Custom game engines are a turn off to a lot of publishers because of a simple reason: broadening the target market is way more expensive.
Publishers often have deals with porting companies to quickly port a game to a different platform. If the engine is not known to these companies, the publisher will have to pay you to do the porting.
Porting to extremely closed platforms, like consoles, is even more expensive when you can’t use a company that already has the DEV license, gear and skills. Skills includes getting through certification.
There are also people/companies out there who are skilled in porting custom engines. But these are not the cheapest available to publishers. In the end for a lot of publishers it is just the decision on how little they want to invest in earning money. These publishers mostly skip on the next big hit, because they think it’s too risky, and rather play it safe.
But there are publishers out there who are not just looking at making a quick buck.
Either way, creating your own game engine, especially if you also avoid frameworks like SDL, is something you should only do when you want to create a game engine. There is a lot of time and risk involved when you just want to create a game.
This is exactly what I was going for, I did do an extremely poor job of explaining the various risks and "why it made sense" from the business standpoint, something I have since learned and hope future articles will include the why a little bit better. Well explained, though I disagree about the final comment that creating a engine should be done only to create an engine... Doing so definitely adds time, is more risky and has potential impact on partnerships - which is what I was trying to share.
Probably poorly worded. I did not mean to imply that you should only create a game engine when your only result would be the game engine, and not a game. You should only create a game engine, when you actually want to create an engine, and not "just" a game. Note sure if that makes it any more clear :)
10+ years ago you did not have a lot of choice when you wanted to create a game, and did not have a lot of money to buy an full fledged game engine. But these days there are really good F(L)OSS and cheap game engines to get you started in game development.
So unless you want to take the hurdles, and experience what it takes to create a game engine, you probably want to get something off the shelf.
But if you want to take the challenge, I recommend to use SDL as much as possible as it takes care of a lot of mundane and finicky low-level platform parts. That way you can focus on the engine technology, and not crack your head on trying to process input from keyboards or controllers (for example).
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