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When is an engine not an engine?

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Ok, this really is more of a theoretical question than anything else but me and my friends have been arguing about is recently. When does your code stop being an "Engine" and start being a "Game"? Just for claritys sake, say for example your working with Quake 3. Your not really changing the engine, just the game. But what exactly is considered the "engine" part of the quake 3 engine? Does it just handle the graphics, or does it also do things like collision detection and physics? Are things like lighting considerd part of the engine or is that game oriented? As you can see, this is a rather loose question. Feel free to interpert it as you see fit, but let''s get some good answers going here! ----------------------------- Vash the Stampede "Love & Peace!"

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Well contrary to what you may believe A game engine is abstracted from the game itself. Your game engine handles all of the rendering code, input, sound, culling, and just about everything that deals with your computers hardware in someway. It can also include things like a GUI, physics, and collision detection as well as many many other things.

The Game side of things would be AI, your games menu system, and other game specific code.

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So what do you mean, Omega, that you think it would be easier to make a game without an engine? I am not being mean here, I am asking it in a nice way(it sounds kind of mean the way I said it though). I have never made an engine, but I have been invloved in about 6 teams, and the only one who did not make an engine, did not finish thier game(and one other was a pong clone..). So, I would guess that engines are essential to making games. But, something tells me you already knew that and were questioning whether or not the game becomes the engine in the end. Well, I am on a team now that seems like thats how they are doing it, but I don''t think its always done this way. I think the engine is a seperate file that creaes .cpp files to be used in the game. Ever played Dark Ages(the best game ever, and MMORPG, and its 20) it has a Charecter Design engine that is opend through the main program, and used to design your charecter. I would guess it then sends your data to its database. This is probably the same engine they used to make monsters, and other things, or maybe it is just a seperate engine they designed for the sole purpose of creating charecters. Either way, there are engines for almost every complicated game. So, I would have to say that engines are not the game itself, rather, just something that aids you in the creation of your game.

"I''ve sparred with creatures from the nine hells themselves... I barely plan on breaking a sweat here, today."~Drizzt Do''Urden

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I would say that an engine is a gathering of code that is the heartbeat of the game. I think the term ''engine'' is just a way to say "code that makes the game function".

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Thats like asking the difference between windows media player and a movie. The movie is the content, the media player just views the content. Its the same way with a game, the engine just plays the content whether it be ai code, models, etc. It is possible to make a quake client that has no source code from the original quake, and it has been done.

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Thanks to those who have all ready replied, but in reply to Mr. Drizzt, I think I need to clarify my question.

No, I''m not asking if an "engine" is essential, I''m just asking what the difference is between the game engine and the game code. I like evaclear''s example with WMP. Anyways, like I said in my first post, this really isn''t a very essential question. I just want to see what people consider to be the game engine, since it''s a word that get''s flung about so much anymore.
Thanks again and keep posting!

-----------------------------

Vash the Stampede

"Love & Peace!"

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I would say that an Engine is a gathering of functionalities and blank information. The Game gives the Engine the required information and triggers these functionalities.


rk

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