Identify a Game Engine

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Identify a Game Engine

Every game engine has distinctive features in its file structure, icons, window appearance, and description.
These instructions are general in nature, with specific features and characteristics explained in each respective sub-article.

Please note that these guidelines are not absolute, as some default features may be altered by developers.

0. Ask the Developer

If you’ve been tasked with working on this project, it’s essential to have at least one interaction with the game developer. If you haven’t done so yet but are serious about the project, you can try contacting the developer to inquire or obtain permission. For example, Witch Hunt initially started as an unofficial English patch but later received recognition from the game developer 07expansion, and their website was included in the game’s story.

1. By Icons

You can identify the game engine from the icon of the executable file (exe). Some game engines have more than one exe file, such as configuration and crash handling in Unity. However, this method is not always reliable because default icons are often changed by developers, especially for large games.

2. By File Extensions

The name of a file after the dot is called a file extension.
By default, Windows displays file extensions when Windows doesn’t recognize the file extension.
You can set it to always display by unchecking the “Option>View Tab>Hide extensions for known file types” menu.

To show file extension in Windows Explorer options

Some game engines have specific file encryption that packages files, making them inaccessible without special tools. These packaged files have unique extensions. You can identify the game engine from these file extensions.

3. By File Structures

Most game engines organize files into different folders, and the file and folder arrangement becomes iconic for each game engine.

4. .exe Description

In general, game creators make agreements with game engine developers. Game engines usually require game creators to include the game engine’s license in the game. The inclusion of the game engine is typically found in the splash animation when the game is first launched, in the credits or help menu, or in the description of the game’s executable file.

5. Source of the Game

Although not common, the website or platform where you obtained the game may contain detailed information about the game, such as the operating system it runs on, minimum PC specifications, the game engine used, or the game’s licensing.

6. Special Engine

Some game producers purchase full licenses for game engines and have the right to modify the engine’s name and various aspects, as seen with Capcom and the RE Engine. Some game producers also create their own game engines, like Alice Soft. There are even very old games that do not use a specific game engine. If you’ve reached this stage, then the next step in continuing the translation project is to contact the game developer (Step 0).

7. Google It

If you haven’t found the information you need by following the steps above, it’s possible that the game you want to translate is very rare, uncommon, or an older game whose developers never responded to emails, as in the case of Kikiyama, the creator of Yume Nikki. In this situation, you may need to conduct in-depth research. Instead of searching using translation keywords, try searching using the game’s Japanese name and Japanese keywords. Also, consider using different search engines besides Google.

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