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Game Engines are an important element for game developers. It eliminates many of the technicalities involved in developing a game and offers game developers the flexibility to focus on building the game. A game engine typically offers wide range of time saving tools for game building. If you are a beginner or a professional developer these top 10 Game development engines will serve as a guide for you to choose the best game engine for your gaming needs.Unity 3D
The GameSalad development suite makes game building simple and easy. You don’t need to wade through complex codes to develop a game. The GameSalad features check boxes, dropdowns and the oddlist similar to features you will see when using utility software like Photoshop. GameSalad can be published to multiple platforms like the Mac or iPhone as well as to devices using the Android platform like the Nook. The game engine has a real-time editing feature enabling scenes to be edited while the game is in play. The game preview feature allows the testing and debugging of memory usage and performance of games. The scene editor makes it super easy to manipulate actors in a scene. All you need to do is to drag and drop actors to alter how they are visualized in a scene.Torque 2D
The Torque 2D features a powerful and user friendly 2D game engine. It offers a lot of the features of the 3D game engine which is custom-made for 2D gameplay. This game engine can be published to Mac, Windows, Xbox 360, Wii and the iPhone. The Torque 2 D’s intuitive and powerful editor makes game creation simple and easy, making it is ideal for individuals with little or no experience. The Level Editor features a host of WYSIWYG tools for game designing and editing. The Level Editor is built into the Torque runtime and offers complete access to the entire Torque subsystem. The powerful rendering of the Torque 2D is great for achieving an excellent artistic style.Stencyl
This is a game engine that can be used to create 2D video games for the web, mobile devices and computers.. Stencyl has extensive platform support. Games built in Stencyl can be released to the web through the Adobe Flash Player and HTML5, to PCs as executable games and can also be exported to various mobile platforms like Android and iOS applications. Stencyl projects use the Haxe programming language and offers flexibility via the NME game framework by using the write once, run anywhere style of game development. The Stencyl application has several modules that can be utilized to create games. These include the Behavior Editor, Tileset Editor, Actor Editor as well as the Scene Designer. Power users are able to import existing code libraries, create and share their own blocks and create customized classes that seamlessly interact with block based behaviors.Pygame
This is a suite of Python modules designed for game creation. With its functionality and excellent SDL library, pygame enables the creation of fully featured games in the python language. This software is free and allows you to create free open source. It has an inbuilt sillness that makes game creation fun. It does not require an open GL and uses either directx, windib, X11 in addition to various backends. The Multi Core CPUs can easily be utilized. Pygame is compatible with many operating systems and does not require set up tools or ctypes for installation and its simple and easy to use.Corona
Corona is a robust game engine that features industry standard technologies including Lua, OpenAL and OpenGL. The Corona comes with the Box2D physics engine, Game Center, Facebook Connect and sprite sheets. With the Corona you can access a wide array of features you will need to create an exciting mobile game. You can easily monetize games via advertising and app purchasing. The Corona can be used on the various platforms including iOS, Kindle Fire, Android and NOOK. Games can easily be built with a single codebase and eliminates the complexities involved in game creation. The Corona SDK starter offers free building and publishing of apps for users.GL Basic
This game engine offers a user friendly, flexible fast to write programming language. GL Basic offers the easiest and most intuitive programming language available making it ideal for writing high performance programs. No need to change the source code when starting your Linux, iPhone development GP2X/Wiz and PocketPC after writing a program, allowing users to concentrate on essentials when building games. GL Basic game engine is free for personal projects on Linux, Windows and Mac OSX. It is ideal for beginners who want to learn programming as a hobby.Eclipse
Eclipse is a 2D game software based on the FMOD and SDL programming making it ideal for usage across different platforms. This game engine is easy to use and takes care of all the tedious tasks, enabling game developers to focus on other areas during the creation of the game.
The RPG Maker VX features a simple operation that offers game builders the flexibility to create original role playing games with little or no expertise, making it an excellent game engine for beginner developers. The software comes with pre-made features so there is no need to learn the code. Simply build a game by pointing and clicking while adding a little creativity.Related articles
With more and more people creating both personal and commercial websites it makes sense that web design wireframe tools are on the rise. Rather than using desktop versions of these applications, many website prototyping tools are now cloud based; meaning that they can be accessed via a web browser, shared online and updated by multiple users.
Here are the top 10 cloud-based website prototyping tools currently available for use online.Cacoo
Cacoo is an ideal website prototyping tool if you find yourself working with developers all over the world, as it currently supports more than twenty languages. As well as being multilingual, Cacoo also supports real time collaboration; enabling multiple parties to work simultaneously on different aspects of your site.
While your SEO guy is using Cacoo to craft your copy, your web designer can also apply the finishing touches to your layout and graphics. Users have the option to make projects private or public, and public projects support comments from non participating users; giving you access to feedback on your new site before it even goes live. Genius!
Like Cacoo, Creately also supports real-time collaboration; however, it only supports seven languages. Creately offer both an online version of their application as well as a desktop version (suitable for Windows, Mac and Linux systems), and the desktop version will sync with the cloud once an internet connection is established.
Creately is a great tool for any developer looking to create wireframes offline (after all, even a developer needs time away from the web!)
The brains behind Gliffy claim that it is ‘the most widely used online diagramming application’; and while this may be true, Gliffy lacks features that other apps listed here offer. For example, although Gliffy can support a variety of different diagrams and it will allow multiple users to have access to a single project, it does not support real time collaboration.
However, Gliffy handles undoing changes more smoothly than its competitors. Every time a change is made to a project the last version is saved and archived. Should a collaborator make a change that you are not happy with it is very easy to reinstate one of the previous wireframe designs. Gliffy also integrates with a number of third party applications including Google Apps and WordPress, and it also has its own API.
HotGloo claims that it will ‘change the way you create and experience wireframes’, and it can certainly be said that this slick interface includes features that other website prototyping tools do not offer, such as an integrated chat feature; allowing all participants to discuss the project while drafting the wireframe and layout designs.
Like many competitor products, HotGloo supports real-time collaboration, making it easy for multiple members to work on a single project.
iPlotz is an unusual tool in the sense that it does not have a standard user setup. Instead, iPlotz offers three access levels; preview, wireframe and manage.
Preview users can access the site for free, and they can look at wireframes but they cannot modify them. Wireframe users can obviously modify a wireframe, but they have to pay for the privilege. Finally, manage users can add and remove other users, and they can also manage user permissions.
iPlotz also supports a desktop version, which like Creately will sync with the cloud version when ‘Online Mode’ is selected.
Invision is a great tool for the non geeks; for those who perhaps want to create their own personal website or a small business website. You don’t need technical knowhow to manipulate the drag and drop interface within Invision.
If you are a developer, you can still find Invision useful. Its user management features make it easy for you to only provide access where it is needed, and Invision gracefully handles any dialogue between developer, collaborator and client within the application.
Lumzy may be a very young website prototyping tool, but it is quickly making waves with users and developers alike. For a start Lumzy offers an integrated image editor that allows users to perform simple image adjustments, such as cropping and resizing. It also offers real-time chat functionality, much like HotGloo.
Lumzy also offers features that can be considered advanced website prototyping, allowing developers to demonstrate more complex interactions compared to other wireframe tools.
Mockingbird is one of the few Flash based website prototyping tools on the market. While this is great for Windows systems, it’s unlikely to be so great for Apple based devices. However, like so many of its competitors, Mockingbird does offer real time collaboration, and wireframes can be exported to PDF for use outside of the internet.
Pidoco focuses its features more on the testing of prototype websites, rather than the developing of them. However, the features it does offer for the testing and debugging processes are invaluable. For example, developers can record testing sessions and they can see the user’s screen. Developers can also use the integrated chat facility or the VoIP feature to communicate with clients and testers real-time.
Perhaps one of the most difficult aspects of website prototyping is trying to represent graphical elements with a simple diagram. Anyone unfamiliar with what the web is capable of may struggle to envision what it is you are trying to portray. However, ProtoShare may be the website prototyping tool for you. ProtoShare supports the use of CSS and JS, enabling developers to demonstrate custom components and complex interactions.
Another awesome feature that ProtoShare supports is the quick and easy conversion of onsite comments into actionable tasks, which can greatly speed up the development, debugging and project management processes.
Card games are part of all our history, a much loved selection of games that have been enjoyed throughout the globe for centuries past. As with the majority of our much loved favourite games, they have started their movement into the online world, mixing our much loved traditional games like Poker, with more modern, thoughtful games like ‘Modern Art: The Card Game’. Whichever game you choose to pick, you will see a whole new level of design coming into play that blends the traditional symbols and graphics, with 3 dimensional cards, depicting high end imagery.
Designing your own card game has never been more free and full of the chance to get your expression and ideas across. Thinking of designing your own game? Here are our top tips to help you design the next breakthrough card game this year.Concept
There is a wealth of competition out there for this form of game and with the current hype surrounding online casinos, getting your game seen and played will all depend on the ‘hook’ of your concept. Your concept will need to include the game play sequence; this should include strategy, the pace of play and a certain level of random chance. It is these specifics, especially the strategy, that will get players excited in your product.
Once you have this information, then you will have an idea of how the turns are conducted and what the end goal of your game will be. Each card can then be assessed to see what effect it will have on the play sequence in the game. This is also where you can get an idea of graphics, colour schemes and whether you will include static play or animated sequences.
A great example of how little tweaks to strategy and game play can create a new version of a classic card game is Matchplay 21 available at Intertops Casino. This game uses the classic rules of Blackjack, but has made small changes that have added intrigue into this classic. The graphics are beautifully realistic and even more importantly, they are easy to use/understand. This game remains faithful to the original game, but the designers have considered all the features needed for online gaming, the pace of play, what each card does and the clever use of graphics to make it feel like you are really there.
Now that you have covered the ideas of concept and themes, then designing your game can begin. Before contemplating the layout and backdrop to your game, you need to know exactly what you want to say in the simplest way possible. Start by surveying all the cards used in your game and set a top amount of words per card – if your game has wording – or how many images per card. If you can’t make the card clear with a single image, then you may need to re think your concept.
This will help you to set the right style for your context, remember to look at how your symbols will be used in your game. For example if you are creating the next online monster game, then making the symbols light and airy will not work.
The main difference in designing an online game vs. its offline alternative is that you will also need to set the scene; designing the backdrop becomes just as important as the game play itself. There are many points that you will need to consider here. If you are creating the next bog casino based game, then consider the sounds, sights and smells of a real life casino – these will need to be replicated in order to create a realistic environment. You will also need to think about how the background works from level to level, do you want animated, flash backgrounds or a simple static image that creates atmosphere through sound and game play alone.
Finally, create a short demo of your game, this is one of the most important things to do, as this will tell you whether your game is fun or not! A recent report into designing the perfect game, by gameDEV.net suggests;
“People make short demos of their game ideas and play-test those demos to see if their games are fun. They tweak and iterate on their ideas until they’re polished and fun.”
That’s it! Once you have created a plan based on all these points, you will have a workable baseline from which to work up to creating your final game.
Balancing work, family, hobbies and personal health is a constant conundrum in life. What should be your first priority? Your job is obviously quite important so that you can provide for your family, but your partner and children require a certain amount of love and attention too.Here are a few tips on how to stay on top of things as a game developer trying to raise a healthy family.
Learn to Say No
This can actually help you in all aspects of your life. If you are working on a tight schedule and partner asks you to pick up the kids from school every day, you need to kindly remind her that you have a serious amount of work to get done and need to concentrate for several hours on end. Just say no, I can’t do that right now.
If you are the only person that can pick the kids up, consider creating a schedule for both you and your partner to adhere to. Perhaps you watch them for a few hours after school and start dinner, but after that are allowed a few hours of alone time to finish your work.
If you aren’t working from home, learn to say no to a boss that asks you to stay late multiple times a week. Suggest working from home if you have the time, will get paid overtime, and really have excessive amounts of work that need to be completed.
Reading books is a great way to entertain your family once all tech devices have been powered down / Photo courtesy of www.mom2bbreviews.com
Turn Technology Off
Although it may be tempting to keep games on for your children to play at all hours of the night (especially if they won’t be distracting you), you should set strict rules as to watch time all technology should be turned off in your house. This will not only help your kids mellow out sooner, but it will help you get to bed faster since they will already be relaxed.
Be a good example to your kids by stopping your emails at a reasonable hour and turning off your own personal cell phone or even the television by 10 pm. If you are following the rules, the kids are more likely to follow suit.
Find a Hobby
A hobby can mean anything from exercising a few times a week, to going out and playing your guitar with friends. Either way, find something that takes your mind off both work and family. It is important to distract yourself sometimes and de-stress by yourself. This ensures you will be the best family-oriented person you can be upon returning to your family.
If you don’t think you need time away from your family, incorporate them into your hobby. Maybe you’d like to make Friday game nights and use that as a sneaky excuse to have your family members test out the newest game you’ve developed.
Work From Home
Find out if you can work completely remotely or if your boss will consider allowing you to work from home 2-3 times a week. Many companies allow their computer engineers and techs to work from home simply because they can.
Working from home can save you several hours a week commuting and may even allow you to get more work done than you otherwise would if you had to drive to the office and sit in traffic.
With the advice above you will be better equipped to balance your work and family life. Do what you can and make the changes you need based on what your family is asking of you. Try to prioritize things and de-stress in your own way when you need to.
Main Photo courtesy of idiva.com
With Disney’s Infinity on the horizon, it makes one thing about all the great Disney games that have come out before it. Most people have picked up a Disney-centric video game in their lifetime, but some are better than others. Here are 5 of the best Disney video games ever released.Castle of Illusion Starring Mickey Mouse
This game was a Genesis release, the first in Sega’s Illusion series and one of the earliest games to be released for the console, even before Sonic the Hedgehog. As Mickey, you are on a quest to save Minnie from a witch named Mizrabel, who wants her youth (if she realized that Minnie is technically 58 years old at this point in 1990, she might have thought twice).
The game was a side-scrolling platformer with all levels inside the castle where players could either jump on enemies or hit them with marbles or apples. At the time of release, the game got major rave reviews and still holds up as a fun game today.
Aladdin, also for Genesis (as well as a version for SNES) was a huge hit when it came out. The nostalgia of this game is endless, letting you control Aladdin through levels that are reminiscent of scenes in the movie and used the original movie score for many parts of its experience. Though the game had a notoriously hard battle with Jafar in the end, it was still a whole lot of fun to play. The Genesis version is, for all intents and purposes, the superior version over the SNES version as well, especially graphically.Epic Mickey
Although Epic Mickey isn’t a flawless game, it’s one of the few more recent Disney releases that really captivates a new style for the company, a little darker and more interesting. It’s the quintessential game for those who love the history of Disney, incorporating Oswald the Lucky Rabbit as a main character, who was the original character Walt Disney drew up.
Wildly hailed as one of the best franchise cross-overs, Kingdom Hearts brought together the great character design of Square Enix with the classic characters of Disney for an epic RPG that everyone loves. With a great story, awesome cameos and really fun gameplay, it holds up as one of the best Disney games ever.Chip N Dale Rescue Rangers
Going back to the old school NES days, Chip N Dale was one of the most fun platformers on the NES. It had impressive graphics, for the time, great music and a really fun cooperative mode. It holds up as a great game, even 20+ years today.
Everyone has an idea in mind of the key features and functionalities that they desire in their phones. For iPhone consumers, one of the top key features them our driven to be games. With a higher interest in games, iPhone is crowned “mobile device king” by an end of the year study this past year. Data driven from users of popular platforms such as Androids, iPhones, and Blackberries, iPhone conquered far above its opponents when it came to devoted gamers. This provides interesting feedback about iPhone consumers.It’s All in the Numbers
iPhone gamers come from a wide spectrum of interests and tend to be very loyal to their playing time. It is recorded that iPhone gamers play their games of choice typically 743.1 minutes on a monthly basis. This number far exceeds the Android gamers who clocked in at 484 minutes on a monthly basis. So iPhone attracts their consumers to their games and then captivates them into playing on a more regular basis than any other mobile device platform.
And the numbers are just rising! With more mobile consumers turning towards smartphones, gaming popularity is just increasing among Americans. In a couple of years, estimation 2016, more than half of mobile consumers are going to be dubbed iPhone gamers.
The most striking data derived from the increase popularity of iPhone gaming is that it has been determined that iPhone game features are used significantly more than any other feature on the iPhone. Popular features such as texting, social networking, and even the basic phone call, all fall short of the minutes used by iPhone games and their devote gamers.iPhone even Appeals to Game Developers
It is true that the market of Android is open source; however, top notch game developers prefer developing their product on iOS versus Androids. Think of the iPhone as a “playing field.” Most extremely popular and successful games that people of all interests flock to be probably introduced on the iPhone first. After the game proves in its success, it may then be converted and developed into an Android game. So die hard mobile gamers, who typically want “it” first, tend to migrate to the iPhone knowing they can get the latest and greatest from top game developers first.
Game developers have even been stumped into thinking that with the high success of their product on iPhone it would do just as well or better on the Android. However, in some cases this is proven false. This all relates deeply on that iPhone gamers are more devoted to their favorite games and out play an Android gamer any day. I phone devices themselves are much more advanced devices than that of most android driven devices. Apple has created the iPhone in such a way that it utilizes each aspect of the device and typically out performs the Android. What this means is that for the most part iPhone game developers can experience their game on a better platform and device to get the full experience of their game.
In conclusion the iPhone is the best testing and developing platform for mobile games. Expect big things from our iPhone game developers and even bigger things from our iPhone developers themselves. This is not a hard thing to imagine considering the iPhone consumer expects big things so under delivering is not an option.
In the near future we should expect machines that are faster smaller and capable of allowing the gamer to experience a much more lifelike streamlined gaming experience than ever before. iPhone developers know that game developers and consumers are counting on them so look out and expect the unexpected.
People of all ages love playing online games because they are available in so many different categories, such as arcade, action, board, puzzles, card, strategy, simulation and adventure.
‘Plants vs Zombies 3.1’ is a game that young people and adults have gone crazy for. Each round of Plants vs. Zombies begins with a clean compound of lawn and players must build up their defences with mines and bombs to utilize sunlight for growing plants that kill all the zombies. This is one of the most ported games which started on iOS and is now on various other platforms including xbox live and PC.
Match three games are addicting and exciting for people of all ages. One of the most popular match 3 game is the classic game of Bejewelled (and its sequels) which is in its 3rd online edition. Players of all ages love playing this colourful gem game from the Classic mode, the Quest mode and the Zen mode. Power-ups gain players different levels of achievement badges. Ancient Jewels is also a match 3 game played by clicking 3 or more jewels of the same color to clear them and stone slabs at each level with power ups.
Online Mahjongg is an addicting game which can be played by the whole family as eye skills and strategy are employed with laughter and fun. Players must match identical tiles to remove them and add as many points as possible to win. The tiles are available in a variety of characters, designs like circles, symbols, flowers, seasons and so much more.
The Zuma Deluxe game played online is a challenging puzzle game where players must protect an ancient civilization through chain linked coloured balls that are fired into where groups of three are removed to earn players bonus points with each level. The characters and game objects include a stone frog idol, a golden skull and exciting pulsing music.
The title of Monkey Trouble sounds like it is just for kids, but adults and young adults will laugh their way through this fun popping game. Group rows and columns of monkeys together to pop them and reveal golden tiles. Fire rockets and squash bananas to pop and win Monkey Trouble 2 before the evil monkeys, rocks or coconuts catch up with you.
Playing Monopoly online is not much different than the Board game, even with the recent addition of the cat. Even children enjoy this classic game where they can collect property and lots of dosh. Playing online also introduces players to Monopoly The World Edition where players buy cities around the world. Family Feud online games are just as much fun as the telly game. By guessing the top answers to questions, wins teams points to play Fast Money.
Game development is a fickle thing, when its good its fantastic and when its bad it really is the pits but each and every game is a learning experience. Here is a few tip and techniques from a like minded game developer:Telling all of your friends and family about your latest indie game (work in profess) doesn’t demotivate you (as seems to be the general thought). Instead, they will keep nagging you so much that you will not be able to just give up and start something new. Try and read as much as you possibly can about different techniques, algorithms, theory and even other developers case studies. Even if they do not apply to your situation, it will teach you to think differently about your own games and how you approach them. You may have experience with the a certain programming language, but making a complete game is a whole new adventure. Assume you know nothing and you won’t disappoint yourself. Don’t expect computer memory to be this infinite resource. If you’re doing a lot of crazy loops and calculations on very big collections (lists, arrays, etc) you’re gonna find yourself hitting some trouble. Keep a notepad handy. Write down anything that comes to mind when it pops in there. This is especially handy when your are away from your computer and travelling or stuck in the kitchen making dinner. There’s so tonnes of different ways you can do things so don’t be afraid to do it your own way. Sign up and learn Git (or any other version control) is will be your best friend. Get some remote backup such as dropbox, Google drive or any online storage as this will be invalauble. Split and re-use. It’s easier to roam through a couple of different methods and fixing once than it is to read through a over a thousand lines of code and then fixing the same piece of code wherever it occurs. Use forums and chatroom, people are generally nice and have had the same issues. Also help others once in a while as this can speed up the response rate of getting help yourself.
I hope these have helped and if you have any others please feel free to add them on the comments below.