Writing an Engine

by Tim Mensch, 2011-03-17 00:00

When I started to work on my first indie game under the Recharge Games banner, I wanted to start with an existing library. I’d just spent almost six years working on the Playground SDK for PlayFirst, and was sick to death of writing game engines.

After doing a survey of what was available for Android in May of 2010, though, I came to the conclusion that none of the contenders would do everything that I wanted. And so I started working on my own engine. It couldn’t take that long, right?

What I’d forgotten is that I’d been working on Playground for almost six years. Yes, I could do a lot of it faster now that a lot of the core concepts were clear to me, but it still takes time to do things right. And for some reason I just feel compelled to do things right whenever possible.

The Recharge game engine, QuickCharge, is used as the low-level foundation for NinJump on Android, which I ported for Backflip Studios; but it’s the higher-level features that seem to take the most time. And between contract work and the building of a library from scratch, it’s taken almost nine months between resigning from PlayFirst and seeing a nearly complete game take shape. But the engine will be there for the next game, and the game after that, so it’s a valuable asset. I’m just not good at being patient, and I want my game to be done now!

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