Category: iOS


Slashdot has a question up titled “Ask Slashdot: Tools For Teaching High School Kids How To Make Games?” which asks what would be a good game engine to use with a high school class to make some games. Here is a rundown of all of the game creators we’ve posted about on this blog so far. I really recommend the first three (Gamestar, Sploder, and Pulado) for getting your game design on and then the second four (Stencyl, Construct 2, GameSalad, and Unity 3d) for getting your game programming on.

http://www.gamestarmechanic.com/ GameStar — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.sploder.com/ Sploder– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pulado.com/ Pulado (make your own games) — web client — publishes to web/flash/cloud — free

http://www.stencyl.com/ Stencyl — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/ios — free
http://www.scirra.com/ Construct 2 — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.gamesalad.com/ GameSalad — desktop mac client — publishes to web/HTML5/android/ios — free and paid
http://www.unity3d.com/ Unity 3D — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid

http://marketsmaster.org/flash_professional_8/ Flash 8 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android — free and paid
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=flash Flash Pro CS5.5 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid

http://www.gamegonzo.com/create/ GameGonzo — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/html5 GameMaker — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.sharendipity.com/ Sharendipity– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pictogame.com/ PictoGame– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://scratch.mit.edu/ Scratch¬† — desktop client — publishes to web/java — free
http://starwarsgamecreator.cartoonnetwork.com/ Star Wars — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.nick.com/games/spongebob-game-builder/ SpongeBob — web client — publishes to web/flash — free

I have also includes links to Flash 8 and Adobe Flash Pro CS5.5. Flash 8 is much more suited to artists and simple coding while Flash Pro CS5.5 is the latest version which is more suited to programmers and also publishes games to Android and iOS. There are all kinds of tutorials for building games straight in Flash (without any other frameworks).

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In some of the other posts on this blog we mainly talk about game creation tools which are drag and drop and programming is not required. However, in this post we are going to talk about Unity 3D which is an advanced game creation tool which has it’s own web player which is similar to Flash (though the amount of people who have it installed is not quite as many as Flash). As you may have guessed Unity 3D is a game creation tool mainly for 3D games as that is what it does best. Additionally, it will publish your games to iOS and Android (not to mention the Wii, PS3, and Xbox 360). However, only publishing to the web is free as the other platforms require a paid license.

Unity 3D is not for the feint of heart or if you are easily distributed. It can take longer to build an create a 3D game that it does for a 2D. Unity 3D also requires programming. If you are looking for something more drag and drop with no coding required you should try something like Pulado to make your own games. It comes with demos and things but be prepared to write code before you download it. According to their website it does include an editor that has real time editing. So you can be “playing” through the game and at the same time you can jump in and start editing objects at the same time. The scriping languages that you can use to code in Unity 3D are Javascript (which is very similar to ActionScript), C#, and a Python variant called Boo.

Unity 3D also has an asset library and store where other users can sell components and assets that they have created to other users of Unity 3D. This is a really handy service to have because it allows people to modify the engine or provide assets that you can then just purchase without having the take the time to re-invent the wheel yourself.

The main drawbacks for using Unity 3D are probably the paid licenses for publishing to mobile and the fact that it takes a special plugin that users have to download in order to start playing games on the web built with Unity 3D. This will get easier as more and more people have the plugin installed. Additionally, they are working on the ability for Unity 3D to export to an SWF file which would then be playable in any browser that has Flash installed. Suffice to say that sounds pretty cool. If you are looking to have a multiplayer game it also supports the same kind of multiuser servers that support Flash like SmartFox and Electrotank.

If you already know how to script and or create 3D art and you want to make a 3D game then Unity 3D is probably one of the best ways to go right now. Check it out here.

We’ve talked about GameSalad on this blog before but there is a second software called Stencyl (and StencylWorks and StencylForge and StencylBuilder — it has lots of different pieces). Stencyl can publish to Flash and it can also publish to iOS. Apparently in order to publish to iOS you need to pay for their Pro version. With the free version you have to ¬†test on a Mac but you can’t publish to the Apple app store. Android and HTML5 are listed as coming soon but because Android can play flash you can load up any of the Stencyl created games in your Android browser right now.

Stencyl is pretty interesting as far as a flash game creator goes (you can add code to it in AS3 — it doesn’t get any better than that). They have been hitting the blogs and other PR pretty hard lately as I’ve seen a blog on MochiMedia about how to integrate MochiAds into your Stencyl games (Pulado also supports MochiAds) as well on the WebSphere show by the BBC. Additionally they have some kind of partnership with the flash game website Kongegrate (or at least a page dedicated to them on the Kongregate website). I also ran into an old blog from 2008 about their future plans. Check it out to see how far they have come in 3 years.

There are only about 64 games or so published in their own onsite arcade but their forums seem pretty active (with thousands of posts) so they have quite a big community of game builders. It mainly seems geared towards building platform style games. Check out the video below for their introduction to Stencyl.

Find out more about Stencyl here.