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Unity What framework should I use?

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Hi all!

I'm a mobile game developer working in mobile-gaming company. Actually I'm free to choose almost any framework/technology. After year of work passed I've gone throught many frameworks. First game was written on canvas (android), which wasn't best solution. After this I've switched to LibGDX. Seemed like I've jumped few levels higher. Next few games was made in this framework, finally thanks to RoboVM both for Android and iOS. However making more complicated animations was really hard (also there were missing a lot of bindings for robovm) and we had license for Flash (CS6). So I decided to learn actionscript and quickly loved it. I didn't have to build all UI from code typing coordinates, rotations, scales from code. Also in second game our designer joined me and she's making great animations using bones etc. Additionally we have greensock premium lib too, which is a great addition. Our games are pretty specific (for kids). A lot of animating things on screen, puzzles, drawing, things like that. For example one of mini-game: car puzzle, after solving car is animating, making sounds, going off screen and going back, also has few random colors. Flash was just perfect for this, but I've encountered many problems like:

- flash and flash builder crashes/freeezes,

- EXTREMLY long loading game with more content (~200 images [spritesheets won't help much here, because they're pretty big] OR just 50+ sounds), my last project is loading (on desktop) 8mins!! (running on last iMac with i5 8GB RAM etc),

- our games have a lot of content so it's hard to not exceed 50mb apk size limit (flash does not support extension files, found some hacks for this only) and blank apk is about 15mb, admob lib is next 5mb etc.,

- many many bugs, some known from few years (examples: changing mask on timeline recreates an object, saving not working on ios when free disk space is less than ~300mb, not working effects on mobile devices and many, many more),

- no debugging on ios simulator (well it was working until release of new xcode and adobe just grayed out this function).

 

Although our games are a lot better I know this solution is far from perfect, also I'm aware of flash is not used in top mobile games.

 

Frameworks I tried:

- corona SDK - not free, but nice tool, however everything has to be done from code so I just can do it on LibGDX,

- cocos2d-x - free with big community, however I have work on MacOSX so there's no CocoStudio (well it's an alpha for now), I'm not conviced about this, also I don't like c++ (debugging :D), maybe cocos2d-lua can be an alternative for c++,

- unity - great tool, really, also free. I'm wondering about this option. In some tests with this framework I've found calculating coords can be a little more troublesome. 3d and units makes everything more tricky, just loved the way working on pixels in flash (don't care about resolution, scene is just fitted to screen size).

 

I tried Spine too, but this is only for animations, not whole scene building with animations inside.

 

Framework should offer:

- support both android and ios,

- progamming language, which can be easily debugged, also on devices (android and ios) and ios simulator, desktop would be nice too for saving time,

- no problems with implementing ad libraries and in-app purchase (flash was troublesome in this aspect too),

- working with obb files, so app can exceed 50mb without headache (unity does support this by just ticking checkbox),

- pretty-fast app building (8mins is definietly too long for creating ~45mb apk),

- ui and animations can be easily done in some kind of editor, which can be done by our designer (she doesn't know a thing about programming), just like in flash - this is most important - I'm not so good to make that nice animations from code, also it takes a lot more time to create,

- at least average performance,

- easy access to camera, gallery and e-mail (for example attaching image).

 

Would be nice:

- free or cheap,

- working on xcode or it's own IDE (not crashing) with syntax completion and other typical features,

- fast to learn, easy to use,

- good support and community,

- fast reaction on OS changes (for example iOS7 release screwed up flash apps, until adobe finally fixed most common issues after few months), apple likes to change everything :D

 

Call me lazy, but I don't like reinventing the wheel. If there's a way designer can build all "visible" side of game, I can focus on programming.

 

Cheers!

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... Okay, I've reread it twice.

Is there supposed to be a question in there? Or perhaps a solicitation for information or opinion?

If you are looking for a list of them, check the forum FAQ. You already covered several in your post.

If you have managed to spend a year on the job looking for a framework but still not selecting one, I applaud you. That is an enormously long time to spend making that decision. Most people would have been fired by then, so good job remaining employed.

All of them have pros and cons. They are all good and bad at different things. One might have features that are a perfect match for your needs, another might be missing a key feature you require. That's the nature of selecting a game engine. Figure out your needs, compare them to the products, and make a decision.

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... Okay, I've reread it twice.

Is there supposed to be a question in there? Or perhaps a solicitation for information or opinion?

If you are looking for a list of them, check the forum FAQ. You already covered several in your post.

If you have managed to spend a year on the job looking for a framework but still not selecting one, I applaud you. That is an enormously long time to spend making that decision. Most people would have been fired by then, so good job remaining employed.

All of them have pros and cons. They are all good and bad at different things. One might have features that are a perfect match for your needs, another might be missing a key feature you require. That's the nature of selecting a game engine. Figure out your needs, compare them to the products, and make a decision.

 

I'm looking for opinions and recommendations. 

It's not like I spend a year looking for a framework. I've chosen flash few months ago, but it's making me more and more frustrated so - I'm looking for something else. No in job, at home :) Each next game is better so noone complains. But I feel flash is not longterm framework.

I have overall view of all most known frameworks, but maybe I'm wrong about something.. or didn't discovered some it's features.

 

Hello.
I don't know if you have considered the Haxe game libraries:

- http://haxe.org
- http://www.openfl.org (seems to import SWF assets)
- http://haxeflixel.com

I've read about it. But it's just cross-compiling toolkit. If I leave flash I'd like to not use animations made in it.

 

I'm looking for something best fitting to my needs, which I described before. Hope you understand!

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