Cross-platform game engines
List of game creation frameworks in 2D or 3D, for mobiles, desktop or HTML 5 canvas.
Some of these frameworks are compatible with Android and iOS.
Commercial game engines
Professional engine are not free but offer superior services including the management of collaborative work. There are of course independent services for other solutions.
The best known, and truly portable is based on NET or Mono. Despite the professional license, many services are offered as paid extensions. Unity seems more designed for small publishers. The advantage over UE 4 is that the store of items to include in a game has much more contents. It is also more suited to mobile.
- Unity 3D.
- AngryBots demo. Nice demo of a game with with Unity and HTML 5.
- Unity 3D video. Real time rendering with version 5.4.
Unreal Engine 4
Unity competitor, it does not have the same limitations, without having a higher cost. In fact, since version 4, the license has become much cheaper passing the part of the engine from 50% to 5% of revenues! The programming language is not the same, we must return to C++ that is less secure than C#, but with the help of Blueprint, a visual scripting language to manage objects and characters we can even avoid to use C++. Unreal Editor generates code directly for different systems like Windows or iOS.
Since March 2015, the use of the graphics engine is free, no subscription is required, it is freely downloadable and it is only from $ 3,000 of revenue for a product in a quarter that 5% is due!
Free engines and frameworks
Lumberyard from Amazon
Free, this engine can connect to the cloud service from Amazon, AWS, for multi-players online (it is the only licensed cloud service but a personal server). It is derived from CryEngine and allows for 3D games called AAA. The source code is provided in C++ but a modified source code can not be distributed (you can distribute it in binary form).
Landscape with the rendering engine of Lumberyard
It allows for games and other simulations on PC, Xbox One, PlayStation 4. Mobile are planned for later.
Amazon provides the engine for free and exprect to make revenue from services using AWS. Note that their Terms Of Service provides at 57.10 a rule that applies to the case where a virus would transform humanity into zombies like in the movies and series. They are ready for all eventualities. In July 2021 Lumberyard becomes the basis of the Open 3D project supervised by the Linux Foundation.
- Download Lumberyard on Github.
- Lumberyard becomes Open 3D. More details.
- Introduction video.
The framework that we were waiting for, offers a very complete documentation and a scene and sprites editor also of a good level. Works in 2D and 3D.
It is compared with Unity for its portability mainly, 2D is greater and 3D was lower but this was before the version 3 released in 2018. The GDScript language is similar to Python, and now it may be programmed in C# too. An asset store is available since the version 3.
It is probably the best engine for 2D games. Runs on multiple platforms, PC, Mobile and Web. Works with Node.js
- Godot. MIT license.
You can download it on Github and produce games in 2D or 3D. The Polycraft demonstration shows perfect fluidity and handling of all aspects of the physical world as the properties of the body and their interactions. It includes natively support for WebSockets and supports mouse, keyboard and multi-touch. It is a high-level library and the MIT license granted full freedom of use. A must for ambitious programmers!
Complete framework for making 2D games or demos with physics managing, sprites or groups, animations, sound, tile sceneries. Requires WebGL and Canvas, it can be used with TypeScript.
- Phaser, the site. The code is free and open source.
Simple library to use Canvas on the desktop or mobile. Contains all the functions useful for the making of games. Manages multi layers. In a single 138KB file.
Gladius, from Mozilla
Mozilla also has its version of a game engine, based on WebGL. It uses WebAPI, another library Mozilla for Web applications as well other technologies as JoystickAPI. It seems also include the ammo.js code.
Library to program animations, working with ou without Canvas.
It allows making games in Android too, but the demos on the site are not very exciting, maybe we can do better with the framework.
Online sound generator
- Game programming patterns. Online book on development of games.