Amateur Developer: How to Understand Game Engines

Some of you are probably just starting to be interested in the game industry and therefore do not really understand what a game engine is and how to use it. In that way, let’s have a short excursion into the concept of a game engine and find out what they are and how to choose the right one for yourself.

What is a Game Engine?

First of all, a game engine is a software package that simplifies game development by providing you with the set of tools you need to develop. Several simple facts follow from this. First, the engine is completely optional, the game can be made without it only by using the programming language. It means, that knowing a language is really important. If you need help with it, address programminggeeks as they know everything about programming languages. Secondly, the engine will not make a cool game for you. But with it, the work will go ten times faster, so it is strongly advisable to use ready-made patterns.

Generally speaking, the game engine is responsible for the organization and behavior of game objects, as well as their display on the screen. Your task is to choose how they will look and how they will behave. To do this, the engine will provide you with the ability to create and delete objects, set their parameters, add logic, and manage resources.

What Types of Game Engines Exist

In fact, it is not so easy to divide game engines into separate categories, because most often they provide the same capabilities, the only question is the number of these capabilities. But let’s try to do this.

In terms of internal structure, game engines are divided into:

  1. A full-fledged software, which is a special program that can put a game together for you, and you are provided with a full-fledged editor.
  2. A framework, which is a collection of useful classes and functions that you can use when building your game from scratch. You will have to build the game yourself, but you will have more control over the process.

If we are talking about frameworks, then the game is written in the same language in which the framework is written. If we are talking about full-fledged software, then you can program on:

  • Complete programming language. Such languages ​​can be C ++, C #, Javascript, Lua.
  • An adapted scripting language. Usually, a scripting language is taken as a basis, and its syntax and capabilities are expanded to make it easier to use in the context of game development. There are no universal solutions, but often these languages ​​are very similar to each other.
  • Visual interface. It’s exactly the same programming process, but instead of writing lines of code, you connect action nodes together. It’s even easier than writing code manually, but you still have to learn the programming process. It is also more difficult to navigate the nodes due to their bulkiness.

If we talk about the license, then there are also several options:

  1. Paid engines – You will have to pay to use these programs, sometimes even every month.
  2. Free to use – You can easily download and use these engines for development, but in order to sell games made on it, you will have to deduct a percentage to the owners of the engine.
  3. Open source engines – You can easily download and use these engines with a minimum of restrictions.

You should choose the engine according to your preferences and your skills. Check if your knowledge is enough to work on a certain engine first.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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