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Game Design and Development

Game Engines

A game engine is a tool that helps you make games more easily and efficiently without having to build everything from the ground up. Most professional game development studios build their own custom game engines and tools to produce their high quality games. Popular game engines are Unity, Unreal Engine, and Game Maker Studio and they each have online communities, abundant documentation, and resources to help you learn.

Choosing a Game Engine

When choosing a game engine, you might want to consider:
Do you want to make 2D games, 3D games, or both?
Do you want to create virtual reality experiences?
Do you want to make games for mobile, PC, Mac, Linux or browsers?
Are you willing to pay money for a game engine?
Do you have experience programming?
How much support and documentation is available? 

Unity Logo

Unity is a game engine that can be used to develop 2D, 3D, single-player, multiplayer, Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR) and cross-platform games. It is free to download and free to use until you earn over $100,000 per year from games you've made. There is a huge community, great documentation, and free tutorials to help you learn to use Unity. Unity has a marketplace to buy or find free assets (like character models and environments) so you can focus on learning the engine.

Take a look at some popular games made with Unity

Unreal Engine Logo

Unreal Engine is a favorite for developing the most graphic-intensive games. It allows you to create 2D, 3D, VR, AR, cross-platform, single-player, or multiplayer games. They have a marketplace for assets and extensive documentation and tutorials. Unreal Engine primarily uses C++. It is free to use Unreal Engine, but if you sell your games, the creators of Unreal Engine will keep 5% of your profits.

Check out some popular games made with Unreal Engine


GameMaker Studio Logo

GameMaker Studio is one of the most recommended engines for beginning game developers. It is primarily used for making 2D games, but it is possible to make 3D games. You can export your games to multiple platforms if you have purchased the correct license. GameMaker Studio allows for drag-and-drop programming, which is a great option for beginners. They also have a custom Game Maker Language (GML) for more advanced programming. There is a thriving marketplace for game assets. A free version is available, but you have to purchase a license to sell the games you've made.

You can see some great games created with GameMaker Studio