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Mobile Game Development in 2018: Best Tools and Advice


Mobile Game Development in 2018: Best Tools and Advice

Top 7 most useful engines

Throughout the history of the evolution of the Internet industry, one of the most dominating and popular fields has become  mobile game development. Furthermore, thanks to such a highly valuable industry as mobile devices manufacturing, users are now able to have almost everything from their personal computer in their own pocket. As a result, it is not strange at all that newcomers and beginner programmers and businessmen are more and more interested in the idea of building not only useful everyday apps but also those extensions that are responsible for the entertaining part of our life, namely, games. Moreover, because they now they face  issues regarding  how to develop a mobile game, they are starting to look for more and more useful and effective information that may help them to not only organize their very basic startup but also to  transform it from a simple and underdeveloped idea to a skyrocketing project, which in the future may be able to compete with other more popular applications. In this article, I would like to present to you those highly useful and  most popular tools for game development, which occupied the top positions in the field of the most popular game development engines of 2018. In the highlighted chart, you can see those five most famous and useful engines with the percentage of its usage in the field of app programming. As usual, year to  year, the two highest positions were under the control of Unity and Unreal engines with 26% and 20%  usage respectively. A bit lower, there are Fusion (16%), Game Maker (14%), Corona SDK (8.2%), Construct 2 (7.5%) and Cocoon (7.5%). In this  article, I would be glad to explain  the key nuances of all the mentioned pieces of software, starting with the most popular.

Game engines

Advanced game development

1. Unity

When you talk about  mobile game development software, it is indisputable that the  leader in that field is one of the oldest modern engines,  Unity. This software was developed by Unity Technologies in 2005 and presented during the Apple Conference in the same year. The engine was written in  C and C++ languages, while the core platforms for such a software are:

  • IA- 32;

  • x86-64;

  • ARM;


Now, in 2018, we are using the 5th generation of the highlighted engine. Of course, if we consider Unity as the best game development software, there should be several reasons for that. That software gives you an opportunity to develop 2D as well as 3D games according to your tastes and opportunities. Throughout the history of that software mounts of various famous and not games were created with the usage of Unity. Of course, if you are a beginner, the only available level for you may be AAA-class games. However, those numerous opportunities that come with Unity are situated in a much wider range. For example, there are several popular companies that have been using such a platform in their own operations. For example, those companies include:

  • EA sports;

  • BOSSA studios;

  • Imangi studios;

  • Nival, and many others;

We also have to consider  such games as Deadlock, Dead Trigger 2 and Slender the Arrival. With these  facts, we can conclude that the highlighted engine is successful and popular among  authoritative developers. So because of the quality of the end product, the Unity software was able to gather a huge group of supporters around it.

The Unity platform is widely known because of the huge number of existing useful features and interesting additions that will help you to create a proper product according to the tastes of your potential users and your own opportunities. As  was mentioned, within Unity, you are able to use a great number of different additions and plugins available on the Internet, however, you have to remember that  you have to pay for them. But even in a standard edition, you have an unlimited opportunity for creativity. It is also important to mention that because the software offers you an opportunity to be  creative, you are able to adopt any possible shapes, backgrounds, colors and forms, which you can later  implement into the game.

Because of its popularity and wide usage, Unity is applicable to any existing popular platform. For example, Windows, Fire OS, Android, iOS, and Tizen. Finally, we now understand  that the engine is one of the most useful piece of software for the creation of mobile apps and additions.

2. Unreal Engine

Another highly popular and widely known game development engine is Unreal Engine. It was developed by  Epic Game Corporation, USA. Unreal Engine is the second most popular and widely used software. It can be used for almost anything by developers. Lots of startuppers tend to use that platform  if they have enough coding skills and experience working in the field of game development. Because of the extremely high usability of the platform, it is pretty difficult to understand by newbies. However, the platform is always undergoing development and upgrades, which makes it   simple and easy to use, thanks to its more user-friendly interface.

As well as Unity, Unreal game engine became a strong foundation for the development of lots of simple AAA-class and much more complicated games. Just like Unity, it is used by widely known game development corporations. For instance, such famous games as Mortal Kombat X, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Gears of War 2 and Daylight were created using this particular platform. Moreover, such corporations as Ubisoft, Epic Games, NCSoft and EA Los Angeles use Unreal platform as the core software for the development of their products.

The Unreal platform also has  several highly positive features . For instance, Unreal uses two main tools, which frequently help to manage  upcoming issues, deals with the problem starting from its root. These tools are C++ and visual scripting Blueprint. If you have enough skills and experience in the use of these appliances, it will not be a problem at all to make any  deals. Furthermore, Unreal fits different widely used platforms such as:

  • iOS;

  • Android;

  • Windows Mobile;

  • Windows;

  • Fire X and others, what gives you an opportunity to build a multi platform games;

Besides, Unreal engine has several other positive features. The most outstanding are:

  • Full code access;

  • High-quality visual effects;

  • Real time rendering tool;

  • Advanced and flexible intelligence;

  • Full audio system;

  • Fas game debugging

  • Instant reload functions;

Primary game development


3. Fusion

Now, let's move  to more simple but anyway no less popular and useful game development tools, which have already become one of the most popular in 2018. The first one, and one of the most famous and successful engines is called  Fusion. This particular engine is one of the most widely used platforms among  beginner developers. However, there are several pretty important reasons for this.

First of all, one of the most important feature of the highlighted platform is its simplicity. Thanks to the efforts of the developers who were working on the creation of such a platform, the interface in which you work, while using the editor, is highly user-friendly, which sometimes gives you the opportunity to get used to the system based on your actual intuition. Moreover, in some cases, you may note that it has something in common with Adobe Flash CS3.

Secondly, we have to admit that Clickteam Fusion is one of those platforms that were created from the very beginning  to become a strong foundation for the development of  mobile apps and those additions that would be used by  users of various portable devices. Because of this, the most desirable platform for Clickteam is Android. So, you will not hear about collapse if you are developing  a new application for a smartphone. However, you have to take into consideration that the highlighted software is not supported by iOS. Unfortunately, if you want to build  extensions for  Apple devices, Fusion is not the best choice.

But you do not have to have a high level of coding  skills in order to use that software because of the existence of an object-oriented design and a pretty simple structure for the creation of objects, backgrounds, and  basic design.


Read also: How to Develop Augmented Reality Apps?

Usually, highly professional game development tools  do not offer you any tutorials or even a simple and brief explanation of the  various  operations, buttons and features that are  used during the building process. However, the Fusion team provides its users with several already implemented tutorials that may help you overcome some issues and misunderstanding while using the engine.

By the way, the platform offers you a full studio and a graphic editor, which  in its very basic version will even allow you to create simple but  pretty interesting applications, depending on your skills and imagination. Moreover, because of the huge library of graphics, you can create different  templates for your app, again, depending on your own decision. That also gives you an opportunity for quick and easy protocolling. Finally, let me give a word on the rights of ownership. If you  create anything on the platform of the highlighted engine, all the copyrights belong to you.

I think it would also be appropriate to say that even in such a simple and elementary editor, several pretty popular apps were created. Some of them are:

  • Five Nights at Freddy's;

  • Heroe-e;

  • Slash or Die;

  • Gigacheese;


Now, let's  talk a bit more about prices. The initial  version is absolutely free to download. But  if you want to add some extensions, be ready to pay from $40 to $150. But if you need a full and premium version, the price ranges from $70 to $200.

GameMaker Studio

4. GameMaker Studio

Yoyo gamemaker studio started its long history in 1999 as a highly simple and almost underdeveloped game development platform. However, by the end of 1990 and in  very 2000, the majority of programmers did not have a lot of choice when it comes to game development. But today, Yoyo Game Maker studio is becoming one of the most famous and developed development tools for your game development. After it was first launched in 1999,   its simple design surprised a lot of developers, including the various toolbox and lots of different opportunities and features it came with, which were a kind of revolutionary innovation in the field of the rising game development industry. Today, gamemaker is a pretty useful and widely known tool for the development of the mobile 2D games.

Even more, it is still  one of the best platforms for  beginner young programmers, developers and startuppers. This is because  it was the very first engine that decided to launch the most user-friendly interface for their product. Also, the company was highly interested in the implementation of a lot of already done designs, shapes and backgrounds in order to make the life of a developer much easier and help him  concentrate more on other features of his mobile or PC game.

We have to note that in the case of Gamemaker as well as  Fusion, you do not have to have  highly developed coding skills. This is because the creators of the latest versions of the engine were interested in attracting  more and more users ready to get their products, so their main goal was to establish a clear, simple and understandable object-oriented design.  As you can see in the picture below, the company tried to develop their tool in game development industry in the key, which will be closer to the products of the Adobe corporation, such as Adobe Premier or After Effects. We have to also  remember that the Gamemaker platform offers other special opportunities such as:

  • Full support in 2D Spine animation;

  • Tutorials;

  • Steam integration;

  • In app purchases;

  • Support for:

    • iOS;

    • Android;

    • Windows Phone;

    • Tizen;

    • PS Vita;

    • Amazon Fire;

Lastly, let me talk about the price. If you want the basic version, it is absolutely possible to get it for free. But if you are interested in the different additions and in-app purchases, the price ranges from $150 to $800.

Corona SDK

5. Corona SDK

Corona SDK is an engine created for  fast and easy mobile app development in the basic 2D regime. Throughout its pretty long history, Corona proved itself as one of the best game development engines  in the market. Nowadays, thanks to several  positive features, it has already become one of the  development platforms fully available and can easily be understood  by  beginners. In this particular paragraph, I would like to give you several key tips on the usage of this software and show you its  most outstanding feature .

First of all, Corona has the biggest set of tutorials for  beginners among its competitors, which automatically gives it a pretty outstanding dominance over the others in terms of  usage by startuppers and young developers. Furthermore, despite its simplicity and sometimes not sufficient level of development  for professionals, Corona has a great variety of special features and functions, which for sure will attract different persons interested in game programming.

Secondly, in Corona you can find lots of code prototypes, which  makes the building process much easier and may automatically reduce the number of errors and failures. Also, I want to mention that Corona has more than 500 different APIs and plugins in the system, which, as prototypes , will help you during coding and debugging.

Then, thanks to the background structure of the Lua language, which by the way is pretty simple to learn, you get the opportunity to increase the number of frames per second within the app in the range of 30 to 60. Furthermore, Corona built-in documents have lots of instructions and detailed explanation for any existing issue. However, I have to say that there is a small drawback, which personally  makes it impossible to call Corona the best game development tool. This is because in order to successfully use it, you need to have  adequate experience in coding using C or Java. Otherwise, the whole idea may turn to a problem.

Now, a word about prices. Corona SDK itself is  100% free. But if you need its enterprise version, it costs approximately $80 per  month, while the ultimate version is pretty expensive and is worth  about $200 per  month.

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6. Construct 2

Thanks to this engine, you now have  the opportunity to build your own 2D mobile game without writing any codes. Furthermore, using this software gives you the opportunity to build your game for almost any existing platform. Construct 2 is absolutely compatible with  mobile operating systems like:

  • iOS

  • Windows

  • Android

  • Blackberry

Construct 2 has become more and more popular among  beginner developers. There are several reasons for this . First of all, because of the pretty easy and clear interface, the primary programmers have the opportunity to base their game structure on the simple object-oriented mobile game editor.

Furthermore, because Construct 2  fits perfectly to almost all the existing mobile platforms, you now have the opportunity to create  multi-platform games. For instance, your new game would be available on the App Store as well as on Google Play Store. This means that the game can be played on both Android smartphones and  Apple devices.

Furthermore, the engine is highly flexible, which gives you an opportunity to add any design and features you want  included in your game. In addition, I have to say that Construct 2 has a  wide library of high-quality special effects, which will allow you to include various design characteristics to your game. Finally, the platform is created in such a way that automatically allows for fast checking and debugging of the final product, which helps you to avoid   wasting of time.

game development software

In the end, let me add a piece of information about prices. If you choose Construct 2, you have to know that the free version is too limited for  full usage. But if you want to use a standard or business version, you will be required to pay $65 or $200 respectively.

7. Cocoon

Cocoon was developed by the Ludei company in 2000. It is perfect for developing  online mobile apps because it is based on the HTML5 language. Cocoon is pretty easy and simple to use. It is quite a popular platform for the development of online games, competing with PhoneGap and Cordova.

Thanks to the simple interface and its understandable features , you can quickly and properly develop  online mobile games. Furthermore, like other engines listed earlier today, Cocoon is compatible with the majority of mobile platforms, including the core ones like Android and iOS.

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In addition, Cocoon offers a cloud-based compilation for your game or app, which helps you to avoid fragmentation and  unexpected collapse of the building process. Furthermore,  Ludei also promises no problems with any existing APIs,  an increased level of security in the cyber field, and an advanced and  easier way of launching  your product on the market.

Let's talk about  the prices. The use of Cocoon for a new project is absolutely free. However, Silver edition costs $8, the Gold  edition costs $69, while the Supreme Platinum edition costs $200.

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