Enchilada Games starts

I begin this small blog today to post here news and achievements on my game development road, and some other random stuff.

I have researched for some years now and I have tried some free and commercial game making tools, such as:

A very easy to  use and learn. Graphically very good. It includes some good shaders and have an editor, what is one of the things I always look for in any game making tool set. It requires me programming, done with a pseudo C language of their own, lite-C. I have to say thanks, because for this tool, it was made easier to me learning C++ after trying to program in this lite-C version.  I finally abandoned this tool because to use shaders and publish your game in .exe you need to pay a license, and I have a $0.00 budget, so… moving on.

What can I say about 3D RAD?… it is great! nice looking shadows, included shaders, almost no need to write a single line of code, big community… This is one of the best and easy tools I found . I loved it since the first time, but nothing is perfect: performance is horrible. You can add all the effects using the included editor, just to realize, once you test your game, that it doesn’t run, it crawls! Developers say it is because most shaders are written in SM 1, to achieve more compatibility, but even in modern systems the games won’t have a decent framerate, so I had to leave it. I returned some years ago to give it another chance, but getting the same results I made my mind finally. Say good-bye and search again.

It is not a game engine , but it is free, completely, and that is the very first thing I always need. Big, helpful community, lots of code to just copy-paste in your document. I immersed in this piece of software for about three years. I had to learn C++ to use it, and it wasn’t really hard, at least after passing the first barrier. Since I started programming I have always use basic like languages: QBasic and later Visual Basic 6, so I was not really prepared to the world of C. Still, after learning and using Lite-C in Gamestudio, I felt some more confident to try to learn C++. I downloaded some manuals but none of them where for real beginners. I finally found a small document to start leaning C++, and it was it. One month later I was putting together my first game engine, using Irrlicht for graphics and sound, and Bullet for physics. For about a year I worked on that, until I discovered myself… making a game engine! But I want to make games, not spend all my life polishing an engine. So… I go to check Irrlicht from when to when but, that’s all. My Irrlicht- based game engine will have to wait, maybe for ever.

Long time ago when I started in this, Yoyo games was a kind of small website with a few games to play with, but they had something big: Gamemaker. It was a nice editor, very simple but with really good results. I don’t remember if it was free, I think it was, but one thing prevented me to use it: It was for 2D games only. I know now the ‘market’ for 2D games is very big with all that disgusting mobile gadgets trend, but I tought, and still do: Why to go back and make 2d games, if the 3d is here and will stay? Since I played my first 3D game (Mario 64, the only reason to make the mistake of buying the N64 instead of the PS1)  I knew I loved the 3d. and I will forever, or until we have 4D timespace-trans dimensional games, so… search again.

It has all  could possibly want, except for the editor, but that’s OK, since its free for commercial use and… oh wait. It is OpenGL only, and my computer, back then when I tried Panda, was completely incapable of using OpenGL. It had a onboar Via 9 HC IGP graphics chip so I had again to keep looking. Once I upgraded the video card to my current GTX 560 se, I was thinking in switching from Irrlicht to Panda, but then I would be again working with rough C++ code. Isn’t there a simpler, faster way?

The first time I tried Unity it was the version 2 and it didn’t really liked it. It felt like too simple, but beyond that, I thought it was mainly SM3, so I was never really going to exploit it’s features. That was annoying, but the fact that the free version of the engine lacks of almost all the stuff I wanted the most (Render to texture,shadows, post-processing effects) again made me keep looking for something else. Now, when I’m getting slightly closer to really make games, I am considering again trying Unity on it’s new version 4, because I have now enough computer power, and maybe some day I will be able to pay the $1,500 they ask for a license. Who knows?

Free for non-commercial use. Astonishing graphics, industry proven engine, and if you want to go commercial, you don’t have to pay until your game sells more that 50,000! Thats a great deal for me. I downloaded and installed UDK and found a very good video tutorials in my language and i followed a few of them but again I saw that I was going to delay too much time until finishing to learn the kit usage, so I planned to found something else to start a fast development of at least one game, while learning UDK. I was resigned to stay with 3D RAD for my first game, even with it’s low framerate, until I found…

Very good editor, normal mapped with specularity materials, shadows, reflections, many included effects, small but nice community, tutorials, very easy javascript-based programming (with context completion), ability to add custom shaders trough .fx files. You want more? You can add your own C++ code to the engine, allowing experts to add any feature, like soft shadows maybe. In my first revision of engines I found this one, but I just give it a very superficial look, since it was like Unity, with a free basic version and the pro version you had to pay for. But then, years later, in my last check to find something, there it was: Now free! To attract new users prior to the launch of the new version of the engine, DX Studio 3.2 became freeware and so they succeeded in attracting me. So the search of years has ended. Even when the engine is not perfect, I like it, and now I’m making my first game with it. Lets hope I can succeed in this adventure.