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proudgamer

Good game engine for beginners

13 posts in this topic

I'm looking for a good quality free engine and anything that really won't cost me money to do because currently i don't have the money to pay for things that would be nesessary to pay for

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What experience do you have?  Do you know a programming language yet, or were you looking for something where you can avoid programming as much as possible?

 

What sort of game are you trying to make?

 

What platform(s) (Windows, mobile, Mac OSX, other?) do you want to target?

 

 

Without answers to those questions we'll really just be guessing at what might be suitable and can't really make informed recommendations.

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You could try learning a programming language.

 

I would recommend to start with Python and Pygame. As you re-make games like pong and breakout, you'll build up your own small "engine" of components to use.

 

However, if you absolutely hate programming, you can use Construct 2 (<- My favorite "no programming" engine) or Game Maker Studio.

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We need a great deal more information before we can make a recommendation.

 

In order of importance, that I can think of, we need to know:

 

2D or 3D?

Platform you want to develop on.

Platforms you want to deploy to.

Art tools you intend to use.

 

 

If you are looking for a 3D engine, the following is a pretty comprehensive list.  For each one, sample games are given, platforms are listed, price is given, learning resource links, etc.

 

Of all of the freely available 3D engines, Unity is probably the best choice, if only for the level of community and resources available for it.  If Java is your thing, jMonkeyEngine is certainly worth looking in to, while if you are a Python programmer, Panda is certainly a good call, it is actually used as a teaching platform.  If C++ is your weapon of choice Ogre3D and GamePlay3D are both worth looking in to.  

 

If you are looking for a 2D engine, that really all comes down to your language preference and if you are targeting mobile or not.  For 2D I generally recommend one of the Lua based engines.  Lua is a nice beginner friendly language that is actually used in the industry quite often as a scripting interface.  ( Baldurs Gate and WoW for example ). If you are only targeting desktop development Lua + Love are a good combination.  In addition to the four listed Lua engines, there is also now Dreemchest which actually includes a development environment, making it a nice turnkey option. 

Edited by Serapth
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Hi,

 

We need to know:

 

1) Do you have computer programming language experience - if so, what language and how much experience?

 

What is recommended will vary much based on this!

 

 

2) What basic game type are you looking to create long term?  Such as genre, for 2D or 3D, for personal computers or for mobile handheld devices, offline or online, single player or multi-player, would be helpful.

 

3) Are you intending this as a hobby or professional?

 

4) Do you want to stay single or team developer?

 

5) How much art ability do you have and how much 2D/ 3D computer graphics art experience do you have?  Someone with good 2D/3D abilities or someone planning to lead a team long term would probably be best served with a game engine, like here:

 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_game_engines

 

 

All of this may weigh very heavy recommendations to you and also your decisions.

 

 

Someone new to computer programming language coding should make several console type applications first (console applications are typically vector graphics rendered directly to the screen or a computer) like "Hello World", simple letter display, easy text editor, simple indexing application, and so forth.  Next would be to make several console application games such as tic-tac-toe, crossword puzzle, scrabble, and so on.

 

Next would be to make several 2D games using the language of the game engine or SDK of your choice, especially if you have little or no graphics art skill.  The lessons that the programmer learns in the 2D game development are critical for making complex 2D or 3D games later. 

 

Tip #1:  Look for a development system which has GUI making tools and support which are strong from the start.   You need to learn to make interfaces relatively soon in your learning.

 

Tip #2:  Existing language code libraries, such as collision detection, graphics file (file format based) importers, physics, and so on are usually well made and save you years of development time.  Many are simple plug-ins to existing game engines or are relatively easy to adapt to them with a few hundred lines of coding.

 

Tip #3: Use complex things such as terrain or level editors which already exist and do not try to reinvent the wheel until you reach expert level game developer in your own right. Try being a trailblazer before you have substantial skills and you will certainly get lost in the jungle of the game development industry and it might kill you!  Better strategy is to stay on the prescribed paths for a while as you learn from the real trailblazers.

 

Tip #4:  Extensive research is the intellectual backbone of game development, so expect to spend hours every week on research alone.

 

Encouragement:  Most people have the talent to be a successful hobby or even pro game developer.  Just work hard, be wise, and keep your desire strong with some fun in there, too, and you will be fine.  smile.png

Edited by 3Ddreamer
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Hi guys. New to forums. Figured I'd jump on this living thread instead of starting a new one.

I am writer, film maker, and photographer... basically a professional story teller. I want to make games. I have no experience with programming, but I want to fully equip myself to design games.

I want to make single perspective 3D RPG / Turn Based Strategy PC Games. I'd also like to learn how to make these games for mobile devices, although I'm guessing that's a different ball game. Games that come to mind to serve as a template are Jagged Alliance 2 or the Avernum Series by Spiderweb Software.

Can anyone recommend a good place to start and what I should be working towards? What software should I familiarize myself with and what is the best programming language for these types of games? Thanks! Apologies for my ignorance.
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Can anyone recommend a good place to start and what I should be working towards? What software should I familiarize myself with and what is the best programming language for these types of games? Thanks! Apologies for my ignorance.

No language is "best" for those type of games. Any of a dozen different languages would work fine.
I'd recommend starting with Python, and recognizing that it'll take a few years to really learn programming. Take it slow, but be persistent. If you want to actually learn the programming side, you'll have to learn the basics and work up. It's rather like learning a new language like Spanish or French, and it takes time to learn how to put your brain into the new mindset of computer languages.

 

Once you learn one language, 80-90% of the concepts you learn are applicable to most other computer languages. The important thing is to stick with it for the long haul.

Again, this is if you are sure you are wanting to learn the programming side of things.

 

By the by, this website (GameDev.net) is heavily active. You don't have to jump on 'living' threads, because every thread created within the past week is living. If you start a new thread, you'll get a few hundred views and at least three responses in less than 45 minutes (well, it's nighttime in the USA at the moment, but you'll get a good number of responses within 24 hours).

Edited by Servant of the Lord
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Can anyone recommend a good place to start and what I should be working towards? What software should I familiarize myself with and what is the best programming language for these types of games? Thanks! Apologies for my ignorance.

No language is "best" for those type of games. Any of a dozen different languages would work fine.
I'd recommend starting with Python, and recognizing that it'll take a few years to really learn programming. Take it slow, but be persistent. If you want to actually learn the programming side, you'll have to learn the basics and work up. It's rather like learning a new language like Spanish or French, and it takes time to learn how to put your brain into the new mindset of computer languages.

 

Once you learn one language, 80-90% of the concepts you learn are applicable to most other computer languages. The important thing is to stick with it for the long haul.

Again, this is if you are sure you are wanting to learn the programming side of things.

 

By the by, this website (GameDev.net) is heavily active. You don't have to jump on 'living' threads, because every thread created within the past week is living. If you start a new thread, you'll get a few hundred views and at least three responses in less than 45 minutes (well, it's nighttime in the USA at the moment, but you'll get a good number of responses within 24 hours).

 

 

To be honest, i'm increasingly finding recommending Python hard.  Performance really isn't all that important to a beginner, but Python + PyGame performance really does seem to suck.  New developers need to start optimizing far earlier than they should have to.  On top of that, Python just doesn't seem to be going anywhere these days... outside of the VFX industry I suppose.  In Gamedev look at the current state of Python...  pretty much non-existent on mobile, two big name game engines ( PyGame, Panda... I suppose Blender too, but does anyone actually used BGE for anything? ).

 

Python certainly has some advantages; good documentation, support, good library support and a REPL environment are all good for beginners.  On the other hand though, Lua has all of those things too, is easier to learn, faster and has far more support in the game dev world.  

 

In a world where Lua exists, and is as well supported as it is, why recommend Python for game development?

 

Sorry, just my 2cents.

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If you have no programming experience, I would recommend you to use Stencyl . It requires no programming experience and the best part of using it, is that you can publish your games for many platforms: iOS, Android, Flash, HTML5, Windows and Mac. I've recently purchased a course dedicated to Stencyl at Udemy, but I am not that impressed. Well, if Stencyl is not your thing, there are many more similar programs. Take a look to the following articles:

 

Last but not least, if none of these fast-game software do not suffice, learn a programming language (such as Lua and C#) and dive into the real game development.

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Can anyone recommend a good place to start and what I should be working towards? What software should I familiarize myself with and what is the best programming language for these types of games? Thanks! Apologies for my ignorance.

No language is "best" for those type of games. Any of a dozen different languages would work fine.
I'd recommend starting with Python, and recognizing that it'll take a few years to really learn programming. Take it slow, but be persistent. If you want to actually learn the programming side, you'll have to learn the basics and work up. It's rather like learning a new language like Spanish or French, and it takes time to learn how to put your brain into the new mindset of computer languages.

 

Once you learn one language, 80-90% of the concepts you learn are applicable to most other computer languages. The important thing is to stick with it for the long haul.

Again, this is if you are sure you are wanting to learn the programming side of things.

 

By the by, this website (GameDev.net) is heavily active. You don't have to jump on 'living' threads, because every thread created within the past week is living. If you start a new thread, you'll get a few hundred views and at least three responses in less than 45 minutes (well, it's nighttime in the USA at the moment, but you'll get a good number of responses within 24 hours).

 

 

To be honest, i'm increasingly finding recommending Python hard.  Performance really isn't all that important to a beginner, but Python + PyGame performance really does seem to suck.  New developers need to start optimizing far earlier than they should have to.  On top of that, Python just doesn't seem to be going anywhere these days... outside of the VFX industry I suppose.  In Gamedev look at the current state of Python...  pretty much non-existent on mobile, two big name game engines ( PyGame, Panda... I suppose Blender too, but does anyone actually used BGE for anything? ).

 

Python certainly has some advantages; good documentation, support, good library support and a REPL environment are all good for beginners.  On the other hand though, Lua has all of those things too, is easier to learn, faster and has far more support in the game dev world.  

 

In a world where Lua exists, and is as well supported as it is, why recommend Python for game development?

 

Sorry, just my 2cents.

 

 

Python is used very heavily in scientific computing and I use Python regularly at work. Even if not for games it is a really nice language for scripting your way out of problems.

 

Python is also widely used in the Django web application framework.

 

I much prefer the syntax of Python to Lua. Especially when it comes to OOP.

 

I recommend Python because it is in my opinion a great language to learn.

 

There are python bindings to SFML as well: http://www.python-sfml.org/ . There is also pyglet. For 3D there is Python-Ogre. Pygame runs on Android. As far as PyGame being slow, this thread talks about some things that can be done to improve performance.

 

I respect your opinion and I am not going to downvote your comment, but I still think you are incorrect (I disagree about Python not going anywhere, that there is just Panda3D and PyGame, that it is nonexistant for Mobile, that it easier to learn as that is subjective, and I also disagree that Lua has far more support in the game development world but I concede that I have no sources to back that up... although the term FAR more seems a bit extreme? Here is a list of games that use python though...) smile.png .

Edited by shadowisadog
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We are making a game engine for the web.  It still in early beta but is quite stable.

It is completely based on web technologies (Javascript, jQuery, HTML, & WebGL).

 

If you are a beginner and want to show off your work to others quickly without needing them to download installer and plugins, you may want

to take a look at our engine.

 

This is a sample 3D scene created using our platform using only 41 lines of javascript.

 

Here is a few promo videos:

 

3DScene.png

 

 

BraveWeb.png

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Python is used very heavily in scientific computing and I use Python regularly at work. Even if not for games it is a really nice language for scripting your way out of problems.
 
Python is also widely used in the Django web application framework.
 
I much prefer the syntax of Python to Lua. Especially when it comes to OOP.
 
I recommend Python because it is in my opinion a great language to learn.


I suppose I should point out, I am not dumping on Python as a language; obviously there are realms where it is very effective. I am talking solely in the domain of game development; or even more specifically new programmers learning game development.
 

There are python bindings to SFML as well: http://www.python-sfml.org/ . There is also pyglet. For 3D there is Python-Ogre. Pygame runs on Android. As far as PyGame being slow, this thread talks about some things that can be done to improve performance.


Bindings are just not the same as a native game engine. They are generally second class citizens when it comes to support, you often have no documentation, you generally lag behind the main branch by a couple of versions. Plus it adds another layer for bugs to be introduced and for performance to be sapped. I KNOW that was the case with PyOgre when I checked it out a few years ago. Frankly if you didn't know the native language ( in that case C++ ), could luck puzzling out the API. When it comes to new programmers ( and this is an overly broad statement )... language bindings are generally a bad thing. There are exceptions, but they are just that, exceptions.

I hadn't realized that the PyGame for Android subset existed. In terms of performance, as I said earlier, you don't want new developers to have to think about optimization at all ( within reason of course ). That there are ways to make it perform better are little consolation for a new dev.


I respect your opinion and I am not going to downvote your comment, but I still think you are incorrect (I disagree about Python not going anywhere, that there is just Panda3D and PyGame, that it is nonexistant for Mobile, that it easier to learn as that is subjective, and I also disagree that Lua has far more support in the game development world but I concede that I have no sources to back that up... although the term FAR more seems a bit extreme? Here is a list of games that use python though...) smile.png .


Well, that's exactly how opinions should work, I'm glad to see you get the up/down vote concept ( people... you aren't supposed to down vote because you disagree with something... ) and your rational response is easily deserving of my upvote. In terms of "not going anywhere", well frankly Python really does seem to have stalled. The lack of backward compatibility between Python 3 and 2 seemed to REALLY hurt the languages development. Lua suffers this to a smaller degree between versions 5.1 and 5.2, but to nowhere near the same degree.

In terms of my FAR comment, it's easiest just to look at development tools out there that support Lua... you get lots of mobile toolkits ( LOVE, Corona, Gideros, Moai, Dreemcheest ), 3D Game Engine ( Havok/Vision, Gameplay3D, CryEngine, Polycode ) and those are just the ones that come to mind without a Google search. This of course doesn't include bindings. So while there are a dozen or so games written in Python ( many on that list seemed to be server side only too ), there are literally thousands written in Lua including some pretty big named titles, like the upcoming Shadowrun Returns. I think FAR is actually a reasonable fair adjective to use.
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