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I'm learning and developing a Minecraft like game. I've seen many games being made without a game engine, so I'm worried using a game engine will end up having performance issues.

If I was developing a game with many static objects, the game engine will be helping me a lot. But on a game that all meshes are generated by code, who exactly the game engine may help me? If I use it or not I'll have to build a voxel engine because no game engines come with that functionality.

I know it does some optimizations like Frustum Culling, but I don't know if I should continue using it or build my own voxel engine.

This questions is not about any specific game engine or programming language, just how a game engine would be useful when creating a voxel game.

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Is "GameEngine" a thing or are you talking about game engines in general? –  Byte56 Jun 11 '13 at 20:59
    
I'm talking about game engines in general... –  Afonso Lage Jun 11 '13 at 21:08
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You're asking many questions on a very broad topic, but one thing I will say is don't plan on writing a game engine in Java. Btw im not sure you understand what 'writing a voxel engine' takes. Do you even know what it is? Minecraft uses OpenGL which is a 3d rasterizing engine.... –  stas Jun 11 '13 at 21:21
    
A game engine is just re-usable code behind a game, it manages rendering and input, and maybe other things depending on which one you use. If you write a game without using a pre-made engine, your game still uses an engine. Just one written by you. Performance wise an engine written by someone else may be the way to go, unless you are an expert on optimizing. –  handuel Sep 16 '13 at 15:50
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2 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

There are many more things to the game that will be taken care of by a game engine than just the management of meshes. Control input, sounds, lighting, GUI, meshes other than the terrain, camera, etc.

So the benefit of using an engine comes from all the other features it provides. If you're going to be writing a voxel engine anyway, might as well have everything else taken care of as well.

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Thanks for your response. I'll keep using game engine. –  Afonso Lage Jun 11 '13 at 21:38
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Using a game engine will simplify your task significantly. If you want a tutorial go here: https://sites.google.com/site/letsmakeavoxelengine/

If you're worried about performance the dont use java.

Dont worry about performance at first. Just get something to work then you can worry about optimizing it.

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Thanks for the tip, but i've already read this tutorial (and using some of it). But I didnt understood why java may cause performance issues. –  Afonso Lage Jun 11 '13 at 21:39
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Because Java is slow. cherrystonesoftware.com/doc/AlgorithmicPerformance.pdf –  stas Jun 11 '13 at 22:05
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