I have tested Gamemaker and Corona already and I would like to share my thoughts on them and ask for your opinion.
First short summary.
Pros: broad scope of platforms to export. Good performance. Plugins for ads, inapp purchases, stats.
Cons: poor language of choice (gml), a drag and drop environment when you easily get lost as there is no single “code file” to look into but the logic is spread across various objects in the app. This caused me to curse too often and I discontinued using it.
Pros: good performance, you can code in Lua which allows for object oriented design and you can easily keeep track on what happens where. Access to camera and other device hardware. Great editor. Not resource heavy (you can develop on ‘anything’). Plugins exist for ads and inapp but the list seems a littlwe bit less broad than in Game Maker.
Cons: export to Android and iOS only. They work on Windows Phone … If they would have Mac and Desktop Windows I would not bother too look for alternatives.
Now request for help. Please use this thread to comment on what is available out there. Share your experience. Thanks in advance.
I personally use gamemaker, although I really hate the D&D system. But if you know the system with objects and such it is really easy to work with and really speeds up the development process. The Google Play Leaderboards and achievements and the Facebook plugins are also useful.
@david, yes - the D&D system was the reason I quited GameMaker. Things get really complex when you have many objects. Also when you return back to a project you have worked a while ago its quite time consuming to understand what is done where (because quite often same goal can be achieved in various ways). @gyth, thanks for mentioning Unity3d. Its quite expensive vs. others (900 annually for base package, 2700 with iOS and Android add-ons). Of course I understand it offers way more than the others
What’s D&D - Dungeons & Dragons - i.e. as indicator of complexity (different things hiddens somewhere else etc. - more to keep track of etc.).
In my brief look through Unity license stuff - the only difference I could see is that the free version requires you show the Unity logo - now since a LOT of the games I’ve seen on Google Play DO show that - that just tells you the number of developers using the free version.
And perhaps that if your game makes more than $1M then you should pay or something … (?)
Though it maybe more complex that just “showing of logo”:
And has some very good comments by other developers pointing out the types of problems you may see …
in short it is great for prototyping but can be difficult to get things “just right” … and other such stuff …
While I have seen some suggest using Unity3D for 2D also (I think one of the apps perhaps Tap the Box was using that) - however the comments suggest that while for 2D not - but for 3D Unity is best choice still.
I suspect to get things “right” in Unity3D there may be a whole set of “if you do it this way it works cleaner” type of stuff - so that would be the complicated stuff …
There may also be some issues with the development environment (have to use C# ?). Though maybe there is some improvement in that area recently ?
Today, we’re taking another step on this long road: as of right now, independent Unity developers will be able to deploy their games to Android and iOS platforms completely free of charge. Update Unity and you will find Android and iOS build options (previously basic add-ons) ready and waiting for you to use.
There are no strings attached, no royalties and no license fees. This is just an extension of Unity Free which we launched in 2009. Individual developers and startup studios can simply download Unity and get going on mobile game development. As before, companies and other “incorporated entities” (you know who you are) with a turnover in excess of $100,000 in their previous fiscal year are required to use our paid version. That way, we can keep the lights on and continue to make Unity better for everyone.
(You can make as much money from your games as you like – this limitation is about large companies not using our free products, not about sharing your future revenues.)
And we’re not stopping there. In the coming months, we will make Blackberry 10 and Windows Phone 8 deployment available to everyone all over the planet on those exact same terms. Completely free of charge.
libGDX got a nice support for iOS recently. Apart from that it’s easy to run libGDX on desktop (Windows, Linux, MacOS). It doesn’t support Windows Phone 8, Windows RT and such though. Blackberry might be posibble in the future.
Anyway - it’s powerful, but there is a lot you must do yourself. I can recommend it for 2D, not sure about 3D, never did any 3D in it.