Best Software for Creating Games: Pros & Cons
Gaming has become a huge global industry. From its place as a niche form of entertainment in dedicated venues, gaming is now an everyday activity for millions of people. Whether it’s on computers, smartphones, or dedicated consoles, there are more gamers now than ever before.
Powering the draw of the entertainment medium is, of course, the games. However, not all games are made equal, and they don’t all follow the same road to release. Much of this comes down to the game engine software that developers use to help create their games.
Here, we look at how the biggest players across the realms of gaming differ in their use of game engines, as well as the pros and cons of the leading names.
What the leading developers are using
In video gaming, titles tend to expire quite quickly, with developers and players moving on to bigger and better ideas. Browser gaming is very different, though, with titles tending to be longer lived, mostly because of how accessible the gaming is and how relatively low players’ expectations are for such easy-to-access entertainment.
However, this doesn’t mean that leading developers won’t do everything that they can to get ahead. In 2017, one of the most renowned online slot developers, NetEnt, pivoted development to HTML5 and went through the process of converting all of their top-performing games to HTML5 – essentially remastering them. It’s this move that has allowed NetEnt to remain at the forefront of online gambling in Canada. Players appreciate the ability to play these games without compromise on their mobile device browsers.
In more modern lines of gaming, mobile gaming reigns supreme as the head revenue earner. One of the biggest names here is Zynga, which rose to fame on browser games like Farmville. Now a mobile gaming juggernaut, Zynga builds its new games on the Unity3D engine. In early 2014, mobile sensation Flappy Bird shot to fame. Its developer, Dong Nguyen under the label Gears, utilized Solar2D for the build.
In console and PC gaming, Rockstar makes a good case for being one of the most popular developers, and they use their own in-house RAGE Engine to create the likes of Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto. One of the most-hyped releases in the history of gaming, Cyberpunk 2077, may have been a bug-ridden mess, but the aesthetics and world built were superb, and all of that was made possible by CD Projekt Red’s own REDengine 4.
Pros and cons of accessible game engines
There has been a tremendous amount of interest in game engines of late, and that’s predominantly down to the hype around the release of the Unreal Engine 5. It’s so impressive, it seems, that CD Projekt Red will part ways with their in-house REDengine for the highly anticipated The Witcher IV. Reports detail UE5 as allowing for enhanced graphics, easier development, and more realistic lighting.
If you’re looking at building a game on the Nintendo Switch, you can just buy their game-packaged software, Game Builder Garage. It’s very accessible thanks to its tutorials and built-in classes, but just because it looks friendly, doesn’t mean that it can’t pack a punch, with the 3D game development engine being superbly powerful. Even if you’re not seeking a career in game development, it’s a very fun bit of software for the casual building of any game concept that you may have. On the flip side, there’s Unity.
There isn’t any doubt that Unity is versatile, offers high-fidelity graphics, has a huge range of assets and templates, and has an easy-to-use interface, but the learning curve is steep, and it’s certainly an advanced tool to use. Still, you only have to look to the likes of Call of Duty: Mobile, and Cuphead to see what you can get out of Unity. If you are new to game development, GameMaker Studio might be the better fit. It’s simple, doesn’t require much know-how, and while it doesn’t have 3D support, there’s enough there to make a solid game.
Sometimes it’s best to not go with the best game engine out there and instead play to your strengths before graduating to an engine that ranks outright among the very best.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.