When comparing Irrlicht vs HeroEngine, the Slant community recommends HeroEngine for most people. In the question“What are the best 3D game engines?” HeroEngine is ranked 33rd while Irrlicht is ranked 38th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Lots of examples and docs
Many working examples to study and learn. You can easily experiment modifying an example code to grok in full how the engine works. In the beginning of your learning curve, the example code will offer you many useful code snippets.
Pro Free and open source
Pro Good polymorphic design
If you are considering writing your own engine with openGL, you might want to consider Irrlicht instead. It makes many features of any engine worth its salt easy, including events, serialization, nodes, animators, materials, logging, and animation. Bring your own sound and networking.
Especially if you compile it yourself, it can be very light in memory usage.
Pro Easy to entry level C++ experience
If you want to start game developing with C++, then Irrlicht is a good candidate since it removes most of the complications in game making in C++. It will let you obtain experience in programming and games at the same time.
Pro Support for multiple formats
This engine supports multiple formats for 3D objects and textures.
Pro Real time development- No nightly builds
Pro Streamlines MMO development
Backend completely handled by the team at Hero.
Pro Versoning control included in both HeroEngine and HeroBlade
No need for Perforce, Github or any other versioning software. It is built in. Check, Compare, Merge, revert, etc.
Pro Server and Networking built in
Pro Engine developer support
Developers of the engine and game developers are active on the Forums and Skype for private messaging.
Pro Very active community and support groups
Skype channel and forums questions answered by developers of HE and users very quickly.
Pro Highly optimized asset export plugins included
Though the export pipeline may be different and currently requires 3ds Max or Maya, the format is highly optimized to reduce high quality models down to KB's.
Able to create many types of games and scales all the way from a single area up to a full-blown MMO.
Designed for the needs of a MMO. HSL is also relatively easy to learn as scripting languages go. It was geared towards beginners, not time hardened programmers, and as such, its easier for a novice to pick it up sometimes, than a c++ programmer. That, and it was intended to be "readable" more like English.
Obsolete over 5 years ago. While the engine is being worked on with plans for new features and support, the movement is slow, leaving many engines far more advanced in certain areas.
Con Not a game engine
This is a 3D graphics engine similar to Ogre3D. Thus, it doesn't provide any pathfinding or physics support. Support for those will have to be added by the dev.
Con Lack of DirectX 11.1 or 12 support
DirectX 9 is the last version supported.
Con High price
A standalone scripting language with (so far) little in the way of learning resources.