I have been a game design/programming student for two years now, and made some little games using HTML5, most of them from scratch.
I've come to a point where I am frustrated by the coding part : Each time I make a game I have to code a lot of things, which sometimes feel redundant. I am looking for the best way to focus on the game creation and not on the code behind it. In my question I use exemples from web game because this is what I know, but it applies to any kind of platform.
Now I have heard of people creating great games using softwares like Construct 2 or Game Maker. The thing is that when I see these "makers" I feel really limited. I don't have the hand on small implementation details, on special optimisation if I need and more generally on tweaking real code.
Then, there are engines. Like cocos2D for exemple. I haven't really used them yet, but they seem to be really great engines for creating games. But I am still worried about the limitations. Will I, at some point, need something that can't be done with the engine ? Is the workflow (for integrating content, developing modules, features...) good enough and appealing ?
Here I am now, with these three big alternatives : Developing from scratch (big control at every level of the creation but lot of time to spend on low-level implementation), game makers software (ultra high-level speedy creativity, but seems limited when getting out of the box) and game engines which seem to be somewhere inbetween.
I'm looking for some feedback from people who have tried and made great games using any of these three options : What do you prefer using and why ? What would be your advice on starting with a new engine or game maker ?