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Suggest an engine?

  • 03-02-2015 9:22am
    Registered Users Posts: 4,467 ✭✭✭ CruelCoin

    Hi guys,

    Fresh out of my conversion course, and looking to apply my skills before they get stale.

    I have an idea for a game i want to develop, but am not sure on whether my preferred engine (unity, newbie friendly) would support this.

    Top down view, continually running simulation of a roman legion camp.
    Legionaires, Centurions, Tribunes, Legates, Decurions, etc.
    Changing of the watch, training grounds, patrols, meal times, etc.
    Of a similar visual style to Prison Architect.
    Where i see the player coming in is in a little bit of "god mode", in spawning enemies and seeing how the base reacts, etc.

    I know that unity can be used for 2-d games, but can it be used for top-down 2-d games? Or is there a better alternative for my brief description above?

    Cheers for any advice, CC.

    For the record, if it helps, course focused on: Java, javascript, JavaFX, MySql


  • Hi Cruel Coin,

    Yes, Unity can handle top down. There are both 2D and 3D modes in Unity. As to better alternatives, can't make any suggestions, as I just used Java for a bit before switching over to Unity.

    Your game idea sounds interesting, but it also sounds complex. In particular, AI for keeping the camp running and real time battles is likely to pose a major challenge. Just a suggestion, but it might be worth spending some time on tutorials, and making something simpler first. Either way, it's going to be a good learning experience, but slowly coming to the realisation that you've bit off more than you can chew and having to abandon several months of work can be difficult to deal with. Good luck!

  • Unreal Engine 4 comes with a Tower Defense sample so you could grab that and see how you find working in the engine.

    As Kilgore__Trout said, Unity is more than capable of it also. It's more a case of choosing which engine, language and work flow you're most comfortable with.

  • Hey CruelCoin,

    Unity can handle that style of game easily.
    All those systems you mentioned sound complicated as hell though.

    Is this your first game?
    If so I would suggest starting with something a little scaled down, perhaps a very basic tower defense with two enemy types and two towers.

    You may be surprised at just how much work even that is.

  • Hey, Nice game idea.
    It will be tough if it's your first game.
    But that can only be fully realized after you try it :D

    Unity is where I have my experience and also a few weeks with Gamemaker.
    Because of your background in Java type languages, you could try Gamemaker, which as far as I know uses it's own language modeled on Java and the whole engine is pretty much dedicated to it I think..
    It could be good for prototyping fast. It has easy to set alarms which are used as timers.
    For some people they find it easier to use Gamemaker because it has code and drag and drop for fast setups.

    For me I enjoy Unity more, because it's more flexible and I seem to have a bit more control of everything(because I need to spend more time coding my own timers etc lol).
    Unity also has it's own JavaScript, which also is modeled similar to Java.
    I'd suggest Unity and if it becomes very frustrating getting the coding done as well as the interface and engine layout, have a go with Gamemaker(or one of those types, Construct2 is another example) for a week and see if that works better for you.
    That top down game can be made in any engine. It can be done using sprites and just loading them and moving them as well as animation, all can be done I am sure on any engine capable of 2D.
    And probably can be done in a dedicated 3D engine too lol

  • Unity is flexible and there is very little that couldn't be done with it. It's also free and has a massive community, so I'd highly recommend it.

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  • Hi All,

    Thanks for the advice.

    I'm going to try to do something small in gamemaker first, just to get a feel for event flow and so on.

    Will then move to unity for the full fat project.

    Cheers lads!


  • Good luck, and keep us posted on your progress!