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Success A fork in the road.

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This is a re-write to my post in order to better present my situation and questions ( hopefully ). --- Hello, I am posting in regards to a fork in the road for myself and my studio. Don't let that fool you however; I have researched my options very thoroughly for some time now and I have no intention of asking anyone to make a decision for me. I would simply like a few questions directly answered, in order to make my decision as informed as possible. --- The fork in the road is whether to use a Game Engine or libraries for each component in a game project. IE: Either Torque, GameStudio, RealmCrafter, Baja, etc. Or things like OGRE3D, Ageia PhysX, FMOD, RakNet, etc. --- It is to my understanding that game libraries and SDKs have more flexibility and possibilities than a game engine. At the cost of greater development time and effort. I am also under the impression this method grants greater control and power to specific game projects. --- A game engine on the other hand tends to have way faster dev time and project simplicity. It also seems any project a company has the skills to accomplish there is at least one engine capable of handling 90% of the features needed. The features that need to be added by that point are simple enough to work into an existing engine. Meaning in the end there is always a game engine that can fit your project enough to work well, even if some minor tweaking is needed. --- With games coming out faster, less stressful, and in some cases better with a game engine wouldn’t that be the best option? Or is the increase in possibilities with libraries great enough to matter? --- It just seems like by using a game engine for at least starting projects you could make them much easier and get more of them out. While at the same time increasing your possible fan base and project belt enough to work on bigger projects. Then once you're good to go there are new engines ready to fit your next level of complexity. --- So with a combination of smoother, quicker development, and being able to move up in engine quality as your projects advance I am almost seeing no reason not to go with a game engine. However I don’t want to look back later wishing I had used the libraries. --- This brings us our final questions: Is it better for a small studio that is aiming for the middle shelf, to use Game Engines or Libraries? Why? --- Thanks for reading it over, if I can answer any questions to help you better answer mine don’t hesitate to ask. Regards Kain. Edit: Bold removed, should help a little. Edit 2: I have gone through and removed a bunch of the more useless information and ramblings. I have also re-worded and moved around quite a few of my paragraphs. I hope it is a little better now ^^;; [Edited by - Kain Mikado on May 11, 2007 3:06:02 AM]

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Bold and multiple parenthesis lose their meaning when applied to an entire post. Your structure is also a bit of a mess, with the important context comming after the questions, and at least 3 paragraphs of cruft before your first question, which isn't even explicitly stated as one, but a slew of open ended ponderings in the paragraphs after it.

So my quotes will be paraphrasing, with some twisting (to get towards as best I can understand what you're trying to ask).

Quote:
I plan to start with 2D games, later advancing to 3D games. Multiplatform and multiplayer are a must. I have some experience with this, but I'm wondering wheither a unified game engine or a set of component libraries (for graphics, networking, etc) would be the better choice?


Unified game engines have the obvious advantages of increased scope and integration between the components, with libraries having some advantage in terms of modularity. That said, using secondary libraries shouldn't be impossible with a game engine, so my vote goes towards the former.

Quote:
Is having a big custom engine up front an advantage, given the costs of development?

No. Game engines arise out of games, and when writing games, it makes sense to reinvent as little of the wheel as possible. Unless you're a complete wastrel, you'll eventually build up a library of code to reoccuring problems. This may grow into a full fledged "engine" if you face enough situations where you need the flexibility of a custom engine, but it's pointless to try to do it all up front -- a violation of YAGNI. You'll be replacing the usage of an engine with your own code as needed as part of Refactoring when you actually need the flexibility customization can give you.

I doubt even the likes of Unreal Engine were developed "up front" -- it's more likely they were developed in parallel with their latest title in that line, and even more likely that it arose from the previous iteration of their engine as well.

If you had questions beyond the ones sumarised in the above quoted paraphrasing (if you can even call it that), I missed them -- feel free to point them out.

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I'll start by saying I don't bold my post to catch anyones eye or to be annoying. I've done that to entire stories and word documents as I write them since I was a little kid. Guess I just like how it looks. Apologies ahead of time if it happens to irritate anyone and I'll keep it to a minimum here if need be.

That said I know it was a mess, I stated that. I also know it is good practice to improve oneself in writing and anything else, and I do. However I don't think the point of this was to correct my spelling and grammar. I am sorry I wasn't direct enough and rambled off a few times. Though I don't think it was that terrible and the point was made.

All that out of the way thank you for the advice. I really do apreciate it. I will take those points into consideration when making my decision. Thus far it seems an engine really would be best so long as I can add things to it.

-Kain

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Quote:
Original post by Kain Mikado
Guess I just like how it looks.

I'll just leave that at this: It's enough of an eyestrain I won't be reading future all-bold posts, and I bet some posters aren't even reading that first one.

Quote:
However I don't think the point of this was to correct my spelling and grammar.

Nope, but...
Quote:
Though I don't think it was that terrible and the point was made.

I had to reformat your post, if only for myself, to be able to read the point (just on account of general post flow -- not on account of spelling or grammer). Since I was at it anyways, I figured I'd give you the benifit of my efforts. Especially given that, I usually can't be assed to make that much of an effort (and others probably haven't), and doing so makes my reply easier too.

Of course, you can ignore all this all you want, it won't be my loss -- and I'll leave this at that, as you pointed out yourself, this isn't the topic you've come here to discuss.

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I don't mind the suggestions really. I am just tired of people ( not saying you ) sit around and laugh at someone because of a mistake instead of help them. I see that more on these forums than I have anywhere else.

I have taken your words into account and I am re-writing the post so everyone can understand it better.

I would just like too see some more people leave that kind of thing alone, take what thre3dee said; that was childish and lame. I can say I over reacted to your comments and I apologize for that. Again I am just tired of people like thre3dee and others who only whine and give no support or even try and help.

Thanks again, Kain

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