Whenever we play a video game, we become completely immersed in its environment, storyline, and gameplay.
We owe the enjoyment we derive from these games to developers. But alongside these professionals’ skills are game engines that made game development possible.
What are the Best C# Game Engines of 2022?
In our post on whether C# is a great game development tool, we explained why C# is one of the best languages for game development. In this article, we aim to help readers and game enthusiasts gain a deeper appreciation for the technology that produced our favorite games — with special attention to the enduring language C#. We will tackle the top-performing game engines to date using Slant.co’s ranking as our reference.
So without any more delays, we present to you the top C# game engines of 2022.
What Is the C# Game Engine Unity?
Whenever a new game engine is introduced to the market, a surge of questions concerning its quality relative to Unity immediately overwhelms online forums. We can say it’s because Unity is the standard game engine of big-name gaming companies and small, independent studios. The high demand for Unity, one of the best C# game engines today, is a result of Unity Technologies’ decision to make it highly accessible when the engine first came out. Because it targeted independent developers instead of AAA game makers, Unity was able to expand and grow. So now, it’s lauded as one of the best C# game engines.
A few months ago, Unity released its latest version, Unity 2020.1. It has plenty of unique new features that enhance game asset graphics and overall game development. The following are only a few of them:
- Camera Stacking in Universal Render Pipeline
- Burst Compiler 1.3
In Unity’s latest version, developers can perform camera stacking in the Universal Render Pipeline mode. Camera stacking is the process of layering separate visual elements in a game to form a cohesive view
In the new Burst Compiler, Unity enhanced the debugging and compiling processes. With Cinemachine, developers have more control over the camera’s position, timing, movement.
Unity has developed some of the best games, but we will look into the newer ones:
- Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout
- Among Us
- Iron Man VR
- Wasteland 3
Among the three, Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout has received the most attention. It’s a multiplayer video game that gives users the objective to outlast 59 other competitors in several rounds. Players have praised the game for its color palette, graphics, physics, and adorable gameplay.
What Is the C# Game Engine CryEngine?
CryEngine is one of the multi-platform C# game engines made and released in 2002 by the Germany-based indie game developer Crytek. Its founders, who are also brothers Cevat, Faruk, and Avni Yerli, designed a prototype of CryEngine so they can develop their games independently. This endeavor led to a partnership with Ubisoft, who enlisted the brothers to create the first-person shooter game Far Cry. Ubisoft now owns the original CryEngine. However, Crytek further improved upon their C# game engine to make it the advanced and polished technology it is today.
Crytek has updated CryEngine several times since its initial release in 2002. Its latest version, CryEngine 5.6, significantly improves the design of game environments, and character and object movement.
Here are some of the best new features in the game engine:
- Dynamic Lighting
- Tessellated Particle Ribbons
- Full-body Ragdoll IK
CryEngine 5.6 mimics the behavior of light in the real world. In the trailer, you see the impeccable application of ray tracing, causing the behavior of light rays to look as realistic as possible. The trailer also shows the way natural light behaves in a wooded environment, how indoor lighting naturally exposes and masks objects, and the accurate movement of light from one surface to another.
In CryEngine’s latest version, developers also have the option to make ribbon particles smoother. Through the Tessellated option under Render Ribbons, CryEngine users can enhance their game’s ribbon effects by adding pixels to any curved movement, so it appears more fluid.
With the Ragdoll IK, which stands for inverse kinematics, game developers can easily manipulate characters’ movements through a readily available model. This makes animation effortless because motion based on real-world physics is already integrated into the model.
Some of CryEngine’s most notable games are:
- Hunt: Showdown
- Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture
- Robinson: The Journey
A noticeable similarity among the three is their realistic and breathtaking game environments. In all three, players can immerse themselves in the game’s highly-detailed, hyperrealistic universe.
What Is the C# Game Engine Godot?
Godot has been around for less than a decade, and yet it has grown as one of the top C# game engines within a short time. This growth can be attributed to its sizable and dependable community, providing neophyte and advanced developers with a wealth of Godot resources. The network of tutorials, libraries, and upgrades largely stems from Godot’s dedicated authors, Juan Linietsky, Ariel Manzur, and — of course — its very supportive community. Aside from wide-ranging support, Godot makes game development more manageable by providing users with all the tools they need. It even allows you to code in different languages, such as C#, C++, and its very own high-level scripting language, GDScript.
Two notable and unique Godot features are the:
- Scene system
Nodes are a game’s building blocks in Godot. They are almost the equivalent of an atom or perhaps kitchen ingredients, as Godot’s developers like to put it. Each one can perform several basic functions, such as display images or play sounds. But when put together, nodes can create a more specific and intricate action.
From nodes, game developers can create scenes. These are essentially a collection of nodes that enable a game, no matter how small, to function. A scene can refer to an entire game or only one level of a bigger game, depending on the project. If the project is of the latter’s scale, developers can use Godot’s instancing tool, which helps a game reuse objects or separate multiple scenes.
When you look through the web, you will find Godot has produced more 2D than 3D games. But the 3D gaming experience is just as possible in this C# game engine. Here are some of Godot’s notable 3D video games:
- TailQuest: Defense
- Human Diaspora
TailQuest looks like the more modern cartoon type, except with 3D graphics. Ex-Zodiac, on the other hand, evokes an older feel, taking inspiration from ‘90s cartoons. And Human Diaspora’s 3D graphics borders on hyperrealism. The 3D style of each game clearly differs from the other. This range is a testament to Godot’s ability to render diverse types of 3D objects, characters, and environments, welcoming a variety of game styles developers desire to incorporate into their work.
Stride (formerly Xenko)
What Is the C# Game Engine Stride?
Since its first commercial release in 2014, Stride, previously known as Xenko, has helped independent developers build games with ease. It’s also a proponent of using C# in the engine, always supporting the language’s latest version. This comes as no surprise. According to their official website, Stride developer Silicon Studio built the game engine to give developers — regardless of skill level and scale — an intuitive environment where they can freely and rapidly create video games. At present, however, Stride relies on a small community for support. But with the recognition it’s receiving, this game engine can expect growth in the future.
One of Stride’s highlights as a game engine is the language. With C# as its main tool for programming, Stride’s game engine makes game development accessible to many developers. But apart from the language, Stride also offers other amazing features. These include:
- VR Features
- Scene Streaming
- Physically-based Rendering (PBR)
Stride incorporated full virtual reality (VR) support in its environment in 2017, when it was still Xenko 2.0. Their VR support includes visualization and testing, clustered forward rendering, and a thorough guide on implementing VR gameplay in the engine. “Clustered forward rendering” is a lighting solution that enhances the VR experience.
In Stride’s scene streaming feature, you can edit your game quickly because you’re able to manage your game’s scenes into smaller parts. Stride also has PBR, which imitates the way real-life objects reflect light. This makes objects in a game appear more realistic.
Stride’s most memorable games are:
- Universe or Nothing
- Children of the Galaxy
Mark Aherne, the creator of Universe or Nothing, praises Stride for its features and quick code execution but says rendering with Xenko was relatively slow at the time he built his space sim game. Since then, however, the game engine has made updates in its system.
Special Mention to the Following C# Game Engine
WaveEngine doesn’t market itself as a game engine, but it still deserves recognition for its capacity to build different types of gaming experiences. A rising star in the world of C# game engines, it recently released a new preview of its latest upgrade, the WaveEngine 3.0. It contains improvements in the web graphics library and editors.
With WaveEngine, you can create 2D and 3D gaming experiences. Developers also have extended reality (XR) support, a term that lumps together VR and AR. But for the most part, WaveEngine provides graphics solutions that cut across industries, focusing more on manufacturing, real estate, and retail, among others.
We owe our enjoyment of video games to the effort, skill, and talent of seasoned game developers, as well as the game engines they use. If you want to try your hand at game development, here are the top C# game engines of 2022:
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