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Best Engine for a Top-Down Isometric RTS Game

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Ok I downloaded Unity 4 about a week ago and am currently still learning my way around it. I'm more comfortable than I was when I first started, but know there's still much to learn. I've read that even though Unity is a 3D engine, it can be tricked into being a 2.5D isometric game similar to Command & Conquer, Age of Empires and Civilization. Then I started checking out other potential engines like Game Salad, but I've read since you can't code with GS then it makes building a strategy game almost impossible. Is this true? What about Game Maker? Problem with that engine is I haven't seen a beautiful game graphically made with that engine...have I missed one? What about XNA?

 

Which engine should I chose for the style of game I want to build? Originally I was going to go top-down entirely...but I just feel limited with that and the lack of graphical depth is a turn off for me so making it isometric seems the best way to go. Not to mention to more popular POV. 

 

EDIT: BTW, the game I'm making is one where you can build an army a la the Total War series...just not with nearly as many character models sadly. So taking attributes like attack, defense, armor, etc into account I wanted to know if there were a way to have a D20 dice mechanic? Obviously that's a coding issue right? Guess that rules out Game Saladsad.png

Edited by BStar87

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Game Maker Studio already has many games of the genre. 

 

And I can import custom renderings and/or maps from say Blender?

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Isometric? Almost any game engine should do the job: From as low level as OpenGL calls to as high-level as Unity, or anything in between. That's not very helpful, I know, but what I am trying to say, is, rather than the graphics style, you should consider what your target platforms are and what language you are comfortable with. Then consider cost, and license terms. E.g. if your game was open source, I'd just take one of the existing games and adapt it, while e.g. Unity costs around $1500, I think.

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Isometric? Almost any game engine should do the job: From as low level as OpenGL calls to as high-level as Unity, or anything in between. That's not very helpful, I know, but what I am trying to say, is, rather than the graphics style, you should consider what your target platforms are and what language you are comfortable with. Then consider cost, and license terms. E.g. if your game was open source, I'd just take one of the existing games and adapt it, while e.g. Unity costs around $1500, I think.

 

My target platforms are the Android and iPhone. Although I see Unity has a seperate addon for iOS and Android with Unity Pro...each $1,500unsure.png. Although on their front page it says they've made mobile deployment free...so idk. I'm currently following a tutorial for Unity that uses C#, but as I said I haven't been doing it THAT long. I'm open to transitioning to Game Maker or XNA though. I just didn't want to waste time trying to make a game that wouldn't allow an isometric camera angle.

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My target platforms are the Android and iPhone. Although I see Unity has a seperate addon for iOS and Android with Unity Pro...each $1,500. Although on their front page it says they've made mobile deployment free...so idk

They adjusted their license so mobile platforms are similar to the PC platforms.  You can use it for free if you don't make a lot of money. Free usage comes with limitations, like you must use their splash screen and you don't get access to the source.  Even with those limitations it is still a pretty good deal.

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