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

Open Source iPhone 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.

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Cinder

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

Description: Cinder is a community-developed, free and open source library for professional-quality creative coding in C++ learn more

Cocos2d for iPhone

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT license (Open Source) Language: Objective-C
Reviews: 22 Reviews Games: 26 Games

Description: Cocos2d for iPhone is a framework for building 2D games, demos, and other graphical/interactive applications. It is based on the cocos2d design: it uses the same concepts, but instead of using python it uses objective-c. cocos2d for iPhone supports: iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad and OS X. learn more

Cocos2d-x

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 1 Reviews Games: 7 Games

Description: C++ Port of cocos2d-iphone. Multi-platform, light-weight & developer friendly learn more

Cocos3d

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

Description: This is the home page for cocos3d, a sophisticated 3D application development framework for the iOS platform. With cocos3d, you can build sophisticated, dynamic 3D games and applications using Objective-C.

cocos3d is a significant extension to cocos2d, a popular, well-designed framework for building iOS games and applications that play out in 2D (or 2.5D isometric projection).

cocos3d adds to this a full 3D modelling space, including 3D mesh models, perspective projection cameras, materials, and lighting. With cocos3d, you can populate your world with 3D models exported from 3D editors such as Blender, 3ds Max, or Cheetah3D, combined with models you create dynamically in your Objective-C code. And users can interact with your 3D objects through touch events.

Both cocos3d and cocos2d are built on top of the OpenGL ES frameworks that runs on all iOS devices, and both are written in the native Objective-C familiar to all iOS developers. With cocos3d, you can effortlessly create a full 3D game or application without getting into the nitty-gritty needs of the OpenGL ES state machine, and without having to switch over to C or C++, as required by most other 3D frameworks. learn more

CubicVR 3D Engine

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

Description: CubicVR is a high-performance object-oriented OpenGL 2.0 3D engine designed with a simple implicit library interface. CubicVR includes Bullet library physics, GLSL shader and Lua scripting support. Applications made using CubicVR can also be compiled for the PSP handheld. learn more

Cuttlefish Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free, $99/yr, $299 lifetime Skill: Beginner
License: Proprietary (Open Source) Language: Cuttlescript
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Cuttlefish is a completely new solution to the cross platform headache: you make the game, it writes the code. Your game logic, written once, runs natively on different platforms, using an engine that embraces extendibility, not sandboxes.

Writing a game for phones today is tough. You want as many people as possible to play your game, but every phone seems to have its own platform, language, and screen resolution. How can you avoid committing to the wrong platform and dooming your game to obscurity before you've even started?

The Cuttlefish Engine frees you from that decision. Design your game using the Cuttlefish Designer, and then ship that game for multiple platforms.
learn more

Emo-Framework

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

Description: Lightweight 2D game framework for Android and iOS. emo is 2D game engine for Android and iOS.
emo is lightweight game framework that is driven by Squirrel, object-oriented scripting language for your game logic. emo has native game engine almost all codes are written in C/C++ for Android and C/C++/Objective-C for iOS that is based on OpenGL for graphic rendering and OpenAL/OpenSL for sound interface.
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Galaxy Engine

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: New BSD License (Open Source) Language: Objective-C, C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Cocoa game development package for Mac, iPhone, and iPad.
Galaxy Engine is a complete game development package for Mac, iPhone, and iPad. It is programmed in Cocoa and uses the OpenGL, OpenGL ES, and OpenAL libraries to give you a powerful core with direct access to iPhone SDK features such as Game Center. Galaxy Engine is designed with indie developers in mind. Which means that it is designed to be as efficient and flexible as possible. It also is one of the only Open Source game engines to include critical tools for game development such as: Level Editor, Terrain Editor, Model Viewer, Particle Editor, and Shader IDE. It also includes features such as: vertex animation, multisampling, advanced lighting, dynamic shadows, vertex and pixel shaders, normal mapping, parallax mapping, and massive outdoor environments.
NOTE: The project is officially closed. learn more

Game Editor

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 2D
Price: Free, Express:$99/year, Pro:$1499/year Skill: Beginner
License: GPL v3 (Open Source) Language: Graphical
Reviews: 3 Reviews Games: 3 Games

Description: Game Editor is the open source game design software that gives you the power to create the games of your dreams, and, unlike other game creation tools, gives you the chance to get and change the source code of the game creator and design and develop 2D games for personal computers as well as mobile devices. 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

Ignifuga Game Engine

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Ignifuga Game Engine License (Open Source) Language: Python, Cython
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Ignifuga is a multi platform 2D engine based in the Python language inspired by similar offerings like Cocos2D, Cocos2D for iPhone, and AndEngine. All your game logic code along with the engine’s and supporting tools is converted to C during the build process, and compiled into one big standalone binary for each of the supported platforms (please refer to the FAQ for more information). The project is currently in the alpha stage of development, so the expected performance may range from not even working to attaining consciousness and starting the third world war for all we know. For now, we hope that it lives up to its name and it at least doesn’t catch fire. learn more

Irrlicht Engine

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Expert
License: zlib/libpng license (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 1 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: The Irrlicht Engine is an open source high performance realtime 3D engine written in C++. It is completely cross-platform, using D3D, OpenGL and its own software renderers, and has all of the state-of-the-art features which can be found in commercial 3d engines. We've got a huge active community, and there are lots of projects in development that use the engine. You can find enhancements for Irrlicht all over the web, like alternative terrain renderers, portal renderers, exporters, world layers, tutorials, editors, language bindings for java, perl, ruby, basic, python, lua, and so on. And best of all: It's completely free. learn more

iSDGE

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

Description: iSDGE is a 3D game engine for iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad with firmware 3.0 or above installed. It supports rendering with OpenGL ES 1.1 and 2.0. learn more

iSGL3D

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Expert
License: MIT license (Open Source) Language: Objective-C
Reviews: 1 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: iSGL3D (iOS Scene Graph Library) is a 3D framework for the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch written in Objective-C, enabling the creativity of developers to flourish in a 3D world without the complexities of OpenGL.

With its rich set of features, iSGL3D provides the necessary tools to develop 3D applications in an incredibly short time frame, even with a minimum of experience in 3D graphics. 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

Jumpcore

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: BSD, GPL (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: An open source C++ game framework that lets you write your game once and immediately have it run on Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, WebOS and Android 2.3. It packages together all the basic libraries you need to get started with writing a game, and makes mobile porting easy by abstracting away the incompatibilities between OpenGL, OpenGL ES 1.0, and OpenGL ES 2.0. learn more

Kobold2D

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: Objective-C
Reviews: 2 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: Kobold2D is an extended and improved version of the popular Cocos2D for iPhone game engine. Everything you know about Cocos2D can still be applied, and Kobold2D is easier to get started with, more convenient to use, more powerful and flexible than Cocos2D with all the documentation available online and offline. Use Kobold2D to develop iPhone, iPod touch, iPad and Mac OS X games for both Apple App Stores. Kobold2D is free and open source with additional premium content to support its development. It was established by Steffen Itterheim, author of the book Learn Cocos2D Game Development with iOS 5. learn more

Kobold Kit

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Beginner
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: Objective-C
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Kobold Kit is an open source project built on and extending Apple's Sprite Kit framework. The goal is to provide a public repository for popular Sprite Kit extensions and to add commonly needed features not available in Sprite Kit. learn more

Maratis

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: GNU General Public License, zlib/libpng License (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Maratis is a portable, simple and visual game development tool designed for artists and developers.

The Engine has been tested on Windows, Mac, Linux and iOS and can be used virtually on any platform.

Maratis is Free and Open-source.
Use a simple Lua scripting langage or have access to the full Engine in C++ learn more

Moai

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: CPAL/Proprietary (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 6 Games

Description: Moai is a mobile platform for pro game developers. It's focus is helping developers build uncompromising mobile games with rich cloud-based features and release them to modern app stores for iOS, Android, and Chrome. Moai is being used by several top 20 mobile games, and interviews with game developers. learn more

MonoGame

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Microsoft Public License (Ms-PL) (Open Source) Language: C#
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: MonoGame is an open source implementation of the XNA APIs that allows developers to build 2D games that run on Android, iPhone, iPad, Mac, Linux and Windows using the same code base, or reusing existing XNA code that runs on Xbox 360 or Windows Phone 7.

MonoGame 2.0 release is a major evolution of the platform. We went from only supporting the iPhone to becoming a cross-platform stack that now also runs on Android, Mac, Linux and Windows. To help developers get started, more than twenty individual samples and more than five complete starter kits are shipped with this release.

On the iOS platform, MonoGame runs on top of MonoTouch and there are at least eighteen games published on Apple’s AppStore built using the technology. This new release opens the doors for developers to publish games to the Mac AppStore using MonoMac, to Android Market using Mono for Android, and also to Windows and Linux systems using Mono.

This major advance in the MonoGame platform was made possible by an exponential growth in the number of contributors to the project in the last seven months. New contributors took over major components of the stack, tuned the performance, added new platforms, tuned the engine and fixed hundreds of bugs to turn MonoGame into a solid 2D gaming platform.

A new networking stack allows players on the same network to play with each other. One player could be running the iOS client, while another one might be using a Mac and another one an Android device. All playing the same game. 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

Newton Physics Engine

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Beginner
License: zlib-licensed (Open Source) Language: C++
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Newton Game Dynamics is an Open-source zlib-licensed integrated solution for real time simulation of physics environments. The API provides scene management, collision detection, dynamic behavior and yet it is small, fast, stable and easy to use.
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

OGRE

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

Description: Simple, easy to use OO interface designed to minimise the effort required to render 3D scenes, and to be independent of 3D implementation i.e. Direct3D/OpenGL.
Extensible example framework makes getting your application running is quick and simple
Common requirements like render state management, spatial culling, dealing with transparency are done for you automatically saving you valuable time
Clean, uncluttered design and full documentation of all engine classes
Proven, stable engine used in several commercial products
Platform & 3D API support
learn more

Oolong Engine

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 3D
Price: Free Skill: Expert
License: MIT License (Open Source) Language: C++, Objective-C
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Oolong Engine is an iPad / iPhone / iPod touch Engine. The Oolong Engine is written in C++ with some help from Objective-C. It will help you to create new games and port existing games to the iPhone, the iPod touch and the iPad. Oolong Engine 2.x is developed with the official iPhone SDK. So it requires a Mac OS X 10.6.x driven INTEL based Mac with at least iPhone / iPod touch OS 3.x and you need to be a registered developer to use it. Oolong uses the latest POD format or the Blender .blend file format. Please get the exporters with the POWERVR SDK from the POWERVR website, or use Blender. 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

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

PlayN

Platforms: iPhone Android HTML5 Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Apache License 2.0 (Open Source) Language: Java
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: Cross platform game library for N≥4 platforms. PlayN is free and open source, and we hope you will make kick ass games with it! 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

QuickTiGame2d

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: New BSD License (Open Source) Language: Javascript
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: QuickTiGame2d is a 2-dimensional game engine module for Titanium Mobile that provides quick and easy api to create casual 2d games on Titanium. QuickTiGame2d runs much faster on mobile devices because it is based on OpenGL ES: the industry-standard graphics library on embedded systems. Currently QuickTiGame2d supports both iOS and Android. learn more

RapaNui

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Common Public Attribution License Version 1.0 (Open Source) Language: Lua
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 0 Games

Description: RapaNui is a high level APIs set that wrap up Moai. The main goal of RapaNui is to make easier to write a game. The API does in the background all the low level setup of Moai, letting developers focus on game implementation. With RapaNui you need only one line of code to add an image anywhere on the screen, the same goes for physics, objects or animations and transitions. Current release includes a first version of Director that lets switch from a scene to another with few lines of code. 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

Sparrow Framework

Platforms: iPhone Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Simplified BSD License (Open Source) Language: Objective-C
Reviews: 7 Reviews Games: 7 Games

Description: The Open Source Game Engine for iOS. Sparrow is a pure Objective C library targeted on making game development as easy and hassle-free as possible. Sparrow makes it possible to write fast OpenGL applications without having to touch OpenGL or pure C (but easily allowing to do so, for those who wish). It's API was inspired by Adobe Flash and was designed to be easy to use and hard to misuse. learn more

Starling Framework

Platforms: iPhone Android Orientations: 2D
Price: Free Skill: Intermediate
License: Simplified BSD License (Open Source) Language: ActionScript 3
Reviews: 0 Reviews Games: 1 Games

Description: The Open Source Game Engine for Flash. Games can be deployed on Android, iPhone and the Flash browser plugin. learn more

Vinter

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

Description: Vinter is a Mac OS X and iOS graphic engine featuring full shader based rendering. The engine is mainly written in C++ with a few small parts written in Objective-C. It can be used in any Objective-C and C++ projects targeting iOS 3.0 or Mac OS X 10.6 and later. As the renderer only provides shader based rendering, the target system must support shaders (this requirement is probably met by every Mac that shipped with OS X 10.5+. iOS devices support shaders since the iPhone 3GS and iPod Touch 3rd Gen. It is also supported on every iPad).
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