Games are like cars. Do you know every thing that went into the design of your car? Heavens no. You just know that when you hit the gas it goes, and when you hit the brake it stops. To enjoy something you do not have to know how it all works.
Games are not about who can program the best engine. If that is all you are into then go into movie graphics and silicon graphics rendering because a movie's scene is all about the graphics....yet if the graphics don't portray the story they are useless as well.
Computer games are all about passion. There are some very good engines out there - an overabundance of em with a game laid over the top of them that just plain sucks. Am I gonna oogle and oogle at the engine quality and buy it cuz of that?? No. If it ain't fun it doesn't sit on my shelf, I don't care if there are real world physics, superman-type AI, awesome pathfinding algorithms, advanced particle effects, blah blah. You can add all the razzle and dazzle to a sucky game design and it will still just plain suck.
A game is the sum total of its parts. If one part sucks really bad then the whole game usually sucks. You should perhaps program simulations with your code - sims do not require a lot of content just oodles and oodles of physics, particles, explosions, and tons of cutting edge graphics and models.