Jump to content
  • Advertisement
Sign in to follow this  
nekitusan

Unity Current state of custom and commercial game engines as of 2014

This topic is 1282 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

As a game engine developer myself, I was wondering about the need of custom game engines, the state of commercial engine offers and also about game engine engineer job offers scarcity.

We can all observe how the game engine market has changed since Unity started to occupy a major part of it and also after UE4 was released to the public, that started the "war" for the user, for affordable game engine technology.

I'm seeing the current distinct parts of the game engine market or area of game software technology:

  1. hobby custom game engines, very few probably aimed at 3D anymore, a several 2D oriented ones usually written for specific indie games;
  2. custom proprietary game engines, used in-house by some game studios such as DICE's FrostBite,  Kojima's FoxEngine, SquareEnix's Luminous, and others;
  3. hobbyist game engines from the last generation, or the pre-unity, pre-UE4, with ok features but not really AAA grade, and we have here (in no particular order biggrin.png) Leadwerks, NeoAxis, Torque, C4, Shiva3D, Esenthel, Gamestart, Gamecore, etc., some better than others. Some might get upgraded in the future, but not a certainty;
  4. top hobbyist game engines, here we have the well known players Unity3D and UnrealEngine4, plus some more obscure or not so much used ones like Unigine, CryEngine, and others I don't remember;
  5. open source game engines, there are some notable ones like Panda3D, Delta3D, Polycode, OGRE(rendering), Blender GameEngine, and others;

So, one of my questions is, is it worth still to make a custom game engine for yourself or even to think about making it open source or commercial ?

Open source might be a nice thing and an experience for learning new stuff, but since the big commercial players are doing a relatively good job, commercial might not be a doable idea, unless you have a big or veteran team of experienced programmers.

Another topic is the scarcity of engine tech development, I can only see few jobs related to that of few companies, due to the aforementioned monopolization of the commercial engine market. Jobs of that kind one might find at No. 2 and No. 4, sometimes No.1.

And yet another topic is the relative lack of low level and techniques/new tech tutorials or articles, as they're not so many as they were years ago. This is also a byproduct of the game engine/tech developers, due to this new segregation of the market.

This is more of a rant, an open discussion for how the market for game engine technology and man power and competences has changed in the last lets say 10 years, since I dont see anyone bringing this into discussion, people being more busy on how to cash in the AppStore and how to create the next big 2D game X clone or Minecraft clone.

A dilution of the engineering competence is happening I think, since its not so needed anymore, the big game engine guys have the manpower and money to overshadow most of the emerging game engines that might try to pop out (Bitsquid, Offset, RealityEngine, etc), which are usually bought by big companies.

Things have changed, how does an (oldish biggrin.png) game engine developer copes with this change?

Basically, should I continue on my game engine or use just the tech above and make games... smile.png

I hope some of you had/have this problem and can talk about it.

 

Feel free to rant on the subjects above, I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Bonus content: I see all the cool rendering features being added to top tier engines like PBR, deferred in many flavors, custom GUI for editors, publishing to a gazillion platforms, asset stores, tons of middleware added, etc.. and I feel a "little" bit overwhelmed and I wonder if I should stay a tech-oriented developer or go to the actual game developer side, where you actually make games and not tech. But I like to build engines and editors, yet for what purpose since the tools are already given up for free by the other companies. Yes, its a personal crisis :).

Edited by nekitusan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Advertisement

So, one of my questions is, is it worth still to make a custom game engine for yourself or even to think about making it open source or commercial ?

 

Very unlikely, forking an open source engine to make your own may be a good idea, but I can't really think of a good reason to do so, also many have licenses that would forbid that you add features without releasing them as open source.

 

The point on this whole topic is that it has been a long, long time that people have started developing engines, so they have a giant upper hand against anyone who wants to start now. I support open source engines and am quite active on development of tools, tutorials and answer question to the one I like (shameless hook: look at my signature to check the engine), but I am very aware that if I wanted to create a serious game (to earn money to keep myself alive, not as hobby) I wouldn't go for an open source solution, specially if we are talking about 3D.

 

As for your own situation, I think this is the best time ever for you. Since most engines work with plugins, you can definitelly work on a commercial plugin and make a decent amount of money with it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites


And yet another topic is the relative lack of low level and techniques/new tech tutorials or articles, as they're not so many as they were years ago. This is also a byproduct of the game engine/tech developers, due to this new segregation of the market.

Must disagree with that. If anything, there are more low level techniques being shared than ever, IMO.

 

Anyway, if tool dev is your thing, I guess you'll have to come up with something that hasn't been done yet, or at least something you could do better. Without knowing your experience, it sure would be nice to have a good dynamic music creation tool available, for instance. Point being, there are tons of niches that haven't been filled yet...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another topic is the scarcity of engine tech development, I can only see few jobs related to that of few companies, due to the aforementioned monopolization of the commercial engine market. Jobs of that kind one might find at No. 2 and No. 4, sometimes No.1.


There are few companies that are using pre-made engines and don't also have in-house engine developers.

The pre-made engines aren't out-of-the-box amazing wonderful perfect solutions. In many, many ways, the big popular engines have various quite severe deficiencies. Most game companies have to spend rather significant resources "fixing," maintaining, upgrading, and porting engines in order to actually ship a game on all the target platforms (some of the popular engines will for instance support a platform just enough for them to check off the "supports Foo" checkbox in their marketing material, but the support is far too incomplete, buggy, or slow for a shipping AAA game). A lot of the big commercial engines have cool-sounding features that are utterly unusable in practice and have to be ripped out or completely rewritten in order to ship a game. Unity doesn't give most studios the option of modifying the source; many studios using UE or the like though will spend very considerable time and money turning it into something usable for their project (this cost is still often less than starting from scratch, but there's definitely still a need for hardcore engine development).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've worked at Crytek as CryEngine's Sandbox Editor developer and architect for editor's future. Left the company to pursue the personal dream of developing an engine and other things. After UE4 and Unity5 announcement I was feeling overpowered to continue on my work, not to mention the limited time and funds available smile.png. Started a blog a while ago http://7thfactor.com some quite old screenshots http://7thfactor.com/showroom/nytro/history and a previous blog http://7thfactor.com/nytro/blog.

Edited by nekitusan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 


And yet another topic is the relative lack of low level and techniques/new tech tutorials or articles, as they're not so many as they were years ago. This is also a byproduct of the game engine/tech developers, due to this new segregation of the market.

Must disagree with that. If anything, there are more low level techniques being shared than ever, IMO.

 

Anyway, if tool dev is your thing, I guess you'll have to come up with something that hasn't been done yet, or at least something you could do better. Without knowing your experience, it sure would be nice to have a good dynamic music creation tool available, for instance. Point being, there are tons of niches that haven't been filled yet...

 

yes, I am also following those blogs and some more, but its not enough :), at least in the "old" days there was more down-to-the-metal information in forms of tutorials than now, imho. Sure, we have the whitepapers and slides from the big companies and various hobbyists or employees from the big or little companies, but I find them scarce or my google skills are underdeveloped :). Either way, I still believe there are more Unity programmers being "produced" than hardcore ones, and that happens because of this engine monopoly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well i love writing tools to make games more than making games, so as a hobby i am mostly making very simple game engine and toolkit then i try to squeeze as much milk as i can out of them. So far i never finished a proper game. The truth you realize is, while programmer will always be necessary, the tools are in place today for an artist without much programming knowledge to make decent a game. Game engine now are more like fetched out integrated creation toolkit or scene maker than actual code framework. Cryengine is the most shocking example. But personally when i use something such as Unity or Cryengine i find that my creative side is taking over and i feel like modding or hacking instead of making.

 

EDIT: I am by no mean a professional, but what i mean is it depend on the path you want to take and the experience you want to live.

Edited by FFA702

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So, one of my questions is, is it worth still to make a custom game engine for yourself or even to think about making it open source or commercial ?

 

Commercial? Probably not. Open Source? A community of good programmers can go a long ways. And even surprass some of the Professional level stuff. Look at what Blender used to be, and became. It has some features in it that would cost a fortune in Maya.

 

Your own custom game engine specifically tailored to your game? Well, most certainly.

 

A few reasons in my opinion.

 

A. Legal Issues. You can saunter out of a lot of legal issues without any problems, and you most certainly don't have to pay a thousand dollar licensing fee if you developed your own engine.

 

B. Specialization. Pre-built engines tend to have their own ways to do things. You can modify the source, after paying a fortune to get it. But at that point, it might have been more efficient to build your own engine from the ground up. Say you want your game to specialize in tile movement, but had a huge world to explore. You could use Cry engine, but it's not really designed for that. And modifying source code would be a pain.

 

C. Then finally. You'd probably become more well known of a programmer or game developer should you use your own engine, and make something impressive.

 

There are also a lot of problems however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Sign in to follow this  

  • Advertisement
  • Advertisement
  • Popular Tags

  • Similar Content

    • By RoKabium Games
      Been a bit quiet recently, but we've been busy bug fixing and tweaking things... Now we have lots more 'Particle effects' in the game, specifically here the Flamethrower and Enemy attacks!
    • By Alexander_Vovk
      Hello Guys!
      Please share your experience, where is it better to find sales manager  specialists for indie team of 6 + people(remotely)?
      Maybe someone has a good experience of cooperation with finding projects through sale managers(USA and Canada)?
        
      In our team more than 6 developers. We are working since 2014 now we are looking for projects mainly on upWork and Unity Connect.
      But that's not enough 
      This is the site of our team https://www.sixteensq.com/             
                                                 https://www.behance.net/Dezignw136f
      Thank you
      Best Regards
      Alex Vovk
      Co-Founder of Sixteen Squares
      Alexander_Vovk@outlook.com
       
    • By JoshuaFraser
      Hi and thanks for reading, I have an issue with this reactive crosshair script, everything works fine until I start changing the offset. Give the script a go and you will see what I mean, when I do SetOffset(0f); it doesnt always set back to the origional state, if anyone can spot a fix I'd be super appreciative!
      using System.Collections; using System.Collections.Generic; using UnityEngine; public class ReactiveCrosshair : MonoBehaviour { [SerializeField] GameObject c_limb_prefab; private float center_offset = 0f; private float current_offset = 0f; private float max_offset = .5f; private int number_of_limbs = 4; private float limb_length = .05f; private float limb_width = .005f; private List<GameObject> c_limbs = new List<GameObject>(); public void SetupCrosshair(){ for (int i = 0; i < number_of_limbs; i++) { GameObject line_go = (GameObject)Instantiate (c_limb_prefab); line_go.transform.SetParent (this.transform); Vector3 limb_pos = new Vector3 (0f,0f,0f); //line_go.transform.position = limb_pos; line_go.transform.localPosition = limb_pos; LineRenderer line = line_go.GetComponent<LineRenderer>(); line.startWidth = limb_width; line.positionCount = 2; line.SetPosition (0, line_go.transform.localPosition + new Vector3(center_offset, 0f, 0f)); line.SetPosition (1, line_go.transform.localPosition + new Vector3(center_offset + limb_length, 0f, 0f)); line.useWorldSpace = false; c_limbs.Add(line_go.gameObject); } if (c_limbs != null) { OrientLimbs (); SetOffset (0f); } } public void OrientLimbs(){ for (int i = 0; i < c_limbs.Count; i++) { float rotation_step = 360f / (float)c_limbs.Count; c_limbs [i].transform.RotateAround (c_limbs[i].transform.position, c_limbs[i].transform.forward, 90f + (rotation_step * (float)i)); } } public void SetOffset(float _current_spread){ float offset = Mathf.Lerp (0f, max_offset, _current_spread); for (int i = 0; i < number_of_limbs; i++) { if (offset > current_offset) { Vector3 pos = c_limbs [i].transform.position + (c_limbs [i].transform.TransformDirection (Vector3.right) * offset); c_limbs [i].transform.position = pos; } if (offset < current_offset) { Vector3 pos = c_limbs [i].transform.position - (c_limbs [i].transform.TransformDirection (Vector3.right) * offset); c_limbs [i].transform.position = pos; } } Debug.Log ("SetOffset() offset: " + offset.ToString () + " _current_spread: " + _current_spread.ToString() + " localPos: " + c_limbs[1].transform.localPosition); current_offset = offset; } }  
    • By Erik Nivala
      So, as the title says i am trying to figure out a good way sync all that information with other players in Unity. My problem is that i can't come up with a good solution since i am used to creating classes for everything e.g. attachments are its own class and then the weapon would save a reference to that attachment. But since you can't send custom classes over [Command] & [ClientRPC] i am a little stuck. A solution for this would be giving each attachment for a slot a unique ID and then passing the ID to other player but i feel like that is very error prone if other ppl add a new attachment or the IDs get mixed up.
      Is there a "standard" way that this is usually done that i am missing?
      I am fairly new to programming so any help is appreciated!
    • By MintyLyton
      I'm looking for any team / people that need a programmer for their project. I'm looking to expand my portfolio which you can see Here. I'm more experienced with Unity but I can spend the time to learn new Engines if that's your preference. I have worked on Unreal Engine 4 before but I might take some time to re-learn it, if the project requires it. Feel free to DM here or use the contact info on my website. 
    • By ethancodes
      I'm working on a system for my game that will allow the player to stack pick ups in a queue. As one pick up expires, the next automatically activates. I'm having an issue though where if I pick up the first one, it activates fine, but if i pick up a second directly after it, it overrides the first one, activates the second one, and then once it has run it's course, everything goes back to normal gameplay, no first pick up. I'm not sure why this is happening. Hopefully someone can spot what I'm doing wrong in my code.
      Here is the code for the pick up manager:
      // Update is called once per frame void Update () { if (pickUpQueue.Count != 0 && !pickUpActive) { pickUpActive = true; pickUpQueue[0].ActivatePickUp(); } DeactivatePickUp(); } void DeactivatePickUp () { if (pickUpQueue.Count != 0 && pickUpActive) { Destroy (pickUpQueue [0]); pickUpQueue.RemoveAt (0); pickUpActive = false; } } And here is the PickUp:
      public override void ActivatePickUp () { ball.GetComponent<Ball>().Speed = 2.0f; //increase ball speed... ball.GetComponent<Ball>().StartCoroutine(timer); //...set time that power up is active }  
      There is also a Base Pick Up:
      public void OnCollisionEnter2D (Collision2D collision) { Vector2 tweak = new Vector2 (Random.Range(0f, 0.2f),Random.Range(0f, 0.2f)); this.gameObject.GetComponent<Rigidbody2D>().velocity += tweak; //if the pickup makes contact with the paddle or ball.... if (collision.gameObject.tag == "Paddle" || collision.gameObject.tag == "Ball") { GameObject.FindObjectOfType<GameManager>().GetComponent<PickUpManager>().pickUpQueue.Add(this); Destroy(gameObject); //...and finally destroy power up object } } As a side note, I am trying to find a solution to this that will work for all of my pickups. Some pickups are ammo based, some are timed. 
    • By D34DPOOL
      Edit Your Profile D34DPOOL 0 Threads 0 Updates 0 Messages Network Mod DB GameFront Sign Out Add jobEdit jobDeleteC# Programmer for a Unity FPS at Anywhere   Programmers located Anywhere.
      Posted by D34DPOOL on May 20th, 2018
      Hello, my name is Mason, and I've been working on a Quake style arena shooter about destroying boxes on and off for about a year now. I have a proof of concept with all of the basic features, but as an artist with little programming skill I've reached the end of my abilities as a programmer haha. I need someone to help fix bugs, optomize code, and to implent new features into the game. As a programmer you will have creative freedom to suggest new features and modes to add into the game if you choose to, I'm usually very open to suggestions :).
      What is required:
      Skill using C#
      Experience with Unity
      Experience using UNET (since it is a multiplayer game), or the effort and ability to learn it
      Compensation:
      Since the game currently has no funding, we can split whatever revenue the game makes in the future. However if you would perfer I can create 2D and/or 3D assets for whatever you need in return for your time and work.
      It's a very open and chill enviornment, where you'll have relative creative freedom. I hope you are interested in joining the team, and have a good day!
       
      To apply email me at mangemason@yahoo.com
    • By davejones
      Is there a way to automatically change the start position of an animation? I have a bunch of animations set up on 3D models in unity. The issue is that I need to move the 3D models, however when I do so the animation start positions are not updated and I have to do it manually.

      Changing the transform of key frames is time consuming with the amount of animations I have, so I was wondering if there was a way to do it automatically?
    • By MoreLion
      hey all! We are looking for members for our Unity horror game! 
      Here’s the story:
      After a deadly virus plunges the world into chaos killing 85% of the human population there are now what they call “zones” these zones are watched very closely by the surviving government, people are checked every day for the virus, even if you touch the spit or any human waste or fluids of the victim who is infected, you will die. But one day, people in the west zone start to go missing, 1 woman goes outside the walls to uncover the mystery, is there more to the virus than meets the eye?, That is where your story starts.
      This game is not a long development game, I have loads other game ideas,
      I will also allow you to have a bit of creative freedom if you wish to add or share a idea!
      And no, it’s not a zombie game lol I feel like zombie games are too generic, in this game you will encounter terrifying beasts!
      There is some concept art one of our concept artists have made
      If interested email liondude12@gmail.com
    • By Canadian Map Makers
      GOVERNOR is a modernized version of the highly popular series of “Caesar” games. Our small team has already developed maps, written specifications, acquired music and performed the historical research needed to create a good base for the programming part of the project.

      Our ultimate goal is to create a world class multi-level strategic city building game, but to start with we would like to create some of the simpler modules to demonstrate proof of concept and graphical elegance.

       

      We would like programmers and graphical artists to come onboard to (initially) create:

      A module where Province wide infrastructure can be built on an interactive 3D map of one of the ancient Roman Provinces.
      A module where city infrastructure can be built on a real 3D interactive landscape.
      For both parts, geographically and historically accurate base maps will be prepared by our team cartographer. Graphics development will be using Blender. The game engine will be Unity.

       

      More information, and examples of the work carried out so far can be found at http://playgovernor.com/ (most of the interesting content is under the Encyclopedia tab).

       

      This project represents a good opportunity for upcoming programmers and 3D modeling artists to develop something for their portfolios in a relatively short time span, working closely with one of Canada’s leading cartographers. There is also the possibility of being involved in this project to the point of a finished game and commercial success! Above all, this is a fun project to work on.

       

      Best regards,

      Steve Chapman (Canadian Map Makers)

       
  • Advertisement
  • Popular Now

  • Forum Statistics

    • Total Topics
      631394
    • Total Posts
      2999755
×

Important Information

By using GameDev.net, you agree to our community Guidelines, Terms of Use, and Privacy Policy.

Participate in the game development conversation and more when you create an account on GameDev.net!

Sign me up!