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pro and cons of using pre made engines


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#1 breadstick   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:03 PM

hi everybody

i know it might be a big topic of discussion, but i'm very unsure if i'm doing it right.

i'm making a win/linux game, writing in c/c++ and i'm doing some parts of the engine myself and for some others i'm using external libraries, like allegro and such :)

since i'm learning a lot of new stuff (not on coding, just on game coding), i constantly feel, by looking at pre-cooked game engines and complex middleware available around, that i'm sorta wasting my time by doing my own work. more or less, everything i want to do has already been made :p
i feel like, since i'm a noob, i won't be able to match the quality of what is been used by modern games and, in some cases, i could just copy-paste from some open source code (no, i'm not that lame!).

at the same time i'd like to code some parts of it myself, even if i'm not innovating anything by an inch, and not just concentrate only on the contents. also because i won't be doing much of it anyway :p
i mean, using all the tools/code that are available today it's more like modding, rather than programming.
i _also_ am scared of trying something like udk when at some point in the development i realize it doesn't do exactly what i want and therefore i have to restart some work from scratch or tradeoff too much stuff and go away from my original design.

btw, i'm not trying to make an AAA title, but i don't want it to suck either, so i'm making a serious effort on it :p

what do you think? any experiences, advices? am i crazy? :D

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#2 godmodder   Members   -  Reputation: 667

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:17 PM

My advise is: if you want to make games, use all the tools you can find to make your life easier. If you want to learn how to program graphics, code as much graphics-related stuff yourself.

#3 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5326

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Posted 04 June 2011 - 04:20 PM

Coding for the sake of coding/learning? By all means, roll your own, you will learn a ton.

Want to actually publish a commercial quaility product? Use an off the shelf engine. The gain in quality and speed gained by using a professional engine simply can't be offset with the resources that an indy team has available.

Last monkey wrench, making a rather "simple" game. LIke a 2D sidescroller with no need of level tools or a graphics pipeline ( Maya, Max, Blender, etc... support )... in this case you are probably just as well off rolling your own again, simply because the "engine" would be quite simple.


I am seeing some rather silly comments, no offence but they are comments of many newer or "l33t" programmers.

not on coding, just on game coding


Coding is coding, there isn't anything magical or even special about game coding. Really, there isn't, nothing. Zip zero nada, natch!

i could just copy-paste from some open source code (no, i'm not that lame!).



Well, other than possible license violations, this is also silly. Don't fall into the "not made here" trap. If there is code available and the license isn't obstructive, USE IT! Ignoring open source code would be like a tradesman who refused to use power tools.

mean, using all the tools/code that are available today it's more like modding, rather than programming.



Coding again, is coding. What engines do is take away from the drudgery of programming, but if you are using the likes of UDK or Unity, you are still going to be programming and a good programmer is going to shine while a bad programmer is going to suck. The only thing to be aware of here is game engines impose a methodology on you, so be sure you like the way they work before commiting.

trying something like udk when at some point in the development i realize it doesn't do exactly what i want and therefore i have to restart some work from scratch or tradeoff too much stuff and go away from my original design.



Frankly, Unity and UDK have been used to make just about every kind of game imaginable. More to the point, if you haven't created a game before there is probably a 95% chance you aren't going to finish it, especially if you don't start small. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, as what you learn gets applied to your next project as so on, but I really wouldn't get too hung on this. In fact I would highly recommend you start with a very small, well scoped, "easy" to implement project and go from there. But then, nobody ever likes to hear that! :)

#4 breadstick   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 07:53 AM

thanks for taking the time to reply.
i'll ponder some more :)

#5 Tachikoma   Members   -  Reputation: 552

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 08:18 AM

In addition to earlier tips, your choice will also depend on whether you are actually intending to publish - either for commercial release, or for the sake of building a portfolio, doesn't matter. If you do want to release for public consumption, the important thing is not to bite off more than you can chew. Therefore, aim for a choice that gets your project finished. This means, you want to focus on something simple (so pretty much forget about making the next MMO or Crysis), and you probably want pre-existing tools to help you out.
Latest project: Sideways Racing on the iPad

#6 hellur   Members   -  Reputation: 122

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 11:51 AM

In addition to earlier tips, your choice will also depend on whether you are actually intending to publish - either for commercial release, or for the sake of building a portfolio, doesn't matter. If you do want to release for public consumption, the important thing is not to bite off more than you can chew. Therefore, aim for a choice that gets your project finished. This means, you want to focus on something simple (so pretty much forget about making the next MMO or Crysis), and you probably want pre-existing tools to help you out.



But if you want to just learn hard coding, then you should focus on the hardest parts in a program, try to find out whats the problem with making a mmo or crysis 2 or any kind of program then focus on that part and when you solved the puzzle you go on... Sad part is that you can programming but you have nothing to show for! :)


But tbh this is the only fun programming. Coding stuff you know will always be boring. I rather sit a week debugging and understanding some nested shit challange my selft then finnish off some easy thing thats just plain old boring programming :)

#7 Serapth   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 5326

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 01:08 PM

But tbh this is the only fun programming. Coding stuff you know will always be boring. I rather sit a week debugging and understanding some nested shit challange my selft then finnish off some easy thing thats just plain old boring programming :)


Thats odd, I'd rather work with clean well written "simple and boring" code than spend weeks debugging and trying to divine the purpose of someones "challenging" code!

#8 MERKB   Members   -  Reputation: 120

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 06:52 PM

I personally love debugging. Good challenge, and it's impossible to code without having to do it at some point. Conversely, as Serapth said, there's nothing like getting your paws on some nice, clean, working code. :)

#9 breadstick   Members   -  Reputation: 108

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:11 PM

thanks ppl :)

i think i will be doing myself what i had planned :)




#10 Hodgman   Moderators   -  Reputation: 29484

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Posted 05 June 2011 - 10:32 PM

http://www.gamebryo.com/Global/Documents/White%20Papers/Gamebryo_BuildVsBuy_Parts1_2.pdf

#11 FelixK15   Members   -  Reputation: 237

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 04:30 AM

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