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what is a game engine and how does it work

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My question is: What exactly are the main parts of a game engine and how do they link together? i.e. how does the graphics bit communicate with the main game bit etc. is there any such thing as a typical game engine? any examples would be useful. thanx

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there is no rule that it has to be a dll. I dont think there is a formal definition for it at all.
In my opnion a game engine is basically some code that does game stuff but is not game specific. it is not a complete game and you need to complete it with game specific code for it to become a game. If it was just particle related code it would be a "particle engine" or if it was just sound related it would be "sound engine". If its covers all (or some) of the game related parts its a "game engine".

Usually if its "just" a bunch of functions its called a "library", but an engine is more of an object oriented thing: usually there is an object that manages and handles stuff and is usualy higher level (i mean it hides details from you so you dont have to worry about inner workings of what it does).

The beauty of a game engine is that it is almost a complete game but still empty of anything specific and you can make many different games from one engine.

I wouldnt worry about semantics or how to write a game engine. Write your game, try to make everything modular and designed right. Later when you will want to make another game you take out the parts you want from the first game and if you want you can wrap them up and call it an "engine". In the game I am working on I have "TileManager", "SpriteManager", "ParticleManager", "Logger" and "Engine" where the engine contains and initializes them. The game will then inherit the engine class and complete some virtual methods so it will turn into a complete game.


[Edited by - Iftah on October 8, 2005 5:43:04 PM]

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