I think I’m at a point now where I can usefully discuss the problem of choosing the basis on which to develop a game. This summer I’ve been working on games in Unity, and in my spare time I’ve been using GameMaker: Studio. I also have several years of experience with XNA and raw DirectX and recently, MonoGame.
I started writing games in Flash a decade ago now, but desperately wanted to make 3D games. Back then, all 3D games were written in C++ or C. In fact, my first ever exposure to a full sized game’s code was the GPLed Quake II, which I modded. I assumed that it was only possible to make large games in native code, and perhaps it was even true then.
It took a while after this for it to dawn on me that for 2D games, one doesn’t need native efficiency at all, and if a game is running slowly it’s probably bad design than the tool you’re using.
This summer especially using C# with Unity, I was surprised at how efficiently I could run quite complicated games. Even on a low-end laptop, I was seeing a solid 60 fps on anything I wrote, as long as I put a bit of thought into how it would execute.
Separately, in the evenings, I’ve been working on a game with GameMaker: Studio. This was inspired mostly by the discovery that a lot of my favourite 2D games were written in GMS and a sudden desire to create 2D games from start to end. I suspect I will continue to use GMS for Ludum Dares.
However, GMS has some issues, after which I converted my game to MonoGame. I’ll go into more detail on that in a future post.
So, allow me to weigh up the pros and cons of various different game development tools. All this assumes comfort in switching between imperative languages.
Read more Which tool to make games with or: How I learned to stop worrying and love managed code