How Not To Talk About Game Engines

The way that game journalists, and consequently gamers, have historically talked about game engines has been a huge beef of mine for quite a long time. It's something that continues to impact game developers, especially because of uninformed negative ideas about the game engines they use.


  1. Seeing this post on the Steam discussion forum for Yonder: The Cloud Catcher Chronicles really set me off. I've historically had to show game development students Unity showreels and other compilations to demonstrate the diversity of games made with the engine, and by extension, how little the use of an engine tells anybody about the game itself.
  2. The important point here is that I'm not calling out individual journalists, but calling attention to the history of how game journalism has talked about game engines to its audience, and the impression it has given that audience of what game engines are, and how the use of them impacts on game appearance and performance.
  3. A couple of others chimed in with responses that I thought were particularly useful/helpful, especially in adding nuance.