Hello all. I’m proud to finally write my own dev blog and spread some thoughts about game development. My name is Aecio and I’m a brazilian indie game developer (for now, forget about all awkwardness this title brings).
So, in this first post we’re gonna talk about game frameworks (A.K.A SDKs) and how it helps us, indies. There are many options out there and, as indie game developers (read it “I have no money to spend with all this cool stuff just like the big boys”) we must think over how much it will cost to us.
Firstly, I’ll bypass the well known game engines, like Unity 3D and Unreal and go to the frameworks – FYU, the most notable difference between engines and frameworks is that a game engine, usually, has a UI and the framework doesn’t. So, back to our frameworks, I have to notice about two great tools, maybe the best among others, they are Monogame and Marmalade. They are both great tools and I’ve been testing it’s main features but, as I’m a mobile game developer, my first citizen platforms are Android and iOS, and at this point the scenario becomes a lot harder – mainly for Monogame. The problem is: Monogame is based on Xamarin for mobile and it’s paid…and it’s not cheap, really. To be fair, you can build for desktop at not cost. The Marmalade case is a bit different. It dos not cost a penny to start building games for mobiles, but you have to put a splash screen with their logo, which, we must admit, isn’t the apocalypse. Marmalade is cheaper than Monogame, the Community Plan cost $15/month and if you have a fat piggy bank, go on and break it.
But, we are yet indie game developers, and must think carefully about our money (or the lack of). Fortunatelly, we’re blessed with many others tools that are totally free, and I’d like to highlight three of this. They are Cocos2d-x, OpenFL and Libgdx. They are great and powerful tools and their showcase show it itself. Check it out: Cocos2d-x, OpenFL and Libgdx.
Secondly, after some years of testing each one of the tried, if I had an advice, something like ‘Tell it and die’, I would say: “Pick one and be happy”. Oh really, they are great tools, with great community and solid documentation. Everything you need to start. So, we won’t go further on discussion about who has the best frame rate or who is more affectionate to OpenGL, unless you really need to know this specific stuff. Otherwise, pick one of them and be happy.
That’s all folks for now. Enjoy.