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Custom Game Engine

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A custom game engine enables the use of new features, which in turn can help improve a game's review score. Selecting the right features for a good game combination is essential to reaching good score. This guide should help you plan your future game engines.

Custom game engine can be researched from the start of the game for 50 RP.

Custom Engines

Game Engine Creation Window

Feature overviewEdit

Some features are mutually exclusive. The tables below list the "group" for certain features. A game can only contain one feature from a given group. For example, refer to the Story/Quests table. You can choose Linear Story or Branching Story, but not both. However, you can add cutscenes to whichever story option you choose since it's a different group.

Therefore, when developing a new engine, you may wish to only select the best feature from each group.

Also 2D and 3D Graphics features have hidden stat - Tech level which is used to calculate amount of Tech and Design points of game and Technical expertise for game score. Tech level of the game is calculated as average of Tech levels of all 2D and 3D Graphics features in Custom Engine and Tech level of used Platform. So in order to get best Tech level of game you need to put only single Graphics feature that has highest Tech level.

Some Features are researchable after reaching certain Level of different Feature or Mission. New Level is reached by making new game. See more information about Level and Experiences at Experience page.

Some expensive features are not cost-effective. For example, Cooperative Play costs more than Skill Trees and Character Progression combined but gives less benefit.

GraphicsEdit

Name Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Text based 1 None 5K Start with it
2D Graphics V1 2 None 10K Start with it
2D Graphics V2 4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Already researched
2D Graphics V3 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K 2D Graphics V2 Level 3
2D Graphics V4 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K 2D Graphics V3 Level 3
2D Graphics V5 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K 2D Graphics V4 Level 3
3D Graphics V1 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K 2D Graphics V2 Level 3
3D Graphics V2 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K 3D Graphics V1 Level 3
3D Graphics V3 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K 3D Graphics V2 Level 3
3D Graphics V4 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K 3D Graphics V3 Level 3
3D Graphics V5 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K 3D Graphics V4 Level 3
3D Graphics V6 250 RP
1.2M
12 350K Small: 300K Medium: 600K Large: 900K AAA: 1.8M

3D Graphics V5 Level 4

R&D Lab

3D Graphics V7 300 RP
1.6M
14 500K Small: 400K Medium: 800K Large: 1.2M AAA: 2.4M

3D Graphics V6 Level 4

R&D Lab

Advanced Stereoscopic 3D 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Graphics Level 7
All graphic features are mutually exclusive, except for Advanced Stereoscopic 3D.


SoundEdit

Name Group Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Basic sound Sound 1 None 5K Start with it
Mono sound Sound 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Sound Level 2
Stereo sound Sound 40RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Sound Level 4
Soundtrack Soundtrack 40RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Sound Level 5
Surround sound Sound 80RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Sound Level 6
Orchestral soundtrack Soundtrack 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K Sound Level 7


Story/QuestsEdit

Name Group Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Linear story Story 2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Already researched
Simple cutscenes Cut Scenes 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Story Level 3
Branching story Story 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Story Level 4
Advanced cutscenes Cut Scenes 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Story Level 5
Full motion video 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Story Level 6
Interactive story Story 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Story Level 7
Moral choices 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Story Level 7
Immersive story telling Story 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K Story Level 8
Reactive Quests 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K Story Level 9

EngineEdit

Name Group Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Save game 1 10K Small:5K Medium:10K Large:15K AAA:30K Already researched
Multiplayer Multiplayer 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Engine Level 4
Video Playback 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Engine Level 5
Basic Physics 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Engine Level 6
Mod support 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Engine Level 6
Online play Multiplayer 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Engine Level 7
Advanced Physics 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K Engine Level 9
Save to cloud 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Engine Level 6 , Year = 14
MMO Support 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K Researched MMO, Internet Opportunities in R&D Lab
Software Development Kit 100 RP without benefit 100K Researched License Game Engines in R&D Lab
Multi-Platform Optimization 100 RP ?? 2M Multi-Platform, Made at least 2(?) Multi-Platform games

GameplayEdit

Name Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Game tutorials

15 RP 40K

2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Gameplay Level 2
Better user experience 15 RP 40K 2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Gameplay Level 3
Achievements 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Gameplay Level 6 , Year = 14
Character progression 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K GameplayLevel 4
Skill trees 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Gameplay Level 7
Cooperative Play 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K GameplayLevel 8
Virtual Reality Headset 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K After VR Headset releases

DialogueEdit

Name Group Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Better dialogue 10 RP
20K
1 10K Small:5K Medium:10K Large:15K AAA:30K Dialogue Level 3
Dialogue tree 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Dialogue Level 4
Voice over Voice acting 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Dialogue Level 6
Simple body language Body language 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Dialogue Level 6
Advanced body language Body language 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K Dialogue Level 7
Celebrity voice acting Voice acting 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Dialogue Level 8
Realistic body language Body language 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K Dialogue Level 9


Level DesignEdit

Name Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Level editor 10 RP
20K
1 10K Small:5K Medium:10K Large:15K AAA:30K Level Design Level 3
Easter eggs 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K Level Design Level 5
Mini games 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K Level Design Level 6
Dynamic Environment 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K Level Design Level 7
No loading screens 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K Level Design Level 8


World DesignEdit

Nome Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Open world 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K World Design Level 3
Day & night cycle 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K World Design Level 4
Rich backstory* 15 RP
40K
2 30K Small:10K Medium:20K Large:30K AAA:60K World Design Level 5
Virtual economy 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K World Design Level 6
Realistic weather 80 RP
240K
6 100K Small:60K Medium:120K Large:180K AAA:360K World Design Level 7
Dynamic World 100 RP
400K
8 140K Small:100K Medium:200K Large:300K AAA:600K World Design Level 8

* Rich backstory can be included in a game directly after researching. It does not have to be included into the game engine first.

Artificial IntelligenceEdit

Name Research cost Benefit Cost for incorporating in final engine Cost for adding during game development Researchable after
Better A.I. 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K A.I. Level 4
A.I. Companions 40 RP
120K
4 50K Small:30K Medium:60K Large:90K AAA:180K A.I. Level 5
Self-learning A.I. 150 RP
600K
10 180K Small:150K Medium:300K Large:450K AAA:900K A.I. Level 9

It is perfectly viable to add features that normally would not make sense for the platform you aim for (such as 3D graphics for devices that aren't 3D capable). With this in mind, you should aim to put in as many features as you can.

There is a limit on how many benefit-points actually contribute to game quality. When you see a %-display on an area it means you have included more benefit in this area than necessary. The only downside when including more benefit than necessary is the money spent on unnecessary features.

The maximum amount of points depends on the game size and on the allocated time for the area. A table can be found on the Success Guide.

Trivia Edit

In the early versions of Game Dev Tycoon you had to research peripheral support, such as Mouse and Steering Wheel, and add these to your engine in order to make games that supported peripherals. This is no longer the case as all peripherals (except for VR) are now considered supported automatically when you develop for a platform that supports these peripherals.

Start a Discussion Discussions about Custom Game Engine

  • Game engines?

    5 messages
    • I noticed that naming a newer engine the same as an older one will bug out the newer one, but I've seen no problems specifically for 3dv6.
    • I am playing a demo right now, is it possible to modify existing game engines or do I have to make new game engine each time I want to incorpor...

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