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What do you use to make games?

Posted: Sun Jun 22, 2014 4:52 pm
by Phil
Hello!
I haven't been active on the forum much, and I'm just now trying to get back into making games after 4 years.

It would be nice to know what you use to make games, weather you code your own from scratch, or buy, and how much it costs.

Unity seems to be one of the more expensive engines, but perhaps with the most resource available.

Unreal and CryEngine are both available to indie devs.
Unreal Engine 3 has a free development kit you can download. Or you can buy UE4 for $20/month (you can pay once and still use it.)
Cryengine has a free Development kit too, or $10/month for full features. You have to keep paying to use it, but it is a very advanced engine.
These are both pretty complicated engines, and may be overwhelming for small game development.

I was also thinking about going back to GameMaker, or trying something like godotengine which is free.

Please share what you like to use, favorite program languages, and what programs you have the most fun working with. Thanks! :D

Re: What do you use to make games?

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:40 am
by TheLittleSettler
Hey,

So I can only really speak for Unity, but I'm pretty familiar with the pros and cons people list for Unity vs Unreal. I love Unity, but some people would find it better to work with Unreal.

First though, just to get this out of the way...

CryEngine - not sure the state of it for indie devs. It looks amazing, but I doubt its good for indies yet. The reason why is its only recently been offered, presumably as a reaction to Unity dominating the indie scene. Let me know if you find out it is.

Unity vs Unreal.
Well, first, comparing pricing is not trivial. Unity free gives you allot. I'm naturally suspicious of anything that's not a straight-up purchase but anyway...do the maths. Its also worth considering what features of pro you would need to find out what stage in the project you would require pro.

But on to the differences:
People say
"Unreal looks better"
I would argue that by default its better but that's to do with the shaders you choose, not the engine.

"Unity's material editor is crap"
Its pretty simplistic, whereas Unreal's is good - especially for artists. Me, I didn't know any better.

"Kismet makes it easy to script stuff like opening and closing doors"
In reality I reckon people fear coding too much to try it. The fact is, most coding time is spent trying to debug complex systems - not little things like that. Some do better with visual stuff. Me, I think the flowchart-looking stuff would quickly become a mess with a project that is the equivalent of 6k lines of code. I'm just not sure how (or if) I could manage that. Plus, people trying to avoid coding must realise to get that one thing kismet doesn't include they might have to dig in to - gasp - C++. So - do it that way if your a visual thinker, but not because you can't code. I've always seen Visual scripting advertised as though it makes you do less problem solving but it doesn't.

"Unity's Asset store speeds up development"
Indeed it does. I wonder if Unreal has anything like it now. With a little money, you can get allot from the asset store (vs. spending time to find it, make it, or pay someone to make it). Every asset goes through QA, but the quality of much of it is not far above the threshold...usable but not great. Still, there is a ton of really awesome stuff on there. Everything is garenteed to be game ready (albiet quality) which is a huge time save if you are trying to find some art rather than have it custom made (since outside the asset store finding game ready stuff is very time consuming).

"Unity builds to more platforms"
Yep. I haven't had any issues to speak of with cross platform stuff (using windows, ubuntu, osx and android) so far. The web player is harder to work with though as it has the expected limitations of running embedded in a browser. Building to mobile devices can be quite slow.

"Unity takes assets in pretty much any format"
Eh, with a few problems. But that's rare enough. I'm not sure it'd such a bad thing for it to only accept one format as Unreal does. It was nice to be able to just use maya binaries this semester rather than export to whatever - the maya scene and the built model being one and the same file.

Couple more things to say about unity. Development is moving fast. Too fast. Its not ever all that stable. They get carried away with new features as opposed to doing things like updating the version of .NET, updating documentation (actually ok now...still lacking in areas). But I don't blame them for that. IMO that's business.

Ahh GameMaker...good times. GM7 had very few bugs, only one limitation from memory which was rendering speed (lack thereof).

Re: What do you use to make games?

Posted: Mon Jun 23, 2014 8:46 pm
by RifleFire
Hiya Phil,
Personally, i have tried to use Unity and GameMaker Studio. I found Unity to be a bit too much for me to do much in it alone. My Math background is really lacking and Coding is not very easy for me. Unity is a great 3d engine and now it has 2d as well. Regardless, it was still a bit much for me to handle.. So, i have switched back to Game Maker Studio (GMS). IMHO, GMS is more advanced and better for games than the original GameMaker was. YoyoGames has completely rewritten the system and its very good for beginners and now even advanced game developers. There have been tons of changes in the code and functions in GMS compared to the GM 8.x version. You can still import a GM 8.1 game into GMS but some changes will probably be required for it to run correctly. Currently GMS only runs on a Windows OS though. A Mac version of GMS maybe coming some day. GMS is still under constant bugfixing and development too since its still sorta new. It also now costs more than the old GM did. However, to get new people to get into the system, YOYOgames just made the UNLIMITED resource version called GMS Standard free. Previously the only free GMS version was a resource limited version. You have to upgrade to GMS PRO If you want to Export your game to more than WINDOWS and Mac. The link to the free Standard GMS edition is http://www.yoyogames.com/studio/buy. Give the free version a try and see if you like it better than the old GM versions.
Hope this helps a bit on your decision making...
God bless you,
RF

Re: What do you use to make games?

Posted: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:21 am
by Phil
Thanks guys :)
Lots of good info here,

TheLittleSettler, Thanks for sharing. Unity has done a great job working with indie devs, and I heard it works well with Blender, which I still use for modeling, if i decide to go the 3d route again. And I agree, I think CryEngine and Unreal are both trying to grab some of the indie action from Unity. Until very recently, cryengine didn't have any easy licensing options for indie devs.

RifleFire, Thanks, I may be in the same boat. I downloaded Unreal Engine 4, and it's just way too overwhelming for me right now.
The new GameMaker Studio sounds awesome, and I see it also uses Box2D for physics. I'll give it a try and go from there, thanks!

Re: What do you use to make games?

Posted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 7:44 pm
by TheLittleSettler
Not flawlessly. I've only personally used a couple of blender files...once had a minor issue with it. It would be worth searching for "blender" on unity answers and having a scan through to see if there's any issues.

I've had some trouble with maya binaries (or was it fbx...we used both, and eventually settled on .mb for convenience). Every bit of the mesh (what's that called...every sub-mesh) would be at zero. Another thing was that our character's weapon was assigned to a control node instead of a bone for animation - in unity the control node didn't animate.