Game Engine and Software Development Kit (SDK) are two key components in the world of game development, but they serve different purposes.
A game engine is a software that provides a suite of development tools for creating video games. They handle things like rendering graphics, sound, physics, animation, and AI behavior. Engines are designed to abstract the technical details, allowing developers to focus on gameplay and content creation. Some well-known game engines include Unity, Unreal Engine, and Godot.
On the other hand, an SDK is a set of software tools and programs used by developers to create applications for specific platforms. It can include documentation, guides, APIs, and utilities necessary for developing, testing, and debugging software. SDKs provide the building blocks needed to create software on a particular platform or to interact with an external hardware device or service.
In the context of game development, an SDK could be something that lets you take advantage of platform-specific features (like an Xbox SDK which enables integration with Xbox Live services), or it can be an add-on for a game engine (like a VR SDK for adding virtual reality support to a game).
Here's an example: if you were making a game using the Unity engine, the bulk of your work like creating levels, scripting behavior, and defining game logic would be done using the tools provided by Unity itself (the game engine). However, if you wanted to release this game on Android, you'd need to use the Android SDK to package your game into an APK file, integrate with Google Play Services, etc. In this case, Unity (the game engine) provides the core functionality for making your game, while Android SDK (the SDK) provides the specific tools to adapt your game for the Android platform.
In summary, a game engine provides the tools and capabilities to create the content of a game, while an SDK allows you to adapt that game to work on a specific platform or with a specific service.