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Unity Choosing 2d multiplatform game engine for mobile devices

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For some time I have few simple game ideas (pretty basic 2d games) and I would like to realize them. My target platform is mobile devices - android and iOS. My programming background is mostly web related - php, python, JS, etc. But I also have played around with c++, c# and java. At the moment I don't want to pay for the game engine, so it must be free and because I am using pc and I don't have access to mac, engine must support windows or linux.

So what would be the best game engine for my needs? I have taken a look at some options myself - unity (free version), cocos2d-x and phaser, but I can’t decide which one I should learn.

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If you use an html5 engine, like Phaser, it probably won't use webgl on android and maybe not on Iphone.  It's really tough to develop for iPhone without an apple computer to do the final compile.  I think the only way possible would be html5, but it probably wouldn't be accellerated.

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I recommend Unity since you want to keep things free.  As fireside stated though, the only way to develop for iOS that I know of without any form of access to a Mac is via HTML5 because Apple requires a Mac to compile iOS apps.  There are solutions though, like MacInCloud, cheaper/older Macs that aren't too old, etc...  In any case, until you get around that barrier, you are going to have to develop more for Android.  If you use something multi-platform like Unity, there is nothing saying you couldn't keep your project around and compile to iOS later once you have access to a Mac.  If you code natively it would be difficult, but Unity, Shiva, and GMStudio can export to the different platforms via the same code and project with very little modification.


If you are doing really simple games, HTML5 in some form wouldn't be bad, but if you want native(for speed) you are going to have to do something else, as HTML5 isn't up there yet on speed, especially on mobile.

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