issue. It's unclear from available documentation can 3djam logos be removed or not(We have this option with Unity Pro and it's appears that this is technically possible with T3D(legally - only with their studio license))
    - streaming. Unity Pro has 'in-engine' streaming support. For Rozz(and it looks T3D too) this must be implemented in engine
    - caching. Rozz DOES cache files locally. As far as I understood how Unity does this - it have only per session cache.
    - (from http://www.3djam.com/roozz/SecurityIntroduction.pdf) 'Avoid internet communication directly from your application to your server.
    If you must allow internet communication from you application, then try to do it via HTTPS
    or similar secure protocol. (you must absolutely avoid UDP communication)
    3. Try to avoid using input args to your application.' - very good. For me it reads as 'please forget about anything except http/https in your game,forget about browser interaction, forget about scripting...'


  16. Location
    Zürich, Switzerland
    Posts
    26,572
    - it's not fully clear to me yet is plugin 'per game' or universal (as unity)
    Per engine player meets it most likely as you can edit the source the plugin will only work with that source not with modified engine sources - thats the difference to unity where the source is enforced to be the same or the plugin is incompatible too (Fusion Fall).
    If you work with an unmodified engine, that you could use the unmodified web player plugin
    In the end its a question of standardization between the licensees.


  17. Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    2
    - it's not fully clear to me yet is plugin 'per game' or universal (as unity)
    Roozz uses per server license.
    This means that you can run any number of games and other applications from your server (www.myxyz.com) when you buy one license (95€)

    - End users can download the Roozz plugin for free.
    - End users will need to agree to the EULA of Roozz plugin when they install Roozz plugin (only install once - similar to Flash player)
    - End users also need to agree to one EULA per webserver (www.myxyz.com) from which they allow to run games or application on their machine.

    Orangefps.com made a very nice looking EULA.
    See here:
    www.orangefps.com/game.html

    Game is cached on the end users computer, see the tutorial video UnPack action for more in info on this.

    You cannot remove the 3Djam logo during download. (but a future version will allow you to play a video instead)

    On Mac and Linux you will need to rebuild your C++ code to run on those platforms. (same goes for mobile platforms). But if you build your application entirely in .NET (C# or VB.NET) then you will be able to run the same code on both Windows and Mac and Linux (Roozz plugin will make sure the end user has Mono installed).


  18. Posts
    22
    Quote Originally Posted by thomas3
    - it's not fully clear to me yet is plugin 'per game' or universal (as unity)
    Roozz uses per server license.
    I know that.
    What I DON'T know is if user has plugin from www.xyz.com installed and visits www.abc.com - what needs to be downloaded?plugin itself or only game data?

    This means that you can run any number of games and other applications from your server (www.myxyz.com) when you buy one license (95€)
    Price unclear.Site says 99EUR

    - End users can download the Roozz plugin for free.
    Only from Roozz(like unity) or from xyz.com too(like T3D?

    - End users will need to agree to the EULA of Roozz plugin when they install Roozz plugin (only install once - similar to Flash player)
    - End users also need to agree to one EULA per webserver (www.myxyz.com) from which they allow to run games or application on their machine.
    Unity Web Player doesn't force user to do this.
    It's JUST installs. And shows link to EULA.
    T3D Beta 1 of course allows anything you want in this regard.

    Orangefps.com made a very nice looking EULA.
    See here:
    www.orangefps.com/game.html
    I saw...
    Speaking of EULA's. It's not possible to add 'site' EULA in non-english language. I tried and got ?????? on 3djam.com's member section instead of my text.

    Game is cached on the end users computer, see the tutorial video UnPack action for more in info on this.
    Let's suppose it's Vista.
    And it looks like by default it wants to install to C:\Program files - so this mean another way to annoy user. This time with UAC propmt?

    You cannot remove the 3Djam logo during download. (but a future version will allow you to play a video instead)
    Hopefully.


    On Mac and Linux you will need to rebuild your C++ code to run on those platforms. (same goes for mobile platforms). But if you build your application entirely in .NET (C# or VB.NET) then you will be able to run the same code on both Windows and Mac and Linux (Roozz plugin will make sure the end user has Mono installed).
    .NET?How I'm supposed to code Game in .NET?(without DirectX). Also, what if user arleady has OLDER version of Mono installed and application need .Net 3.5(for LINQ for example)? or something more interesting.
    Speaking of Linux, what about plugin to Konqueror (for example) or non-Debian based distributions?

    Btw, you speak of TGEA. How I'm supposed to rebuild for Linux -. That's not supported by GG.
    Also about security issues - it's unclear how certificate processing is handled by Roozz(for example - if there is flaw in game - certificate is revoked and what's later?). And this gives 3rd party(Roozz) much control over your game(Unity doesn't have this kind of control afaik, and with T3D this is not a problem(but signing becomes problem,yes)

  19. Unity Product Evangelist
    Location
    San Francisco CA USA
    Posts
    6,186
    Quote Originally Posted by joktar
    What I DON'T know is if user has plugin from www.xyz.com installed and visits www.abc.com - what needs to be downloaded?plugin itself or only game data?
    That depends on the games you're trying to play. If both games were developed against the same source code base then you can have one plugin drive multiple games. But if they're not developed against identical source code then each game will need its own plugin (at least that's my understanding of things so far).
    Tom Higgins - Product Evangelist at Unity Technologies ApS
    unity3d.com | answers | blogs | feedback


  20. Posts
    1

    I Own It

    I have T3D, Beta 2, and all I will say is don't waste your money. It's garbage like all the other engines they sale.

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