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Should I use an engine or hard code with libraries?

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Hi again. I've done some web coding before and enjoyed writing all the code manually. People have said I should start small with my games, which is fine, and I've seen lots of people supporting both sides.

 

For a beginner, would it be better to hard code with api's or use a game engine for my games?

 

I don't want to know which is "easier," I enjoy a challenge, and I don't want to get the standard "Whatever you're most comfortable with." I'm flexible.

Which do you think will help my growth as a developer most? Hard coding or a game engine?

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Hi.
I believe it depends on what you eventually want to achieve, combined with what you like to do most. If you want to make fun games, an engine will do. If you want to fully learn rendering, low level API usage, creating your own framework etc., then you could start creating your own engine. The 2nd option is nice but has a strong learning curve, takes lots of discipline and time.

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If you want to make fun games, an engine will do. If you want to fully learn rendering, low level API usage, creating your own framework etc., then you could start creating your own engine.

I don't particularly "want" to learn those things, but I want to make fun, fully customizable(by me) games that are fun to make. I know you really can't define what's "fun" for me, but I just really want to do whatever will give me the best results. I've heard not to do an engine, so hard code the game itself or use a pre-made engine?

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Either way is fine. We can't tell you what'll be more fun for you. So try something like SDL 2.0, Unity, or Game Maker. Make Pong or Breakout. And see which one suits your coding style and sense of fun.

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