Surprise in my stocking from Garage Games

I’m sure you heard that Microsoft released XNA Game Studio Express yesterday. What you might not have heard was Garage Games also released an open beta for Torque X. The big surprise is if you own a license to Torque Game Builder COMMERCIAL, Torque Game Builder Pro – INDIE or Torque Game Builder Pro – COMMERCIAL you now own Torque X! If you aren’t one of those lucky people you can still download a 30 day trial version to check it out.

Here’s where I point out that Garage Games has gotten a little too punchy with the different flavors of its products. It is confusing enough that there are now four different engines. But now there are different VERSIONS of the engines!?! Do you want Torque Game Engine 1.4 or 1.5??? Then you add the layer of licenses, are you a Professional Indie or just a Professional Commercial the one that does not have the word Indie in it? AAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

So maybe you hadn’t heard of Torque X before. It is basically a mash-up of XNA and Torque Game Builder. Imagine using a game engine that let’s you program in C# and deploy your games to the PC and Xbox 360! Crazy cool! It’s the game engine you thought you got with XNA!

Here’s a handy bullet list of features:

New starter kit Tank Buster
The "Pro" version includes source code. That should be interesting.
A Shader 2.0 based material system by lighting Guru John Kabus
All the tools from Torque Game Builder: Tile Builder, Particle Builder, Level Builder, GUI Builder and Packaging Utility
NO TorqueScript WOOOO HOOOO!!!!!!
Tips & Hints:

Oh and just in case you don’t realize this all works with the XNA Game Studio Express, Torque X isn’t a stand alone product.
Currently isn't working with 64-bit Windows
TorqueScript Gui files cannot be loaded in TorqueX
Can't commercially sell on the Xbox 360, yet.
XNA Creator's Club membership is required to run your Torque X games on an Xbox 360