Review of the Most Popular Engines for Game Development

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The number of personal computers, mobile phones and consoles is rapidly growing. People use these devices not only for work but also for entertainment. In this article, we are going to talk about game engines – technologies that have become indispensable in game development.  Top 10 game engines, which may be useful for you, are in this article.

Unity 3D

Unity 3D is a very popular engine for creating 2D and 3D games among developers. You should pay for a license only once, and indie-version is free. It is easy to use Unity 3D because it is reconcilable practically with every game platform.

Unity 3D was designed for OS X, but it also has ports for Windows.

Unity 3D has several cons. For example, the tools are limited. Also, the design of the application is competent: many things can be made using different editors without writing code. But for the games with complex effects, this engine is unsuitable.

Torque 2D/3D

Previously, Torque was a leader, but under the pressure of Unity, it lost its position. A lot of successful projects are still being developed on it.

The main difference between 2D and 3D versions is in the graphic subsystems. T2D uses OpenGL for visualization, T3D – DirectX. Both engines use the Torque Script as a script language.

TAML language is used for describing game elements in T2D. It allows defining the properties of objects at the initialization level of the game. OpenGL is required for sound playback in T2D. The Box2D engine does physics simulation.

Both versions (T2D and T3D) have similar network system. And it is possible to develop popular multiplayer games on T2D. T3D supports Windows and browser-based deployment as standard.

CryEngine 3

CryEngine 3 has appeared in 2001. Its developers planned to sell it as a technology.

It is free for studies, but for commercial use you should pay. The only legal entity can license this engine.

CryEngine 3 is focused on creating cross-platform games, designed for consoles and PC. It supports PlayStation 3-4, Xbox 360, WiiU, Xbox One and visualization technologies of Windows desktop — DirectX 9-11. CryEngine 3 doesn’t support mobile platforms.

The graphical output of CryEngine 3 is beautiful and UI scale form is comfortable for a starter.

UDK (Unreal Development Kit)

In simple words, UDK is a free version of its predecessor – Unreal Engine 3. They are like twins. Among the supported platforms are Windows PC, Windows Store, OS X, iOS, Android and penultimate generation of consoles. Its native language is UnrealScript.

Over 300 titles were produced on the base of Unreal Engine 3. For instance, BioShock Infinite, Gears of War 3, Lost Planet 3, Transformers: Fall of Cybertron, etc.

In December 2010, the version of  UDK, which supports creating games for the iOS platform, was released.

HeroEngine

It is worth to use HeroEngine in case if you have a serious project because the license is expensive.

Engine’s scripting language is HeroScript. Written scripts are saved directly on the server and run even faster than Python programs.

HeroCloud is used to support client-server.

Also, you will have access to examples of real MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online Game) games.

HeroEngine has a user-friendly editor GUI.  The client application is made only for Windows. In the cloud, several people can work on the same game. Live and collaborative development is one of the major advantages of this engine.

Cocos2D- X

The original engine Cocos 2D was developed in Python in 2008. Two years later, cross-platform version Cocos 2D-X in C++ was released.

Cocos 2D-X supports Marmalade, Android, Tizen, Windows Phone 7 (XNA), iOS,  BlackBerry, Windows, Bada, Windows, Linux.

This engine allows creating dynamic games with movement in space. For physics processing, Box 2D is used.

The engine is popular among programmers, researchers, small indie teams and the monsters of the gaming industry: Disney Mobile, Zynga, Konami.

The developers from Google, Microsoft, Intel are involved in the Cocos 2D-X development because it is really popular.

RAGE Engine

RAGE engine (Rockstar Advanced Game Engine) was established in 2006. It supports IBM PC-compatible computers and game consoles: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation Portable, Wii.

RAGE is a complete game engine. It includes physics, graphics, sound and animation engines, game artificial intelligence, script language, networking and other components.

RAGE Engine offers to game developers an attractive graphic, fast network code and a variety of gameplay styles.

But RAGE’s interface is rather poor. And you should know that controls are not streamlined for mouse and keyboard usage.

GameSalad

Can you imagine that there is a platform, which doesn’t need any coding? GameSalad was made especially for people, who do not know programming.

It helps developers to create games for Windows, HTML5, Android,  iOS, Mac. It is ideal for quickly prototyping ideas. If you dream to create an iPhone game, this engine is one that you need.

Let’s find more advantages of this engine. GameSalad handles the physics in real time. Also, it is possible to drag actors in a scene. You can download Game Salad for free, or you can buy it.

GameMaker:  Studio

Game Maker: Studio is desired and simple game engine. It supports Windows Phone, Browser,  Android, Mac, Vita, iOS, PC, PS3, PS4.

Developers create video games easily with the help of its drag and drop system. They do not have to learn complex programming languages.Game Maker: Studio has its simplified language – Game Maker Language (GML). But it is slower than Delphi or C++.

The professional version has many advantages: resource management, compiling for Mac OS, Ubuntu and run on Android. But at the same time, it is very expensive.

Among the minuses of this engine is that it is possible to work with 3D in it, but it’s extremely uncomfortable. And the development environment of Game Maker: Studio is available only on Windows.

App Game Kit

The Game Creators company makes App Game Kit. The main advantage of AGK is that it supports many platforms and its possibility to develop one single project for all. AGK allows creating games on such platforms as Mac OS, iOS, Windows, MeeGo and Samsung Bada.

AGKt is easy and adaptive. Its environment is suitable for professionals and indie developers.

There are two solutions for programming in AGK: a special BASIC interpreter, a local language, which is convenient and easy to learn, and C++ for experienced video game developers.

App Game Kit has several cons: this system is not free and has lots of bugs.

So many engines

As you can see, there is a wide range of game engines. And among them, you can choose the best for creating your project.

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