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Looking for an Engine that suits me

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#1 Cryusaki   Members   -  Reputation: 488


Posted 27 May 2013 - 02:46 PM

I have been searching on and off for engine that I would like to use while learning programming but I can't seem to choose one

I plan on making a 2D singleplayer offline game in the sidescroller perspective in C++ or Java.


When looking at Engines they all seem to be either

3D based
2D but uses 'no programming' as a selling point (I want control over how my game works)

2D and in a language I dont know (I know Java and C++)

or is just no longer supported


I am thinking of GameMaker since it is reliable and well known with plenty of tutorials

I dont want to turn to the Android App route just yet

What should I use?


#2 kburkhart84   Members   -  Reputation: 2160


Posted 27 May 2013 - 04:54 PM

I agree with you on GameMaker.  Technically it doesn't fit your criteria because it has the drag&drop system for coding object behaviors, and because the GML language(though similar) is not exactly Java or C++.


Now reality....The drag&drop system is somewhat limited, and you aren't forced to use it.  Rather once you figure out the scripting(GML) language you can use it instead.  it is quite capable of about anything you need with 2d games, and considering you know C++ and Java you should be able to pick it up easily like I did.


GameMaker is more capable than some people want to think, and I'd say it is easily capable of the project you describe.  GameMaker is also perfectly fine for PC games, though the newer versions have capability to export to mobile platforms.

#3 Cryusaki   Members   -  Reputation: 488


Posted 27 May 2013 - 05:59 PM

Thanks, I was looking into Game Maker and it seems okay. I see there is a 50$ version, does that give me the right to sell the game? Does that take away any game maker watermarks? These are questions that I didnt find answers to on the main site.


Also what about unity, I dont want to be the 1,500$ version but what about the free one? What permission and limitations does that have? Is it a good idea?

#4 kburkhart84   Members   -  Reputation: 2160


Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:28 PM

To your GameMaker questions, Yes and Yes.  The $50 GMStudio is great to start with, though it is missing a few of the features of the "professional" version.  If I were you, I'd take a look at the free version and try it out.  If you like it, you may want to invest in the $99 version instead, in order to get more features.


The free version of Unity is great too.  It is made more for 3d games though, but it can do 2d games as well with some extra work.  The limitations(besides some features) are that you have to show the Unity splashscreen(which isn't that bad since it is only a couple of seconds, not in the middle of the game), and that you can't use it if you earn $100,000, which also is fine.  The features you would miss would be dynamic shadows, some special effects, etc... but many of those things won't affect you, especially if you are going for 2d games.  Also, the coding languages are Unityscript, C#, and Boo.  I'm sure you would be fine with either of the first two considering your coding experience.


As to which is better for you to learn...it depends.  If you know you are never going to care for 3d, GM is better for sure, but if you may want to do something in 3d, then you may be better learning Unity.  But if you decide to upgrade to the better version, the $1500 is much more expensive than the $99 version of GameMaker.


Another consideration, how much time do you have to dedicate to this, and how quickly do you expect results.  Even for 2d games, in general Unity could take longer, and especially so if you are doing 3d games.  GameMaker does a lot of things for you that Unity won't do, but the tradeoff ends up being in power because Unity is much more powerful, even for 2d games.


Finally, there is nothing stopping you from trying both.  You can see what you are most comfortable with and make a better decision having experienced both.

#5 Legendweaver   Members   -  Reputation: 197


Posted 27 May 2013 - 06:36 PM

You may want to consider using Torque. Both the 2D and 3D variants of the engine were recently released under the (very permissive) MIT license. You get access to full source code (C++ and its custom scripting language) for free. Torque isn't as polished as Unity, but free is a great price, and it's a pretty worthwhile tradeoff when you consider you get full source code and an open license.

#6 HyperV   Crossbones+   -  Reputation: 1295


Posted 29 May 2013 - 06:07 AM



i've rad you question and you said about using GameMaker. Well the thing is is that GameMaker is actually for people who just wanted to start programming.

and also you said about you wanna to use C++ or Java.

you also said you are in a learning fase.


here is my advice and answer >


if you just started with C++ and don't know nothing about Pointers? Do Not Use  C++ for game development.

if you Do know C++? Do not use any Engine in a learning fase, sounds silly but you will learn more without using any other engine

try to make your own engine/framework so you know whats going on in your project , Most game Engines have Custom References by using the Standard reference you can even create your own and learn more then knowing custom references.

Create a game with SDL ,OpenGL or DirectX :D


if C++ is to hard for you, try C# it's the best way to jump to C++ if you know C# , also to make games it's quite easy by using XNA framework, SlimDX or OpenTK or MonoGame

if you wanna to make games as fast as possible i recommend to use a C# Cross Platform Engine like Unity it's also free on mobile developement.


Java is OK for beginners it's OOP based and has a build in graphics library (Jframe)

you can create 2D games with it :D




#7 Cryusaki   Members   -  Reputation: 488


Posted 29 May 2013 - 02:10 PM

I know a little bit about pointers in C++ and have been using it on and off for a long time now but I feel like Java is where I want to go

I have made a little pong game in SDL and a frogger clone in SFML however I could never wrap my head around creating an engine with either libraries and could not find any good tutorials to help me through (the Lazyfoo with SDL was good but it was only for small concepts)

I want to use an engine so I am not stuck at the programming stage forever and play around with my sprites or game development so I was hoping to find a happy mix between an engine that allows plenty of programming but does all the low level work

I think I am going to start out with GameMaker to play around, all the while learning a library in Java or C++ (SFML or libgdx) and see where that takes me


I would also like to point out that everyone who has replied seems to be getting -1 ratings, im not sure why as they all seem to be great comments :S

Edited by Cryusaki, 29 May 2013 - 04:14 PM.

#8 MrMaker   Members   -  Reputation: 128


Posted 01 June 2013 - 06:33 AM

You can use libgdx and is Java. Though you can make desktop games some people use it just for android development. There is slick2d for java but the creator now uses libgdx. Lots of people said it's a fantastic framework. There is unity free which is good but you will probably need some 2d plugins. Then there is c# and xna which c# is somewhat similar to java in which you can learn c# pretty quickly. There is lua with love2d , Giderios. Lua is easy and is fun to use.

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