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Game Engine for a begginer/hobbyist? (Forums : Coding & Scripting : Game Engine for a begginer/hobbyist?) Post Reply
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Dec 20 2015 Anchor

I have this question in my head for some days and I can't figure out which path is better for me. Let me explain:

I started my first work for a company (like 2 months ago) creating and updating their website using Php, javascript ecc ecc... but it's kinda boring and i want to use and increase my programming knowledge doing something more satisfying and funny during my free time, I was thinking to create a 2D game.

I know that there are a loooooot of game engines, from DnD like ClickTeam Fusion 2,5, to hybrid Engines like Game Maker Studio, to full and serious like Unity3D/Unreal Engine... I tried all of them, but i'm not sure on which one I should dedicate more time to learn it... because i have like 2 hours of free time per day to dedicate myself on this... so yeah, I'm searching a hobby software.

Any suggest will be really appreciated.

Thanks for the attention! Have a nice day

Dec 21 2015 Anchor

If you already had a little experience in JavaScript you might be happy to know that Unity uses JavaScript. If you want to write seriously later it also use a C-llike language C# and this is also a framework language (like Java, Android, etc.). None of these languages are going away soon. So that is the way t learn now for the future.

If you are more interested in getting something done now then Game Maker Studio is far and away the best. You can do pure Drag 'n' Drop or add code. If you skype : etherflows I can sent it to you directly.

I have asked IndieDB to allow it into my downloads as it was provided for free back then. Approval for this may take a little while but this is the link:



Dec 22 2015 Anchor

Hi! And thanks a lot for the reply! I heard about GS but I have some doubts to use it:
GML, yeah its a nice language that is similar to other languages, but the point is that you can use it only in Game Maker... it would be a good investiment in my future? It would help me to learn easier other languages?
If Game Maker will make possible my dream to create a good game, the export modules is very... expensive, is worth it? and are there some sales during the year for the exports modules?

I want to be very carefull into make this decision, thanks a lot for your time!

Dec 23 2015 Anchor

If you dream of making a great game I really suggest Unity5. C# has the better tutorial set at the moment though there are great tutorials for JavaScript too and more being uploaded daily.

I think the real reason that Unity included JavaScript is to future proof it in a way that Unreal Engine is not.

Your questions helped inspired me to write a detailed article on it.

Why JavaScript will become King of Indie Game Development

If you have more questions feel free to ask.

Dec 23 2015 Anchor

Hi again! Im happy that my questions inspired you to write that article, I think that your thoughts are very interesting and plausible, I want to see if this will go on in they way you said!

Anyway I'd like to ask you a thing.. I saw that now Game Maker is on sale on Steam: 40€ .. but I dont know if it's worth buiyng it.. like I said, I have like 2 hours per day to dedicate myself on game developement, i dont want to do too much complicate things, so I want to start with a 2D game (MAYBEEEE in the future I'll try a the 3D) so I dont know what is really good for me...

Game Maker:
Pro- Easy to understand, and his language
Have DnD features to accelerate my projects
Very good performance on all devices
Cons- GML exist only for this engine, so it isnt vety future proof for my programmer career (I cant write on my resume that I know GML...)
If I want to export to android or other platforms it will cost me an extra... the export modules cost more than the normal license itself! I dont know if its worth it...

Pro- The free version gives me quite all the features that paid version of Game Maker offers (plus his exort modules)
Haves 3 languages that I can choose to use
Haves a vast asset store
It also gaves me the possibility to create 3D games!
Cons- Its more difficult, I think that is more for a indie team rather for a single person

Yeah maybe Unity is the BEST option, but his CONs gives me a BIG doubt if is the right option for me... I'd like to remember that I have vert few time to game program...
I cant really find an answer! Please suggest me XD

Dec 24 2015 Anchor

This is something that perhaps I can not answer.

Game Maker is a delay if you want to make great games in the future and I have often found the tutorials lacking from choice. Though the manual is tops - pure Drag and Drop until page 120 and easy to digest code for the rest of it. Game Maker is a really great way to throw together a game and get it finished but once the cost goes beyond the €40, it may not be a good choice at all.

Unity is likely to stay free for a while, if you learn it gives you two resume points Unity and the language you choose. If you want to be a programmer it provides, if you want to switch to 3d later, be a graphics buff or go into level design its all there.

You have to make a hard choice and I have often made a bad choice yet this is part of the life of a programmer.

If you know your HEART is in game design or/and programming/graphics/animation then step up to the plate immediately and pick a top package like but not necessarily Unity.

If you want to ease in gently then 2d engines like G.Maker, RPG Maker, etc. are really good choices.

Myself and our other programmer who both have HEART and passion when it comes to Game Design and languages are having the same constructive debate on Open Source vs. a Unity/Unreal project, for a week.

What is right for NOW is a decision for you. You will be learning design anyway. If its for you, you will enjoy it anyway. And you will probably at some point in your life change platforms anyway. YET picking a system and getting to work is The Only Way!


Dec 24 2015 Anchor

If you want the easiest possible way to have a simple "game" you should try flash. If you remember those obnoxious banner ads "click osama to punch his lights out!" Those were based in flash and require minimal understanding (key frame based action like HyperCard). For anything more substantial you'll be doing yourself a favor to start with unity. It's going to take more than a week to make your game and investing that much time in a propriety game engine with non standard editing environment like game maker is a waste. It won't generalize and it won't grow with you

Personally I just launched my first game using unity and to my eternal pleasure the hardest part was the game design (Thanks for your consideration ;) ) and I've been employed in games industry for 6 years.

Also, C# is the standard for unity, be wary of JavaScript, look at the numbers for their user base in language especially launched games. JavaScript is unwieldy and relies heavily on frameworks on the web, and unity's implementation is not the JavaScript spec es5 or es6

--further edit: to your CONs concern, I made that game and 4 others (abandoned) in a few months on the weekend all on my own. Used the asset store for 100% of the ingame assets.

Dec 25 2015 Anchor

Any reason you don't want to mod an existing game to get your experience? The whole issue of assets is no more and there's normally a TON of free help for popular engines. I'm particular to id engines (D3/Prey lets you mod quite a bit w/o even using a compiler, but my old love is Quake 2.), but it would make things easier to start.

What kind of 2D game are you thinking of? OpenRA is a free engine that's designed around the Command and Conquer game series ( and you can modify that. If you don't know, CnC is a RTS series.

@ 2 hours a day I think modding would be more satisfying to you. That's my opinion though. :)


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

Dec 26 2015 Anchor

Thanks a lot to all the the replies!! I had a very difficult time to choose which engine should I try... and in the end I decidet to stick with Unity, I tried to do a tutorial form Learn section (Roll the ball) and I end it... well it was my first game wow!! It surely helped me to understand this engine more than before, so i'll try to use it for my future ideas! And I saw that there a lot of things on the asset store that would help a very much.
Thanks very much again for your time to help me. Have a nice day! :)

Feb 2 2016 Anchor

Good choice, ArtChanGAME, because flash is a past, and GameMaker is a toy, but Unity is a great tool, used by professionals, and it has a lot of tutorials, and it continue to grow up.

Feb 2 2016 Anchor

~5 years ago Unity was called a toy too.


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

Silfaran Trump In Programer.
Jan 13 2017 Anchor

Unity3D: Ease and Power

Unreal Engine 4: Hard and Super Power

Cocos2D: ok

CryEngine/Lumberyard: I never used..

Others: If we have Unity3D, Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine/Lumberyard why use others?

Nightshade Technical Artist
Jan 13 2017 Anchor

Edited by: Nightshade


Technical Artist @ King - an Activision-Blizzard studio
Portfolio | LinkedIn

Jan 13 2017 Anchor
Silfaran wrote:

Others: If we have Unity3D, Unreal Engine 4 and CryEngine/Lumberyard why use others?

Quake, Quake 2, Q3A, RTCW all include AI, no need to start from scratch/buy 3rd party AI. Also support many more systems. Big one is AI though.


Go play some Quake 2:
It's like Source v0.9, only... better!
Play Paintball for Doom 3!:
Doom 3 Paintball to the Max!

Feb 1 2017 Anchor

Not as well known as a GameMaker is AppGameKit. Which is a different type of tool, no drag 'n' drop just pure coding.

If you are interested in being a "coder" then AppGameKit is one way to go. It is difficult to put into words, but the way it works, is similar to how I think when doing game development. I like that when coding with the AppGameKit BASIC language it uses the Geany IDE (which is super lightweight and can run on PC or Mac) and has a good balance of editing features, while keeping it simple.

While I have not yet used it, AppGameKit can also be used with C++, which is sort of re-assuring because if I want to do a game for which BASIC is not appropriate, it will be possible to start instead with C++ where there are fewer limits, while still using the same gaming libraries.

Haven't tried AppGameKit for 3D games (which it supports), but for 2D it is my current favourite tool. While JavaScript is awesome (I use it professionally daily and love it) using a tool based on a BASIC language is a refreshing change each time I use it.

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