The gaming culture has been growing exponentially through the years. This is due to the fact that gaming engines, pcs and game consoles have been growing more and more powerful as time goes by. It is also partially due to more companies entering the gaming fraternity creating a wider variety of game engines and pcs. This has made the price of these tools cheaper and more affordable for anyone.
You probably know what a game console and what a gaming pc is, but many never really know what a game engine is. The best way to understand what they are is to first understand what they do. A game engine is the architecture that game developers use to run a game. In game engines, the components used can be reused to build the framework of the game. In simpler terms, a game engine is a dedicated software for creating and designing games.
Game engines provide the developers with more time to focus on the key features and elements of the game such as character looks, facial expressions, and models and how entities and objects of the game will interact. This means that before game engines, the process of designing games was a lot more difficult. It meant that all games would have to be made from scratch making it consume a lot more time and a whole lot expensive.
We have listed the most used game engines by developers below along with the pros and cons and also a link to the best course for that game engine. But, don’t decide on the game engine before reading the conclusion of this post.
Here is a list of the best game engines for beginners
Godot engine has been around for a long time. It is an open source software for cross platform game development. This means that games written in different languages can be supported by Godot. The fact that it is open source also means that there are no subscription fees, no game royalties; it means that whatever you develop in Godot is yours. Like all other open source software, Godot is constantly updated and fixing bugs by their online community. This means if you have a question, there is a community to help you out when you’re stuck. Godot is a great choice for 2D game development but also works with 3D games. What makes Godot common and great for beginners however is the large set of tools it provides which allow the beginner to easily learn and develop a simple game without reinventing the wheel.
Godot works on the following operating systems; Windows, Linux, Haiku, Open BSD and OS X. It runs in both 32 and 64 bit platforms. Learn Godot.
- It is easy to learn making it great for beginner game developers
- Godot’s visual editor has all the tools required for amateur game development
- It is powerful when rendering 2D graphics
- It has a live editing section where changes are automatically saved and not lost even after stopping the game
- Godot allows the developer to add their own custom tools to ease the process of development
- They have an online community dedicated to updating and fixing bugs and answering users’ questions when stuck
- It is not the best when rendering 3D graphics
Armory game engine
Armory gaming engine is a clean open source engine that works with Blender. Blender is one of the most common open source 3D graphics software. Previously, Blender had another game engine which they stopped using due to it constantly buggy nature. Now, Armory is one of the most renowned 3D animation software in the open source community. It is also a common choice among Indie developers as Armory allows the developer to work in one system rather than switch between different programs. After downloading Armory, you have to pass through several demo clips including the basic ones such as a third character person demo. Other than this, Armory is known for its amazing node orientation. The nodes greatly improves performance while keeping the whole setup simple and easy to understand and learn.
Armory allows the developer to use the following features: Physics, audio, scripting, networking and navigation within the game. It is compatible with the following platforms: android, Linus, PS4. Switch, Xbox One, iOS and Windows. The most defining feature of the Armory is the fact that it prevents large sizing through compression, binary data formats and efficient build tools. Learn Armory.
- It is great for rendering and developing 3D games
- It is compatible with all common gaming software platforms
- It prevents large package sizing by applying asset compression using it superior build tools
- Armory supports action blending and GPU skinning
- It provides one space for doing everything required. This means you do not have to switch between different programs during development
- It has a lot of tools which may be difficult to learn especially if you have no previous knowledge of Blender
Unity 3D Game Engine
Unity can be said to be the most common game engine in the world. It is so common that half of the world’s games are created using Unity. Games like Pokemon Go, Rimworld and Heathstone have all been developed using Unity. It is also a real time platform. Unity was started in Denmark but later moved to San Francisco and now has over five million game developers using it. While Unity is more geared towards developers who can code, it also accommodates beginners who want to use virtual scripting. The beginner can create basic game prototypes easily using Unity.
Like the previous two engines, Unity supports both 2D and 3D game development. It is however not open source engine and the developer has to pay certain subscription fee to use it if making money from the game. However, after paying, the engine offers a massive supply of new assets, tools and learning resources all provided by their online community. If you’re looking to learn Unity, there are more than enough resources offered by the community.
Unity is compatible with the following operating systems: Mac OS, Linux, Windows and Android. It supports multiple platforms including: mobile phones, desktop, virtual reality (VR), web and TV. Unity’s cloud system allows the developer to get real time feedback when developing the game. Learn Unity.
- It has a wide pool of resources and tutorials offered by its online community
- It is great for learners and beginners who want to learn C#
- It is free until when you make $100k in earnings from your game
- Unity provides real time feedback when developing the game reducing errors
- It supports all platforms from simple phone games to VR games
- It offers a lot of free assists to the developer
- Unity offers a lot of free assets. However, to avoid scripting, the developer can download visual scripting assets from asset store.
- It is not the best choice for 2D games
- It is a self-centered engine where users cannot really apply their Unity skills anywhere but in Unity
- Due to its wide range of workings, it can prove to be exhausting to learn for beginners
Unreal Game Engine
Unreal engine is a more professional software suite used for building high quality games. Most intensive games such as games from BioShock, Deus and Borderlands –all who make very graphic intensive games- use Unreal game engine. It is the perfect engine for great graphics and lighting. Because of this, Unreal is mostly used by a team of developers.
Although Unreal is quite an advance game engine, it fits this list because it comes with an inbuilt software solution specially dedicated for beginners knows as Blueprint. Blueprint is a visual scripting tool that can be used by artist to make game without coding. Learn Unreal.
- It comes with an inbuilt software solution specially dedicated for beginners knows as Blueprint that allows new users and amateurs to learn coding from scratch
- It has photoreal rendering capabilities in real time to achieve very high quality real look visuals
- It has a wide range of powerful post production features which allow the developer to adjust the looks and graphics to make the as real looking as possible.
- Unreal has a powerful multiplayer framework that is compatible with all platforms
- It has a lot of tools which may be difficult to learn especially if you have no previous knowledge of C++ programming language
The market for amateur game developers is very huge with more and more new game engines coming up. This is especially true for mobile games as almost everyone today has a smartphone in their pocket. If you are looking to learn and make simple 2D games and also you are good at programming, go for open source game engines such as Godot. However, if you are serious about development, go for more powerful engines such as Unity and Unreal as they are built-in to support heavy game making requirements for the the future. Also Unity and Unreal are the industry standards , so if you are looking to get a job in game development then learn Unity and Unreal.