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game engine definition
2021-01-11 /

What is a Game Engine?

Whatever your favorite video game is, it’s thanks to a game engine that helps such a marvel to be created. Let’s get to know more about game engines and which ones are popular in game development today!

Where’s the fun in the technological world today without games? From RPGs to simulations, a lot of hobbyists have created such a great demand for the next big gaming wonder. Because of such demand, the industry continues to see innovative technological tools here and there to suffice what the people want.

The technology stacks in creating games today are way beyond how they were years ago. The game engines can now answer the common questions on how games are made. Through this tool and some expertise in the required programming languages, software developers can champion a fully-fledged game.

On that note, game developers are also in high demand. A powerful team with expertise in game engines and graphic design, among others, is what a tech startup or company needs to blast a game out in the market. But what is a game engine, and what are the things we need to know about it? Let’s find out! 

What is Game Engine?

A game engine is a software development environment mainly for creating video games. Other variations for this industry term are game architecture, game framework, or simply, game frame.

The main functionalities for game engines often include 2D or 3D graphics rendering, physics engine, animation, artificial intelligence, sound, and streaming among others. 

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Components of a Game Engine

As suggested, this is a platform that is used to create different types of video games with varying programming languages. It’s just like any other IDE but equipped with settings and configurations to allow seamless game development. This, therefore, leads us to what these components are.

Rendering Engine

Rendering engines or the graphic engine is a subcomponent of a game engine. It focuses on the 2D or 3D rendering of the game’s graphics. A good game engine should have a rendering engine that is compatible with different import formats.

Whether it’s 2D or 3D, having a graphic component that blends the cosmetics of a game well is essential. 

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Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence yields a significant impact on a game’s overall performance and logic. When creating a game, the AI engine automatically provides recommendations based on the player’s behavior in-game. 

For example, a hero in a multiplayer battle arena game gets close to an enemy tower. The tower attacks the hero as a reaction when it is within range. Consequently, the hero loses some life points from the tower’s attack. 

These logics are implemented by creating scripts that have been written and designed by expert AI software engineers. We could say that the scripts respond based on the game behavior in an overall setup.

Physics Engine

And so we thought we could leave Physics at school. That’s where we’re wrong. A physics engine is a piece of software that is very important, especially for simulation games. This is a subcomponent relative to designing and developing simulations of real-life activities, movements, and reactions. These include velocity, acceleration, fluidity, and projectile motions, among others.

Physics engines are used mostly for video games with real-life actions and real-time reactions. Grand Theft Auto is one great example of the use of physics as a game engine. The collisions of vehicles and gravity when falling give us a visual simulation of real-life action-reaction instances.

Sound Engine 

Sound or audio engine controls the sound effects generated by the in-game interactions. These are audio files integrated into the game logic through software applications or SDKs available. This loads optimizes and plays the sound files dedicated to each action in the game.


The age of the internet allowed a more interactive gaming experience using networking. The network engine supports multiplayer or social gaming connecting you with other users to enjoy the game together. 

Overall, these engines work together to complete a fully functioning game for every user. One or two of these might not be required depending on the game being developed. Regardless, this software tool is recommended for companies and developers to use.

Another demand that this niche has created is effective development tools for game developers and companies to use. Some are platform exclusive, and some are not. Game engine companies have continued to evolve, considering the recommended updates for games.

We owe it to these game engine companies for creating tools for developers to use whatever games we desire. Here are some of the most popular game engines globally.


On top of our list is the Unity game engine. This one is a favorite since it is easier to use for new and experienced game developers.

Unity caters to multiple platforms with regard to the interactive 3D gaming experience. Through Unity, you can develop high-quality games with optimal performance in any game genre you want!

Additionally, Unity has a free version for personal use. Enterprise users can subscribe monthly to attain more functionalities and business branding capabilities. Lara Croft Go and Pillars of Eternity are some examples of games created using Unity. 


Unreal is another popular game engine by Epic Games that professional game developers use. The reason for its popularity is because it is easy to use and well-documented. It’s been available since 1998 and is continuously updated to give the best game development experience.

You can create multi-platform games through Unity from console to mobile (Android and iOS). Beyond the game industry, it’s also used in automotive. Games like Fortnite and Mortal Kombat Mobile are created using the Unreal game engine.

Amazon Lumberyard

As the name suggests, Lumberyard is an Amazon-owned game engine. They market it as “Free. Powerful. Fully Customizable.” Lumberyard also offers seamless hosting through AWS and integrating on Twitch aside from the main game development.

Amazon Lumberyard is also recommended when you are going for a multiplayer game.


ARKit is somewhat different from the other items on this list. This framework introduced by iOS11 allows you to create brilliant augmented reality (AR) experiences on iOS devices. 

It’s mostly popular among iOS developers because of its top-notch AR capabilities. These include face detection and tracking, object detection, image tracking, position tracking, and orientation tracking.


GameMaker makes it easy for game makers to create and design games. Why? This Yoyo Games platform only uses point-and-click to create games! No coding is needed at the bare minimum.

The good thing though, is that having a programming background could exponentially improve your game. While GameMaker is free, you’d have to subscribe to their premium offers to leverage the platform at max.

Currently, there are millions of game applications available across mobile platforms alone. When we add PC and console games, it’s an entire myriad of creative possibilities. These numbers account for the demand of game developers across the globe. Simultaneously, companies are also kart racing their way to becoming the next big game in the tracks.

At Full Scale, we help you realize the software product of your dreams! Through our Guided Development format, you can hire an entire team from us while in control of the vision of your product.

Aside from software development, our experts in product management and artificial intelligence can help you build simple mobile game apps. Get a free consultation when you contact us! We can help you rev up your engines.

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