• Gamebiz Chronicles

Hypercasual Gametech Part 1 — Top Game Engines for Building Hypercasual Games

If you’re reading this post, you probably know what a hypercasual game is. If not, here’s a brief introduction: Hypercasual is a genre of games (specifically mobile games) that recently skyrocketed to glory, beginning sometime in 2017. A hypercasual game’s defining characteristics are -

  • Absolutely simplified and easy to master game mechanics

  • Even more simplified user interfaces and

  • Virtually non existent tutorials.

Now you might also be thinking, “What the hec is ‘Gametech’? This is the first I’m hearing about it!” Not to worry — Gametech is simply the ecosystem of softwares, services and tools used through the life cycle of building out — drumroll please — a video game. Be it mobile, console, or PC, gametech encompasses the technologies used right from development, publishing and operations, to monetization, marketing and user acquisition — one word to rule them all!

In 2021 the offerings in gametech can be a little overwhelming, especially for newbies in the game dev world. The easiest way to get started in game development is to begin small, and hypercasual games are one of the best ways to do this. They are fairly simple to design, quick to build, and honestly just a lot of fun to make overall. In this series of posts we will take a look at the top tools in each gametech category with respect to their performances and popularity in the hypercasual genre of games.

Part 1 is about some of the best game engines that are best suited for building hypercasual games regardless of your experience level. So without further ado, let’s dive in!

1. Unity3D

Unity is one of the most widely used and popular game development tools out there. Some of the biggest hits in the mobile game market have been built using Unity. Games such as -

  • Pokemon GO

  • Crossy Road

  • Subway Surfers

…and even some big ticket games like — Call of Duty Mobile!

The first question to ask would be — how easy is it to build a game in Unity? It’s all rather subjective. The first step would be to download the software and browse the plethora of learning resources out there either through the official Unity Learn website, or even YouTube tutorials. Once you familiarize yourself with the platform it should be fairly easy to determine whether Unity is the right fit for you and the game you are trying to build!

2. Buildbox

Unlike a lot of traditional game engines, Buildbox holds the big advantage of being a coding free tool. As the name might suggest, Buildbox is all about dragging and dropping elements to build your game.

Now you might be wondering whether a code free game engine is actually any good! Well, over 40 games built using Buildbox have been featured on Apple’s app store. Color Switch — a game with over 75 MILLION downloads — was built entirely in Buildbox. So yeah, one might say Buildbox is ‘any good’.

The goal of the company was to ‘design the ultimate game builder that allows anyone to make a video game.’ Looks like they succeeded!

3. GameMaker Studio

GameMaker Studio has the advantage over the other 2 platforms listed here of allowing code free development for beginners, as well as the flexibility to write code for those with more experience with the subject. However, it does have 1 major con — it is majorly geared towards 2D games. Although it is possible to build 3D games to some extent in GameMaker, you would be better off looking into Unity or Buildbox.

That being said GameMaker’s redeeming qualities are -

  • Extremely easy and welcoming to both newbies and experienced game developers

  • Tons of tutorial resources including video walkthroughs

  • It is perfect for quick and easy prototyping — something that is key in the hypercasual industry

Conclusion

These are just 3 of a large number of tools available for game developers. Hypercasual games need quick production cycles and therefore these are three of the quickest and easiest tools to get your hands dirty. The right choice for you depends largely on your experience level and the kind of game you are trying to build. Hopefully this article has provided a solid starting point for you to begin your hypercasual game development journey. Happy building!

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