November 10, 2023

Choosing Your Game Engine: Proprietary vs Open-Source

What exactly does 'proprietary' mean in the realm of game engines?

You may have seen this word while exploring options to start your game development journey, so let's unpack it together.

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A proprietary game engine is software that a certain company owns and controls; it is usually guarded by copyright laws, and not freely accessible.

Now, it's easy to assume that 'proprietary' means it's off-limits to everyone but the engine creators themselves. However, not all proprietary engines are hidden away. Many, like Unreal Engine, CryEngine, and Unity, are available for licensing, inviting developers worldwide to craft their own games using the framework.

On the other hand, there are engines that are freely accessible and open to all.

These are the engines that embody the spirit of community and collaboration in game development. Unlike their proprietary counterparts, in these open-source engines any developer, regardless of affiliation to a company, can contribute to the code.

They usually are the playgrounds for indie developers, as well as for educational purposes, allowing anyone with a computer to start bringing their game ideas to life.

How to decide if a proprietary engine is right for your game?

When it comes to your game development project, choosing the right engine is a crucial decision that will shape your final product.

When weighing your options, you’ll have to consider the size of your team and the scope of your project.

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A larger team might benefit from the features and dedicated support that come with a proprietary engine. If you're working on a game that demands cutting-edge graphics or complex mechanics, a proprietary engine might provide this robust framework you need.

But if you are aiming for small games, with small teams, or even if you are a solo developer, a proprietary engine won’t align with the scale of your project.

In such cases, an open-source engine could offer a more practical and cost-effective solution, providing the necessary flexibility and a supportive community.

Among these, Phaser JS deserves a special mention.

Proprietary Engine - Phaser JS

This fast, free, and fun open-source HTML5 game framework offers a potent mix of powerful features for game development. It’s specially useful to those transitioning from proprietary engines or those making games that run smoothly in web browsers.

Whether you're a seasoned developer or just getting started, Phaser JS could be the perfect tool for creating games that are not only engaging but also widely accessible.

Phaser JS is also a key component of Rosebud, our AI platform designed for game creation.

In Rosebud's 2D playground, developers can generate Phaser code and assets effortlessly, just by describing what they need.

This means that building a game is not only simple due to its friendly game engine but also transformative, as it leverages the power of AI to bring creative ideas to life.

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Choosing the right game engine and community

In essence, the choice boils down to your project's specific needs, your expertise, and your long-term development goals. It's a strategic decision that should be made with a clear understanding of your gaming vision.

Also, you’ll have to consider the community that comes with it.

The collaborative nature of developers, users, and supporters can be a rich resource. An active community can propel your development process forward, providing insights and solutions to challenges you might face along the way.

This is particularly true for open-source engines, where the spirit of cooperation can lead to rapid and collective problem-solving. Because your project may start small, but as it grows, you'll face increasing complexity that a good community can help you solve.

This is why you can join our Discord community. Here, you'll find a gathering of passionate developers and creative minds collaborating to make game development dreams a reality using AI.

We host bi-monthly live sessions where we show the capabilities of our platform and also get real-time feedback. These events are a fantastic opportunity to engage with our community and contribute to its growth.