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Dark_Dream

Game engine or something else?

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Dark_Dream    100
Hello all,

First, some info about me: I'm a professional (mostly web) developer for the last 5+ years (and some more as a hobbyist/student) working with PHP and Java (and some front-end languages like javascript which are irrelevant for my question). I also have C++ knowledge but it was some years ago and only on academic level.

My experience in game development is very small and only as a hobby: I've built a couple of (very simple and static) browser games using php/mysql and a couple of tetris-like (very basic animation) games in Java.

Along with my job I'm studying for a phd degree. My research is on game AI algorithms, therefore at some point I'll have to develop a prototype to demonstrate & evaluate my proposed algorithm. I see that as my opportunity to deal with game development more seriously than I used to.

My question:
Do you believe I should start learning a game engine? If yes what would you propose? I've done a very quick research on them and I saw that Unreal engine is very popular (it was used on several academic projects as well as in commercial and I also liked Unity. Unfortunately I soon got lost into all the available engines (there are A LOT!) and I thought that it would be better to ask you.

Maybe dealing with a game engine is the wrong way? Maybe I should try and build something more complex than the things I've build (remember the tetris-like games I've mentioned before) by using the core languages (Java or C++?) and maybe some graphic libraries instead of complete 3d game engines?

I'm a little confused and I'd appreciate any suggestion and/or any help to clarify things (especially if I'm saying something completely wrong).

Thank you :-)

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Dark_Dream    100
Unity this is one of the two engines that I picked from the bunch (I've mentioned it before). Do you think that it worth it?

To clarify, I don't care that much about my phd (my evaluation can be even a text-based game), but I believe it's a nice opportunity to actually learn something that will help me to move into professional (company or indie) game development in the future.

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FableFox    699
you can't go wrong with either unity3d or UDK - it's one of the industry standard in a sense. not actually "standard" per see, but one of the tops and most popular.

the reason why UDK is used a lot in education is due to their "free for education" policy - even if you charge for tuition fee - and it's features are not limited - unlike Unity. couple by the fact i's one of the best AAA engine out there, it's a good strategy.

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Dark_Dream    100
Ok then game engine it is! I think I'm going to try them both (since I've already downloaded them) and see what fits to my development style.

Thank you for your answers.

PS: What do you mean by "AAA"?
(I've seen it again in here but I can't figure out what does it mean)

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Hodgman    51323
Quote:
Original post by Dark_Dream
PS: What do you mean by "AAA"?
(I've seen it again in here but I can't figure out what does it mean)
'Tripple A' is a quality rating. It generally means "big budget". E.g. things like Halo, GTA, COD, etc are "AAA games".
So a "AAA engine" would be one that is used to make these kinds of expensive, commercial games.

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Jarwulf    223
Quote:
Original post by Dark_Dream
Hello all,

First, some info about me: I'm a professional (mostly web) developer for the last 5+ years (and some more as a hobbyist/student) working with PHP and Java (and some front-end languages like javascript which are irrelevant for my question). I also have C++ knowledge but it was some years ago and only on academic level.

My experience in game development is very small and only as a hobby: I've built a couple of (very simple and static) browser games using php/mysql and a couple of tetris-like (very basic animation) games in Java.

Along with my job I'm studying for a phd degree. My research is on game AI algorithms, therefore at some point I'll have to develop a prototype to demonstrate & evaluate my proposed algorithm. I see that as my opportunity to deal with game development more seriously than I used to.

My question:
Do you believe I should start learning a game engine? If yes what would you propose? I've done a very quick research on them and I saw that Unreal engine is very popular (it was used on several academic projects as well as in commercial and I also liked Unity. Unfortunately I soon got lost into all the available engines (there are A LOT!) and I thought that it would be better to ask you.

Maybe dealing with a game engine is the wrong way? Maybe I should try and build something more complex than the things I've build (remember the tetris-like games I've mentioned before) by using the core languages (Java or C++?) and maybe some graphic libraries instead of complete 3d game engines?

I'm a little confused and I'd appreciate any suggestion and/or any help to clarify things (especially if I'm saying something completely wrong).

Thank you :-)


What exactly is your ph.d dissertation going to be on? If its AI algorithms I'd be more focused on studying AIs rather than building a graphics monster of a game unless you think a glitzy presentation will help sway things in your favor. Since this is a doctorate you'll need to go farther I guess by identifying something the AIs available haven't done or something about them people haven't noticed and create a program that demonstrates this.

Also what can be called AI in a game often is controversial as I found out when I called A* AI.

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