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With 45% of Global Game Engine market share, Unity 3D engine is used by 47% Game. With Buildbox, creating games is simple. There is no programming or scripting needed. Use one of our many assets to get started and preview your game in real time. Buildbox is the fastest development tool ever created. Hit games like Color Switch and The Line Zen were made in a single week using Buildbox And that’s just the beginning!
Original iPhone revolutionized the way we play. Since 2007, we saw big publishers bringing their AAA titles to mobile devices. Fast forward to 2016, now we all carry a phone that stronger than a previous generation console. However, are we playing more Triple A titles on our phones? -Obviously NO. Phones were not meant to be gaming devices. However, yes, we do play more games on our phones, casual games. Games like Minecraft, AngryBird, Super Meatboy and 2048 has revived indie games.
In my opinion, Game Engines played the most important role in Indie revolution. Modern Engines have enabled a small team to develop a game quickly. Now a 2-4 people team can create a great casual game in few months. As a result, we have seen the rise of Indie studios such as Ketchapp and Orangenose.
So which Engine should you use? Well, It depends on factors like:
- The type of games that you are going to make.
- Your technical capability.
- Your Financial health.
- Long term vision.
So yes, very quickly it gets confusing. Moreover, to make things worse, I am listing down 3 Game Engines you must try before choosing one.
Unreal Engine 4
Company: Epic Games
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Linux, Mac, PC, XBOX and Playstation
Unreal is probably one of the most well-known game engines on the market. Most people would recognize unreal engine by PC games, such as the Bioshock series. Unreal engine excels in quality and detailed graphics and has proven that it is one of the best software development toolkits out there. However, it is not just for the PC, in fact, it is one of the few multi-platform game engines on the market. If you are yet to play a game developed by the Unreal engine on your phone, it is highly recommended because their attention to detail is remarkable. Nova 3, Death Rally, Real Boxing and The Dark Knight Rises are perfect examples.
Very Good Support System: With so many developers using it, Unreal has a great community. It also has thousands of hours of video tutorials.
Indie Friendly Pricing: Unreal has the best pricing model for all the engines I am going to mention. You have access to the full featured engine for free. Moreover, when you publish your game or animation, you pay a 5% royalty on gross revenue after the first $3,000 per product, per quarter.
Handles Complex Graphics very well: If you are making a complex 3D game, this can be the ideal engine for you.
Virtual Reality: We know VR is the next frontier. Unreal is the first mainstream engine that has brought native VR support.
Higher Learning Curve: Unreal is hard to learn, and it can be frustrating for beginners. Unreal uses it is own visual scripting language instead of standard C#. Since Unrealscript is unique to UDK, you are writing in a dead language that will never be useful anywhere else.
Heavy for Casual Games: Games developed with Unreal takes up a lot more space compared to other similar engines. Once I made a casual Snake Ladder game with Unreal, and it took around 60MB of space. We had to rebuild the game in Unity (took 26MB). If your game does not need the 3D superior performance that Unreal offers, you should try some other engines.
Higher PC Configuration: As of February 2016, Unreal recommend minimum PC requirement of 8GB ram, Quadcore Processor, and a Medium to high-end Graphics Card.
Asset Store: UE4 marketplace has fewer items compared to other stores. Also, the prices are also much higher.
Conclusion: Unreal Engine was created to make Small World First Person Shooting Games for PC and Consoles. Moreover, it does this brilliantly. If your primary aim is to develop casual games for mobile devices (Thus extra graphics horsepower not needed), you may also look into Unity.
Company: Unity Technologies
Platforms: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile, Linux, Mac, PC, XBOX and Playstation
If you have had an Android/iOS phone on you for the past few years or so, then you have obviously played games such as Temple Run and Angry Birds. Both went viral and had everyone glued to his or her phones completing as many levels as possible or beating each other’s high scores. These are few of many hit games made with Unity.
Unity excels in excels creating 2D and 3D games and has proven to be very powerful as well. Other than that, it also has one of the largest community of developers working with their development kit creating the state of the art mobile apps and games.
Very Capable Engine: Although the graphics output is not as good as Unreal Engine, still it is good enough for most cases. Especially if you are building a 2D or a not 2D/3D mix game, unity shall just fine.
Very Popular among developers: Unity is by far the most popular game development tool. So that means, you have an incredible community support. The product also gets updates on a regular basis.
Great Asset Store: Another advantage of having a healthy community is, the asset store has so much more to offer. Also, the price is reasonable because of the competition.
Virtual Reality: Unity is adding native SteamVR support. So developers shall be able to build games of Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Pricing Model: For Indie Developers, the pricing model in Unity is the biggest bummer. In personal account (free), you can access the full engine. However, you cannot use custom splash screen or analytics. If you want to brand your game, you need to upgrade to professional account ($75/month). Also, if you earned over $100,000 in last fiscal year from Android or ios, you need to subscribe to the Pro packages separately (Also $75/Month each). So for example, if you earned $200,000 in last year ($100,000 from Android and $100,000 from ios), you have to pay $225/Month as licensing fees.
More effort is needed to make Realistic games: Unity allows you to use custom shaders to make more realistic games. However, writing good shaders is hard for beginners and indie developers. Moreover, also, there is a limit to how much you can achieve with shaders.
Conclusion: If you are good at programming and want to develop 2D mobile games, Unity is perfect for you. However, if you are not so sure about your programming skills, you can give buildbox a try.
Platform: Android, iOS, Windows Mobile
Buildbox is a 'drag and drop' 2D game builder. It' very simple and almost anyone can make games with Buildbox. As of February 2016, App store's top chart is dominated by games developed with Buildbox. Color Switch, Parallels, The Line Zane, Ball Jump are few of hit games. It is currently the 3rd most used developer tool. The innovative “Drag & Drop” game builder implemented in their game engine allows creating a game as simple as creating a PowerPoint presentation. As a result of this, it is superbly efficient. Notably, it took only a week to develop Color Switch, currently number 1 app in iOS worldwide. If you are considering to be an indie developer, you can download the demo and take their 30 days challenge.
Super Easy to Use: Again it is a drag and drop game builder. Without writing a single line of code, you can create a game. Moreover, it is very fast, making it ideal for prototyping ideas.
Perfect for Casual Mobile Games: Trey Smith, the founder of Buildbox, is an indie game maker. He wanted to create a game engine ideal for casual mobile games. made with casual mobile games in mind. Buildbox 1.0 has many limitations. However, Buildbox 2.0 is currently in beta and going to be released Q2, 2016. It has added features like multiple worlds (multiple levels), particle effects, animated menus and improved game logics. With these added features, I believe Buildbox 2.0 has the potential of becoming an excellent 2D Mobile Game Engine.
Inhouse Publisher: Indie developer should primarily focus on building a great game. So leaving the marketing to an experienced Publisher can be an excellent strategy (I shall write on this topic in a future article). Buildbox recently started 'Buildbox Publishing'. You can publish your game with them if:
- You have an active buildbox subscription.
- Your used Buildbox to make the game.
- They like your game.
Although new, Buildbox publishing is doing all right. They reported hitting 500,000 downloads in two months. They also split the revenue 50/50 with the developer. This is a very competitive rate as most are 70/30 (where they publisher keeps 70%).
Expensive: Buildbox does not have any free offer, unlike Unreal or Unity. They do provide a 30-day trial, but you cannot export for android and ios. They have three different subscription model.
I feel that getting the annual subscription for USD 999 provides the best value for money.
Very Limiting: First of all, you cannot export your game to consoles. You cannot use any advanced logic here. The graphics output is just ok. So in one word, you can only make 2D casual games for mobile.
No active Community: It is a new engine, and the community is tiny. There is no asset store yet. For almost everything, you have to rely on Buildbox. However, yes their documentation and tutorials are quite helpful.
Conclusion: If you are a non-programmer (And don't want to learn to program) and want to create casual games for mobile Buildbox is a good option.
Game Maker Studios (Honorable Mention:)
Company: Yo Yo Games
Platforms: Android, iOS, Linux, Mac, PC, XBOX and Playstation
Game maker studio only specializes in Mobile Games and mostly 2D games. It is a drag and drop game builder. However, you can also do limited coding in C# here. It is more flexible and capable than Buildbox. Game maker studio also has a healthy community. However, the learning curve of Game Maker Studio is much steeper than Buildbox.
About the Author:
Hello this is Zamil an Economist turned Entrepreneur and Digital Marketer. I am passionate about Startups, Data Science and IndieGame Development. I am the founder of RITL and GameOver Studio.
Happy to connect on Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you want to become a game tester and want to strengthen your CV for a game testing job, then you have to make your own game. No, I am not talking about next GTA or NK19 type games, I am talking about simple 2D and 3D type games that you can build in minutes.
Yes! You read it right, in minutes!
So how to create these computer games? Yes, now you understand correctly. There are many solutions available in the market that can help users to make their own game even if they don’t know anything about coding. (Anyways, learning C++ is a huge plus in gaming industry)
So, have a look at some of these solutions that you can use to make your own games and launch them on the internet within a few minutes.
How Should You Select The Best Game Engine?
Game Engine is the computer software or program that you have to download and install in your computer. Most Game Engines offer four main features, these are:
Game Templates: These game templates are complete games in which you can make little changes like colour of the sky, adding your artwork, etc. and brand them as your own game.
Drag and Drop Builder: These drag-n-drop builders are very helpful because you can add anything in the game from a huge list provided by the game engines. For example, you can add houses, walls, fences, etc. to stop your game character from falling.
Visual Scripting: This feature allows you to make changes in your game that will replicate the code without any need of writing codes yourself. This is more powerful than a drag-n-drop builder. And this is one of the best for beginners to learn how coding works.
Coding: Some game engine offers an ability to writing codes using a programming language. This feature used to have more control in your game. Many beginners who has interested in coding can learn much from it. Some game engines have their own programming language, while others rely on popular programming languages such as C++.
So Which Game Engine You Should Choose?
Since the main objective of this article is to help a beginner to make his own games, for this reason, I have listed down game engines in order of ease of using their features, and support. I have also created a separate list for 2D and 3D game engines.
Let’s start with 2D game engines first:
GameSalad – Voted The Easiest Game Engine
GameSalad offers the easiest drag-n-drop builder that can help you to make your own 2D games using already provided ‘objects’. GameSalad is the software many teachers using in their classroom to teach students to learn how to make their own game. Yes, GameSalad has very limited features, but it is great for someone who is just starting out.
Buildbox Indie Game Engine Download
Watch this video to see how you can use GameSalad to make your own game in just 15 minutes.
Easy To Use
Drag and Drop Builder
Subscription Model ($25/Month)
No page for upcoming updates
Make a game for multiple platforms
Clickteam Fusion 2.5 – The Oldest Game Engine:
Recently, users have used this game engine to develop some popular games. The best things is, this game engine is around since 1994, which means this is the oldest game engine that has an active community, and there are many tutorials and documents on their forum. This game engine uses Visual Editor in which you don’t need to learn to code but you need to spend some time with this engine to learn how each feature works.
Check out this video to see how to launch your game in under 20 minutes with this game engine.
Visual Editor and Drag and Drop Builder
Windows Version Only
Many additional extensions
Not frequently updated
Have to pay to export game in iOS, Andriod, and Mac.
Exports to all platform
Free Trial Version Available
Buildbox – The Box That Contains Everything You Need
Buildbox is slowly becoming one of the best game engines because recently individuals have used this game engine to make popular games which are among Top 100 games in App Store. The main objective of this game engine is to provide ready-to-use templates so that you can launch your game in a few minutes. However, this limits your ability to create your original game. Fortunately, you can increase customizations using advanced features provided in this software.
Here’s the video that shows how to make your game in 25 minutes with this software.
Drag And Drop Interface
Templates don’t let you create own game
Ready-to-Use Game Templates
Expensive monthly fees ($84 / month when paid yearly)
Export To All Platform
Good Monetization Options
Not let’s jump into 3D game engine:
GameGuru – The Easiest 3D Game Engine:
The easiest game engine to make 3D games is, GameGuru. This game engine comes with 20 game templates that you can use to make and launch your game within a few minutes. You can use these game templates to make your own map or do some changes with the sliders.
See the video to launch your video in under 8 minutes
20 great game templates
Support multiplayer option
Only Windows software
Export to multiple platforms
Unity 3D – For Serious Game Developers
If you seriously want to impress employers with the game creation skills you have to make at least one game on Unity 3D. This software offers an opportunity to make and export game on any platform. It is said that there are more than 5 million developers who use this software monthly to make some very popular kids games. Although this software offers very powerful features for advance coders, a beginner can also take advantage of its visual scripting feature.
Here’s how to make your game in Unity 3D.
Pro Tip: You can also find many courses on making a game with Unity 3D inside Udemy.
You can use it for free until you make $100K with your games
Not the best for 2D games
Contains tons of assets
Little overwhelming for beginners
Huge list of platforms where you can export your games
Need plugin (paid) to avoid scripting
Best way to learn C# programming language
Active community and good tutorials
Indie developers love it
Unreal Engine – For The Best Graphics:
This is another very popular game engine. Some top games such as Final Fantasy VII remake was made through this game engine, so you may get the idea the level of graphics, lighting work, etc. this game engine can provide.
Although, you will need a dedicated team of developers to make these big boxing games, but you can use its ‘Blueprint’ feature to make your own game without any coding knowledge.
Pro Tip: Udemy has courses on Unreal as well.
Blueprint Solution for Beginners
Need a computer with strong specification to run this software
Not many extensions in Marketplace
Free to use game engine until your games make profit
Even harder than Unity Engine
Good tutorials on YouTube
Allows export to multiple platform and consoles
Is Buildbox Free
Everyday new game engines are popping up in the market and they all claiming to help you develop the next hit game within a few minutes.
However, if you seriously want to get into the gaming industry then you should consider gaining experience on Unity and Unreal engine. These two softwares are biggie in the gaming industry as many top PC games build on these softwares. Sure, you may take some time to master these softwares but once you do it, you will have more control over your games.
Buildbox Indie Game Engine Reviews
So, make sure you let us know which game engine you will use in the comment box below. Let’s discuss and grow together!