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Unity Monkey engine for 2D game development (beginner)

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sorry if this has been answered before, but I am just starting to look at game development and am starting to feel a bit overwhelmed by the options to choose from.


First, I am a developer, though never for games, so I would be a beginner, but not afraid to put in the effort. My ultimate goal is to build a 2D Super Metroid clone (or Shadow Complex on Xbox360 for a more recent example).


As a beginner, I don't want to invest in expensive tools to get started before I know what I want/like, and also I am on a linux (Ubuntu machine) which as I can tell limits my options fairly greatly (though if I really really have no other options, I'd look into getting a Mac).


What I'd like

- a game engine/library that has relatively quick ramp-up for a beginner to start building a 2D Metroid clone

- ideally more than a low-level SDK but not as basic as a GUI based drag-drop type editor


- can build to cross-platform for iOS/Android/Ouya (and if possible Xbox)

- programming language is not a big ideal, I don't mind learning a new one if need be (I am familiar with many OO languages now)


What I've considered and ultimately rejected for one reason or another:

  • Corona (I dont like that I have to compile remotely - no linux SDK - $600/year is likely expensive considering I've never built any game before)
  • Unity (seems a bit complex for a beginner as it leans more towards 3D and is IDE based)
  • Monogame (no linux SDK - Xamarin only supports Win/Mac - also $600/year)


What I am now strongly considering is between Monkey and Marmalade Quick (with Cocos2d-x)

I have read good things about both and the costs ($99 and $150 respectively) are ok, and both support publishing to all the major targets.

Some questions I have though

  • Do either have a mature enough feature-set for a beginner?
  • Will I be able to develop with it well on an Ubuntu machine?
  • Is it more of a low-level API, or is it does it have framework features that would help a beginner like me build something easier?
  • For Monkey, I know there are community created modules like , but is there enough documentation for me to actually learn from?
  • Has anyone build a 2D game with either of these and what was your experience. Would you recommend it? 


Sorry, I don't mean to sound like I can't research this myself, I have been spending hours on it, but there is just so much unfamiliar to me that is kind of daunting to know where to begin.


Thanks for any help and suggestions

Edited by msm1982

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