--- Hello, I am posting in regards to a fork in the road for myself and my studio. Don't let that fool you however; I have researched my options very thoroughly for some time now and I have no intention of asking anyone to make a decision for me. I would simply like a few questions directly answered, in order to make my decision as informed as possible.
--- The fork in the road is whether to use a Game Engine or libraries for each component in a game project. IE: Either Torque, GameStudio, RealmCrafter, Baja, etc. Or things like OGRE3D, Ageia PhysX, FMOD, RakNet, etc.
--- It is to my understanding that game libraries and SDKs have more flexibility and possibilities than a game engine. At the cost of greater development time and effort. I am also under the impression this method grants greater control and power to specific game projects.
--- A game engine on the other hand tends to have way faster dev time and project simplicity. It also seems any project a company has the skills to accomplish there is at least one engine capable of handling 90% of the features needed. The features that need to be added by that point are simple enough to work into an existing engine. Meaning in the end there is always a game engine that can fit your project enough to work well, even if some minor tweaking is needed.
--- With games coming out faster, less stressful, and in some cases better with a game engine wouldn’t that be the best option? Or is the increase in possibilities with libraries great enough to matter?
--- It just seems like by using a game engine for at least starting projects you could make them much easier and get more of them out. While at the same time increasing your possible fan base and project belt enough to work on bigger projects. Then once you're good to go there are new engines ready to fit your next level of complexity.
--- So with a combination of smoother, quicker development, and being able to move up in engine quality as your projects advance I am almost seeing no reason not to go with a game engine. However I don’t want to look back later wishing I had used the libraries.
--- This brings us our final questions: Is it better for a small studio that is aiming for the middle shelf, to use Game Engines or Libraries? Why?
--- Thanks for reading it over, if I can answer any questions to help you better answer mine don’t hesitate to ask.
Edit: Bold removed, should help a little.
Edit 2: I have gone through and removed a bunch of the more useless information and ramblings. I have also re-worded and moved around quite a few of my paragraphs. I hope it is a little better now ^^;;