We got sidetracked a bit talking about Defense Grid: The Awakening. I wasn’t kidding about it using Gamebryo, either. Here is the splash screen:
And here is the game itself:
Note that Gamebryo is the engine on which Morrowind, Oblivion, Fallout 3, and Fallout New Vegas are built. I’d always assumed that it was an in-house creation from Bethesda, but the wiki describes it as a third-party engine. But then where does the Elder Scrolls Construction set come from? That MUST be in-house. (If it was third party, it wouldn’t have “Elder Scrolls” in the name.) Generally a game engine comes with its own tools, so this seems strange to me.
(A graphics engine usually only deals with pushing polygons and lighting them. Ideally, a good graphics engine will let you write one bit of code and have a better than average chance that it will be able to render the same on the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC without you needing to write three entirely different rendering pipelines. A game engine does all of this, plus it handles stuff like that creation of actors in the scene, user interface, abstracting various input devices, and setting up world geometry. The line between these two kinds of engine can get very blurry. Something like id Tech 4 (the engine behind Doom 3) is almost all graphics engine.)
The upshot is that New Vegas and Defense Grid have the same engine under the hood. I can only assume that they’re using the graphics engine aspects of Gamebryo and ignoring the game engine stuff. The games have nothing in common, so I can’t imagine that a single game engine would be of use to both. The only things they have in common are loose, abstract concepts like “actors” (game-world creatures) and “hit points”, ideas which are so basic it would be easier to write them yourself than to learn how to use someone else’s code.
Anyway. Defense Grid. Tower defense gameplay. Fun stuff.