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Create my own game engine, or use another?

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Hi, I am just now getting into Game development. I just now finished a brick game, I'm currently working on a Mario Clone all in java, and I was wondering if I want to create a portfolio now, and start building games just for fun, and get experience under my belt should I start building my own game engine (physics, environment, AI, etc...) knowing quite well how difficult, and time consuming it can be, or go with another game engine already built, and start making games with it, and twiking it abit for what I need, and if so what game engine for indie game developers does anyone prefer, whats the homepage, and the cost? sorry it's long, but I want to start what I love to do, and get out of construction asap!

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I would say that the ability to consume third party products and combine them into a full game would impress employers more than doing everything yourself.

Bear in mind that they will be looking at your ability to finish a project too, and a third party-powered system will get you further, faster. Plus the game industry is moving more towards middleware meaning it'll show your ability to work with established APIs and build a project around them.

That's my opinion anyway.

For other engines; look at the list in the alternative libraries forum.

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Personally I love making my own engines. However, if I were to take on a real project, I would probably use an existing engine to get a more polished and more feature filled interface. Of course, for a portfolio both would be great. If you can show an understanding of creating and utilizing your own engine, as well as making great stuff with someone elses, that can show a grat deal of versatility and make you more marketable.

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I am on the same doubt as you, look my topic: http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=398521

I already have a commercial game to develop and do not have any game development experience. I think Torque engine will be the final decision (www.garagegames.com). You should take a look :)

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