Today GarageGames announced they were opening the code to their flagship 3d game engine, Torque 3D.
Torque was originally released 10 years ago under the name V12 for the low price of $100. Since then it has spawned numerous games as well as spin-off products such as Torque 2D. It pretty much kick-started my software development career, my first major project being an export script to convert Blender scenes to Torque DTS models. Over the years i’ve had a good stream of work relating to Torque, e.g. working with Mode 7 Games on Frozen Synapse.
Open sourcing a key product is a bold move, and it will be interesting to see how well it will pay off. Nowadays with UDK, Unity, and a deluge of other game engines competing for developers, the market for paid-for royalty-based game engines has been looking a bit crowded.
Personally I think Torque3D stands a good chance compared to other Open Source solutions. For one it has a fully featured world builder, content pipeline and GUI system. It also features some fairly impressive networking code. I can’t think of any MIT licensed open source product which provides all of these things in a single package all ready to use out of the box.
Torque3D does however have a few weaknesses. In a world full of dynamic languages, TorqueScript is looking a bit dated and has a few problems with its architecture. Multiplatform support is there but the OpenGL renderer is poor. Also while the rendering in Torque3D is good, it could be much faster.
Despite these issues I still think Torque3D is a more than capable game engine. I look forward to seeing what the future holds.