I want to try my hand at writing a 3D game. However I don't want to start at such a low level of drawing individual triangles and writing my own 3D object loader and so on. I've heard of things like Irrlicht, Crystal Space 3D, and Cafu, but I don't have any experience with any of them. I'm looking for suggestions from people who have experience with these or other engines on which ones are well written, and are easy to get started using, without having to learn a ton of 3D math theory and how GPUs work internally.
In terms of game engines:
Since Ogre3D was suggested, there also exists a light-weight alternative Horde3D.
The obvious choice, if Ogre3D is too low level for you, would be NeoAxis: http://www.neoaxisgroup.com/
It's powered by Ogre, but is a complete game development platform.
It's targeting .NET so you can use C#, managed C++, VB.
So go for that. :)
Ogre3D is able to run on a range of mobile devices, like iPhone and Android. So it's not too big.
Don't mistake size for performance.
I am not sure if IrrLicht has an official iPhone support, but Ogre3D does.
My Opinion (only for open source 3D engines):
Open Scene Graph is a pretty good, very well designed cross-platform 3D engine. Contrary to Ogre3D, for example, it does not provide "game engine" features, and concentrates on being a very nice abstraction on top of OpenGL.
Have a look at the extensive list of samples.
I know you asked for C++, but Panda3D also works with C++, even if it's at first targeted to work with python. It is a game engine, but whatever...
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