Today we will give you a primer on game engines which are basically software for game development. Game engines provide necessary tools and features that a developer would need to create games in a quick and efficient manner. Developers can use game engines to create games for various platforms like consoles, mobile devices and also personal computers.
A game engine basically provides a framework to build games. What all does a game engine do? We take a look.
Great graphics are a crucial part of game development. Game engines can power graphics whether in 2D or 3D. It can help produce graphics or it can help import assets from existing platforms. This is known as rendering. We can think of it as an artist’s rendering of something. The game engine uses some computer programs to generate images from given models.
Can you think of a game without the audio in the background? A shooting game will have sound of gunshots, a car racing game will have the sound of rubber burning over tarmac. A game engine lets you design the audio you want in a game. You can design it from scratch. You can also purchase sound assets. These sounds can be merged and mixed in various ways to get the desired effect. During game development, a game engine helps you integrate the sounds in the game as required. You can place sounds where you want and use your creativity. You can also assign a certain sound to a certain action to make game play more interesting.
This is another crucial part of game development. This is slightly difficult concept to understand so we will make it simple for you. Let us say in an action game you have to create the simulation of a bullet hitting a target and bouncing off it. A game engine simulates physical forces such as gravity. At every new stage it also detects what effect these physical forces would have on an object concerned. The data is then processed and the required illusion of the bullet striking an object and bouncing of it is created. A game engine takes away the tedious part of game development. It helps a developer create objects that behave in a realistic manner by writing few lines of code.
Game development is incomplete without a good use interface. A game engine provides a developer with tools that help build the interface on how a user plays the game. This could mean buttons on the screen, drop- down menus and other elements.
Like a movie, scripting refers to a pre-designed sequence of events. These are set off by certain actions players undertake. So scripts are used to define the logic with which a game pans out. Game engines come with pre-built scripts that make the job of game development easier. Scripting thus automates a lot of tasks which would otherwise be needed to be executed one by one.
That was a quick overview on game engines and what they are supposed to do. We will discuss some of the most popular game engines in a later article.