Game devs and those who are ready to jump in gamedev industry: another useful list just for you!

We’ve decided to make things a lot easier for you and gathered the whole list of Android & iOS Game development tools, engines, libraries, and resources right in this article.

Mobile Game Makers

Construct 2 – Described as the “Photoshop for games”, an HTML5-game creator with an “event-based” interface, meaning no coding is required to make your game. It also allows porting your game to multiple platforms.

GameMaker – A very popular platform, it caters to all levels of developers. The visual drag-and-drop interface and lets you build games for Android and iOS, has workflow control and exporting tools.

Styncyl –Another codeless game creator, this deserves to be up there with the best: a clean visual interface, it publishes for iOS and Android.

PlayMaker+Unity – Playmaker is a visual scripting tool for the Unity engine – it makes life easier for Unity devs, but does require some experience. If you use Unity already, this is a great addition to your toolkit.

Fusion 2.5 – Clickteam’s Fusion 2.5 lets you compile both apps and games for both iOS and Android. Aimed at all experience levels.

PlayIR – Another multi-platform game developer, this one very much concentrates on beginners designing their first app or game, with a drag-and-drop interface, visual design tools, 3D animators and pre-existing templates.

GameSalad – This game-development tool is almost as beautiful as the games it makes, and more than 65,000 games developed to speak to its simplicity. Three of those, like Help Volty, even made it to the top of the US App Store.

Gideros Mobile – Open source, free and multiplatform, this game maker uses LUA to develop apps and games –  while it does use Object-Oriented Programming, it does require a modicum of experience.

LiveCode – More of a coding platform than a game maker, it nonetheless stresses simplicity of use and accessibility, while also letting you create games or apps. Says it ports between iOS and Android.

Game Editor – Uses C to make games, meaning it is cross platform and open source that’s free to use, provided that the game is open source. A good place to start learning to program.

 

Game Engines

Cross platform (iOS/Android)

Unity Mobile – Mobile version of the biggest and most popular game engine, Unity. Currently on “Unity 5”, it supports iOS and Android, requires experience but has pretty much anything you’ll ever need.

Unreal Development Kit – Industry-leading together with Unity – has a free version and is used to create games for all platforms, as well as 3D simulations and apps. Experience required but can’t go wrong.

Corona SDK – One of the more popular app development platforms that aren’t Unity or Unreal, supports iOS and Android and offers a wide range of tools to go with it, including deep-linking cards and training.

Marmalade – A strong and popular game dev tool for cross-platform native games and apps in C/C++ and deploy to both mobile and desktop. Supports both Android and iOS. Used by top developers, also has an asset store.

Edgelib – A “middleware” solution that allows for both 2D and 3D development on both platforms. Comes both free and with a paid-for licensed version.

JMonkey Engine – A Java OpenGL engine that is free and open-source, it’s 3.1 Alpha has just released. Allows porting to all OpenGL 2-compatible devices.

Cocos2D-x – One of the strongest and most famous free-to-use frameworks for building 2D games on both platforms.

Esenthel Engine – A high-performance engine with ease of use in mind, it works for Android and iOS and can be used on both Windows and Mac. Offers free and subscription-based versions with access to the source code.

ShiVa3D – 3D “What you see is what you get” game engine and editor, it supports all major platforms and offers a whole dev toolkit, from workflow management to LUA coding. Three versions available one of which is free.

Libdx – Free to use development platform for Android 3D/2D. Open source under Apache 2.0, offers discounts on game development books too.

Orx – Orx’s developer is very active, and says the framework is both portable and an open-source, lightweight 2D engine.

App Game Kit – This uses a BASIC language and is available on Steam. You can code natively or write your app once before deploying on multiple platforms including the two major ones.

Starling – Rovio uses this cross-platform framework to develop Angry Birds, and they’re not the only ones. It is free to use and open-source. Of note is its low CPU-usage and great optimization.

PlayCanvas –  On top of being an open source WebGL engine for iOS and Android, PlayCanvas offers to host games developed with it for free. Fully 3d and open source.

PowerVR – An SDK and developer tools to make any kind of app, its forum isn’t very active, but it does offer a specific program for universities wanting to use the platform.

 

iOS specific game engines

iTorque – Now available as MIT open source software, this 2d game editor for all iOS device development was used for Bellatorus and Sushi to Go, among others.

Sparrow – Starling’s iOS-specific little brother. Free-to-use and open source, it uses Objective-C and was built from scratch for iOS.

Oolong – Written in C++, this free-to-use engine can both create new games and port existing ones to iOS devices.

Newton – As the name implies, this is an open source life-like-physics simulation library. Free-to-use but does require some basic knowledge of physics to employ effectively.

DragonFire – A C++ 2D iOS development tool to be used in Windows. Was used for games like Ghost Jumper and Little Fish, and can also create App-Store-ready apps.

NinevehGL – 3D engine built on OpenGL ES with Objective C,  it features the ability to import 3D models directly from any software, multiple shaders within a single object and numerous special effects.

 

Android specific game engines

Candroid – Free-to-use engine for Android. If you like it, donations are appreciated by the creator.

Android Arsenal – A collection of different Android libraries, from color pickers to ads, layouts, scrollers and more.

jPCT AE – Free, lightweight 3D game engine that’s a port of jPCT for Android and Java. Supports OpenGL ES 1.x and 2.0.

Android Box2D – This is 2D physics engine written in C++ for Android developers which has even won some awards. Used to create the Crayon Physics Deluxe game, and ports for other platforms are available.

Catcake – A free 3D graphics engine for Android (and possibly iOS) – light-weight, comes with its own debug console and plenty of management features.

 

Sound and Light Engines

Audiokinetic – Audiokinetic’s Wwise is a multiplatform-compatible sound engine which integrates with Unity, Unreal, Marmalade and more. Comes with built-in sound effects and ready-made plugins.

Geomerics – Geomerics produce Enlighten, a dynamic global illumination technology compatible with pretty much every platform under the sun, and behind AAA games like Star Wars Battlefront.

ARM Developer Center – A suite of tools ranging from an OpenGL ES emulator to texture compression and asset export, this is one for the more experienced developers.

 

Asset Libraries and Software

This is a list of mostly-free assets and repositories.

OpenGameArt – Extremely large repository of video game art assets. Most of it is free with only proper accreditation required. Also, has themed collections of assets.

SpriteLib – One man’s sprite library, created over twenty years ago but completely free and open license.

FreeSound.org – Free Sound repository, updated fairly frequently and with a very large variety of sounds.

HasGraphics – Repository of free art assets for Indie game developers. Hasn’t been updated in years but it still has a sizeable library.

Blender – 3D model and animation software, it is free, open source and very powerful. While it has its own plug-ins for Android game creation, it’s best used to create assets and animate them elsewhere. A highly professional tool, it does require experience.

Blender Models  – Library of user-submitted 3D blender models. Updated and used very frequently, there’s nothing stopping you using the models directly into your game, but do credit the creator.

Autodesk – The famous design software company known by engineers and designers worldwide is great for making 3D models for your game. Doesn’t get more professional than this.

 

Tutorials, Forums, and Resources

Tutorials

Raywenderlich.com – A collection of written, video and podcast tutorials can be found, covering all sorts of engines and frameworks for iOS, Android and more.

Cocos2D Flappy Bird Guide – Cr eate a Flappy Bird clone with this step-by-step guide, using Cocos2D and Sprite Builder. Solutions can be found on Github.

Learn Cocoa – A very large database of tutorials, guides, and resources on learning the ins and outs of the cocoa engine.

 

iOS Tutorials

Intro to Swift – Free tutorial on Apple’s programming language, Swift, in which you create a Tetris clone to learn the ropes.

Complete iOS Game Tutorial – Part 1 of a game-making tutorial that will have you develop an iOS version of the famous Pong, including examples of code.

iDevgames Programming for beginners – A bit dated (2013) but it covers all the basics and has a good intro: a four-page beginner’s guide to iOS game development. Includes libraries, engines, and programming languages.

Handmade Hero – A bit left-of-field but well worth a look, this is a game accompanied with videos which explain every single line of code within it: a great idea, and good for learning while having fun.

 

Android Tutorials

Building Your First App – The official Android introductory lesson on app building for their platform. Pretty much anyone who develops for Android should read this.

KiloBot – A game developer that has published free tutorials for Android. Hasn’t been updated in a while but a very good resource to start with.

App Fundamentals –  Guide from the official Android website, this one is aimed at complete beginners and is on fundamentals like components, the manifest and resources.

Android Application Development Videos – The New Boston has a huge number of tutorial videos for all sorts of platforms: the Android playlist linked here currently has 200 videos in it.

Android Game Development – Wide knowledge-base and plenty of articles on Android development by Javacodegeeks.

 

Mobile development forums

iOS Forums

Apple Developer Forums – The official Apple developer forums. Requires membership of the Apple Developer Program to access.

MacRumours Forum – iOS dev subforum for the popular Apple news blog MacRumours. Active and full of resources

iPhone Dev Sub Reddit – An extremely active and well-organised subreddit, with extensive FAQs, tutorial links, and discussions.

 

Android Forums

Android Dev Sub-Reddit – The SubReddit for Android developers. Good source of news, with plenty of discussion, but not the best place to look for technical, nitty-gritty answers.

 

Cross Platform Forums

Stack Overflow – The indispensable resource for programmers, and the best place to ask any kind of question and get answers. All platforms supported, non-mobile too, and a good search engine to find previously-asked questions.

Corona Forums – The official forum for discussion of iOS and Android development framework Corona. Great resource and very active.

Gamasutra – Programming news, updates, how-to guides and tutorials from various authors. Not platform-specific.

 

News and Reviews

Develop – News website covering all aspect of game design, from business to coding to art. Excellent source to stay on top of trends.

Gamesauce – Great source of news, inspiration, and post-mortem aimed specifically at game designers, indie or otherwise.

Pocket Gamer – Mobile-only game review and news site, covers new releases, best-ofs, videos, walkthroughs and has an indie-specific section.

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1 Comment

  1. mink lashes 20.07.2017

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