Top 10 Best Game Engines for Beginners
You must have heard of the term “game engine” but do you know what it means. To know it better, you must have an understanding of the purpose of game engines.
The definition of a game engine is that it is an architecture that creators use to design a game. An average game engine gives creators the ability to add things such as physics, scripting, artificial intelligence, input, collision detection, rendering, and other programs.
Game engines are renewable elements that creators use to develop the system of the game. It provides the developers more time to concentrate on the distinct components such as models of characters, the interaction of objects, textures, etc.
The Best Game Engines for You – Top 10
In this article, we have mentioned the top 10 best game engines for a beginner that meet various criteria like budget-friendly, great tutorials, and licensing-friendly. Let’s have a look at them.
1. Unity 3D
Unity 3D is an all-inclusive platform for game development. It has received great recognition from the community of game developers with its unusual attributes, affordable rates, and sturdy abilities. With its capability to perform as a multi-platform game development mechanism, it saves the time of the developers that would have been spent in creating games for discrete platforms. Also, it lets the developers create interactive 3D content easily.
Many developers use Unity 3D for its tremendous benefits, quality content, and it can be used for almost all types of games. Its best thing is that it is the Personal Edition which is free to download.
3D action games
2D space games
Lara Croft Go
Pillars of Eternity
Kerbal Space Program
|Full 3D / 2D Support||Monthly fees of the professional edition|
|Easy to use||The 32-bit engine which occurs loss in memory|
|Efficient support||Low-quality movie textures|
|Excellent visual platform|
2. Construct 2
Construct 2 is a strong engine that is created especially for 2D-based HTML5 games. It uses a WYSIWYG drag-drop interface for the development of the game. It has various plug-ins, special effects, and other tools for creating a game in a few hours.
Construct 2 provides a free trial at first but its license can also be bought; however, revenue cannot be earned from a free license. With a distinct license for $129.99, anyone can earn around $5,000 as revenue from the development even before subscribing to a professional license that costs around $429.99.
The event system of Construct 2 lets you have a deep and detailed control on all the areas of the game. Events can be put in an order with sheets, groups, loops, functions, and sub-events to make the coding area of the game more efficient.
Mac- Linux- Windows
The Next Penelope
Airscape: The Fall of Gravity
Super Ubie Land Remix
|Built-in physics system||Windows editing|
|Community support||HTML depends on the browser’s performance|
|Requires little knowledge for programming||Limited free version support|
|One-time cost||Regular crashes|
|Easy animations||Unreliable access to resources|
|Free version available|
|Runs well on the mobile device|
|Support of Cordova|
Unreal engine by Epic Games is one of the most famous and commonly used game engines. Its first version was released in 1988, and after 17 years, it still is being used for some of the extensive games each year.
Every feature of the Unreal Engine’s set of tools is created to make content creation easy, qualifying artists and creators to develop everything through photorealistic sets to highly presented content, all in a special effect environment. It also gives developers a highly interchangeable, sizeable, and considerable system that involves full source access to codes.
Unreal Engine consists of numerous set of APIs and tools created for developers to use physics and power NVIDIA PhysX. The engine has integrated multiplayer linking, animation tools, Sequencer editor, special effects, foliage and terrain editors, powerful scripting, and much more.
VR and AR platforms
Gears of Wars series
Mass Effect series
Batman: Arkham series
Pros Cons Better characteristics for various graphics A requirement of a licensed copy Numerous tools and functionality Not for creating simple games Efficient and faster Unsuitable for a single person Best optimization Visual debugging Easily Modifies
Among its various benefits, one is that users do not have to spend money on the licensed version because it is completely free of charge. It has multi-platform functioning with the MIT license and is assisted by the community of users. This is why developers can access their games at any time.
2D adventure game
2D MMO strategy
2D social network game
Big Fish Casino
Dragon City Mobile
Pros Cons Completely Free Lack of ability to make 3D games Supports Facebook Instant Games Ineffective platform support Supports Google Play Instant Cross Platform Supports HTML5 games
BuildBox is simple for creating games thanks to its instinctive design and attributes like drag-and-drop assets and assigning properties in the game. These features make it one of the fastest tools for games available.
In actual, the game David Reichelt’s Colour Switch that owns about 200 million downloads on mobile phones was created just in a week using BuildBox. The engine requires basic conditions to operate and can be run on Windows 7 with only 1 GB of RAM. So, you won’t need expensive software to start designing amazing games.
The engine has various licensing alternatives such as BuildBox Plus for $15 a month. The games made with the software are not entailing, so you can make as many games as you want with a single license. It even lets users export the game to various platforms; however, that depends on the license used.
3D equipment and skills
2D action game
2D survival horror
Pros Cons Easy to learn Expensive Drag-drop editor Subscription model Various game templates Restricted by limitations Support for ads Balancing problems Publish on all platforms
With Stencyl, you easily get the hang of the coding where you can utilize a drop-drag interface and build game logic within a few hours. In this engine, creating worlds and designing characters is simpler if users have knowledge of image editors like Photoshop. Photoshop lets users design complex worlds in an easy way.
The designers of this software have made it a public domain recently which makes it possible to fix issues and perform improvements. Stencyl continuously gets upgraded to enhance the level of compatibility.
The starter pack of Stencyl is completely free but the most expensive license is available for $199 a year. It is regarded as the best choice for cost-conscious developers.
Super Dangerous Dungeons
|Editing supported||Limited potentially|
|Cross Platform||Complex Actions|
Gamesalad is a free and drag-drop game developing engine for the creation of iPhone, HTML5, Android, and iPad games. The engine is also functioned by a complicated structure library to authorize creative liberty for game developers.
Gamesalad’s one of the most used attributes is its tool of testing and the built-in previewer that can be used to test the game logic and sets of behaviour. Its web issuing framework lets for fast and simple multi-platform publishing to assisted targets that include iPhone, Nook, Mac desktop, iPad, Kindle, and Windows. Additionally, creators can also publish games to HTML5-powered Gamesalad Arcade.
3D Puzzle video game
3D racing video game
2D/3D Survival horror game
Pros Cons Multi-platform The poor performance of the editor No-code editor No Scripting language Various publishing platforms Expensive Powerful functions and editor Easy publishing Drag-drop editor
GameMaker Studio 2 is one of the great software for beginners with a tiered licensing scheme. It uses its own programming language that is called as Game Maker Language, and it is the same as writing Python.
The disadvantage is that the prices of tiers are not as affordable as other game engines. It offers premium features under $100 license, and you can only develop games for Windows/ Ubuntu/ Mac platforms.
It has both good and bad features, depending on the users. The good attributes are special effects studio, built-in editing of graphics, models, levels, etc. If the developer wants to make everything from the start without third-party tools, it is a perfect choice. However, for scripting support, the language is not fast like C++ but it is easy to grasp.
3D Shoot ‘em up
2D Adventure game
Super Crate Box
Hyper Light Drifter
Pros Cons Fast prototyping Bad scripting language Easy interface HTML5 is buggy Optimized engine Expensive Much more tutorials Unstable Customizable Small development team Huge community
9. RPG Maker
RPG Maker is a 2D creative game engine oriented toward action games and some other genres as well. This platform has released several games over a period of 10 years and has basically used Ruby as the code source for scripting.
The game engine is created to let users design a complete game from scratch even if they don’t have any idea about programming. The RPG series let users personalize each aspect of the game with a simple interface, thereby making it ideal for beginners.
2D adventure games
2D visual novel
2D action adventure
Towards the stars
Notes from province
Pros Cons Intuitive WYSIWYG editor Manual coding Active community No hardware accelerate Provides depth to developers No 3D support Cheap license Inconsistent visual assets Wide map layers HTML5 export Multi-platform
App Game Kit is a multi-platform game engine that is capable of creating games for iOS, Windows, Android, Blackberry, and Mac devices with smart usage of Windows or Mac development environments. This game engine costs about $79.99 and comes with several useful tools such as a visual editor.
It is a mobile friendly, 2D/3D game engine. It is programmed basically using AGK script that is a primary dialect with a few C++ style attributes. This search engine is the outcome of a successful Kickstarter campaign and is a result of the game creators, who formerly created 2D game maker and dark basic.
App Game Kit is also an easy-to-learn game creator engine which is ideal for beginners. It focuses on fast coding, creating apps, and sharing them on various platforms.
Rush to adventure
|Testing on various devices||Not so good Scripting language|
|HTML5 supportive||Bad editor code completion|
|Multi-Platform||Can be expensive|
|Basic programming||No add-on game tools|
|Powerful scripting language|
|Integrated Development Environment|
|High performance and excellent documentation|
Getting started with game development engines is easy with any of the above-mentioned game engines as it only requires a little time and effort. With various options of game engines available in the market, you get a lot of resources that will help you to come up with the desired outcome.
While writing this article, we came across the best functions those game engines give us. However, conclusively, Unity 3D is the best platform for developing 2D/3D games and it is surely worth giving a try. Do not forget to pour in your experiences though!