Rogue Engine & JS Game Development

Those who have been following me for a while might know that while I'm no game developer, much like 90% of all other web devs, game development was my starting goal for getting into programming. Heck, I even went to a game development specialist school for my college education (Age 16-18 to avoid American confusion). Obviously, in hindsight, that wasn't the plan the world had for me...

I had a brief foray back into that world when I spent the start of the pandemic working for a E-Sports Betting Company. While there, I met a fellow software developer and eventual close friend P. Martin Ortiz. When we eventually both left for greener pastures, I ended up at PLT, while Martin decided to work on his JS Game Engine full time.

That game engine, which he called Rogue Engine, has been going from strength to strength recently. It builds on top of Three.JS which is arguably the most popular 3D library for web and It's Unity-like development experience has been regularly described as a game changer for native web based game development. It has been used to create all manner of amazing browser based WebXR enabled experiences already so you might even have seen this browser based VR Lightsaber Game that was made with it on twitter just last year.

If you already know how to use Three.JS then you won't struggle to use Rogue Engine as it unopinionated design allows you to build in whatever way you see fit, while also getting improved usability from having dynamic previews of your scenes and and an easily expandable inspector for game objects.

The New Rogue Engine Environment
The New Rogue Engine Environment

I've been keeping tabs on the project as it's progressed and figured it might be nice to write about something that I didn't have a hand in (asside from a few service hosting suggestions). Martin has been constantly updating Rogue Engine - Having just recently overhalled the UI and introducing the asset store which allows devs to share plugins, scripts and art assets with other Rogue Engine Users (with the ability to sell packages coming soon). At some point, I may even sit down and make a plugin or two myself.

The Rogue Engine Asset Marketplace
The Rogue Engine Asset Marketplace

A notable aproach which Martin has taken with Rogue Engine is that integrations with multiple physics engines (such as Rapier and Cannon.JS) and the like are done as packages which he himself maintains. This allows the engine itself to remain lightweight, without packing in functionality that may not be needed but without requiring you to build everything yourself. Installing from the asset store is as simple as a single click so you can always grab what you need.

I'm not going to pretend that I'm unbiased in recomending Rogue Engine, as I said in my introduction, Martin is a close friend of mine. That being said, I do think that if you're interested in JS based Game Development, then Rogue Engine is well worth looking into. You can read more about it on it's website or over on Martin's Twitter @beardscript.

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