Engine developer dreams come true as indies migrate out from under John Riccitiello
Developers not already deeply entrenched in a Unity project have announced the first round of engine picks for the coming season’s indie games in response to an erratic series of announcements and leaks from Unity affecting its fees and future licensing.
“I’ve been following these developments with deep sadness and disappointment,” said Gerald Schmidt, the solo developer behind Parallel Dreams, a dating sim that teaches safe driving rules he released in 2018. “I can’t afford to pay Unity a fee every time someone Tweets about my game or whatever rule they’re going to come up with next. That’s why I’m excited to announce that Parallel Dreams 2 will be developed using GameMaker!”
GameMaker was first released in 1999 by Mark Overmars and has changed owners and partners several times before inexplicably landing in the hands of Opera Software.
“We’re excited to be a part Mr. Schmidt’s vision for the future of driving dating games,” said a representative for the GameMaker team following the announcement. “We can promise predictable monthly bills for the lifetime of his products.”
Other engines received welcome news during the first round as well.
“I can’t say the name of the company I’m thinking about because they would send me an invoice for 20 cents,” said Innes Thomas, a community college student with no prior shipped titles. “So I’m going to learn Unreal Engine instead.”
A source at Epic Games confirmed receipt of the announcement and pointed to its industry-leading engine features such as cinematic-quality ray tracing in real time and advanced volumetric lightmap systems saying it’s a perfect fit for Thomas’ upcoming 2D pixel art game.
The team at MonoGame celebrated as the choice of several outgoing Unity developers interested in utilizing their existing C# skills and MonoGame’s long-time support for exporting to console.
“We welcome all new developers and look forward to partnering with them to develop incredible new interactive experiences for the Xbox 360,” a team member said.
Not everyone shared the enthusiasm over their new picks this week, however.
“Jesus Christ. More of them?” asked an exasperated developer working with the Godot Foundation. “We’ve asked Unity to give us a heads up before any more of their ‘announcements.’ At this point, I think they’re doing this to us for fun.”
A second round of picks is expected as the next batch of in-progress Unity games reaches launch or the moment the company says another word.
Todd Mitchell is a US Midwest-based comedy writer and game developer with bylines at Weekly Humorist, Fanbyte, Slackjaw, End of the Bench Sports, and more. He’s the author of Inside Video Game Creation, the founder of CodeWritePlay, and host of the GameDev Breakdown podcast. Follow him on Twitter @Mechatodzilla.