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I've been meaning to write a post about game engines for a while now. My first game engine was Visionaire studio. I was using it for 3.5 years before I've switched to Unity engine. Now after some time of active use of Unity I'm finally able to tell whether it was a good decision or not. I loved Visionaire, it looked modern and it was really easy to use but the same reasons that makes Visionaire studio an amazing engine are the same that also made me leave it. Now I can see that the simplicity of Visionaire studio can be both very limiting and uplifting. There's things you can't do but also things you don't have to bother with because of it. And that's the whole beauty and detriment of Visionaire studio engine.
To be a bit more specific a subtitles are a great example. They're usually always present no matter whether the game is fully voiced or not. You're linking audio to texts, not the other way around. You need them when characters are talking but also when pre-rendered video cutscenes are playing. For videos in Visionaire studio it's simple, you either disable or enable subtitles and when there's a subtitle file attached to the video the subtitles will display on the screen while the video is playing. That's all you gotta do, it's that simple. But there's really not much you can do with the subtitles. You can choose your font and size but that's pretty much it.
On the other hand, in Unity there's no system for subtitles at all. You have to write one yourself and believe me it was kind of a pain in the ass and I just wanted something as simple as Visionaire studio provides. You have to write it but in echange you get to choose exactly how will the subtitles be displayed and how will behave. The thing with Visionaire studio is that you can't really interfere with the core system and it can get limiting. You can't really do your own video subtitles system in Visionaire studio. Basically you don't have to bother with a lot of stuff but you can't really customize too much and that's I guess a Visionaire studio in a nutshell.
Subtitles are actually one the reasons I've switched to Unity. I couln't get a dynamic position of the subtitles based on a length which resulted in text being outside of a screen when going beyond a specific length as the subtitles were aligned at the bottom of the screen. There was more things like that but I don't want to go into detail about it.
Is it great engine then?
Maybe you're a developer yourself and you thinking which engine you should choose. Is Visionaire studio a bad choise then? Well it really depends on what you're looking for. But in general I can say that Visionaire studio i a great engine. Bear in mind that Visionaire studio is an engine designed directly for 2D point&click adventure games. As long as that's what you're about to do, you should be fine. The real troubles only really starts when you begin to go beyond the genre but it's actually suprising how much stuff you can do with Visionaire studio that could be considered as not a point&click genre but when you're trying to do stuff like this it's likely for you to run into a bug and these bugs are not a priority to be fixed as most of the users will never encounter them. Ah those bloody bugs!
Visionaire studio is slowly changing into an universal 2D engine though but because there's currently only one developer actively working on the engine it might take a while and until then if you don't want to adhere the point&click genre you might get better off choosing something else.
Was it a good decision?
Even though I sometimes have to do annoying things like a subtitles parser I believe it was a good decision. I think it's a better choise, well for my game anyway. So there's no definitive answer to what engine is better but as for me I'm glad I did this decision plus there's one feature I now get to play with and that's a SVG support but that's topic for another post.