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Natalya Brinza Project Manager

Mobile Game Development in 2017: Best Tools and Advice


Mobile Game Development in 2017: 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 famous field became the 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. Due to this, it is not strange at all, that newcomming and beginning programmers and businessmen are more and more interested in the idea of building not only useful everyday apps, but also those extensions, which are responsible for the entertaining part of our life, namely, games. Moreover, because of the fact, that now they face an issue on how to develop a mobile game, they are starting to look for more and more useful and effective information, which may help them to not only organize their very basic startup, but also to  transmute 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 that article I would like to present you those highly useful and the most popular tools for game building, which occupied the leading positions in the rates of the most popular game developing engines of 2017. In the highlighted chart you can see those five most famous and useful engines with the percentage of its usage on the field of app programming. As usually, from a year to a year two highest positions are under control of Unity and Unreal engines with 26% and 20% of 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 that actual article I would be grateful to describe you the key nuances of all the mentioned softwares, starting with the most popular.

Game engines

Advanced game development

1. Unity

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

  • IA- 32;

  • x86-64;

  • ARM;


Now, in 2017 we already use the 5th generation of the highlighted engine. Of course, if we consider Unity as best game development software there should be several reasons to say so. That software gives you an opportunity to 2D as well as 3D games according to any 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 of Unity are situated in a much wider range. For example, there are several famous companies, which have been using such a platform in their own operations. For instance, one of the most outstanding companies could be:

  • EA sports;

  • BOSSA studios;

  • Imangi studios;

  • Nival, and many others;

We also have to consider, that such games as: Deadlock, Dead Trigger 2 and Slender the Arrival. Through that fact we can make a conclusion on how successful and famous the highlighted engine is among the authoritative developers. So, because of the quality of the end product, Unity software became able to gather a huge group of supporters around it.

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

2. Unreal Engine

Another highly popular and widely known game developing engine is Unreal Engine. It was developed by the Epic Game Corporation in the USA. Unreal Engine is the second most popular and widely used software, applicable to almost any desires and opportunities of the developer. Lots of startuppers tend to use that platform in case if they have enough coding skills and experience working in the field of game development, due to the fact, that despite of the fact of extremely high usability of the platform, it i pretty difficult for understanding by newbies. However, the platform all the time comes through the line of development and upgrading and thanks to each innovation it turns more and more simple to use, thanks to adopting of more user-friendly interface.

As well as in case with Unity, Unreal game engine became a strong foundation for the development of lots of simple AAA-class and much more complicated games. As well as 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 manufactured, thanks to that 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.

While talking about Unreal platform we have also notice several highly positive feature of it. For instance, Unreal uses two main tools, which frequently help to cope with the upcoming issues, dealing with the problem, starting with its roots. These tools are C++ and visual scripting Blueprint. In case if you have enough skills and experience in usage of these appliances it will not be a problem at all to make any needed 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. One of 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 me transfer to more simple but anyway no less popular and useful game development tools, which have already become one of the most popular in 2017. The first one, and one of the most famous and successful could be the engine, named Fusion. That particular engine is one of the most widely used platforms among the beginning developers. However, there are several pretty important reasons, why does it take place.

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 that editor, is highly user friendly, what sometimes gives you an opportunity to orientate within the system, basing 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, which were created from its very beginning in order to become a strong foundation for the development of the mobile apps and those additions, which would be used by the users of various portable devices. Because of that, the most desirable platform for Clickteam is Android. So, you will not be aware of collapse in case of the development of 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 are aimed on building the extensions for the Apple devices, Fusion is not the best choice.

Then, you do not have to have a high level of code-knowing skills in order to operate with that software, due to the existence of the object oriented design and a pretty simple structure of the creation of objects, backgrounds and the basic design.

Read also: How to Develop Augmented Reality Apps?

Usually highly professional development tools for your game do not offer you any tutorials or even a simple and brief explanation of that tremendous variety of operations, buttons and features, which are possible to use during the building process. However, Fusion team provides its users with several already implemented tutorials, which may help you to come through some issues and misunderstanding, while using that engine.

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

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

  • Five Nights at Freddy's;

  • Heroe-e;

  • Slash or Die;

  • Gigacheese;


And, a bit more about prices. The beginning version is absolutely free to download. But in case if you are willing to add some extensions, be ready to pay from $40 to $150, while in case if you need a full and supreme version it will worth you 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 making platform. However, in the end of 1990s and in the very early years of 2000s, the majority of programmers did not have an opportunity of a fruitful choice. Thanks to that, today Yoyo Game Maker studio is becoming one of the most famous and developed development tools for your game building. After it first launch in 1999 it surprised the developers by a pretty simple design, various toolbox and lots of different opportunities and features, which were a kind of revolutionary innovation in the field of a sunrising game industry. For today gamemaker is a pretty useful and widely known tool for the development of the mobile 2D games.

Even more, it stays one of the best platforms for the beginning works of young programmers, developers and startuppers. That happens because of the fact, that it was the very first engine, which decided to launch the most user friendly interface for their product. Moreover, company was highly interested in the implementation of lots of already done designs, shapes and backgrounds in order to make the life of a developer much easier and help him to be more concentrated on other features of his mobile or PC game, which he was going to develop.

We have to note, that in case of Gamemaker as well as in the case of Fusion, you do not need to have any highly developed coding skills. It happens due to the fact, that the creators of more late versions of the engine were interested in attraction of more and more users ready to get their products, so the key aim for them once was to establish a clear, simple and understandable object-oriented design.  As you can see in the picture downstream, 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 also to 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 mention the price. In case if you are willing to have a basic version , it is absolutely possible to get it for free. But in case of your interest in different additions and in app purchases, it will worth you approximately from $150 to $800.

Corona SDK

5. Corona SDK

Corona SDK is an engine created for the fast and easy mobile app building in the basic 2D regime. Throughout its pretty long history Corona proved itself as one of the best game developers existing in the market of the developmental software. Nowadays, thanks to several extremely positive features it already became one of a kind developmental platforms fully available and understandable for the beginners. In that particular paragraph I would like to give you several key tips on the usage of that software and demonstrate the most outstanding feature of it.

First of all, Corona has the biggest set of tutorials for the beginners among its competitors, what automatically gives it a pretty outstanding domination over the others in case of the usage of it by startuppers and young developers. Furthermore, despite of the fact of its simplicity and sometimes not sufficient level of development as 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, what will make the building process much easier and may automatically reduce the number of errors and failures. Moreover, I would to mention, that Corona has more than 500 different APIs and plugins in the system, which will as well as prototypes help you, while coding and debugging.

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

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

Read alsoMobile Applications: What's Trendy in 2017?

6. Construct 2

Thanks to that engine you now get an opportunity to build your own 2D mobile game. without an implementation of any codes. Furthermore, because of the usage of such a software you get an opportunity to build your game almost for any existing platform, because of the fact, that Construct 2 is absolutely matchable with such mobile systems as:

  • iOS

  • Windows

  • Android

  • Blackberry

Construct 2 becomes more and more popular among the beginning developers. There are several reasons to consider so. First of all, because of the pretty easy and clear interface, the primary programmers have an opportunity to base their game structure on the simple object oriented mobile game editor.

Furthermore, because of the fact, that Construct 2 is fitting perfectly to almost all the existing mobile platforms you now get an opportunity to create a multiplatform games. For instance, your new game would be situated on App Store as well as on Google Play, while being absolutely suitable for the usage on Android smartphones and on Apple devices.

Furthermore, the engine is highly flexible, what gives you an opportunity to add ane design and features you want to be included to your game. In addition, I have to notice, that Construct 2 has a highly wide library of high-quality special effects, which may allow you to include various designing characteristics to your game. Finally, the platform is created in a way, which automatically means fast checking and debugging of the final product, what helps you to avoid the simple waste of time.

game development software

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

7. Cocoon

Cacoon was developed by the Ludei company in 2000s. It perfectly fits in case if you are willing to develop an online mobile app, because of the fact, that it is based on the HTML5 language. Cocoon is pretty easy and simple in usage, while being a quite popular platform for the development of online games, competing with PhoneGap and Cordova.

Moreover, thanks to a simple interface and understandable features of it, you have an ability of fast and proper development of your online mobile game. Furthermore, as well as other engines listed earlier today, Cocoon is matchable with the majority of mobile platforms, among them the core ones, Android and iOS.

Read alsoWhat to Choose: Onshore, Nearshore and Offshore?

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

All in all, a word about prices. For the usage of Cocoon for a new project you do not need to pay at all. However, Silver edition costs $8, Gold one costs $69, while the supreme Platinum edition costs $200.

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author Roman Roman
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