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I was wondering, which one would benefit me the most? I have as much time as I need to make a game engine and rapid development does not appeal to me. Unity3D is easy, but how much will mastering Unity3D gain to my knowledge of game development, compared to making a game engine?

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Your question let assume that you want to gain knowledge in game development. As I understand it, you want to make games but don't really know what is the best for you.

Long story short: don't ever believe that you have "enough time" to make a game engine. This is a hard work. A very hard work. Depending of your type of game you have to master several specifics fields of knowledge.

If you want to learn how to make games Unity is a great tool for that. Thanks to it you will learn concepts very specific to video game development without having the pain to build your own tools, render engine, physics engine...

If you have "enough time" (which I'm not sure) to make your own engine, you surely have enough time to look at UnityEngine in order to make an opinion and see if it can be useful for you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm not planning on building a complex engine, something simple or intermediate for making small indie game. \$\endgroup\$ – random Oct 29 '12 at 8:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ That's exactly what I'm talking about :) It often begins with something simple when you don't exactly know what you want to do... then it becomes a nuclear power plant. If you don't exactly know how game logic works, or what a game exactly needs in term of tools and engine, go with an engine like Unity. Using it for your first game will help you to learn the logic. Then you'll be able to decide if building your own small engine worth it. \$\endgroup\$ – lvictorino Oct 29 '12 at 9:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer, I will examine both options to see which one is better for my needs. :) \$\endgroup\$ – random Oct 29 '12 at 9:11
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Never make a game engine :)

Maybe after your 5th game you can start thinking about creating tools which can help you.

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    \$\begingroup\$ You create a tool at the moment you need it, not before you need it. I think what you mean is that an engine will emerge as you reuse the code. \$\endgroup\$ – Vaillancourt Nov 25 '17 at 0:47
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    \$\begingroup\$ I do not agree you should never start to make a game engine. I believe you have to understand what you are interested into, then act based on that. If you are interested in making games, then you should definitely go for a game engine like Unity, Unreal, Game maker etc.. if you are interested in the technology behind games, you should read about graphics programming, graphics Apis like Opengl, Direct3d, Vulkan, Metal and so on, and also read about game engine architecture. \$\endgroup\$ – user100681 Nov 25 '17 at 19:39

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