*GO* and *DO* the Game Engine *T*hing

I announced a few weeks ago on my personal blog that I’ve decided to adopt Godot as my Game Engine of choice for Heropath. For the sake of blog continuity, I’m outlining my reasons here as well.

Godot possessed the qualities I was looking for:

  • An easy on-board ramp to coding
  • Appealing features
  • Positive momentum
  • Visually beautiful output

I found a great YouTube evaluation of the different game engines that helped me navigate my choice.

I decided against GDevelop as it is very platformer-ish and did not have attractive outputs based on what I saw. On Itch.io games made by GDevelop had only 9 Strategy and 18 RPGs in contrast to Godot which had 171 Strategy and 158 RPGs. GDevelop has been in development since 2008 while Godot was initially released in 2014. GDevelop does not feel very serious to me.

At the opposite end of the spectrum of seriousness, I decided to not pick Unreal because I see it as too advanced for Heropath as a first project. I’m sticking to 2D to start and adopting a complex and powerful 3D graphics and physics engine really feels like overkill.

I am going to keep Unity as a backup option to Godot. It has some gorgeous games and has lots of learning resources out there. It actually feels a bit overwhelming with all of the options and a few people on Twitter have posted Unity breaking-itself-issues that have come up for them. In contrast Godot appears to have lots of enthusiasm which is not surprising as it does some things better than Unity, is Open Source, and being smaller means it has room to grow.

My plan is now to install Godot and begin getting acquainted with its interface and start developing Heropath with it.

Definitions, Batch 2

While writing this video game development diary, I realized that definitions are an essential building block to help keep my thinking on track. Below is my second batch of definitions (which are also available here). I was inspired by the examples at LiteraryDevices.net and Frictional Games.

1) Plot
The pathway from beginning to end of a game; these are the facts of a Story and can be as simple as an instruction set or an elaborate multiple-sequence of events. The Plot is part of the Motif layer of video game play.

2) Story
This is subjective reporting of the Plot. This ranges from a Player recounting their experience to a NPC’s retelling of a Plot event.

3) Setting
This is the backdrop for the Plot and Story and can range from the abstract of no place/time to an elaborate, complex multiverse.

4) Aesthetics
These are the graphics, animation, music, sound, and writing elements that sets the video game’s mood and feeling. Aesthetics are part of the Motif layer of video game play.

5) Genres
The synthesis of Motifs, Fundamentals, and Mechanics that gets marketed as a product (CRPG, FPS, RTS, MMO, MOBA, 4X, retro, etc).