So batch drawing has it's benefits and drawbacks. While I am able to quickly finish a batch of comics, if I have the scripts for it, it does encourage lazyness. Since I know I can do it faster I can sometimes succumb to it and postpone my work to another day.

 

Why don't you leave?

 

 

I'm almost at the end now. All I've got left is Unreal Engine.

I've talked a bit about Unity already and while coming to the end of the review cycle, I've revisited the notion of using Unity again. Since with Unreal Engine 4 they are the leading market progrms for game making (for all that don't do their own engines) it makes sense to look at it once more. Both engines are free but the biggest difference between them is that UE does provide for a non coding way of creating a game for free. Unity has some plugins to offer beginning at around 40€. So guessing I won't be doing a tutorial on that as it costs money and judging by the comments people claim that you have limited functionality with these kits/add-ons. If you want more you need to learn coding. UE appears to be more complex but also looks to offer more. I won't start another heated discussion over which is better as the internet is already full of those. Checking some of those comments it looks as though Unity is better suited for 2d mobile games and provides that in a smaller package. On the other hand UE does offer a 2d environment although it's primarily meant for 3d game creation.

 

So guessing I'll try UE next and see where it goes. If I manage to get a crack at Unity also then fine if not then I'll just end it with the next review. All that is missing then is a summary of what I've tested so let's see who is going to be the winner.

1. GameSalad

2. Stencyl

3. Game Maker Studio 2

4. Flowlab

5. Click Team Fusion 2.5

6. Construct 3

7. GameFroot

8. GDevelop

9. 001 Game Creator

 

9. 001 Game Creator

 

The software has a trial version which expires after 7 days. That should generally be enough for you to try it out but maybe not enough to invest into it. Although it's priced at 50$ (as low as 25 if on sale) it offers quite a lot beginning with the templates for all types of games that you can start from as you can see in the picture below. On top of that you already have some tiles and characters inside so you can start building from the moment you open the program.

 

Screenshot 1

 

Tutorial

 

The tutorial I worked on was a rather simple jumping game with a portal to the next level in the end. Got a  bit lost in the scripting area as the video was rather quick and done on an older version but managed to pull through.

 

Screenshot 3

 

Interface

 

The interface is takes a bit of time getting used to but after a while you get a hang of it and it becomes easier to use.

 

Scripting

 

As usual you have all sorts of stuff to use from when scripting which looks like a tree/diagram sort of way and this works in the same way for all the characters/building blocks.

 

Screenshot 2

 

Pricing

 

As said before the core software goes for 50$ and on top of that you can buy all sorts fof extras to use in you game development all ready to use. Buying those can quickly rack up the bill but on the other hand you can then focus on the game only while doing your own art will set you back quite a lot timewise.

 

Screenshot 4

 

Showcase

 

You can find some testimonials on the website along with some games and additional information.

 

Score

 

001 Game Creator is of the shelf product with a decent price that can get you started on game development as soon as you pay the bill. Do note that the graphics is not state of the art as the engine is not new but you can make some decent games. If the storyline is right then the art is not so important. If you want to dig deeper there are enough add ons to buy and you an start racking up the games in no time. Price reflects on the score but you could say that the scripting interface and the rather old art included could be updated a but after all this time.

 

Difficulty: 8
Literature: 8
Cost: 9
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Overall score: 8

1. GameSalad

2. Stencyl

3. Game Maker Studio 2

4. Flowlab

5. Click Team Fusion 2.5

6. Construct 3

7. GameFroot

8. GDevelop

9. 001 Game Creator

10. Struckd

11. Unreal Engine 4

 

11. Unreal Engine 4

 

If you're not really young you've probably heard of the Unreal Tournament game. It was developed by Epic Game and the company is behind the Unreal Engine 4. The engine is free until you really start earning big bucks from where on you pay a percentage of the earnings or there is a subscription when a company is using it. So for building a simple game the software is completely free and you have a ton of documentation and videos online. Although the software is not originally made for 2d games it has that option while you can also build 2.5d and 3d games. It is said that for those UE4 is the best available program.

 

Obviously the software is more complex as it's goal is not only building small puzzle or side scroller games, but large interactive environments with many characters and complex story. So learning curve steeper than on other software I've encountered up so far but it does follow the same line. Due to it's blueprint system you're now able to build games with no coding which again is said to be not perfect (obviously by the guys that know coding) and is in some way limiting you in your design. I've heard that before also for other programs where there were both options available.

 

 

Game

 

I made a sidescoller game based on a youtube video and some free graphics available online so anyone can repeat that.

 

 

Interface

 

Interface is complex as the software itself with many options of definition for each component. Immediately you see a big difference between this and other programs with all the additional options you have and clicks necessary to set up something. Needs some time to get used to but nothing critical.

 

You have several windows inside the program with ...... on the left, additional info and folders at the bottom, left is reserved for definition and options for each component and the center window is there for making the levels and positioning.

 

Events

 

All the scripting is done in a separate window where you are defining a character for example and it follows a similar pathway we've seen before. It does offer a lot more in terms of options so you can branch out your event tree to almost infinity.

 

Score

 

While the concept is nice there isn't really any customization available. The engine is free and everyone can use it on Windows or Android platforms. So although you can have fun with this program it's not really my cup of tea.

 

Difficulty: 10
Literature: 5
Cost: 10
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Overall score: 7

As I said at the beginning it's practice that makes it perfect. The more time I spend making comics the more I see myself progressing. When I come up with an idea for a script I write down the text and link it to each panel. Then I'm able to determine what mimic a character will have/use in that panel. I've also figured (something and experienced cartoonist will be able to relate to) that it makes sense to do stuff in stages. So in the last run I had drawn 3 comics, then colored/finished all and in the end put in the text to all of them. As you don't keep switching, the process is faster.

 

Missing parts

 

 

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