Torque (game engine)
|Stable release||1.5.2 / May 15, 2007|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X, Linux|
|Website||Official Torque Game Engine Product Page|
Commercial titles developed using the Torque engine include Blockland, Marble Blast Gold, Minions of Mirth, TubeTwist, Ultimate Duck Hunting, Wildlife Tycoon: Venture Africa, ThinkTanks, The Destiny of Zorro, Penny Arcade Adventures and most recently, indie video games S.P.A.Z. and Frozen Synapse.
The Torque engine and its many derivative products were available for license from GarageGames, a company formed by many members of the Tribes 2 team at Dynamix. GarageGames was later acquired by InstantAction, but on November 11, 2010, InstantAction announced that it was winding down its operations and looking for potential buyers for Torque. On January 19, 2011, GarageGames announced their return to their old name with new owners. Torque3D and most of their other products were to continue being developed and supported.
As well as being a 3D graphics engine, TGE provided networking code, scripting, in-engine world editing, and GUI creation. The source code could be compiled for Windows, Macintosh, Linux, Wii, Xbox 360, and iPhone platforms. TGE shipped with starter kits for a first-person shooter and an off-road racing game. A real-time strategy starter kit was also available as a separate purchase. These starter packs could be modified to suit the needs of the developer, or the developer could start from scratch.
The engine supported loading of 3D models in the DTS file format and the DIF file format. The DTS models could be animated using either skeletal animation or morph target animation. It was also possible to blend multiple skeletal animations together by playing them simultaneously or automatically tweening between the different positions of bones in the skeleton. DTS models were typically used for characters and vehicles though occasionally, they were used for buildings and interiors. DIF models have pre-calculated lighting and as such are ill-suited for animation. Instead, they were used for buildings and interiors. They automatically had bounding boxes that perfectly match the visible geometry. This was so that it wasn't made overly difficult for a player in a Torque Game Engine game to move or fire weapons around them.
The game featured a terrain engine that automatically created LODs of the ground so that it rendered the fewest polygons necessary at any given time. The terrain was automatically lit, and textures applied to the terrain could be blended together seamlessly. The game's rendering engine featured environment mapping, gouraud shading, volumetric fog, and other effects such as decals that allowed for textures to be projected onto interiors in real time (for example, a player in a Torque Game Engine game might fire a weapon that left a bullet hole in the wall. The bullet hole would be a decal). Torque supported networked games over LAN and the internet with a traditional client-server architecture. Server objects were "ghosted" on clients and updated periodically or upon events.
Over time, Torque Game Engine was expanded on with the creation of derivative engines.
The current flagship engine developed by GarageGames is Torque 3D. Originating as a successor to TGEA, Torque 3D features PhysX support, modern shader features, and an advanced deferred lighting model. T3D also supports both windows and browser based deployment as standard. While still supported, DTS and DIF shapes have been superseded by COLLADA, a more commonly supported file format. Torque 3D was released under the MIT License on September 20th 2012, and is currently at version 1.2.
Torque Game Engine Advanced 
|Stable release||1.8.1 / 10/02/09|
|Operating system||Microsoft Windows|
|Platform||PC, games can be ported to Xbox 360|
|Website||Official Torque Game Engine Advanced Product Page on GarageGames Website|
Torque Game Engine Advanced (formerly known as Torque Shader Engine) was an expanded version of Torque Game Engine made to support advanced technologies including shaders, per-pixel lighting, and massive terrains. This version of the engine has been ported to Microsoft's Xbox and Xbox 360 console systems. Several Xbox Live Arcade games have been released using the Torque engine, most notably Marble Blast Ultra.
Although TGEA supported the existing Torque Legacy Terrain, TGEA incorporated entirely new terrain rendering engine, the Atlas Terrain Engine, which is an improvement over the blended terrains of TGE. Atlas used GPU hardware to render a massive terrain block and its textures. This allowed Atlas to scale with faster systems of the future. A shaded water rendering system was implemented with full reflection, refraction, and Fresnel reflection. TGEA incorporated a lighting system based on Torque Lighting Kit, including a light manager tool, scene lighting, and dynamic shadows among others.
Torque Game Engine Advanced 1.0 supported Direct3D rendering via an API-independent graphics layer. Future versions were expected to support both Direct3D and OpenGL pipelines to allow TGEA to support Macintosh and Linux platforms as well as Windows. There had also been planned TGEA compatibility with Microsoft's game development suite for the Xbox 360, XNA Game Studio Express.
TGEA contained several ready-to-apply shaders and common shader settings. Custom shaders based on High Level Shader Language could be compiled by the engine and applied as custom materials. This could be applied to both interior and exterior type 3D art assets. Fallback materials could be configured to allow support of pixel and vertex 1.x first-generation video cards.
- Development History
February 10, 2009 New release of TGEA, TGEA 1.8.1
April 5, 2008 New release of TGEA, TGEA 1.7
February 15, 2007 Production release of TGEA 1.0 and end of Early Adopter Program
January 23, 2007 Release 4.2 Beta.
Torque Game Builder 
Some time after the release of Torque Shader Engine, the company went on to create Torque 2D. Torque 2D was a game engine designed for 2D games based on the Torque Game Engine. The name was eventually changed to the Torque Game Builder because the ultimate goal is to make Torque Game Builder a game-making suite. It was used to create the puzzle game And Yet It Moves (2009, Broken Rules, WiiWare).
Torque Lighting Kit 
Torque Lighting Kit was an expansion pack to the Torque Game Engine developed by John Kabus and Synapse Gaming. It added a variety of enhanced lighting features to the Torque Game Engine. In the latest release, features such as dynamic lighting and shadowing were added. Torque Lighting Kit was later included as part of Torque Game Engine 1.5 and Torque Game Engine Advanced. In 2008, Kabus and Synapse Gaming stopped supporting Torque, began a partnership with Microsoft, and packaged their lighting technology and other new tech into the Sunburn XNA Game Engine.
Torque X 
After the release of Torque Game Builder, GarageGames began to develop Torque X. Torque X was a game engine based on Torque Game Builder using a component system that allows multiple game objects to have the same abilities, running on Microsoft's XNA Framework. Many of the 3D features were left incomplete and never finished. Specifically, 3D terrain using RAW height maps suffered from a lack of working examples, shadows were substandard (consisting only of a spherical shadow texture projected on the terrain), the ability to use skinned meshes for animated models was not working (non-skinned meshes worked), and the 3D rigid-body physics suffered from several issues.
See also 
- "November Update | Eric Preisz | Blogs | Community | GarageGames.com". Torquepowered.com. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- "Welcome Back GarageGames! | Eric Preisz | Blogs | Community". GarageGames.com. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2012-06-17.
- "GarageGames to Release T3D as Open Source".
- "It's here! The MIT licensed Torque 3D GitHub repo is ready!".
- "Latest release of Torque".
- "Microsoft XNA partners".
- "Torque X Website on GarageGames".
- "XNA Partners Website".
- Torque Engine product page
- Roar of the Indy - article in Business Week on the Torque Game Engine
- TorqueBay - game development resources for Torque developers