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Game Engines Galore

This post is a comparison post between different game engines. It will help beginners in game development to pick a suitable game engine.

Hello everyone, Before I start, I just want to say, this post is reflecting my own opinions about different game engine and it is not intended to be taken beyond that scope. I had a chat with Dan (a friend of mine at the Game Innovation Lab) about how many new game developers don't know a lot about different game engines. Once the discussion ended, he asked me to post about game engines, and rate them according to difficulty and complexity. Nowadays there are more game engines than in the early days of indiegame development. The funny thing is only a few of them are popular such as Unity, Unreal Engine, and Game Maker. To list all engines, I am going to divide them into categories: Educational (made for children), Specialized (for a single genre/type of games), and Generic engines. This categorization is just to help you find the best tool for what you are doing, but really any tool that allows you to add some programming, either by writing code or using logic trees (logic trees are a way of programming by building a tree of conditions), can be used to create any game. The problem is using any of these tools outside its intended scope is harder than using an other tool. Engines vary in popularity. Popular game engines have a big user base which helps a lot when you have bugs. While using unpopular engine can be a good thing as you work very close to the developers themselves and you can request changes easier from them. Also, these developer can help you in promoting your game more than popular engines because the success of your game is also reflect the success of their engine. Warning, this is a long post and if you don't have time, you can jump to a summary table that outlines them all at the end of the post (link).

Educational Engines:

These are tools designed to encourage people to design games and to help them to learn how to do it.

  • Scratch (https://scratch.mit.edu/): is an MIT tool that helps children to create stories, animation, and games. The tool allows you to program your own logic, by designing logic trees and attaching them to different objects in the scene. Scratch is more generic than you can expect, but it is hard to design very complicated games using it. Scratch produces html games to be played in the web, and all the created games are hosted on their website. You can check their top games here (https://scratch.mit.edu/studios/121998/)

Specialized Engines:

These are tools designed to prototype certain game genres/types in a very fast/efficient way.

Generic Engines:

These are the most generic tools to create games. Unity, Unreal, and Game Maker are part of it, but they are not everything. Always choose the tool that is suitable for the project and for your capabilities. Don't pick a tool that needs programming if you are not good at it. Don't worry: all generic tools can do everything, so just pick what fits you.

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