Unsure what engine to choose...

Hi, a while ago I had recently gotten a new PC, (Windows, desktop computer) so I thought it was perhaps time to choose a game engine to begin making even larger games (adventure, 2D, 3D, etc.). The issue is… well I have no idea what to choose as it seemed like each engine has its own benefits and issues. So I just want to try and get other people’s insight on what would be a good fit. While engines like Godot and Unity look and feel what I am looking for I want to hear about any other engines, see if they are a better fit or very flexible in what I can make with them.
I know this is a lot to ask but I rather not take a plunge with one engine and possible regret it later on if certain things don’t work out (such as Unity and Unreal requesting a subscription or royalty once a game grosses enough money, or other engines requiring a subscription to be able to use it each year). I will say the only possible issue is money, while I may have a PC I don’t have enough for constant spending. But don’t let that stop you from mentioning an engine, no matter if there is a price tag attached to it in some way.

I think a lot will depend on the type of game that you want to create. Different engines have different strengths and weaknesses.


As tiggertoo said, I’d first think about what sort of game you want to make as some engines are more tailored to certain genres.

Personally though, I use unity due to its flexibility. You mentioned worrying about royalties but the fee doesn’t come in till you’ve made $10,000 and it’s just a $1,500 fee which you can cover with that 10k you’ve made so it sorta pays for itself. I’m not sure about Unreal pricing.

Honestly though, I wouldn’t worry about pricing right now if you’re just getting into dev. I’d recommend finding a scripting language you like, getting proficient at that, then deciding on a game/genre and picking an engine from there.

Best of luck either way!

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More to the point of game engines having different strengths and weaknesses, the engines mentioned are rather general. You have a lot of a freedom which is great, but may potentially have trouble with either building or purchasing the tools needed to create your game.

If you have a specific genre in mind, then there are likely engines specialized for precisely that. For example, there’s AGS and Wintermute - two nifty open-source engines designed for point-and-click adventures that I’ve seen used for some pretty cool things. Likewise for a lot of other genres.

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if you want an idea of what Godot is good at look around on Youtube, GDQuest is a good place to start they have information for both beginners and advanced users. On top of that Godot is capable of using C++ as it’s language which means you can get insane efficiency if you know how to use that, but GDScript isn’t a push over language either.

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It depends entirely on the game you want to make. Although the most popular ones, such as Unity and Unreal will let you do anything, for certain types of games other engines will be more optimized.

Unreal is completely free until you make your first million, after which it’ll take a percentage of your earnings. It’s Ideal for 3D, works well for 2D and custom visual novels, though Unity has easier plugins for both 2D and VNs.

The programming language you know is also important. Renpy (VNs) uses Python, which may take some time getting used to if you know any C-based Language like Java, C++ or C#.
Unreal uses C++, but you’d mostly be using their custom classes and macros/functionality, and thus can’t be compared to pure C++ programming. An ideal IDE for Unreal would be Rider for Unreal Engine by Jetbrains, as it offers coding assistance for UE4 Code and it’s Macros, something Visual Studio does not.
Unity meanwhile uses C#, though you’ll also mostly extend their classes.

Unreal Engine also offers it’s own Visual Scripting Language, called Blueprints. You can do almost anything C++ can do with it, at the cost of some performance. It’s relatively intuitive and easier to use even for non-programmers than C++, but their tutorials are necessary.

Both Unreal and Unity offer a wide array of tutorials, text and video, courses and a decent documentation for both code and engine functionality. They also offer paid and free plugins created by users to enhance engine functionality or add presets. All of which you could make yourself too.
Additionally Unreal comes with it’s source-code, so you can check how things are done in the engine at any time should you choose a project with C++.

If you’re unsure what engine to use or what game to make, Unreal or Unity are the best bet. I haven’t used Unity since 2019, but I believe it’s default UI is in light-mode and dark-mode requires a subscription, as does commercial use, but you should check that yourself.
Unreal is dark-mode as default, has a - for me - more intuitive design that’s visually more appealing and is completely free, unless as mentioned above you somehow make more than 1 million in sales.


Honeslty depends a bit on your current skillset.
Gamemaker 2 is great if you a) want to make a 2D game
and b) dont have alot of gamedev experience