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WhErE Is My MiNd

Those, er, game engine type things ;)

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I am making a 2d game engine for running a sonic style platform game i am workin on (and hopefully other 2d games in the future). How flexible are game engines generally? Are they designed specifically for a certain game then added to/taken away from according to each new game that uses it (for instance, initially it may only have 1 type of collision detection, but a later game requires a different type so it gets replaced). Or is the game engine designed for as many possibilities in the first place (supporting different types of collision detection straight off even if some dont get used, for example)?

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Engines should be flexible enough to add new things without requiring a total rewrite, but not broad enough to have EVERY possible combination.

So if they were a suit, they''d be tailored for the person wearing them but they''d be easy to change the pantleg length if a taller person needed to wear ''em.

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Basically you''d have the engine only support whatever game you''re making with it, but you''ll leave the design open-ended enough that you can easily extend the engine or import it a new project for another game and add what you need for that game. So if you write enough games using the engine, it''ll become very flexible, since you''d keep adding on to it for each game. But you wouldn''t really try to figure out what you might conceivably need it for and add all that stuff at the beginning.

In the collision example, you should design it with support for multiple collision modes in mind. So each entity might have a "CollisionMode" variable, and you can have a few collision-mode constants defined. But you should only write the actual collision code for what you need at the moment. Like this:

switch( Entity.CollisionMode )
DoBoxCollision( );

DoPointCollision( );

And you can add to that switch statement only when your game needs more collision modes.

~CGameProgrammer( );

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