Jump to content
  • Advertisement
GalacticCrew

Developing my own game engine vs. using a commercial game engine

Recommended Posts

Advertisement

Been working on an engine in my spare time for a few years. It's been on and off, so I'm nowhere close to building a game yet. I've been enjoying the process, but it's very time consuming and it can be daunting comparing the features to Unreal or Unity. I've had doubts whether it's even a good idea, however there are some things I'm exploring that aren't well suited for existing engines (at least not without a lot of work and source level access). For me, it's more of a learning experience, so I'm okay not having something totally complete or competitive. If I were trying to sell a game any time soon, I would certainly choose Unreal or Unity and call it a day. It depends what you are looking for, I think for most people building an engine would be too costly (in terms of time) compared to free or practically free engines available today. If you are more interested in skill acquisition, building a portfolio, etc. then it can still be worthwhile. Or, like me, trying to do something really different and not easy to do in general engines, that could be a valid reason. Otherwise, I think it's more prudent to just use or buy whatever tools you can and make your life a lot easier. Just my opinion.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There is nothing wrong with doing stuff on your own, and some games do it.   However, as noted above, it has become fairly rare due to the other players in the industry.

Existing engines give an enormous set of existing tools and workflows. The tools have been thoroughly debugged and work reasonably well for many developers around the globe.

Even if you don't go with a major engine, you should still consider minor engines and other tools for the benefits they give. 

As Hodgman just wrote, if you're doing it for a hobby because you love the craft or because you want to learn about those parts of the process then it's great.  As a business decision it is hard to justify: you've got a large pool of free and low-cost tools and engines but you're choosing to re-invent the wheel for some reason. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@GalacticCrew Sounds like you are doing this all for the right reasons. You can tell from your post that you really love doing it. I'd stick at it, if it were me, but it all depends on your circumstances.

And there is always the 1337 factor of being able to say your game (and engine) is 100% yours.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was developing my engine for years from scratch, starting in .Net and C# using OpenGL from this community when I started to study game development at University. Iterations over iterations later learning and testing so it is mine too, my work and I'm currently at a point to say that I love working with that rather more as with Unity or Unreal. I worked in several studios, on a bunch of projects and intensive with Unreal and all foremost Unity reaching a point where I think (and some experienced people from the industry think that too) that those AAA related software is full of features that might be usefull to most people but lack of features we would need to run our games. Fiddling for workarrounds instead of just developing the game is quite annoying.

It took nearly 10 years until Unity implemented native multi threading support and async code handling, it is a shame while using Unreal is gambling to support certain platforms (I needed to rewrite asset pipeline for a mobile port in Unreal)

I decided a while ago to publish my code on GitHub with same voice in mind that you described above, giving my work of 1 &1/2 year (measured in standard work hours of 9 per day) for free so I wrote an EULA and was fine with publishing for everyone. I decided for a free to use but rev-share for commercial model to value the work and support if needed

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Shaarigan said:

I decided a while ago to publish my code on GitHub with same voice in mind that you described above, giving my work of 1 &1/2 year (measured in standard work hours of 9 per day) for free so I wrote an EULA and was fine with publishing for everyone. I decided for a free to use but rev-share for commercial model to value the work and support if needed

Can you share a link to it? I'd love to check it out. I'd love to see what you've created.

I think, I won't charge anything when I decide to go open source. If I put my engine online than everyone should be able to contribute to it. This should be a greater benefit for me than a royalty-based model. Well, if someone creates a major hit a royalt-based model would be awesome of course.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I know this Unity stuff fighting against you instead of helping your for anything worthwhile and for me UE had been just bloated beyond being useful for fas developing. For that reason I created my engine from scratch back then (LGPL and no royalties... I hate royalties) to put up something which is geared for working fast and efficient but without sacrificing power and versatility as certain other engines do. So I would say just continue with it. You seem to be at a usable point so I would not drop-and-switch engine unless you have to. Unity is a pain. I would not switch there if it can be helped.

Edited by RPTD

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd say, if you have published a game with your engine, it is good for what you need! It is true maybe that by using an established commercial enigne you might save some development time in the future, but on the other hand it looks you already have a good basis, you don't have to pay royalties, and you are not depending on somebody else's code for features and bug fixes, so I'd say go with it as long as it works!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Advertisement
×

Important Information

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

We are the game development community.

Whether you are an indie, hobbyist, AAA developer, or just trying to learn, GameDev.net is the place for you to learn, share, and connect with the games industry. Learn more About Us or sign up!

Sign me up!