I am looking for an easy to go game engine ?

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Juggernaut 101 Aug 20, 2012 at 12:24

Hello,

I am looking for an easy to go game engine (free or commercial) with as much next-gen effects or features as possible.

I do not understand OOP but do understand C function calls and C sysntax.

So can anybody suggest anything ?

Thanks,

21 Replies

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rouncer 103 Aug 20, 2012 at 22:04

unity. just use it. heaps of “next gen” games come out with it - but dont expect it to be as update as if you made the engine from scratch n00b.

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jbadams 102 Aug 21, 2012 at 07:20

Unity should meet your needs, although some of the more advanced rendering features you’ll probably want require purchasing the professional licence, which is reasonably expensive at $1,500.

You might also take a look at Unreal Developers Kit, or CryEngine, both of which offer a very impressive feature set with attractive royalty-based payment schemes if you end up going commercial. You’ll likely find either of these options less beginner friendly than Unity however, with CryEngine offering the steepest learning curve and less educational material to get you started.

Note that even with all the tools provided and low-level development that has been done for you, it’s still a large undertaking to make a high-quality game; expect to spend some time working through the provided reference material and learning how your choice of engine works before being able to produce your game.

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Juggernaut 101 Aug 21, 2012 at 16:22

Thank you for your comments and advice. Yes UDK and CRYENGINE are the two titans in game industry.

To get full feature set of Unity I will have to pay $1500+ USD. Cryengine 3 is free initially and requires 20% of royalty on game release. Unreal Engine - $99 USD initially for releasing the game plus 25% as royalty when the game is released.

But is there anything that follows the syntax of C ( I do not know C++ and do not understand OOP well ) or BASIC or VISUAL BASIC or something procedural yet as fast as C
and gives easy to use canned functionalities ( low learning curve ) - something that a lone user can afford within $300 with one time payment (not per project) and no royalties ?

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fireside 141 Aug 21, 2012 at 20:37

You could look at the Essenthel engine. The private license is about 100 dollars. You can make one commercial game with it and it exports to android and iphone along with pc. Pretty nice feature set. As far as game speed, language doesn’t really matter much because most of the code is the engine and that’s generally well optimized. There is generally a script that is c based, so you shouldn’t have much of a learning curve. I haven’t used it, but it gets good reviews from people who have. Being able to export to so many platforms is a plus and the price is good. It’s nice to be ambitious, but asking for an easy engine and expecting to make money don’t tend to go hand in hand. You need well made models, good scripting, and good game design to be able to make any money at all and that can take years of practice.

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alphadog 101 Aug 21, 2012 at 20:43

The only open or cheap engine I know that is C-based is idTech3. All engines I’ve ever seen that use a C-style language use C++.

There are a handful of BASIC-style engines. The more common ones are Blitz3D and DarkBasic.

Why so hung up on C? Seems like a case of broad-based premature optimization to me. You do realize lots of games are written in higher-level languages, with occasional drops to C for critical paths?

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Reedbeta 167 Aug 21, 2012 at 20:46

Yes, if the issue is you do not understand C++ and OOP, then perhaps it would be worth spending some time learning those - if only so you can understand other people’s code, even if you prefer not to use OOP yourself.

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Juggernaut 101 Aug 21, 2012 at 23:04

fireside Yes I have seen good remarks on Essenthel engine. But the problem here is the personal license is for single game only. So if I cannot make at least $100 from my first game, I will have to purchase another license for $100 for my next game. So I will incur a cumulative cost which will sum up too big unless I am moderately successful in my releases. That is why I mentioned that I am looking for one time license fee and no royalties.

alphadog , Reedbeta Well, if I do use C from within C++ and come around with the OOP thing eventually, what game engine can you suggest ( with points or features that I have mentioned in my first post ?)

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jbadams 102 Aug 22, 2012 at 01:52

I’m afraid you have conflicting requirements. You simply aren’t going to find an engine that is easy to use, provides next-gen effects and top-of-the-line features, costs very little and has no royalties. You can choose some of those requirements, but you’re not going to find an option that meets all of them.

Personally, I’d suggest UDK for the following reasons:

  1. It offers all those awesome effects you want, and provides a professional-grade tool set for building your game.
  2. You can start using it for free, and when (if) you get to releasing a commercial game you only need to pay $99 up-front for as many titles as you like. You can then earn up to US$50,000 before you have to start paying royalties, at which point a 25% royalty applies. This is a really good deal.
  3. UnrealScript is relatively simple, and the documentation and examples offer a decent reference to get started. There’s also an active community to help you out. It is an OOP-based language, but honestly I’d really suggest you should just suck it up and learn to deal with that. A basic understanding of OOP (that is, enough to work with UDK and UnrealScript) really isn’t that big a hurdle.

You just can’t have everything you’re asking for – you need to compromise on some points.

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Juggernaut 101 Aug 22, 2012 at 09:56

@jbadams: I guess you are right. LIke they say - “You just can not have it all”. So I guess UDK is the choice apparently.

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alphadog 101 Aug 22, 2012 at 12:31

jbadams is right. Most people who do C++ really just do C+OOP, and that’s fine. :) There’s a high level of complexity in C++, but it doesn’t mean you have to know it all to be productive and produce games.

I would add that, like UDK, Unity offers a breadth of tools and a vibrant community too. In fact, if you think you will be successful, and your game can fit within the envelope of Unity Pro’s features, that’s a much better move licensing-wise. The only condition is that you must upgrade to Unity Pro if you make > $100K. No royalties.

The choice could be heavily influenced by what kind of game(s) you want to make and your skill level/experience in game development…

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Juggernaut 101 Sep 02, 2012 at 20:18

@alphadog

jbadams is right. Most people who do C++ really just do C+OOP, and that’s fine. :) There’s a high level of complexity in C++, but it doesn’t mean you have to know it all to be productive and produce games.

I would add that, like UDK, Unity offers a breadth of tools and a vibrant community too. In fact, if you think you will be successful, and your game can fit within the envelope of Unity Pro’s features, that’s a much better move licensing-wise. The only condition is that you must upgrade to Unity Pro if you make > $100K. No royalties.

The choice could be heavily influenced by what kind of game(s) you want to make and your skill level/experience in game development…

If I can make $100K. from games produced by Unity, I will just buy it with all plugins :) ……. no regret. But the free version lacks crucial features. I do not know if there will be any addition of features in the free version 4

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jbadams 102 Sep 03, 2012 at 01:17

Precisely why I recommended UDK rather than Unity – assuming a successful game (and that’s a big assumption for a first project!) you’ll spend a little more in the long run, but it puts off spending anything until you’re ready to release your game, and you don’t have to spend $1,500 just for the rending effects. You’re also able to target all supported platforms without additional licences.

Have you made any progress with getting started?

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Juggernaut 101 Sep 03, 2012 at 16:24

No, not really. Have you got any experience with C4 2.9.1 ? Looks ok. Though no match for Cryengine 3 or UDK 3 - I guess. Which is easier to learn - UDK 3 or Cryengine 3 ?

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jph 101 Sep 03, 2012 at 18:09

I suggest having a look at the ZGameEditor; http://www.zgameeditor.org/

It is a nice IDE that takes care of much of the setup work, (and keeps your project organised), just script in a “c like” language,. invoke openGL, Bullet Physics, or whatever using the ExternalLibrary setup,. and test in real time in the editor itself! A built .exe with no content is <32KB so it is quite efficient as well, and is set up for procedural asset creation to boot. Oh, it is also free, opensource, and requires no royalties.

bonus; there is an android building setup that is working well too. See; https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.iterationgames.SaucerInvasion

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Juggernaut 101 Sep 03, 2012 at 18:30

@jph

I suggest having a look at the ZGameEditor; http://www.zgameeditor.org/

It is a nice IDE that takes care of much of the setup work, (and keeps your project organised), just script in a “c like” language,. invoke openGL, Bullet Physics, or whatever using the ExternalLibrary setup,. and test in real time in the editor itself! A built .exe with no content is <32KB so it is quite efficient as well, and is set up for procedural asset creation to boot. Oh, it is also free, opensource, and requires no royalties.

bonus; there is an android building setup that is working well too. See; https://play.google…..SaucerInvasion

Thanks for the info. Will check it out.

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alphadog 101 Sep 04, 2012 at 15:36

@Juggernaut

But the free version lacks crucial features.

What would those crucial features be, esp. in a first project?
@jbadams

Precisely why I recommended UDK rather than Unity

Given the vague nature of Juggernaut’s issue, seems weird that you can be so precise in answer. In your opinion, what are some features in UDK, that are not in Unity and that would be a “dealbreaker” for Unity for a first project?

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jbadams 102 Sep 05, 2012 at 11:41

@alphadog

Given the vague nature of Juggernaut’s issue, seems weird that you can be so precise in answer. In your opinion, what are some features in UDK, that are not in Unity and that would be a “dealbreaker” for Unity for a first project?

He wanted “next gen effects”.

Now, personally, I would agree that these aren’t really needed for a first project – but most beginners simply won’t settle on an option that isn’t at least capable of these things, and also don’t like parting with the cash to get them. I could make a recommendation to just forget about having those more advanced rendering features for now, but in my experience that would probably result in my advice being ignored. Given there is another option that is also free up-front, has a much lower fee once you want to publish, and has all those features and a good track record it’s a pretty clear choice.

Putting off payment till later is an attractive option for many beginners even if it might cost a little more in the long run, especially when it lets them have the features they want – even if they might not actually need those features anyway.

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alphadog 101 Sep 06, 2012 at 16:20

I can agree with that. In the low-budget, non-profit, “next-generation” game/demo, UDK is best. Of course, that is the realm of the most lost effort, so what is used hardly matters since it’s an area so filled with churn. :)

However, Unity is less expensive to a business. At commercial levels, once you try to actually make money, Unity is best if your commercial setup trends to small teams, UDK may be best when there are small margins. (but who wants that?) A small team with a highly successful game will make more money with Unity Pro than with UDK.

                                   UDK                     Unity
Devs         Profit  Licensing    Remainder    Licensing    Remainder
4                  $-       $-           $-           $-           $-
4          $50,000.00       $99.00   $49,901.00           $-   $50,000.00
4         $100,000.00   $12,599.00   $87,401.00           $-  $100,000.00
4         $200,000.00   $37,599.00  $162,401.00    $6,000.00  $194,000.00
4         $500,000.00  $112,599.00  $387,401.00    $6,000.00  $494,000.00
25        $500,000.00  $112,599.00  $387,401.00   $37,500.00  $462,500.00
100       $500,000.00  $112,599.00  $387,401.00  $150,000.00  $350,000.00
25      $1,000,000.00  $237,599.00  $762,401.00   $37,500.00  $962,500.00
100 $1,000,000.00  $237,599.00  $762,401.00  $150,000.00  $850,000.00
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Juggernaut 101 Sep 06, 2012 at 21:04

@alphadog

What would those crucial features be, esp. in a first project?

Given the vague nature of Juggernaut’s issue, seems weird that you can be so precise in answer. In your opinion, what are some features in UDK, that are not in Unity and that would be a “dealbreaker” for Unity for a first project?

Look I agree those next-gen fancy things are not required in the first project but I will want to spend time learning an engine that has such capabilities rather than switch engine when I advance gradually.

Secondly there are other other options available apart from Unity ( whose pro version will cost $1500+ or may be greater for the upcoming version 4 ). Engines like C4 ( $250 for standard license ) and Leadwerks 2 ( $200 ) are good enough for one time payment option without having to bear the royalty. Of course they are no match to UDK or Cryengine 3 but still small studios
are using them to create sell games. For me right now I am going solo, so for me the choice of Unity is a bit far off the road.

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jbadams 102 Sep 07, 2012 at 04:47

@alphadog:

Absolutely, but we’re not talking to a business, we’re talking to an individual looking to get started on a first (or early) project. I think Unity is a great option, I just don’t feel it’s necessarily best suited to this particular situation.

Really though, any of the engines mentioned thus frwould be capable and good choices, and all this talk of final profits and having to pay royalties on sales over $50-100,000 is probably a bit premature – a beginner just getting started will be doing very well if they manage to get into a situation where that actually matters.

@Juggernaut:

I think you might be suffering from what’s known as “decision paralysis”; you’ve now spent a couple of weeks looking at different options and don’t really seem any closer to actually choosing one. You’re also changing your requirements as you go – you’ve now switched to paying a smaller amount up-front in order to avoid royalties, and sacrificed one of your original requirements of wanting an easy-to-use engine.

Realistically, every option that has been mentioned in this topic is a good, usable engine that will allow you to create games. They have varying capabilities, varying levels of ease-of-use, and varying costs (both up front, and royalty-based). If you’re not sure about things like ease-of-use, just install the trials of any that interest you and have a play – almost all of these engines offer some form of trial. If you’re having trouble choosing between them, perhaps you could try making a decision grid.

Pick any one option, and actually get started on learning to use it and on creating your game – the only way you definitely won’t make any money is if you never actually create one! ;) You definitely don’t want to spend more than about a month on such a decision; considering your options carefully is smart, but continually seeking an ideal and changing your priorities along the way just ends up wasting your time.

Hope that helps! :)

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Juggernaut 101 Sep 10, 2012 at 18:38

Thank J Adams, I have settled with something initially and will be with it for my first project or couple more if I can linger the initial lap. Thank you guys for looking in to my post and giving practical advice. I hope I will be all right next couple of months.