Friday, December 28, 2012

Game Engine Selection


With my years of software development experience, more recently a masters in Engineering Management, and a few years’ experience managing teams of developers, I feel I have the right mix of experience to dive into video game development. I figure with my experience playing and my ideas about what is good simple fun, I can make a good game. I made some early decisions straight up. I will develop for the PC, but will use an engine that is cross platform if I decide to branch out - most likely for iOS.

I’m currently leaning heavily on the Unity engine, with half an eye on the Unreal (UDK) engine. Knowing that the engine doesn't really matter for me at this stage, I've completed some market research and a basic design for a tech demo, with 3-5 levels turn-based tactical role-playing strategy video game I will build from scratch.

I looked at a number of game engines (Unreal, Unity, Gamebryo, open source tools, etc.) and ended up choosing Unity for a few reasons:

  • Multi-platform (PC, Mac, iOS, browser)
  • Free trial copy, permitting a quick prototype of the game, upgrade-able to a Pro version, which includes high-end game engine features (that I probably won't have to use for a long time)
  • Level tools adapted to an open sandbox game (unlike e.g. Unreal)
  • Ease of use of the C# coding language (which I've been using for many years in my real job)
  • Instantaneous compiling for test and workflow

Now I've ordered 2 books and signed up for a few training courses to learn more...