Saturday, February 1, 2014

Game engines/frameworks

Many things must be taken into account when starting new game project from the scratch. First of all, you have to decide what kind of a game you are planning and what would be the feasible target platform (or platforms) for that. You must understand the limitations of each platform, e.g. available screen resolutions, computing power, input devices, etc.

When target platform is decided, it is time to think about what development tools can be used for this project. There are plenty of tools available for hobby game developer and each of them has pros and cons. So it is sometimes bit hard to make selection, and in case of hobby developer the "zero budget" drives to use free (or very cheap) software.

I have tried at least following game engines or frameworks:
- Unity3D
- Blender Game Engine (BGE)
- GameMaker
- Adobe Flash (CS6)
- Löve2D
- Stencyl

Personnally, I want to promote the usage of open-source software. So my favorites from the list above are Blender and Löve2D. Unfortunately, I have no idea if neither of them can be used to publish game for flash and/or mobile devices. So that's why I am not currently using them for game development. :(

Currently, I am using Stencyl for creating flash games. The reasoning behind that is the general easiness to use and does not require heavy programming background. Also, basic version is free, so it is suitable for my "zero budget" plans. Commercial version has support for Android and HTML5, and that matches to my future needs.

Screenshot from Stencyl ("Turbomole Trial Run" flash game)

I am going to evaluate Corona and Haxe in the near future, because they seem to be matching my upcoming needs quite well. As far as I understand it is possible to publish games for several platforms with both of them.

So far, I have no plans go for 3D games. But if that happens, my selection for game engine is probably Unity3D, because it's multi-platform support.

-Jussi


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