Mobile Game Engines

Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Developers
Interviews with Mobile Game Developers

Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Engine Developers
Interviews with Mobile Engine Developers

Mobile Game Engines: How to Choose a Mobile Game Engine
How to Choose a Game Engine

3D Android Game Engines

Mobile Game Engines: Interviews with Mobile Game Engine Developers

Interviews with Mobile Game Engine Developers
by Jason Brownlee, 2012

A collection of must-read interviews on creating and maintaining mobile game engines.

Find out more

Alien3D

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Apache License 2.0 (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: A OpenGL ES based game engine for Android OS learn more

Antiryad Gx

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Beginner
License: Proprietary Language: C, C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Antiryad Gx is an unified cross platform and multi core 3d game engine. learn more

Ardor3D

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: libpng/zlib license (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: An Ardor3D based game or application can run on most computer platforms that support both Java and OpenGL such as Windows, Linux, Solaris and Mac OSX. With Ardor3D you can develop big shader based applications for high-end machines looking as good as current games or small applications for devices like Android smart phones. learn more

BatteryTech Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 5 Games

Description: Develop your game for Android, iOS and other mobile
platforms using the powerful Lua scripting language which drives this
high-performance 2D and 3D game engine. BatteryTech Engine uses many
open standards and provides direct access to Android and XCode
projects, making 3rd party product integration a breeze. Free to
start developing with, no subscriptions. One-time BatteryTech SDK
License required for deployment and device testing. learn more

BatteryTech SDK

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Indie $249, Commercial $999 Skill: Expert
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: Develop your custom high-performance game in C++ on top
of this feature-filled cross-platform library. This is the foundation
product used for BatteryTech Engine and advanced developers will find
a number of new and innovative options in the APIs. Direct access to
Android and XCode projects is provided, making 3rd party product
integration a breeze. Nosubscriptions. One-time SDK License
required. learn more

Catcake

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Catcake is a cross-platform 3D graphics engine intended to be easy-to-use and high performance, which also supports the features for game development, such as animation, input device handling and sound playing. learn more

Corona SDK

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Trial is Free, Indie $199/Year, Pro is $349/Year Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: Lua
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 12 Games

Description: Built on top of OpenGL, OpenAL, Box2D, and Lua, Corona uses the same industry-standard architecture as top-selling mobile games from Tapulous, Electronic Arts, and ngmoco. Corona games run at native speeds, and significantly outperform apps developed using web-based technologies like Adobe Flash or HTML5. learn more

Dwarf FW

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: An android framework/game engine consisting of a scene graph plus some utility classes. It's mainly aimed to abstract OpenGL ES. It's developed to function with the Android Dev Phone 1 that features an accelerometer, magnetometer, touchscreen and trackball. If you got another device, please test it and report back!
Note, the developer indicates that it is not being developed anymore and to refer to JMonkey Engine which has ongoing development in this area. learn more

DX Studio

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Freeware Edition:Free, Commercial Pro:Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++, C# or VB.Net
Reviews: 1 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: DX Studio is a complete integrated development environment for creating interactive 3D graphics. The system comprises of both a
real-time 3D engine and a suite of editing tools. Using DX Studio you can build complete real-time interactive applications, simulations or games, for standalone use or for embedding in other Microsoft Office/Visual Studio applications. learn more

EDGELIB

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free, 1 Developer: €5,000 Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 4 Games

Description: DGELIB is the most powerful and versatile middleware solution for cross-platform mobile development available today. EDGELIB enables you to create superior applications and games on a vast range of mobile platforms.

Smoothly create multi-platform applications through the generic interface for Apple iOS, Google Android, Symbian, Windows Mobile, desktop (Linux/Windows/OS X) and many more platforms! learn more

Esenthel Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free, Personal:$150, Company:$750, Pro:$4000, Ultimate, Non-Game:$250/year Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Esenthel Engine is a complete game development platform allowing to create fully featured AAA titles.

It has been specifically designed for professional game development, which has been achieved by giving the developers full control over the game code mechanics, next generation graphics and a rich toolset drastically simplifying the game development process.

While mainly targeted for the professional market, the engine is easy enough that it can also be used by independent teams or small companies with no prior game development experience. learn more

Forget 3D Game Engine

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: GNU GPL v2 (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Forget 3D Game Engine is a OpenGL ES framework(still not a engine) for Android, Win32, WinCE platform, it simplifies your OpenGL ES program development, support scene management, Texture, Camera, Light, Model loader, Font etc. learn more

GameKit

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: A cross-platform 3D game engine using Ogre or Irrlicht and Bullet for Windows, Linux, Mac, Android and iPhone.
The goal of gamekit is to create a basic game engine that allows fast prototyping build around open source software free for commercial use. learn more

GamePlay

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Apache 2.0 license (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: An open-source, cross-platform 3D native C++ game framework making it easy to learn and write mobile and desktop games. (Beta) learn more

IwGame Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free although requires the Marmalade SDK Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 2 Reviews Games: 2 Games

Description: IwGame, the free open source cross platform mobile 2D game engine for smart phones, tablets and emerging technologies developed by Pocketeers Limited. IwGame is designed and written on top of the Marmalade SDK the ultimate cross platform SDK for smart phones tablets and emerging technologies. In order to use the IwGame game engine you will need to download and install the Marmalade SDK. learn more

jMonkeyEngine

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: BSD (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: jMonkeyEngine a game engine made for developers who want to create 3D games following modern technology standards. The framework is programmed entirely in Java aimed at wide accessibility and quick deployment to desktop, web, and mobile platforms. jMonkeyEngine is not a visual “RPG Maker” or a drag-and-drop “FPS mod”. If you are comfortable writing Java code, you can rely on jMonkeyEngine as your next 3D game’s foundation. jMonkeyEngine is a state-of-the-art starting point for any aspiring 3D games developer. learn more

jPCT-AE

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: jPCT-AE license (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 3 Reviews Games: 14 Games

Description: jPCT is a solution for browser based games and applications using a software renderer as well as for OpenGL accelerated ones. It offers a software (Java 1.1 compatible, will work even on the MS-VM) and a hardware renderer (Java 1.4 or higher required). It integrates nicely into Swing/AWT but may also render into a native OpenGL window. There's also an Android version available.

jPCT has been developed with ease of use and small size in mind. The API's jar-file is only around 300KB in size.

jPCT can be used free of charge for private and commercial games and applications.

jPCT-AE (Android Edition) is a port of jPCT to Android. It's a port, not just a new renderer for the normal version of jPCT to be more suitable for the Android platform.
If you are already familiar with jPCT, you'll notice that a lot of things are still the same as in the normal version.
However, some features (portal rendering, the software renderers,...) got removed and there are less classes/interfaces. Some things are easier now, some method signatures have been simplified.

learn more

libGDX

Platforms: Android HTML5 Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Apache License 2.0 (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 14 Reviews Games: 38 Games

Description: The libgdx project is a cross-platform game development library written in Java with some JNI code for performance hungry sections. It abstracts away the differences between writing desktop and Android games based on OpenGL. Applications can be prototyped and developed entirely on the desktop, then only 6 lines of code are needed to run your app on Android. Develop more efficiently using powerful desktop tools such as HotSwap, without needing to wait for your application to be deployed to a device each time it is run.
learn more

Linderdaum Engine

Platforms: Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free/? Skill: Intermediate
License: Non-commercial/Commercial usage (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 2 Games

Description: Linderdaum Engine is an open source purely object-oriented 3D gaming engine for Microsoft Windows and Google Android written in C++. It is designed to be an integrated solution for the development of interactive 3D applications, for game, industrial and scientific visualization. learn more

Marmalade

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Trial:Free, Basic:$149, Standard:$499 Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 1 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: Performance and portability – true cross-platform technology without compromise

Creating and delivering successful apps is becoming increasingly challenging. You need your app to stand out from the crowd, by delivering a more engaging experience with richer content. You need your app to reach the widest possible audience, running on iOS, Android, and beyond.

What if you could develop more powerful apps, and deliver them simultaneously across all platforms and devices? Now you can, with the Marmalade SDK. learn more

Matali Physics Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Non-Commercial, Commercial Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C#
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Matali Physics is an advanced, cross-platform, fully managed 3D physics engine, intended for .NET and Mono. Matali Physics simplifies creating games, animations, computer simulations and multimedia presentations. Matali Physics is designed with a view to achieving greatest functionality and easiness of programming. The engine supports XNA, Silverlight, SlimDX, OpenTK, MonoTouch and Mono for Android libraries and is available for WIN32/64, XBOX 360, Windows Phone OS, web browsers, Mac OS X, iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPad2 and iPod Touch), Android OS, Linux and FreeBSD. learn more

min3D

Platforms: Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: min3D is a lightweight 3d library/framework for Android using Java with OpenGL ES targeting compatibility with Android v1.5/OpenGL ES 1.0 and higher.

It tracks closely with the OpenGL ES API, which makes it ideal for gaining an understanding of the OpenGL ES API while providing the convenience of an object-oriented class library. learn more

MoSync Mobile

Platforms: iPhone Android HTML5 Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free, Basic Pro: 199 Euro, Gold Pro: 2999 Euro Skill: Intermediate
License: GNU GPL v2 (Open Source) Language: C, C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: The MoSync Mobile SDK is a complete, rich, cross-platform mobile application development SDK. It's designed by mobile app developers for mobile app developers. With the MoSync SDK, you can build mobile apps for iOS, Android, Windows Phone7, Symbian, Windows Mobile, JavaME and BlackBerry using C/C++, JavaScript/HTML5 or make hybrid apps combining both. learn more

NME

Platforms: iPhone Android HTML5 Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: haXe
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: NME is a free, open-source framework that enables development for iOS, Android, webOS, BlackBerry, Windows, Mac, Linux and Flash Player from a single codebase. Unlike most cross-platform frameworks, NME applications are not written in a low-level language (like C or C++) and does not require a virtual machine or runtime (like Java and Adobe AIR) in order to run on a target platform. learn more

openFrameworks

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: OpenFrameworks is a cross platform open source toolkit for creative coding in C++ learn more

Open Game World

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: about $200 per year Skill: Expert
License: proprietary Language: Objective-C, a C++ port is planned
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: OpenGW is the world's first game world simulation engine.

Much like physics engines simulate the physics world, OpenGW simulates the game world and everything in it. Unlike physics engines OpenGW is designed to be extended by developers.

OpenGW provides a stable, flexible, modular framework to write game code in. It is built on years of game development experience and best practices to free developers from the burden of designing a game engine architecture, to decouple developers as much as possible from their choice of game or rendering engine, to standardize the process of writing modular and reusable game code. learn more

Orx

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: zlib license (Open Source) Language: C, C++, Objective-C
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: Orx is an open source, portable, lightweight, plugin-based, data-driven and extremely easy to use 2D-oriented game engine.

It has been created to allow fast creation of games and prototypes. It's licensed under the zlib license. It's a very permissive (and short) license that allows one to use orx (and modify it at will) for free for any kind of projects, freeware or commercial, without any compensation.

Orx provides a complete framework for game development and currently runs on windows (mingw and native using visual studio), linux (x86/x86_64), MacOS X (ppc/x86), iPhone/iPod Touch/iPad and Android.

Orx is a full featured and powerful "2.5D" game engine. All objects and cameras are created in a 3D space, but only a 2D rendering plugin is currently available (however hooks are provided for those who need to roll out their own 3D rendering). learn more

PlayCanvas

Platforms: iPhone Android HTML5 Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: JavaScript
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: PlayCanvas is the world’s first cloud-hosted game development platform. It is an online social hub that seamlessly marries a powerful, multi-user visual editing platform with a rich community site.

The whole toolset and the games it generates are built on HTML5 technology and therefore run on any device equipped with a web browser. Since user projects and the resulting games are all stored in the cloud, developers can trivially switch between devices during development and generate truly device independent games. Tools and games are delivered to the browser in a completely frictionless manner, with no installation or browser plugin required. Everything is guaranteed to remain synchronised and up to date.

A cornerstone of PlayCanvas is its support for realtime collaboration in the style of Google Docs. Developers can work harmoniously in the same project. They are no longer held up by co-developers and have complete visibility of the whole team’s progress.

PlayCanvas is designed around the principles of social development. When developers
sign up for the service, they become part of a community that makes discoverability simple and allows teams to form organically. Developers also have the option to allow their games to be forked, facilitating ‘remixed’ versions of popular games to ripple out across the site.

Games built with PlayCanvas can be exported, downloaded and self-published. The developer has complete freedom to provision their own hosting or submit to desktop or mobile app stores. Alternatively, in a single click, PlayCanvas games can be published directly to playcanvas.com without having to upload or download anything. learn more

Project Anarchy

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Project Anarchy is a free mobile game engine for iOS, Android, and Tizen. It includes Havok’s Vision Engine along with Havok Physics, Havok Animation Studio and Havok AI. It has an extensible C++ architecture, optimized mobile rendering, a flexible asset management system, and Lua scripting and debugging. There are also complete game samples included with the SDK along with extensive courseware on the Project Anarchy site that game developers can use to quickly get up to speed with the engine and bring their game ideas to life. learn more

Proton SDK

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: BSD style with attribution required (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Proton SDK (aka p+) is an open source component based C++ framework with its own touch-optimized GUI system that is optimized for GL/GLES based cross-platform app/game development. learn more

ShiVa3D Game Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Web:Free, Advanced:$1000, Basic:$200, Educational:$670 Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: Lua
Reviews: 6 Reviews Games: 6 Games

Description: ShiVa3D is the developers’ tool of choice for easily creating amazing 3D real-time applications and games for Windows, Mac OS, Linux, iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Wii and the iPad. ShiVa is a powerful multi-platform 3D game engine, WYSIWYG 3D Editor and MMO Server.

The ShiVa 3D Engine is the most versatile cross-platform engine ever, working either in the web browser or as an executable for Windows, Mac, Linux, Wii, iPhone and iPad, Android, WebOS and Airplay SDK.

The engine is extendible with ssl-securized plug-ins like the PhysX engine, Fmod sounds library, ARToolkit and the Scaleform HUD engine.

Supported platforms include: iOS, Android, Playbook (BlackBerry10), WebOS (palm & hp touch), Windows Phone (soon), export to marmalade enabling Brew/windowsmobile/Symbian/Bada. Available for: windows, mac, linux, Wii, xbox360, ps3, psp, psvita(soon). learn more

Simple DirectMedia Layer

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: zlib (Open Source) Language: C
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Simple DirectMedia Layer is a cross-platform development library designed to provide low level access to audio, keyboard, mouse, joystick, and graphics hardware via OpenGL and Direct3D. It is used by video playback software, emulators, and popular games including Valve's award winning catalog and many Humble Bundle games.

SDL officially supports Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, iOS, and Android. learn more

SIO2 Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D 3D
Price: Trial is Free, Win/Mac:$199.99, Android/iOS:$399.99 Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 7 Games

Description: What is the SIO2 Engine? SIO2 is an OpenGLES based cross-platform 2D and 3D game engine for iOS, Android, MacOS and Windows which provides you all the modern game engine functionalities built-in right at its core for your mobile devices at a fraction of the regular industry price for the same type of quality. The engine also allows you to port your game on the Mac Store and on Windows.

Feature rich, extremely fast, and flexible, SIO2 allows you to create state of the art AAA games for your favorite mobile platform. Unlike other solutions, SIO2 does not force you to use any specific IDE to code or build your games.
SIO2 uses existing industry proven development and content creation tools to allow you to create your game and gives you access to all the source code of the framework so you can customize every piece of the engine as you see fit!

SIO2 allows you to entirely built your games using a very easy-to-use cross-platform C/C++ syntax and also provides you scripting support using LUA. Basically, SIO2 is THE game engine for technical people that want to create real intellectual properties around their game creations without being bound to any other 3rd party solution limitations, lack of optimization or even their bugs.

With the SIO2 framework you have all the freedom and flexibility to build whatever type of game you want and can have access and full control of EVERY bit and piece of code that resides at the core of the engine, giving you maximum optimization, flexibility, and scalability compared to all other solutions out there! learn more

UNIGINE Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Case-by-case (about $30,000 USD/project) Skill: Beginner
License: Proprietary Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: UNIGINE is a real-time 3D engine, which lets you fully unleash your talent and achieve great business results.

More than 10 years of R&D resulted in a well-optimized modular technology platform. It will be a solid foundation for any of your projects – from mobile applications to scientific simulations and VR. learn more

Unity3D

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 3D
Price: Unity:Free, Unity Pro:$1500 Skill: Intermediate
License: Proprietary Language: .NET (Mono)
Reviews: 2 Reviews Games: 17 Games

Description: Unity 3 is a game development tool that has been designed to let you focus on creating amazing games.
Every game can be a masterpiece. Unity 3 delivers the technology to impress and inspire your players with everything from jaw-dropping visuals to ambient soundscapes. Even your browser game can look and feel like a state-of-the-art AAA title when it is powered by Unity 3.
Your game needs speed and Unity defines fast. Unity 3 is packed with new technology — ranging from geometry batching to occlusion culling — designed to squeeze every last bit of performance out of your next game. Regardless of your target platform, Unity will help you pull off as much as possible. learn more

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