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2D engine suggestions for starter company

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First off, Sorry if this is not the right place to post this.

OK, I worked in the QA department at Realtime Worlds (some of you will be aware of what happened to that company) and myself and 4 others with various disciplines (I'm a coder) are looking to apply to one of the University's here in Dundee for a prototyping grant - money to make a game prototype with the hope of finding a publisher / turn what we did into a sustainable company.

We are just in the preliminary stages of discussion at the moment, and I am looking into what engine would be best to use (not necessarily a free one). We will have a better Idea of exactly what we need out of the engine after meeting up again on Wednesday.

I wont go into too much detail about the game. The main things we are looking for is a good, versatile 2D engine, that allows the game to be published to a number of platforms relatively easily, primarily PC and web browser - the possibility of others would be a bonus.

Another thing is, due to the conditions of the grant, we need to take on a number of students to 'work' for us, and as the other members of the group don't have a huge amount of programming experience, at least a couple of the students we take on will be coders. This means that it has to be pretty straight forward to pick up.

I have looked at Torque and Unity, and was leaning towards the 2D version of Torque so far, although Unity does seem very powerful but maybe a bit overkill for our project.

I was wondering what other engines it would be a good idea to look into, and if anyone has any thoughts/experience on the ones already mentioned.

Any feedback is appreciated!

Cheers, Ian

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