Hello everyone! As promised, we’ll stick to the topic of indie game development. For some time, we’ll be covering topics closely related to game development as seen through our eyes. Last time we’ve discussed solo development and its tough elements. Today, as promised, we’ll go more into logistics of creating video games. Let’s get into it!
When it comes to logistics, there are two main concerns: ‘What game engine do I use?’ and ‘What tools do I use to make my job easier?’. Today we’ll focus on those two questions, starting from game engines.
All game engines have different positives and negatives – in the end it will come down to what seems the most suiting for the creator and his needs. Iguana Mercenary went through using two game engines, which we will cover first and then we’ll focus on some of the more popular ones.
The first game engine Iguana Mercenary has used, more specifically for ‘Market Dominion’. As Duality’s website says: ‘Duality is a modular 2D game engine that provides its own visual editor. It’s highly extensible, written entirely in C# and backed by OpenGL’. As mentioned, the engine uses C# and that’s the language you’ll find yourself coding in. The engine is solely for 2D games. The engine has been in development since 2011 and it’s still developed at the time of writing. Soon it will get its 4th edition (Duality 4.0). The engine is simple and so is its usage, yet it offers a lot of flexibility for the creators. It has a lot of visual interaction going on, so if you prefer to see what’s going on – I’d definitely give it a try. I’d recommend it even more if you’d like to use C# for your game coding. I have really good memories with it and it’s definitely worth beginner’s time. The engine is free for use.
The engine Iguana Mercenary has switched to after ‘Market Dominion’ and stayed with it to the present. Godot is a 2D/3D open-source engine with huge set of common tools and visuals. In Godot, you can code in either GDScript, which is a python-based scripting language (which is even more intuitive than python!) or C# (in experimental version, so be careful with that). You can create any kind of games in it and I’d say it’s a great tool for indie developers, whatever game they have on their minds. Godot also offers exporting your projects to various platforms, such as Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, etc. It is free for use for everyone.
Cross-platform game engine, continuously developed since 2005. One of the most popular and mainstream game engines out there. Its size itself offers a lot of extra bonuses: huge amount of ready-to-use assets, tutorials, tips and tech support. For programming it uses either C# or C++. Pretty much any game can be created in it and a lot of companies use Unity for their work. It is free for use, however if you’re planning to put out a commercial project and reach a certain amount of profit, you need to pay a royalty cut to Unity. It’s good to read more on the matter before using it.
Another huge cross-platform game engine, continuously developed since 1998. One of the most popuplar game engines, used especially often by game development companies. It has very similar positives to Unity: huge amount of tutorials, tips and tech support online, due to the size of the engine. For programming, in the past it used its own scripting language, but now uses solely C++. Unreal Engine is known for its graphical capabilities, to the point of finding use in filmmaking. It is free for use, however if you’re planning to put out a commercial project and you reach a certain profit, you need to pay a royalty cut.
I am not going to suggest you anything – you should decide! I am pretty biased due to our choices.
Now that we got through the topic of engines, what about the tools?
You can use various tools that will help you with organizing your work. So what could you use? I will start with examples that Iguana Mercenary uses, following with other useful tools out there.
For any kind of documentation and values list, through summaries to design, Google Drive is the best!
Perfect for sharing your work with other teammates (if you work with any) to give them easy access to the newest builds.
Great tool for tracking progress on your tasks and planning ahead. Allows for easy bug reporting and tracking.
For anything related with graphics.
Creating simulations of your game, awesome tool for game balance purposes.
Creating interactive stories that can be played in any planned out way – great for testing quests and dialogs.
We’ve covered both engines and tools for the game development! Next time we’ll talk about expenses you’ll have to work with during game development. Until next time!