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As with programming languages, we have plenty of choices when choosing a game engine for our development. Each game engine has its strengths and weaknesses. The choice ultimately depends on the game we want to build. As we explore more games and the game engines used to power them, we may begin to recognize and discover that each game engine has its own “look and feel.”

Unity

One of the most popular game engines is Unity.

  • Supports 2D or 3D games on 25+ platforms as well as AR and VR games
  • Uses C#
  • Easy to use and has a simple interface
  • Features an asset store with tons of free assets
  • According to 2021 Gaming Report by Unity
    • Unity was used to make 90% of all Samsung Gear and 53% of Oculus Rift VR games
    • Engine of choice by 61% of game developers
  • Responsible for many mobile games, including Pokémon Go and Temple Run

Unreal Engine

Unreal Engine, developed by Epic Games (“Fortnite”), is a powerhouse behind many popular games.

  • Offers virtually every tool for developers to capture their creative vision
  • Features high-end graphics with its state-of-the-art rendering and lighting engines
  • Uses C++ by default
    • Can support other languages such as Python
    • Alternative blueprint visual scripting system to add logic, behavior, and interactivity without touching a line of code
  • Features a marketplace full of free assets

Due to its powerful abilities and tools, however, it may not be the best engine for small-team or solo game development. Unreal engine is better suited for 3D games than 2D games.

GoDot

GoDot has gained popularity due to its simplicity and free commercial license.

  • 2D and 3D capabilities
  • Uses GDScript by default, a Python-like scripting language
    • has support for C++, C#, and other languages
  • Features a unique node and scene organization to design games with ease

Other game engines worth mentioning include CryEngine, GameMaker Studio 2, and PyGame. Many of these game engines are open-source, meaning the community constantly improves them. Even though most of them are free to get started, some require us to purchase a license to distribute the game commercially. Epic Games, for example, takes a 5% royalty fee after a game earns $1 million in gross revenue. Before starting development, research the features, tools, pricing, and licensing options.

Instructions

Review the exercise content by referencing the game engine table to compare each feature.

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