The Best Game Engines for Nintendo Switch [2020]

The Best Game Engines for Nintendo Switch [2020]


Are you making a game for Nintendo Switch? Which game engines do the best selling indie
games on Nintendo Switch use? To answer this question, we first have to
find out what the best selling games for Nintendo Switch are. Well lucky for us, Nintendo released this
information! On Dec. 25th 2019, as a part of their Indie
World initiative, Nintendo released a video featuring their top selling indie games! In this video we’ll go through each one
and find out which game engine they used! We are Ask gamedev and these are The Game
Engines Used for Nintendo Switch’s Best Selling Indie Games Welcome back! We make videos on how to elevate your game
development and inspire others. If after watching this video you want to continue
the gamedev conversation, check the video description for a link to our Discord server. Alright, let’s get started! In Nintendo’s video, they listed 15 titles! Today we’ll be looking at 10 of them, only
because Castle Crashers, Terraria, Torchlight II, Ori & The Blind Forest, and Downwell were
all originally released many many years ago in 2008, 2011, 2012, and 2015 for the last
two respectively. Without further ado… 1. Cuphead If you’ve been watching us for a while,
you know we’re big fans of Cuphead! We’ve talked about Cuphead at length in
previous videos, and we’ll probably continue to do so for a long time! If you haven’t heard the story though, here’s
a quick recap: Cuphead was started by two brothers, Chad
& Jared Moldenhauer, who quit their jobs, remortgaged their homes, and put it all on
the table for Cuphead – a run & gun, tough-as-nails, action platformer, featuring hand-drawn art
& animation, in the style of 1930’s Fleischer Studios cartoons. They launched in 2017 and it all paid off! Cuphead has since won a slew of awards. Just to name a few:
Excellence in Art and Excellence in Animation from the South by Southwest Gaming Awards
Outstanding Achievement in Animation, Outstanding Achievement in Art Direction, and Outstanding
Achievement in Original Music Composition from the 21st Annual DICE Awards
And Best Art Direction, Best Independent Game, and Best Debut Indie Game from the 2017 Game
Awards. Since then, it’s been Cuphead-fever, with
DLC on the way, a Netflix show announced, and most recently a Cuphead Mii Fighter costume
in Smash Bros! So which engine did Studio MDHR use? Believe it or not, the 2D masterpiece was
made with Unity! According to a post on Unity:
As well as helping StudioMDHR process the massive amount of their exquisite art, Unity’s
out-of-the-box features such as the Sprite Renderer, Sprite Packer, 2D Physics, and particle
effects ensured that Cuphead’s stunning results were a sure bet. Next up on the list: 2. Untitled Goose Game Untitled Goose Game is a comedy stealth title
where you play as a horrible goose who gets to irritate a town full of people. To better illustrate what this means, some
of the missions include: Make someone break the fancy vase
Trap the Boy in phone booth, and Make the Man spit out his tea. Inspired by Super Mario 64, Hitman and a stock
photograph of a goose, the title was developed by House House, a 4-person team based in Melbourne,
Australia. A relatively new studio, the team at House
House had only one game under their belt prior, 2016’s Push Me Pull You. The engine they chose to use for Untitled
Goose Game: Unity. So far, that’s two on the list for Unity. Their other tools included Blender for modeling
and animation, FMOD for sound, Git for version control, and a basic spreadsheet for production. When Untitled Goose Game was announced, it
received a huge amount of attention, and that buzz continued all the way through to its
release in late 2019. When it launched on Nintendo Switch, it topped
the sales charts in Australia, the UK, and the US, with over 100,000 copies sold. By the end of the year, it had sold over a
million copies across all platforms. The title’s greatest achievement though
has to be winning “Game of the Year” at this year’s DICE Awards, edging out Death
Stranding, Control, Disco Elysium, and Outer Wilds! From the developers of Starbound, and the
publishers of Stardew Valley, the next game on the list is: 3. Wargroove If you have fond memories of playing the Advance
Wars series back in the Gameboy Advance days, then you’ll feel right at home with Wargroove. Wargroove is a beautiful pixel art, turn-based
tactics game, inspired by, you guessed it, Advance Wars. Wargroove takes place in a fantasy world where
you play as one of 15 commanders who lead a squad full of interesting creatures and
characters. The game has a full campaign, an arcade mode,
and even a map editor. In terms of development, this is the first
title on the list to use a custom game engine. For Wargroove, the team used Halley Game Engine. Chucklefish CTO and lead programmer of Wargroove,
Rodrigo Monteiro, stated in a series of tweets “ – Sometimes Unreal/Unity/GM/etc are the best
choice – Sometimes custom engine is the best choice
– Anyone saying “always go for engine x” is wrong” Then went on to say: Wargroove is a custom engine. Would have been more work to implement in
Unity than in Halley.” Halley Game Engine is a lightweight game engine
written in modern C++. It is licensed under the Apache 2.0 license,
and you can find it on GitHub. We’ll leave a link in the description. Wargroove launched in early 2019 to rave reviews
with Desctructoid giving it a 9/10 and Game Informer giving it a 9.25. Three days after launch the team announced
that they had already recouped the cost of their development, and that they would continue
to improve the game. 4. Katana ZERO Katana ZERO is a stylish neo-noir action platformer
that features some beautiful pixel art, solid action platforming mechanics, and a brilliant
story. You play as Subject Zero as you navigate the
neon world completing assasination contracts, equipped with array of moves and weapons,
and the ability to slow down time. Katana ZERO is the first solo-developed game
on this list! That’s right, Katana ZERO was developed
by Justin Stander under his label Askiisoft over the course of many many years. While Justin did have some help, he handled
design and programming on Katana ZERO almost exclusively. What started as a two-year project that focused
solely on gameplay, expanded into a 6-year project filled with narrative and an in-depth
story. It was inspired by revenge stories like Oldboy
and John Wick. Just wanted to deliver what he calls “hypnotic
zen of violence” through action-based combat. Justin’s engine of choice? GameMaker Studio 2. Katana Zero launched on PC and Switch in April
of 2019, and within the week it was announced that over 100,000 copies have been sold! In less than a year more than 500,000 copies
were sold generating $5 million in sales! It was a smashing success both critically
and commercially launching Justin onto Forbes 2020 30 under 30 list in games. For more games made with GameMaker, check
out our GameMaker showcase video here. 5. Baba is You Baba is You is a top-down puzzle game where
you manipulate logic operators in order navigate the world and solve puzzles. Objects and rules are all block-based, and
you control a character that can move these blocks around to change the logic of a level. For example you might be able to change 3
blocks that state a rule like “wall” “is” “stop” to “wall” “is” by moving
the “stop” block, allowing you to now walk through walls. It’s smart, it’s innovative, and the game
features over 200 levels. Baba is You is yet another solo developed
title on this list! It was developed by Arvi Teikari, under the
label, Hempuli. The game started out as a game jam game from
the 2017 Nordic Game Jam, where the theme was “Not There”. Arvi won first place at the jam, which prompted
him to release a full game. Arvi’s engine of choice: Multimedia Fusion
by Clickteam. Why? He answered this quite well in a AMA on the
NintendoSwitch subreddit: “I used MMF2 because I’ve grown extremely
used to it over the past… 11-12 years? When I first started making games, I migrated
from Game Maker to MMF2’s predecessor The Games Factory due to not understanding Game
Makers scripting language, and since TGF filled my needs then I stuck with it. I’ve been meaning to look at other tools for
years, but once you know the strengths and weaknesses of a tool (and there are enough
other people to offer support in times when you don’t), it can be very hard to move on. Baba is You launched to immediate success
with PC Gamer giving it a 90/100, and Polygon ranking it as their #4 Game of the Year in
2019. 6. My Friend Pedro My Friend Pedro by DeadToast Entertainment
is an insanely over-the-top adrenaline-filled action parkour platformer, whose devs describe
it as “a violent ballet about friendship, imagination, and one man’s struggle to obliterate
anyone in his path at the behest of a sentient banana.” The game’s not just about clearing a room
full of bad guys though. It’s about clearing a room full of bad guys
in the most stylish way possible, by using acrobatic moves, the environment, objects
with the environment, and ability to slow down time. The game actually has its roots as a Flash
game. It looked quite a bit different back then,
but still retained the charm found in today’s version. Somewhere along the way they decided to do
a 3D remake, and we’re glad they did! In terms of an engine, My Friend Pedro is
the third game on this list that’s made with Unity. If you’re interested, the devs at DeadToast
kept a great devlog where you can read about their experience with the engine. My Friend Pedro launched in June 2019 went
on to sell over 250,000 copies in its first week. Near the end of 2019 it was reported that
the title was closing in on half a million in sales! 7. Slay the Spire One of the most unique genre fusions on the
list, Slay the Spire is a rogue-like, deck building, dungeon-crawler, released in January
2019 by Mega Crit Games. In Slay the Spire you play as one of three
heroes (each with their own unique card pools), and work your way through a gauntlet of monsters,
earning new cards to help you advance. Being a rogue-like, be prepared for a lot
of dying, but also a lot of learning along the way. Anthony Giovannetti who led the design effort
and did the programming on Slay the Spire had been a lifelong card game player and was
also a fan of roguelikes. He thought the deckbuilding genre and the
rogule-like genre would have a particularly strong mechanical pairing, and so he started
designing Slay the Spire. The game was developed with libGDX framework. libGDX is a free, open source, gamedev framework
written in Java. The title actually originally launched as
an Early Access title on Steam in 2017. It didn’t do too well, moving only 2000
copies in the first weeks. The game eventually gained popularity through
streams, but by February 2018 the game had more than 500,000 players. At GDC 2019, co-founder Casey Yano announced
that the title had sold more than 1.5 million copies across all its platforms. 8. Unravel Two From EA Originals, Unravel Two is a sequel
to the original puzzle platformer, Unravel, starring the tiny, lovable, character, Yarny. In the Unravel series you use yarn to traverse
the world and solve puzzles – you can repel, climb, build bridges, swing, and more. With Unravel Two, they’ve doubled down,
building the game around two Yarny characters to control! The game’s platforms and puzzles were designed
for a local 2-player co-op experience, but with an innovative swapping system, it’s
still just as fun as a solo adventure. According to an article written by Forbes,
the title was created using a custom game engine, and that was partly the reason why
Unravel Two was not a Nintendo Switch title, to the dismay of many fans. The developers, Coldwood Interactive, did
not have the capacity to port the game, and stated that it would have taken another year
and a half or so to do so. Well luckily for us, the community was heard
and Unravel Two spun onto Nintendo Switch a year later. The game currently has a “Strong” OpenCritic
rating, and it also won the 2019 DICE Award for Family Game of the Year. 9. Blasphemous Just released in September of 2019, Blasphemous
is the newest game on this list. Blasphemous is a dark and punishing 2D metroidvania
style game. It’s punishing, it has fluid animations,
and it’s the most brutal action-platformer that we’ve ever seen. In terms of tools, here’s what devs, The
Game Kitchen, had to say on Twitter: We’re using Unity 😉 #madewithunity Art is
made frame by frame, pixel by pixel. The game comes to us after a successful Kickstarter
campaign where the devs raised $333,000 from almost 10,000 backers! If you’re interested in learning more about
Kickstarter campaigns for games, check out this video that we recently created on the
subject. Last but not least, from Image & Form, the
makers of SteamWorld Dig, SteamWorld Dig 2, and SteamWorld Heist, comes another entry
and a new genre to the universe, 10. SteamWorld Quest: Hand of Gilgamech SteamWorld Quest is a turn-based RPG / deckbuilding
hybrid. You assemble a party of robots, fight other
robots, and upgrade your party along with the way by managing your multiple card decks. It’s similar to Slay the Spire in that you
build a custom deck, then use your deck for ac tions and attacks in battles. According to a developer on the team, they
use a custom engine. During a Reddit AMA on the Nintendo Switch
Subreddit, when asked, Julius wrote back: We use our own engine! It’s so fancy it has no name haha! When the game launched Polygon called it the
latest must-own Nintendo Switch title, cementing itself as another amazing entry in the Steamworld
franchise. So here’s the tally: Coming in at number 1 is Unity with 4 games! Next we have 3 games that use custom engines,
and GameMaker, Multimedia Fusion and LibGDX with a game each! Does this mean you should only use Unity? Of course not! While this is valuable reference information,
as always we recommend using an engine that you are comfortable with and supports the
features and platforms that you need. Thanks for watching! For more Ask Gamedev check out this video
on Nintendo Switch development, or this playlist on console development.

24 thoughts on “The Best Game Engines for Nintendo Switch [2020]

  1. First

  2. Third!

  3. 4th

  4. 4th

  5. Yay!

  6. i was not intending to make a game to the switch but okay.

  7. I'm really thankful for helping us Ask Gamedev! You the best guys!

  8. Let me guess…

    unity?

  9. Depressing 7 of the first 10 replies are kiddies trying to be first.

  10. Fifth (5)

  11. Wallah i Will like this

  12. 5:18 True, sometimes an Apache webserver works better for the project

  13. But what engine do Nintendo use?

  14. Thanks for watching! For more Ask Gamedev, check out this video on indie game crowdfunding secrets: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xkH5NemDPSY

  15. I don't know how, but you guys always have my back, thanks a lot!

  16. This is an awesome video!

  17. Unity is also the only engine Nintendo "recommends" for development on their own website. I heard that Unity makes it rather manageable to build a Switch version of your game. Otherwise it requires tedious porting.

  18. Slay the spire isnt a roguelike, it's a roguelite. There are sub-reddits for both genres if you want to know more

  19. Cool video … but why the weird, fake voices when reading the quotes?

  20. can you guys do a video about where can a game developer publish games

  21. Thanks this inspired me!!!

  22. it's always unity, it makes me wonder if there was another engine which is even better but we don't know about because everybody is talking about unity

  23. It would be good if you listed the details of the video in the comments or a linked article too.

    I can’t remember all that and rewatching multiple times is annoying.

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