Games are fun to play and more fun making them,you don’t need to be a programming guru to roll out your own game,you don’t need to endure the pain of understanding game theory for realistic AI or quaternions and 3D mathematics, all that painful part has already been done for you so that you can let your creativity loose and make possibly make the next GTA. i will walk through the game engines that I’ve personally tried out and give personal insights on the pros and cons of each ,if you don’t know what a game engine is, read my previous article about it here.
this is one of the most popular gaming engines out there, it has both a paid and free version with stripped down features like render to texture(the only liable way to recreate beautiful real time reflections in game)and the inability to remove the stock splash screen,it also comes with tonnes of extensions that remove the load from the developer,Unity is always up to date with modern advancements in technology like adapting support for Apple’s Metal API ,the main down fall is it C# scripting language which has quite a learning curve for non-coders and its over reliance in object oriented design,this create significant overhead especially on devices with limited hardware capabilities like mobile platforms,otherwise is a professional grade game engine and 90% of games on mobile appstores are probably running on Unity.
you probably heard of this engine after the high notoriety it gained especially when its developers(Epic games)announced that Unreal Engine 4 will be free(its not entirely free though,you still pay the developer royalties on the games you monetize,acquiring a license to use use the engine and gain access to the source code is as easy as filling in a form and accepting an EULA bam!),this engine is as advanced as advance gets, at has it all,advanced physics simulations,physically based rendering,rich resource manager integrated into the level editor,visual scripting so that those non-programmers can do sweet AI and game mechanics,it also ships with perforce version control systems so that group projects can be organized, it comes with Speedtree so that realistic foliage can be incorporated without noticeable repetition and low performance overhead cost,and if you got some money to spare ,you can buy plugins such as umbra occlusion culling with a click of a button.one major set back is the inability to modify or remove the Unreal Engine splash screen without permission(as a matter of fact,you can remove the splash screen as its against the terms of the license )all in all its an engine worth considering.
GODOT game engine
Godot is by far the most advanced open source game engine Ive ever laid my hands on, it feature the ability to deploy your game to iOS,andriod,windows,OSX and linux with no special tweaks ,endianess and platform specifics windowing and input handling are handled for you automatically.you can develop both 2d and 3d games with advanced HDR lighting,advanced post processing effects like bloom,fog,glow and color management(like desaturating the colors during game-play for dramatic effects),the ability to import your favorite 3d applications(blender,max, maya…)
this engine is a full featured especially for start-ups,and if you dont already have it what are you waiting for.