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What is the easiest game engine to program 2D/3D games in ?

11-30-2010, 05:01 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Where dreams become reality
Posts: 258
What is the easiest game engine to program 2D/3D games in ?

I use a game engine called Game Editor for my games. I have played other games from other developers and I am wondering what game engine or SDK are you using. Thanks for any feedback!!
11-30-2010, 06:24 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Location: Brisbane, Australia
Posts: 44
Someone will surely mention Unity 3, so this is my pre-emptive +1.

Unfortunately I can't compare it to any other framework but I can say that as a long-time software developer but first-time game developer, Unity really made things seem simple. You can do so much just with rigidbodies, colliders and raycasting alone, coupled with scripting to tie it all together. I expect other tools provide similar concepts, so I suggest checking out the main parts of the API to see the extent to which Unity can simplify your coding, and compare that to other tools.

And it's polyglot so chances are you can use a language you already know. And it supports a number of 3d model formats and can build for a multitude of platforms, including Android, desktops and consoles.

The workflow is quite visual, in that you'll often build up a game element (eg an enemy) by dragging meshes together, adding colliders and scripts and saving that as a prefab. You then instantiate these prefabs into your game as and when necessary.

I use the pro version but I see a lot of games out there doing a lot with the non-pro version which is much cheaper (they have the "Powered by Unity" splash screen). The main reasons we went pro were:
- direct access to the iOS SDK through "plugins"
- external version control support
- profiler
I wanted to use render-to-texture in my game but then found out it's not support on iOs (d'oh!), but I think it's coming eventually?? There are also various optimisations only available in pro, but you can probably get by without them for most games, possibly with some extra work or design/planning. They sure came in handy for mine though!

Hope that helps. Sure there will be much more to be said about Unity by other developers.


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11-30-2010, 06:51 PM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Toronto, Canada
Posts: 110
Unity3D all the way. I made 123 POP in Unity3D in about a month and a half and I'm an artist, not a seasoned programmer. Checkout the
site: http://answers.unity3d.com if you get stuck on anything. I've also tried Games Salad which is great if you don't like scripting. It's all drag and drop. Corona is worth checking out as well.

11-30-2010, 07:12 PM
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 9

+1 for Unity. We've just completed our first game in Unity in around 200 hours. I'm planning to write a review of Unity3 in the coming days, I'll post it here in case you want to know the couple of negatives I found (and massive list of positives).

Some friends have used Torque and have run into all sorts of issues. They are switching to Unity for their next project.
12-01-2010, 08:31 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Posts: 274
While Unity is great, I wouldn't call it "the easiest game engine to program with" maybe in 3D land, but 3D games are certainly not the easiest.

If you wanna go for easiest I guess GameSalad would be it, though I feel it has way too many limitations to be seriously considered. But hey, you don't need to code anything and it might be good for prototyping.

I think Corona would be the next step up the ladder. Strictly 2D as well, but this time you have to code everything. No nice IDE like in Unity. However the coding is in Lua, which is pretty easy to pick up. Performance is very good and while it does have some limitations, they're not dealbreakers and it's constantly getting updated. I'm using this one myself and I've been quite happy with it.
12-01-2010, 09:41 AM
Joined: May 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 761
If you want something 'free' and already have knowledge of some of the principles of 3D graphics (or are prepared to learn) it's worth looking at Imagination's SDK. I've only used it for reference myself but there is some great stuff in there including a Windows 'simulator'.

Imagination are the company that makes the PowerVR chips in iDevices, they have great samples of setting up shaders, loading textures, loading models and tools for texture compression and model conversion from max and maya.

I know of several major games that have been built from this framework. It's getting slightly out of date now and is written in a slightly odd way (they avoid objective C way more than necessary) but it's a very good starting point if you know C++ and have programmed 3D elsewhere.

If you are new to 3D and/or would simply like something else to handle the tech for you, I'll give another +1 for unity.

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12-01-2010, 11:10 AM
Joined: Nov 2010
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 87
We're just finishing up a 2D physics puzzler and we used cocos2D with box2D. I'm a longtime developer, first-time game creator and found both box2D and cocos2D extremely easy to get rolling with and very flexible.

I'm actually considering creating future apps using cocos2d as opposed to UIKit!

Anyway, take my opinion with a grain of salt: we've clocked-in 600+ hours over four months on our game, so it certainly takes time.
12-01-2010, 11:18 AM
I usually don't like game engines as I feel somewhat limited (even though I'm really not, it's just a question of feeling ). As for graphics engines, you can't go wrong with cocos2d. Fairly easy to use, actively maintained, great community, what more can you ask?

One point of contempt I have with the engine is that it makes spritesheet animation a little bit cumbersome, but that is just a minor quibble.
12-01-2010, 05:36 PM
Joined: May 2010
Location: Lincoln, UK
Posts: 356
I'm a Unity user as well. I highly recommend it. It is great for 3D, about to find out what it is like for 2D as it was not designed for that.

I tried a few others before deciding on Unity.

GameSalad was the only other one I seriously considered after investigation because it is 2D, and because it is so simple I could get up and running quickly. But I found when something went wrong, it was hard to find out what, and it seems quite limited.