Talking 'bout that game development!

I‘ve tried finding a general gamedev thread and I can’t, I feel like there‘s probably a few people on these forums who are game devs so I thought I’d make one. We could share our projects, ask questions, make jokes, and complain!

People are always arguing about which engine to use, I'm a Scratch user all the way. (I actually use Unity most of the time.)

We use Unreal. My business partner is a Unity guy but making open world games with a very small number of people meant that I felt we needed to use a more designer/artist friendly engine so I pushed him into Unreal. Now he loves it. I love it. I don‘t know why so many people use Unity especially now Unreal’s licensing terms have changed.

Anyway, Paradise Killer was my first time doing game art and world building. When I made one of the apartment blocks I thought that modular flexibility was the most important thing. So I made the base structure as one actor, a door actor, window actor, balcony actor, air con actor etc and then built them in engine. So an apartment block would consist of nearly 100 actors.

This was my first time hearing about draw calls despite making games for about 15 years prior. This method of building the world was extremely flexible but tanked the frame rate. We eventually fixed it by using the merge tool in Unreal but it still cost more than it should.

Knowing this, I'm authoring environment meshes for our new game and doing a lot with a single draw call. yesterday/today I've been making a vegetable patch kit for the gardens of rural homes and I'm doing it all in one mesh and texture. Fences, vegetables, frames, raised soil beds, undergrowth, everything all in one draw call (before dynamic lighting etc adds more). I've learned a lot and this time hopefully take a decade off my lifespan optimising this game!

I‘ve worked with multiple AAA in house engines, most of which had been around for decades and had 20 year code in them, which made doing anything a huge effort. So, the ability to just stick a rigged skeleton into Unity, have it recognize all the bones automatically, then animate it using animations build from another bipedal rig, well that’s just magic to me.

I will have to get into Unreal at some point because Unity doesn't do Open World Streaming stuff very well, if at all, and it's frustrating to watch Unreal build actual game development features while Unity makes these flashy new things to feature in a demo reel but none of it gets implemented into the engine, bugs persist, and I have to use scores of 3rd party plugins to get what I need.

I have been working on a side project since 2016, which I've mentioned several times here, and I think I've felt a lot of emotions about it, but thankfully I've reached a point where releasing it isn't making or breaking myself as a Game Designer, because it was before!

I‘ve made games in my spare time on Newgrounds. I made the switch to the Haxe programming language nearly 10 years ago now (wow), which lets me export to web, EXE, etc targets. Most recently I’ve been using the Heaps engine plus an ECS library, and my workflow is so nice now it's wild.

I noticed that finishing games (not making games) is what helps me figure out what I like and don't like in my workflow, as that's where the 80/20 type of effort comes into play. Even little dumb game jams have helped. I realized somewhat recently that I didn't need to be unhappy with my previous workflow, especially considering it's a hobby for me. That with the recent release of that ECS library have made coding more fun again.

I‘m working in Unity and let me tell you… seeing all the cool stuff happening in Unreal definitely makes me want to switch! But I’m in too deep on the current project and Unity is alright most of the time. Working on a Rez-like musical rail shooter, lots of objects, and assets like GPU Instancer have been a big help for performance. Leaning on Behavior Designer as an AI solution but having quite a few problems with it‘s A* Integration, may have to look into other solutions. The whole asset store angle can be pretty great for tools but it can be difficult to know if a tool works for a scenario until I’ve used it for a while, so it leads to some real hit or miss purchases.

I‘ve been using Haxe for my own game with a custom framework that I built on top of Lime (OpenFL’s backend library). I tried Heaps but, honestly, did not like it a whole lot.

Not really a Unity fan either; I understand why these platforms have become popular but I just find them very frustrating to work with, between all the weird gotchas, upgrade problems, and a general inability to fix problems that occur in the black boxes we all interface with. Have been looking into Godot for the future, though, as it is seeming more and more like a very viable choice that doesn't have these headaches.

That all being said, coding is like 95% done for my game, so all of my current work has been project management and design related. Figuring out the last few questions I've had on what to make, working them out, documenting them, etc. Not too much more to go on that front at this point, but I sure did write a 30+ page document over a weekend to get that ironed out.

Then it'll be back to drawing all the art and making The Content, which honestly will be relaxing to do overall once everything else is sorted out.

Just gonna say I think this has been the game dev thread, but this does sort of have its own engine-oriented vibe, heh.

I have been wondering if we should switch to unreal for our next project, but we do a lot of 2D and billboarding stuff, which makes me wonderrrrr.

@“exodus”#p71602 Yeah, I mean, both threads seem a little general purpose, so merging them or closing one isn't the worst idea to keep board clutter down.

Gamedev is a pretty wide field to talk about, varying from concepts, engines, media, design, planning, etc, so at some point there's bound to be a few different conversation trains happening.

There's also this thread where 7 months ago I promised to share my game in 1 month. :man_facepalming:

The whole joy of this forum is that for any given topic there are at least three threads devoted to it, each with minuscule differences in their exact vibes that only become apparent after reading 50+ posts


@“exodus”#p71602 I have been wondering if we should switch to unreal for our next project, but we do a lot of 2D and billboarding stuff, which makes me wonderrrrr.

I think unreal is only worth it if you're doing AAA 3D stuff but I could be wrong. I know someone who is leading a project that shipped a title under Unity and haaaated it enough to convince the team to switch to Unreal.

@“Dunkr”#p71639 it happens to the best of us!!

@"marlfuchs2"#p71726 we've released two unity projects so far, two more coming in the next year. but our next game may be a bit more 3D, so we're considering. But I suspect it won't be worth learning the new workflow...

@“exodus”#p71730 I think if your team size is over a certain amount, and your scope is over a certain amount, then it makes sense, but under that it's mostly overkill unless you want to make a AAA quality 3D shooter/action game.

after ten years of using Clickteam Multimedia Fusion, I‘m finally getting the hang of solely using C, and thus far it’s pretty swell. I finished one Sega Genesis game using SGDK, and now I'm using Valve-recommended SDL2 to develop a cross-platform 2D game.

I know it's more common to use C++ over C, but I'm not sure why. I just don't know OOP at all, and I don't think I need to learn it, so I'm sticking with plain old C. idk who this is, who knows if he is right or not

@“marlfuchs2”#p71726 Have to say that Unreal is worth it for any type of 3D game, not just AAA. We make very not AAA at all 3D games and the ease of use, workflow and what you get out of the box in the toolset and renderer is brilliant for any quality level of 3D game. There is a perception that Unreal s only right if you‘re aiming to make something like the tech demos they put out but all that tech filters down into things you’d use in a lot more basic looking games which is one of the reasons I like using it so much.


Oh man the words "Clickteam Multimedia Fusion" take me waaaaaay back to the early 2000s when I was tinkering with downloaded sprites and backgrounds to make mediocre Sonic games. Those were certainly the days.

I've never been much of a programmer so when I got back into gamedev around 2012-2013 I used a program called Construct which had a neat GUI programming set up. Kind of felt more like a gamedev "toy" compared to other engines.

Now we primarily use Godot which has been nice and robust for 2D projects.

I‘ve been thinking hard on dumping Unity for a while, especially as more and more of their shitty partnerships with the US military and military contractors has come to light. It’s not like I ever really liked it, it was just a means to easily port stuff to multiple platforms, so dumping it is more about finding something that I can work well with, and that has at least the possibility of cross platform.

I'm confident enough to participate here, since IC has been pretty safe-feeling, but I usually avoid these conversations because they typically summon a crowd of know-it-all gamedev dudebros from nowhere to scream at me about how foolish I'm being for not choosing to use _X_, where _X_ is usually either writing my own engine from scratch or whatever platform I'm saying I don't want to use.

Anyway, I mostly make 2D games, so Unreal is probably not going to work for me (although I do see it's possible to do 2D with it, of course), but it feels appealing for the same reason Unity does, it's relatively approachable and easy portable to various platforms, so maybe I'll check out how janky 2D is for it. Still, it feels like a 10 ton solution to a 5 pound problem.

I considered Godot a while back, but a friend who's worked with it told me their position on console ports is 'work with a porting company', which is not fantastic. This same friend suggested I get in on the beta for the Luxe engine, which sounds almost too good to be true! They also said they were actively looking for folks to work with the beta, but applied in January and heard nothing back.

Likewise, GameMaker Studio is super popular (almost everyone in the gamedev community I was part of in Portland used it), but I also seem to remember it's something of a challenge to port things to console with it.

My workplace is actually transitioning people to using Unity right now and I have been having a ball watching everyone be extremely frustrated with it tbh. Dozens of messages a day with people just being like “and now Unity just won't open???” Classic stuff.


@“milo”#p71828 Oh man the words “Clickteam Multimedia Fusion” take me waaaaaay back to the early 2000s when I was tinkering with downloaded sprites and backgrounds to make mediocre Sonic games. Those were certainly the days.

this is the purest form of game development, in my experience

@“Chopemon”#p71812 yeah I am considering it for my next project mainly because so many design jobs want unreal experience and knowledge, but also Unreal has better world streaming stuff (unity has…none???) and so making big game worlds like I want to is easier than coming up with a solution for it in Unity