Question: What is a Game Engine?


A game engine, often abbreviated as just 'engine', is a software framework designed to facilitate the creation of video games. It provides game developers with a way to create and manage many aspects of a game's creation, from rendering graphics, physics simulations, to sound, scripting, animation, artificial intelligence, networking, streaming, memory management, threading, localization support, and more.

Game engines are designed to abstract the technical details of creating a game, allowing developers to focus on the design and gameplay elements. Instead of worrying about rendering 3D graphics or managing memory, developers can use the tools provided by the engine to make these tasks much easier.

Some popular game engines are:

  1. Unity: Unity is known for its ability to target multiple platforms, supporting over 25 different platforms including mobile, desktop, consoles, and virtual reality devices. It uses C# as its primary scripting language and offers a wide array of tools for 2D and 3D development.
// Unity C# Example void Update() { if (Input.GetKeyDown(KeyCode.Space)) { Debug.Log("Space key was pressed"); } }
  1. Unreal Engine: Unreal Engine is another widely used game engine that's known for its high-end graphics capabilities. It uses C++ and also has a visual scripting system called Blueprints which makes it accessible for non-programmers too.
// Unreal C++ Example void AMyActor::Tick(float DeltaTime) { Super::Tick(DeltaTime); if (IsPlayerInRange()) { ExecuteAttack(); } }
  1. Godot: Godot supports multiple programming languages including GDScript, C#, C++ and VisualScript. It's an open-source engine that's great for both 2D and 3D games.
# Godot GDScript example func _process(delta): if Input.is_action_just_pressed("jump"): print("Jump button pressed")

Choosing a game engine depends largely on the requirements of the game, the preferred programming languages of the team, the target platforms, budget, the size of the project, and many other factors.

Was this content helpful?

White Paper

Free System Design on AWS E-Book

Download this early release of O'Reilly's latest cloud infrastructure e-book: System Design on AWS.

Free System Design on AWS E-Book
Start building today

Dragonfly is fully compatible with the Redis ecosystem and requires no code changes to implement.