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Which Game Engine should i use for my first game development experience?

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The past few months i was really interested in starting game developing. I know it's something that you can't learn in just a few months. But i really want to dig myself into it, i don't care how long and what it takes to get into this. I think i'm ready to finally start.

The Problem is i have little to no experience in these things.

I Know what game engines do and that for a few of them you need to learn a few programming languages like C+ or JavaScript and i'm willing to learn these (Btw which program language is the best to start with?)

At first i want to start developing a few little games like Pong or Space Invaders... Just with my own Ideas and Sprites.

Maybe it could be a Android game or something.

Which game engine would be perfect for that?

And do you guys have any recommendations on what to learn and what i should look out for?

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For creating basic games like pong / space invader style, if youre working with 2D or even 3D I personally (being a twisted person) find it easier to just code up from scratch / use DirectX / OpenGL / Vulkan directly as opposed to using an off the shelf game engine.

Though in terms of ease of use since you mention mobile games and having no real experience I would probably suggest Unity, tends to be a very heavily used engine for mobile work and that (along with PC an stuff) and the scripting language is like C# which is fairly easier to learn / get straight into then things like c++.

If you just wanted a straight up language to learn for games programming then suggestion would be C++, heavier language but a very used language that really, if you can program well in C++ you can program well in C#, Java or many other languages pretty easily (not perfectly, but very easy to pick them up)

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Do Not Hurry

You say you don't have prior programming experience. So, you would better not directly start with a game engine. Learning a game engine, it's associated programming language, and the basics of game development, all at the same time isn't good.

Android? When you're just beginning to program? That would be a bad choice too. Setting up the development environment, testing, etc. will make things harder if you go with android.

So, how should you start?

I can suggest you two good roadmaps to start with. Either would work, but the first one is quicker & more fun than the second one. While the second one is what I consider more solid and has got a gentler learning curve.

The Quicker Path

If you just want to get started with game development, right away, this one is for you.

Just pick one of these game engines:

  • Game Maker Studio (my recommendation)
  • Gamesalad
  • Stencyl

All these engines don't require any prior coding experience. So, you get started right away, by going through tutorials. I recommend Game Maker Studio because, in it, you can quickly switch to coding instead of drag-n-drop once you are ready. Game Maker Language (GML) is pretty similar to Javascript and learning GML would be a good intro to programming languages.

Once, you are into game development, you can decide whether you want to continue game dev as a hobby or be more serious about it. If you are more serious, you can learn other programming languages, and then follow along with the second path which I mention below. The second path will be easier if you go this way.

The Solid Path

I call this one solid because I think this is what one should go with if he's serious about game development. But, this one is slower so if you are impatient about game development, and want to see something up very quickly, this one might not be for you.

In the solid path, you start by learning a programming language. Preferably, C/C++, Java, C# or Python. Then, you master the programming language. This includes getting familiar with all the concepts of the programming language and getting lots of practice.

Now, you can choose some platform (Android, Windows, HTML5, etc) and learn the respective libraries for that platform/language pair.

Remember, your language choice will affect your platform choice. You wouldn't want to do Android development using Python.

Then, following the right guides/tutorials/books, you can create some classic games on that platform. Later, you can either repeat this process with other languages & platforms or learn some hardcore game engine like Unity or Unreal.

Hope this helps. Remember that this just my opinion and you must do a lot more research before starting out. :)

Edited by Tanay Karnik

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