Game Engine Decisions

Discussion in 'Indie Basics' started by Steven solof, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. Steven solof

    Steven solof New Member

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    Hello everybody,

    I have been learning coding on and off for the past several months. For practice, I was able to design some educational apps for my students. I want to turn these apps into games but have had some varying results in my approaches. It would be great to get some feedback on choosing an appropriate approach.

    1. I have kind of learned javascript, jquery, html, and css so it would be nice to continue down this route and pick an engine that supports these languages.

    2. It seems as though Unity/C# seems to be the most popular approach right now. Would learning C# be wise or unnecessary since I already have such a head start with the javascript approach?

    3. While it seems possible to pick an engine in the javascript realm, it has come to my attention that this approach is more niche/esoteric so it may be difficult to find support when I get in a jam. Thoughts on this?

    Thanks,
    Steve
     
  2. Jonininireland

    Jonininireland New Member

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    Hi Steven I'm in a similar predicament to you...I have dedicated most of my time to java and python and are very interested in game development. The problem is ease of use vs effort vs tools available...on to you.html css and js can make games of course but I don't think it will be the easiest most efficient way. Have you looked at game maker studio? It is prob the easiest engine out there. That being said you could learn c# and go unity...unity is obviously stronger but GMS is easier to use. But saying that it still takes a lot of effort and time to use GMS properly so I'm starting to think why not just go unity...that was the feeling I got when I messed with GMS. You won't find it too difficult to pick up c# after doing Js. So many concepts are the same and I could see huge similarities with things after doing some python after java. I recon you should do this. Keep going with html css and js (you started it and you will find it very useful if the school fired you and you needed to get another job ) and learn c# and unity for games. Most good developers know a few languages...I am prob going unity c# myself as I have compared libgdx and jmonkey (2D and 3D engines respectively) and support is staggeringly leaning towards unity...there are tons of tutorials and communities for unity compared to java supported engines... Seems like I just answered my own question...
     
  3. Steven solof

    Steven solof New Member

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    Very solid points. What I wound up doing was taking a private lesson with a developer who minored in game development in college and he made some very good points in the lesson. He basically said that game engines are pretty much just library extensions (much like jQuery is just an extension of javascript). So learning ANY engine is going to be like learning a dialect of the parent language. Then we started making a basic game in vanilla javascript and he explained to me how during the course of the lesson we had built our own basic engine. So I think I'm going back to my original strategy, which is to learn how to build games as a continuation of my javascript learning, for several reasons. Firstly, while I have made a bunch of headway this past year in learning and applying javascript, I still have a TON to learn in terms of basic coding and relevant strategies. Learning even an engine, let alone another language, I believe could lead towards feeling stagnant and unproductive because I'll be playing syntax and semantics games for months. Once I understand overall coding concepts and strategies better, translating to different engines and languages would just be a matter of time investment, easy google/forum searches, etc. Secondly, for a lot of the basic kinds of games I'll be developing in the near future, I think simple 2d canvas related javascript will work perfectly fine. Thirdly, my tutor explained that jumping into 3d games to start can be hugely overwhelming in terms of what is involved, and I am a firm believer in keeping things simple at first so one can master basic concepts and then build upon them. So I think I'll try my best to stick to 2d canvas related javascript games for now, build a whole lot of them, developing my own engines to see how they function, and then take the next step in maybe 6 months after I have a bunch of clean, functional, fun games for my students.
     
  4. Jonininireland

    Jonininireland New Member

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    I disagree not all game engines are just libraries or frameworks. Yes libgdx is a framework for java that extends 2D capabilities but Unity is so much more. It has a GUI and does a lot of the hard work for you. Game maker studio does even more. But there is nothing wrong with your approach. You do realise that html css and js are all predominantly used in Web development particularly in the front end. That doesn't mean they can't make good games. My wife is a front end developer and has finally agreed to give me some lessons in html css and js (she finally has some time for me lol) we start tomorrow can't wait... But I will also start C# the basics should be easy coming from java background. Then on to unity... I just came across atom game engine which supports both c# and js I read good things about it maybe you should check it out. The point is that it doesn't matter what you use...persistence and perseverance are key...I saw a demonstration on YouTube of games made with construct 2 (an engine that doesn't require any coding skills whatsoever) they were unbelievable. And any game developer worth his salt will tell you that any game engine can have commercial success...just look at flappybird for God's sake!!! Lol
     
  5. Steven solof

    Steven solof New Member

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    Atomic looks like a good engine from their demo. Any insight into support and forum support for it? Also, is it actual javascript that it supports or something like what unity calls javascript, which is actually unityscript?
     
  6. Jonininireland

    Jonininireland New Member

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    no read that support is actually terrible after posting last,people say leave well alone...godot i think its called got good remarks
     
  7. Steven solof

    Steven solof New Member

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    I think I like this drag and drop approach that seems possible in Game Maker. That way I can continue to learn vanilla javascript and make apps/games with that, and then use Game Maker (or another drag and drop engine) to quickly make my ideas come to life. Then maybe in 6 months after my coding and developing skills become stronger, I can more seriously think about how to merge them. Are there any other drag and drop engines? Is the drag and drop approach really effective (I don't need total control yet, I just want to learn the skills of game development)?
     
  8. Jonininireland

    Jonininireland New Member

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    Even game maker studio which is supposed to be very simple (though it still requires scripting,uses GML or some similar java type scripting language) will take a long time to get going...see this is my argument,even constructor 2 (that you can build games without coding) requires a lot of time sacrafice,its still not easy...you have to watch tutorials and see how things go etc...now its going to be easier to master in the long run i get that,its the initial time spent that i start thinking to myself im better off spending this time on a fully fledged engine...
     
  9. Steven solof

    Steven solof New Member

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    Yep, if you're going to have to invest a lot of time anyway, why not start something that will pay off better in the long run?
     

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