TOP TEN GAME DEVELOPMENT ENGINES :

With the rapid increase of mobile gaming and gaming consoles all over the world , choosing the right game engine is not an easy task and often seems confusing enough . The top choice of many developers  is that the game engine should be with proven track records for developing an array of successful and popular game.But as far as the changing environment of consoles and mobile gaming are concerned, we must take a closer look at various aspects of top 10 game engines .Here are the top 10 game engines one  should know about before developing any game.

  1. Unity 3D :

Unity 3D  is a truly affordable option for a game developer, and it has some unmatched merits that other engines don’t. Most important, you have to pay for the license once, and no matter how popular your game becomes. It has best licensing terms in the game industry. It is easy to use and compatible with every gaming platform. One can learn this engine easily as it has low learning curve. Some popular games built on Unity3D are In the valley of gods, Harold Halibut , Monument Valley 2 etc .

2.Unreal Engine :

Undoubtedly one of the most popular game engine in the world and “the most successful video game engine” as awarded by Guinness World Records. If you’re working on a large, sophisticated game and you need a strong 3D game engine It is definitely the best engine. The size of the games will be relatively larger and you’ll need high-end devices to run them.With so many developers using it, Unreal offers the largest community support. Best support and update mechanism of all engines, with a new tool introduced with each new update.Compatible with diverse operating platforms including iOS, Android, Linux, Mac, Windows, and most game consoles.Some popular games built on Unreal Engine are Gunpowder, Rad Rodger , Deep rock etc.  

 

3. Godot Engine :

Godot is an advanced, feature packed, multi-platform 2D and 3D game engine. It provides a huge set of common tools, so you can just focus on making your game without reinventing the wheel.Godot is completely free and open source under the very permissive MIT license. No strings attached, no royalties, nothing. Your game is yours, down to the last line of engine code. Some popular games build on Godot are Deep Sixed , Shipwreck , Chrome Trip , Falling Word etc.

  1. Cryengine :

CRYENGINE is the first all-in-one development solution with truly scalable computation and benchmark graphics technologies. With CRYENGINE, developers are fully equipped to create standout game experiences, using the engine behind games like Ryse: Son of Rome and Crysis series.  All development features of a CRYENGINE game can be produced, edited and played immediately with the “what you see is what you play”system. The engine deals with the instant conversion and optimization of assets in real-time, enabling cross-platform changes to all elements of the game creation process. This increases the speed and quality of development, while significantly reducing the risk of creating multi-platform games. Some popular games build on Cryengine are Archeage , Armored Warfare , Evolve etc.

5. Cocos2d -X :

Cocos2d is a open source framework used for building apps, games and other graphic interface attractive. Cocos2D is both, extensible and highly flexible. It is written in Objective-C, Apple’s native programming language for writing iOS apps. Some popular games build on Cocos2d  are angry bird fight, heroes charge, geometry dash, Clash of kings etc.

6. Amazon Lumberyard :

Amazon Lumberyard allows you to create your games, integrate them to the AWS Cloud, and integrate Twitch features that help you connect to the world’s leading social video platform and community for gamers. The integration with the AWS Cloud makes it great when creating live or multiplayer games.

  1. Shiva Engine :

Shiva is an easy-to-use 3D game and application development suite that allows you to export your games to over 20 different platforms.It comes with 21 modules, ranging from terrain and animation editors to material tools and a fully integrated code editor. Whether you are designing a first person shooter, a racing game, an action platformer, an open world game, or a mobile puzzler, ShiVa offers a variety of solutions.  Some popular games build on Shiva Engine are atomic Ninjas , Prince of persia 2 , Babel Rising 3D etc .

8. Construct 2 :

Construct 2 is fast to pick up, get into, and belt out some pretty impressive games in a relatively small amount of time. Seems to be built for people who don’t have a lot of programming skills, but want to make great games.  Some popular games build on Construct 2 are The next penelope, Airscape, Cosmochoria , CoinOp story etc.

9.Libgdx :

libGDX allows the developer to write, test, and debug their application on their own desktop PC and use the same code on Android. It abstracts away the differences between a common Windows/Linux application and an Android application. The usual development cycle consists of staying on the desktop PC as much as possible while periodically verifying that the project still works on Android. Its main goal is to provide total compatibility between desktop and mobile devices, the main difference being speed and processing power.  Some popular games build on Libgdx are Jack Adventures , Vidhura , Brick ball pad etc.

10. J monkey :

j Monkey Engine , is an open-source 3D game development engine written entirely in Java. Using this engine, game developers can exploit Java’s capabilities to develop games not just for modern operating systems, but also for the Android market. j Monkey Engine was built to fulfill the lack of full featured graphics engines written in Java.

Looking to get your Gaming project developed, contact us via email or skype.

 

How VR can Change the world :

VR is a new means of audiovisual communication for us. The term ‘Virtual Reality’ was coined by Jaron Lanier in 1987 during a period of intense research activity into this form of technology.

Now day’s people are moving from reality to Virtual reality with help of VR, it is helping people to take their mind from the real world to Virtual. With the help of VR we can see anything at our place.Its mission is to sell the idea of entry into three-dimensional computer generated an environment where the experience is so surprising that it cuts our minds to believe that this virtual world is really Reality.

Its ultimate goal is to allow us to experience the senses we could never experience in our daily lives.VR will transform the world and bring about a monumental change in the way of buying and experiencing the web.With massive adoption through platforms such as HTC Vive, Oculus, VR Playstation and cardboard, companies and customers have already begun to turn to augmented reality and virtual platforms.

Some of the ways How VR can change the world are listed below :

 

1.Much of the real estate industry and remodeling industry are founded on the need for conceptualization. Virtual Reality will increase the ease of conceptualization. Imagine being able to tour a property or redesign a room and walk around it completely in VR.

2.Another way that virtual reality is set to change the world is through experiential marketing in the digital realm. While experiential marketing might apply to more real-world applications, in the virtual world, we can experience realistic situations in VR digital realms.

3.VR provides players with an entirely new and improved gaming experience.They are no longer confined to sitting in front of a screen and controlling their  character using just hands. Instead, users feel as though the game is all around you, resulting in a more immersive and personal experience.

4.Virtual Reality is greatly changing rehabilitation. For people who have suffered from a brain injury or a stroke, time is valuable. The sooner a patient can start rehabilitation, the better chances are for recovering lost functions.  VR is playing a huge roll in medical training and rehabilitation.

5.IMAX theatres are taking in the idea of VR to upgrade the cinematic experience. Movie premiere virtual reality hubs are in the works. On top of that, VR cinemas are being established, where you can sit in a room with relaxing chairs while the head mount displays take the viewer to  an awe-inspiring virtual reality world.

That’s because virtual reality is bringing forth a vast array of exciting options and experiences that are applicable in our daily lives, not only through education and work, but also for destinations we may never be able to experience otherwise. This is a technology that will not to be short lived or just another trend. Virtual reality is changing our world, constantly molding to fit society and give people limitless opportunities. Are you ready for what’s to come?

Looking to get your VR project developed, contact us via email or skype.

 

Difference between Hybrid and Native Application

With the growing market of smartphone devices , most of the organisations are finding ways to incorporate mobile apps in their business flow in order to increase their market outreach. Well, before going for app development you have to decide upon the way in which you would like to create and deploy the app . Most of the organisations same similar challenge that what should be built – Native or hybrid application , Which would be best for the organisation. When deciding to build your app as either native , or hybrid , there are variety of factors you need to consider such as speedy development of the app , whether the organisation opt for in- house development , User Experience , Objective of building the app , budget to develop the app and features required in the application. Keeping all these factors and requirements in your mind one can come up to a decision as both the applications has its pros and cons.

For better decision let us look out the difference between the two

Native mobile apps are the most common type of app. They are built for specific platforms and are are written in languages that the platform accepts, for example, Swift and Objective-C for iOS apps and Java for native Android apps. The advantages of choosing native app is that it is the fastest and reliable when it comes to user experience. They have the best performance . It can also interact with all of the device’s operating system features, such as microphone, camera, gallery, contact list etc and Native allows developers to access the full feature set of their given platform with whatever performance optimizations the native system has but when it comes to the disadvantages a bigger budget is required if you want to build your app for multiple platforms and also you need large experienced team of developers for this. It is more complex to code and harder to port to other system.

A hybrid app is a program that is built using HTML 5 , CSS and Java Script and wrapped in native container. THe main features of a typical hybrid app are its development is faster , simple and easy to maintain , can integrate with any device file system , less expensive app development and cost effective maintenance and single code management for multiple mobile platforms. On the other hand, the speed of your hybrid app will depend completely on the speed of the user’s browser. This means hybrid apps will almost never run as fast as a native app runs and also less interactive than native apps. It is not good in terms of user experience. Another disadvantage of this is that you cannot customize your app the way you want to as it will cost more

The decision to build either a native, web, or hybrid mobile app should be based on your business objectives. Before jumping into development, you should consider that  whichever approach you choose should, above all, be quick, responsive, and reliable. As users are demanding more from mobile experiences, it’s important to keep up with their changing demands. Whichever app you decide to build Your API infrastructure should have reliable and easy access to your content and services.

How much will app Development cost: Biggest Hidden factors – part 1

Mobile app company

I had this meeting, and immediately felt the need to share my experience on this subject, “How much will an app cost to get made ?”. There are various types of similar questions I am faced with, like ” How much will you charge to make this app”, ” What is the best price can you offer” ,”That X agency charges lesser than you”, “Why are you charging much higher, although you are based out of India”, “Why are you taking 20 extra hours for documentation?”, etc.

Mobile app company

Please note, that I am not writing this article to sell any of our services but rather point out some intricacies which most of the sponsored posts miss out, and sadly the correct information gets hidden out somewhere. Offshore development is great, but lot of people are taking bad impression of the same, due to fundamental(or management) issues at both the ends. Here is a list of some basic factors which you can also find at most of the places online:

 

  • The cost of the apps is based on complexity, features and platform
  • Apps having backend servers will cost more
  • Cost varies depending on who is building it: in-house, freelancer, offshore-agency or a high-end agency.
  • Budgeting for updates, maintenance, marketing, infrastructure, servers, etc.

 

But apart from these factors there are few other factors which are crucial in software development (app/game development in the end is a software, even if its targeted for mobile users) and moreover product development:

Product Development company

Code Quality: This is a topic where every dev shop whether small, mid or large. Will just say ” We write the best quality code” “We are one of the best company” “We make the best apps around”. Is there any agency or developer stating that they write second best quality code, whenever I interview a candidate no matter how much experience their resume says, they will either state themselves 7 out of 10, 8 out of 10, 9 out of 10 or, 10 on 10. It becomes difficult to digest the fact that, if there is any benchmark(although it is impossible to have one) or standardized measure for code quality, although people can show accolades, awards and certifications to create a psychology in front of the decision maker that the developer or the development agency is good(depending on the costing expectation), but I would like to point some thoughts here:

  • would the developers working on your precious app, be dedicated working to your app only ?
  • Would those developers be only working on your app, who were assured to you at the start of the project ?
  • How many man-hours would be invested in the app development work ?
  • Would the developers working on your app/software have the sense of product ownership, when making it. so that even if something is going to take few extra hours or requires some research they are ready to invest that time/thought, or will they just do their bare minimum job and call it a day ?
  • Is there any new release of the third-party library, which came during the project, is that release crucial or not for the project ?
  • Is the SME (subject matter expert), always available to assist the development team ?
  • Are you being presented a run of the mill code or well tested code work ?
  • Is the Project documentation completely thought with and complete in all respects(but remember, project documentation does not mean everything will happen perfectly) ?
  • Is the database architecture and project architecture exactly what you required ?
  • What are the testing mechanisms in place, unit testing, stress testing, manual testing, etc.

 

Technical Debt: This is what wikipedia states ” Technical debt (also known as design debt or code debt) is a concept in software development that reflects the implied cost of additional rework caused by choosing an easy solution now instead of using a better approach that would take longer. ”  This term supports my previous point about code quality, We have been faced by various projects, sometimes in mid-way or sometimes finished by the previous developer but is it full of so many errors and bugs that the client is in a dilemma to start again from scratch or leave the project all-together. Although, it is not just the developers fault, sometimes the clients also bring in so many last minute changes, leaving the developer with no choice but the make quick fixes and ruin the future of the software. Here are some reason’s of technical debt:

  • Timeline pressure: Starting of Development before documentation or before design completion, one thinks this is being done to save time but in reality, it costs more time. sometimes the management suggests to reduce the timeline or create unnatural timeline’s which are accepted by the developers considering the business constraints and opportunity sake. In the end making a bad decision for the app development project.
  • Lack of knowledge: The developers involved in the project do not have sufficient knowledge to write polished code. It further can be because of many factors. like developers not trained for the specific technology the project is to be built on. For example once we got an unfinished project, the previous agency was trying to make the game for first time and created blunders in the code, in the end the client decided to redo- the project after considering the miserable situation of the game.
  • Lack of product ownership: This is quite seen in outsourced projects, some agencies just prefer to write run of the mill code just to get the work off their shoulders, the developers in these companies are also not inclined towards the project so is the project manager, in the end leaving the project in miserable situation
  • Lack of technical leadership: Due to cut-throat pricing specially when clients compare vendors based on cheaper pricing, the agencies end up having poor technical leadership skills. Hence leaving the projects in vulnerable situation, a software company has to have a well thought technical leadership and carefully selected subject-matter-experts to guide the project and approve all those architecture which will define the projects technicalities
  • Last minute Change-Requests: Have discussed in detail about this in the topic below.

App Development graph

Do have a read of this, its an excellent resource on software engineering and project management, the discussion about “the Mythical Man-month” is impeccable. In our opinion this is the prime reason for having project delays since the client ends up thinking having as much workforce will is directly proportional to project delivery.

Code Smell:  This might sound too much theoretical, but it is true, we see  lot of projects like this in our dev shop, where the code had a surface indication while development but due to timeline constraints and not much thorough communication between the client and the agency, the problem was overlooked and software was pushed to production. Leading to uncovering of deeper problems. This in the end leads to technical debt. Some common factors of code smell are:

  • Duplication of code, same code present at various places in software/app.
  • Complex architectures: Not much time was invested in planning and Documentation which lead to a complex code architecture, although there are possibilities of simpler architectures too.
  • Bad documentation: We have practically faced this number of times, sometimes, the documentation is incomplete or inept, which leaves huge amount of un-traced code, making the new developers spending too much of time on just understanding the flow of the code.

Development Paradigm: Sometimes, due to time constraints and technical inability, proper development paradigms are not followed making the project difficult to get ported from one team to another. We follow Agile software development methodology, and when an incomplete project is brought to us for delivery, we end up wasting lot of time in just following the SCRUM framework which could have increased efficiency. instead the end client feels, we are wasting time, rather than showing deliverable’s, at a point, one of our client even ceased the project, just because they thought we are cheating them by “taking un-necessary time in documentation, when that time can be spent in delivering work”. Although, after few months the client came back since one of their adviser suggested that our modus operandi was actually correct.

I hope the above points will be helping you to decide on the next development agency, I did not write this to fare any agency or freelancing against each other, instead my aim was to portray the issues which mostly are on the management end, while selecting an agency or managing a project currently underway.

We are a product development agency, every time we used to feel ousted that we spend time and care for the product for our clients’ even not taking projects at time just to insure fairness for the product being developed. In the end we still used to see some client’s taking bad impression for other agencies before coming to us. I hope this article helps in decision making and cost defining process.

About me: I am Samanyu Chopra, co-founder of Daphnis Labs, we work on Mobile app and Game Development, have extended expertise in Data analytics for NGO, games and app projects.

Looking to get software consultancy services on mobile app or game development, contact us now. Email us or ping me on skype

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Beginning in Unity

Unity is a wonderful game engine which simplifies making a game by its own inbuilt feature-list. If you have a little experience in programming, you can start easily with unity. I assume you have unity set up already. Here are some steps for you to follow.

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  • Learn C# basics . There are 2 more language except C# : Boo and Java Script. I would recommend C# cause of its flexibility and extra features. You can google for C# basic knowledge.
  • After that when you have a good knowledge with C# basics (OOPS basically) just open Unity  and learn about its Editor . Complete all the videos and know about every little details and shortcut as they are time saver.
  • Once you have a grip on Editor just ready yourself for some Scripting  knowledge. These video will help you to understand the scripting functionality , important methods used in unity.
  • Now its time for action . I would recommend to go through these topics:
  1. Creating a 2D game with Unity

  2. Make A 2D Video Game with Unity

  3. Unity 4.3 2D Tutorial: Getting Started

  4. For more tutorials you can check this link . It has a updated tutorial list regarding 2D or 3D development.Happy Gaming, Cheers 🙂

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Enjoying New Delhi Rains! – Time to work outside :)

green computer

Since a month New Delhi was burning with ~45 °C (113 °F). Finally monsoon has bestowed upon all, What a relief, really. No sun outside today to suck the energy out of us, time to enjoy the Haze(sic).

weather report

Well as a susceptibility, everyone in the team got inspired to make a niche rain inspired game, turning our evening schedule to a Rain inspired hackathon or should I call rainathon 😛

Enjoy the weather

Who What Why ???

Who we are? What we are? Why we are?

Wait buddy, we are coming to it. We are startup and started off in October with a team of 4 into the field of Apps and since then we have not looked back, really we mean it! As we were progressing in our journey we moved to Gaming and suddenly our passion met it’s destiny and we decided to evolve into a game development Studio. We got shifted to new workplace and decided to focus all are energy, time and learning to Game Development.

We are Crazy, mad, pot-smokers to the core, yes we mean it. Hardwork is our Daily dose and yes we mean it. We stayed silent since, but now it is time to break the silence and let the world know about our awesome rocking adventurous day-to day life and our quest to be to create the next gaming sensation!

We are heck of passionate about games any day whether day or night you will see any of our team member making games or playing games! Booze is mandatory with every task of ours!

We are a team of 5 and counting…Wanna know more or just want to say hi, we would love to hear from you and about you and maybe share a drink or two! Just drop us a mail at Hello@DaphnisLabs.com

 

First Post!!!

f9dff38b5d921c6f756100380ecef4b8_1365545986_cropped-520x245Hey there!

Welcome to the First post of Daphnis Labs, your next door Indie gaming Studio. We are based out of beautiful city New Delhi the heart of India! If you happen to be around New Delhi, do care to drop by in our little working space, do bring some booze along!