Whether you are a small studio developing mobile games or giant studio slash publisher developing big budget AAA games, game engines are the central tools which provide game developers the core framework to build those games. Game Engines help game developers by providing them with a structure to organise their game development project and also provide them tools, commonly used animations , effects , physics engine, rendering solutions, modules etc.
Selecting the right game engine is critical for the success of the gaming project. It ends up defining the workflows, capabilities, restrictions for the project and also govern the targeted platforms same code base can be easily ported to. Every game engine has its own pros and cons, so choosing carefully which engine to go with based on your team strengths, experience, budget and game requirements is the key.
Here is a list of game engines which you can choose from for your next game development project.
Unity is one of the most popular cross-platform game engine in the market which can be used to build both 2-D or 3-D games and other 3D interactive experiences. Unity is known for it's ease of use in creating sophesticated games. Game developers can use C# to script their games or use Unity's drag and drop functionality and interface.
It has a rich and highly extensible editor which allows developers to quickly iterate and prototype their games and then quick preview them. Unity uses Box2D and NVIDIA PhysX for providing state of art physics engine capabilities and elastic performance.
One of Unity's best advantage is the community around the gaming engine and it's Asset store which is a marketplace where developers can sell/find thousands of resources, tools and extensions to speed up their projects.
Cross-platform capabilities of Unity are really impressive and its game developers super human abilities to code once and deploy anywhere as it supports 25 + platforms such as android, iOS, windows, linux, xbox, playstation, webgl, oculus, windows mixed reality etc.
Unity supports multiplayer out of the box , which can be heavily customized as per the game's needs. It also provides live operations analytics such as game & player analytics, heatmaps, performance monitoring which can give you strong insights into your game's performance and help you improve the player's experience , without using any external SDK.
Unity is also the go to game engine choice for building AR and VR experiences and as of now about 2/3rd of those experiences are built using Unity. Unity is free for personal use and paid plans start at $35 per month.
Unreal Engine is a professional suite of tools and technologies used for building high-quality games across a range of platforms. Unreal Engine’s rendering architecture enables developers to achieve stunning visuals and also scale elegantly to lower-end systems.
Although it was initially built for first person shooter games, but it evolved to support all types of 3D games like MMOs, MMORPGS, fighting games etc. Guinness World Records has awarded Unreal Engine with "most successful video game engine".
Revolutionary new workflow features and a deep toolset empower developers to quickly iterate on ideas and see immediate results, while complete C++ source code access brings the experience to a whole new level. It is cross platform and currently Unreal engine 4 supports exports to Microsoft Windows, macOS, Linux, SteamOS, HTML5, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Magic Leap One, and virtual reality (SteamVR/HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, PlayStation VR, Google Daydream, OSVR and Samsung Gear VR).
Unreal Engine technology powers hundreds of games as well as real-time 3D films, training simulations, visualizations and more. Over the past 15 years, thousands of individuals and teams and have built careers and companies around skills developed using the engine.
LINEAGE II: REVOLUTION a MMO game built in Unreal Engine ended up generating $176,000,000 USD in it's first month.
Cocos2d-x is a suite of open-source, cross-platform, game-development tools. There are different branches of Cocos2d-x including Cocos2d-objc, Cocos2d-x, Cocos2d-html5 and Cocos2d-XNA. All versions of Cocos2d work using the basic primitive known as a sprite. A sprite can be thought of as a simple 2D image, but can also be a container for other sprites. In Cocos2D, sprites are arranged together to form a scene, like a game level or a menu. Sprites can be manipulated in code based on events or actions or as part of animations. The sprites can be moved, rotated, scaled, have their image changed, etc
It is a cross-platform triple-A game engine which is being developed by Amazon and comes integrated with AWS and Twitch. Lumberyard is built on top of CryEngine Architecture which Amazon licensed from Crytek. Lumberyard is free and includes full source. There are no seat fees, subscription fees, or requirements to share revenue. Game Developers only pay for the AWS services they choose to use. Some top games using Amazon Lumberyard include Breakaway, Star Citizen, Everywhere, The DRG Initiative etc.
CryEngine is a very powerful game engine that gives you the full engine source code with all features with no royalties, no obligations, and no license fees in return.
It’s applauded for its amazing graphics output and incredible visuals made with its suite of tools, putting the power to create stunning experiences at your fingertips. It also has Fmod included in the engine, one of the best game audio tools out there which allows for a ton of creative space in terms of creating the game audio.
As a game developer, if you are looking for a simple and straightforward gaming engine to start with, GameMaker: Studio should be the ideal one. It is said to be a little expensive but there are various positive aspects that worth the price. Here are the pros and cons of this game engine.Some of its pros are Simple and straightforward for all basic and advanced elements., One programming language (GML) to involve with, No need to deal with memory management or tasks like multithreading, Independent of any platforms.