I'm learning and developing a game like "Minecraft". I've seen many games being made without a game engine, so I'm worried that using a game engine will lead to performance issues.

If I was developing a game with many static objects, the game engine would be helping me a lot. However, in a game where all meshes are generated by code, how would a game engine help me? Regardless of whether 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 general game engine would be useful, when creating a voxel game.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is "GameEngine" a thing or are you talking about game engines in general? \$\endgroup\$
    – House
    Jun 11, 2013 at 20:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm talking about game engines in general... \$\endgroup\$ Jun 11, 2013 at 21:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 16, 2013 at 15:50

2 Answers 2


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.


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.

  • \$\begingroup\$ 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. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 11, 2013 at 21:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Because Java is slow. cherrystonesoftware.com/doc/AlgorithmicPerformance.pdf \$\endgroup\$
    – stas
    Jun 11, 2013 at 22:05

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