18 Best Mobile Game Development Platforms and Software
- Posted by: Mr. Vivek Shah
- Category: Game Development, Mobile App Development, Unity3d
Mobile Game Development Platforms
- Unreal Engine
- Cry Engine
- Corona SDK
- Amazon’s Lumberyard
- Construct 3
- GameMaker Studio 2
- Clickteam Fusion 2.5
The widespread adaptation of Android and iOS devices have changed the gaming industry. Every person that is 14+ has a phone now and the most common thing that people use their phone is for passing time and doing something fun and for entertainment. And no one can name more fun activities than playing games.
As a matter of fact, it is seen that more than 62% of smartphone users have a tendency of installing a game within the first week of purchasing their device.
With the rise in the sale of tablets and mobiles, game app download has increased immensely and with the introduction of cloud gaming and real money games, the mobile gaming industry has taken a take-off and the future of mobile gaming looks very bright indeed. The mobile gaming market has grown so much that it is now ahead of computer gaming. Looking at the popularity of mobile gaming, it can be said that it is a promising market to generate revenue and this reason has inspired many to develop mobile games.
This is the reason why you must be wondering about how to develop games for mobile devices. Games like PUBG, Candy Crush, Angry Birds, have helped the mobile gaming industry to reach these levels and they are an inspiration to many developers. Mobile games rank second, after social media in terms of time spent on apps. Users spend around 1.15 billion hours every month playing games on their smartphones.
So now the question is how can you develop a mobile gaming app?
What is Mobile Gaming App Development?
Mobile gaming app development refers to developing and launching games that are designed to run on a mobile device. These games are optimized to take advantage of the product’s unique features and hardware, this is why the developer must consider a long array of screen sizes, hardware specifications, and configurations so that the games can provide a seamless experience across all mobile devices and tablets.
Here are the steps one must follow in order to develop an effective mobile game app,
- Come up with an awesome idea
- Create a game story
- Concept Development
- Create Game Design
- Quality assurance and game testing
- Deciding Monetization Strategy
- Support and Maintenance.
Following these 8 steps, you can launch your own game app and you can start earning from it, however, these steps are not as simple and they look and a perfect game requires a lot of work and expertise and therefore it is advisable to seek the help of mobile app development company as the niche experts can definitely develop an awesome and effective gaming app for you.
The first step of mobile game development starts with selecting the development platform. Whether you are a game developer or you are getting your game developed by a mobile app development company, the first thing you have to decide is the development platform. As a customer too, you should know the basics of mobile app development languages as they all have different advantages and features and if you know the basics, it can help you in selecting a language that can help the developer in developing an effective app and can help in reducing the development cost.
As a business owner, you might think about why you should know about the mobile game development platforms and frameworks, but this knowledge will help you in expressing your needs to the developer more clearly. Having the basic knowledge will enable you to have a decent conversation about what you want and all your requirements, otherwise, you would only end up saying – “Do whatever you think is right for us”.
But before we jump into details about various mobile development platforms and frameworks, let’s first focus on the monetization strategy. Before starting the development, you have to prepare the plan on how you are going to earn from your gaming app.
Basically, there are four types of pricing strategies for a mobile app pricing strategy, you can choose one from the strategies mentioned below.
4 Types of Pricing Strategies In Mobile Game Development
If we have to pay something, there are chances that we will think that if the thing is value for money or not, but if something is free, we will download it to use or at least to try it. You will see Google Play Store and Apple App Store flooded with free apps.
The app is free to download, and the main source of income is through advertisements. When the television industry can earn billions using this strategy, why can’t the apps?
According to your purpose, there are two types of free apps. The former is a completely free strategy. You can use it as an add-on tool for your brand name. Brands develop their apps to facilitate the shopping experience. The goal is not to earn money directly from the app but to redirect the customers to other revenue streams.
The completely free app includes features like coupons, discount notices, and other information that can encourage the user to take action. The app is used to spark interest and to make the experience with the brand or company easier and efficient. The latter is an in-app advertisement. In this, the app is free to download, but the users will have to see some ads while using the app.
According to Statista, 96 percent of apps in the Google Play store are freely available, whereas, in iOS, 90.3% of apps are free, and the rest are paid apps.
Free Mobile Game Advantages
- More chances of downloads
- Drives consumer awareness and boosts engagement
- People prefer free apps more than paid ones.
Free Mobile Game Disadvantages
- You will need a huge user base to generate revenue.
- Users can get frustrated/distracted from the advertisements.
Freemium is basically a reshaped version of the free strategy. The apps are free to download, but it comes with constrained usefulness and highlights. In-app purchases is the source of revenue in this strategy.
3 Types of Freemium Mobile App Strategies
1. Two-tier approach
Users can download and use these apps for free, but there are some features that can be availed after payment only. E.g., The Royal Pass in PUBG, in-app currency in games, etc.
2. Free trial approach:
The app is free to download, and you can use all the features that the app offers, but to a limited period only. The idea behind this is to let the users explore and see if the app is right for them before making the period and to provide them with a taste of what the app is capable of offering.
3. Advertisement approach:
All the features are free to the users. The users have to see advertisements now and then while using the app. The catch here is that the users can pay a specific amount to make the app ad-free.
Freemium Strategy Mobile Game Advantages:
- Attract a lot of users and organic traffic
- When users see the capability of the app, they are willing to pay for it.
- If properly developed, a freemium app can be a huge source of income.
Freemium Strategy Mobile Game Disadvantages:
- Proper management of updates is required.
- Notifications for updates are to be positioned appropriately, or it can irritate the users.
The users have to pay a certain amount to download the paid apps. Due to the popularity of free apps, paid apps are considered the least effective.
If you want more people to download your apps, you have to back up your app with compelling marketing strategies. You have to make sure that the users understand that the price that they pay is just a small investment, and they will have tons of benefits after downloading your app.
The users have the highest expectation from the paid apps, and thus you have to make sure that your app is able to stand to those expectations. Brands often offer free week or month trials to give the users the hang of the product.
Paid Strategy Mobile Game Advantages:
- The revenue stream gets established.
- It is a base for loyal customers.
- Increase in user ratings
Paid Strategy Mobile Game Disadvantages:
- Prospective users are unlikely to attract due to the price factor.
- High user expectations.
Paymium is a blend of paid and freemium apps. The users are required to pay to download the app and they also have to pay to avail added functionalities. In spite of being a less-used strategy, this strategy has a huge potential to generate incredible revenue streams.
This is used by apps like music apps, social networking apps, etc. This strategy can be successful and can generate revenue if exciting content, unique functionalities, and useful features are introduced on a regular basis.
Paymium Strategy Mobile Game Advantages
- Payments are ongoing.
- Pushes you to think out of the box and find new ways to attract users.
Paymium Strategy Mobile Game Disadvantages
- The number of downloads is less.
- Extremely high-quality content and regular updates are required.
- It is time-consuming and requires a lot of effort.
I hope you were able to select the right pricing strategy for your gaming app.
Recently a new pricing strategy has been added and it is in fact quite popular nowadays – Real Money Games. In this category, the users have to buy game coins/chips to play games and thus you get a commission out of the chips/coins that they buy.
After selecting the pricing strategy, the next step is to select the game development platform and framework. Here are some game development platforms and frameworks you can choose from.
18 Top Mobile Game Development Platforms and Frameworks
WIth 45 % of Global Game Engine market share, Unity 3D engine is used by 47% Game developers as the primary development tool.
Unity is a cross-platform tool launched by Unity Technologies. It is an all-in-one platform for mobile game development. It is famous due to its quirky features, supportive pricing, and strong capabilities. As it is a cross-platform tool, it saves a lot of time for the developers which would have been otherwise spent on developing games for individual platforms. It comes packed with amazing 2D & 3D features and thus games developed on this platform are visual treats.
Unity Game Development Examples
- Temple run trilogy
- Subway Surfer
Unity Mobile Game Development Platform Advantages
- The engine is highly used as it provides support to almost 27 platforms.
- The app developed can be easily shared between PC, web, and mobile platforms.
- High-quality audio and visual effects ease the game development and help in delivering quality gaming experience.
- Easy to understand documentation is available for an explanation of every small topic.
- Debugging and tweaking are very easy.
Thanks to its user-friendly features, the Unreal engine can be used by beginners too as no programming skills are needed to develop games on Unreal Engine. You can make necessary changes and you can modify the game without programming or changing codes. The interface is really easy to work with, and the biggest advantage is that you can run game testing in the platform itself. Unreal Engine can also be used to design stunning 3D graphics and thus the developer can use it to deliver games that will hook the gamers.
Unreal Engine Game Development Examples
- Injustice 2
- Mortal Kombat
Unreal Engine Mobile Game Development Advantages
- The best part of the Unreal Engine is that it is free and open-source software.
- Developers can make the use of pre-made assets to achieve photo-realistic rendering images for the game.
- The engine is a cross-platform engine
- Unreal has more tools and functionalities for a wide variety of situations.
- This is the best tool for the optimization of the game.
3. Cry Engine
Cry Engine has received recognition because of the amazing graphics output. If you want to develop a game with superior visuals, then Cry Engine is the ideal game engine for you. The inclusion of tools like Flowgraph helps in making the game ambiance powerful and attractive. Various classes of handy tools are available for beginners to understand the engine and its features.
Cry Engine Game Development Examples
- Farcry(which is an extremely popular open-world game)
- Arena of Fate
Cry Engine Mobile Game Development Advantages
- You can develop an amazing game environment by using cry Engine’s artist-level programming.
- This engine is blessed with the most powerful audio tool, Fmod.
- Cry Engine offers the finest coding.
- Cry Engine handles open-world, vegetation rich environments really well.
- Cry Engine is easy to learn and provides extensive support to the developers.
4. Corona SDK
Corona SDK is a 2D game engine that uses the Lua scripting language. This language is comparatively easy to learn and code with. Corona SDK is used for 2D game development as its 2D features make 2D game development relatively easy. Corona marketplace offers various plug-ins. The clear documentation and active and supportive community make Corona SDK a popular choice. The real-time simulation helps the developers to see how the app will look after the changes are done.
Corona SDK Game Development Examples
- Designer City
Corona SDK Mobile Game Development Advantages
- It is a single code-based engine and thus you do not have to develop different codes for different platforms and thus it is really time-saving.
- Corona has features to include interactivity and graphic content in the game and therefore while working on it, you will feel like a designer and not a developer.
- It makes monetization easy as it provides integrated support for banner ads.
- When compared to other SDKs, Corona much faster frame per second (FPS) making your games performance smooth and consistent gaming experience where there is no place for game slacking.
As the name suggests, Amazon Lumberyard is a game developing engine launched by Amazon. It is free to use a platform which you can use to develop all types of mobile games. As it is also a cross-platform engine, the game created can be released on different platforms easily. Thanks to the Twitch integration, developers can create visually engaging content that can easily entertain the users.
Amazon Lumberyard Game Development Examples
- The grand tour game
- Star Citizen
Amazon Lumberyard Mobile Game Development Advantages
- The large library of tools that Amazon Lumberyard provides, is amazing enough to develop AAA quality games.
- Some of the best features include full C++source code, networking, Audiokinetic’s feature-rich sound engine, seamless integration with AWS cloud, and finally the Twitch API.
- Another advantage is pricing as there are no royalties or licensing fees, the only cost that you have to pay is for the usage of AWS cloud for online multiplayer games, but that comes with the advantage of faster deployment and development and thus that is also an advantage.
Spritkit is a game engine launched by Apple to develop 2D games. The engine supports Objective-C as well as Swift language. The developers can develop high-performance 2D games using a wide range of features that the engine offers. If you want to develop games for iOS devices, this is probably the right engine for you.
As the engine is powered by Apple, this means that the developers don’t have to download extra libraries or external sources and you can be totally sure that the developed game will perfectly run on all Apple’s existing and new products.
SpritKit Game Development Examples
- 10*10 Blocks
- Sumo pop
SpritKit Mobile Game Development Advantages
- As the engine is developed by Apple, everything is logical and works as you would expect them to. Clear methods and properties work just perfectly for iOS app development.
- The built-in tools help you to get rid of third party software to make your texture, atlases, assets, or fonts, as you can just drop in your images and Xcode will do everything for you.
- Built-in physics engines make the work much easier for the developer.
Cocos2D-x is a package of 2D game development tools, owned by Facebook. As it is a product of Facebook, everything is available in detail about the product. It comes with detailed documentation and has a large support community and thus anyone can easily read the content and they can learn the tool. It is script development, entity-component, and data-driven development tool that is focused on creating content. Developers can develop high-performance games using its powerful suite. It includes an all-in-one extensible editor that simplifies resource management, game debugging, previewing, and multi-platform publishing.
Cocos2D-x Game Development Examples
- Hill climb racing
- Don’t tap the white tile
Cocos2D-X Mobile Game Development Advantages
- The biggest benefit is that you don’t have to pay any royalties as Cocos2D-x is an open-source game engine.
- It can develop cross-platform games.
- Third-party libraries can be integrated with Cocos2D-x to enhance the functionality of games.
- The best feature is that you can develop games as small as 1.5 MB using this game engine.
BuildBox can be used to develop games very easily and in a really short time. The process of developing games on BuildBox is just selecting the images, importing them, assigning the roles, and your game is ready to be played. There is no need of coding for developing your gaming app. Changes in the game can be made and the effect can be checked in real-time using the BuildBox engine. This is a friendly platform for people who are not tech experts.
BuildBox Game Development Examples:
- Color switch
- Ball jump
BuildBox Mobile Game Development Advantages
- BuildBox offers over 20,000 game assets, sound effects, and animations.
- The latest version of BuildBox can be used to develop 3D games without any coding.
- Drag and drop functionality makes the development process really easy.
- Using BuildBox, you can implement ads by just a few clicks.
- Game templates are also available to make the development process as easy as possible.
Titanium Game Development Framework Examples
- Prototype 1 & 2
- Crash Trilogy
Titanium Mobile Game Development Framework Advantages
- You can develop codes in a few lines and in a flexible way and thus, it accelerates the application development process.
- Appcelerator has built up a community of 200,000+ developers and thus you get really great support.
- It has launched an open-marketplace for buying, selling, and sharing modules, and thus developers can also take the help from here.
10. Construct 3
Construct 3 Game Development Examples
- Beast Attack
- Lunar mission
Construct 3 Mobile Game Development Advantages
- Construct is great for developing 2D games.
- Construct requires no programming knowledge to develop amazing games.
- Construct can be used as a pure prototyping tool.
- Construct is an affordable game development engine.
- It is a very flexible engine.
- It is stable and well looked after by Scirra.
GameMaker Studio 2 is a 2D game development engine launched by Yoyo Games. The language is really easy to learn and the drag and drop feature lets you develop your game in a short time. The engine is budget-friendly and thus you don’t have to spend a large amount of money on the engine. The user can personalize the experience, as the platform allows the users to set a development environment or organizing workspace.
GameMaker Studio 2 Game Development Software Examples
- Police Stories
GameMaker Studio 2 Mobile Game Development Software Advantages
- You can develop games of all styles and genres on GameMaker Studio 2, therefore this engine will suit all your needs.
- Gamemaker Studio 2 is a go-to engine for beginners and its speed is unmatched.
- Gamemaker Studio 2 is a very simple engine and using the plug and play system, you can develop games almost with no programming.
- Gamemaker Studio 2 makes exporting to multiple platforms simple.
MonoGame is a multi-platform game development engine. Its class architecture is similar to the XNA 4 API. It works with C and Net languages, therefore if you already know both the languages, working on MonoGame won’t be hard for you. However, the official website offers various learning tutorials that can help you in developing your game. As the engine uses shaders written in different languages, MonoGame has developed its own language for creating shaders – MGFX.
- Infinite Fight
MonoGame Mobile Game Development Advantages
- The engine has the same structure as Microsoft FX files, text format for easy editing.
- MonoGame is a flexible, versatile, and highly customizable game development engine.
- MonoGame is great for 2D game development.
- Cross-platform development is easy with MonoGame.
- It is an open-source engine.
Haxe is an open-source, high level, cross-platform game development engine. It includes a set of common functions like numeric data types, texts, binary, etc, that are supported across all platforms. Haxe as a programming language resembles C++, PHP, or AS3 languages. Haxe comes with a library that contains a variety of frameworks, functions, and procedures. You can choose any and you can start developing your awesome game.
Haxe Game Development Examples
- Dead Cells
Haxe Mobile Game Development Advantages
- The Haxe compiler is lightning fast and thus you can quickly develop your game.
- Haxe offers very tight type checking and thus helps in quick game development.
- Haxe adds missing language features to target platforms.
Gideros is an open-sourced and free platform. Without any additional charges, you can develop amazing games and you can launch them on different platforms because of the cross-platform functionality. Gideros used the same scripting language as Corona: Lua. Testing your game on the real devices in real-time is possible using Gideros.
Gideros Game Development Examples
- Swift Soccer
Gideros Mobile Game Development Advantages
- Gideros is a free to use engine.
- You can instantly test the game and thus this saves time.
- You can easily extend the core with plugins.
- Gideros provides its own class system with all the basic OOP standards, enabling you to write clean and reusable code for any of your future games.
Godot engine can be used to develop 2D and 3D games. It is a cross-platform and an open-source engine. It is released under the MIT license. You can run Godot on various operating systems including Windows, Linus, and macOS. You can use Godot to develop games from scratch without using any other tool besides some tools for content creation (art assets, music, etc). Scripts, Graphic assets, and all other game resources are saved in the computer file system rather than being saved as a database.
Godot Game Development Examples
- SPOOKY GHOSTS DOT COM
- The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy®
Godot Mobile Game Development Advantages
- Godot supports multiple languages and language binding.
- Godot’s node system makes it an intuitive and extendible design tool.
- Godot is free to use and you will be the owner of everything you create using the engine.
- Godot has its own IDE and it is very lightweight.
Marmalade is a multiplatform game development engine that you can use to develop 2D and 3D games. It uses the C++ code for developing games. It allows you to build native apps for desktop and mobiles and thus it is quite a popular choice among developers. Its main concept is “write once, run anywhere”. You can use libraries and code examples that are included in Marmalade and thus this makes the development process easier. You can test and deploy applications on different platforms.
Marmalade Game Development Examples
- cut the rope
- plants vs zombies
MarmaladeMobile Game Development Advantages
- If you use Marmalade for your game development, you have a single source for your application, regardless of the platform.
- You can integrate third-party libraries.
- You can compile the game directly with native CPU instructions to give maximum speed.
- You can develop games without virtual machines or language crossing programming.
If you want to create an event-based game, then Clickteam fusion 2.5 is the perfect choice for you. It provides all of the necessary features that you need to develop an event-based game. As Clickteam fusion 2.5 doesn’t require programming language knowledge, it is easy to work on. You can use conditions and options to save time and to finish your game development quickly.
Clicktream Fusion Game Development Examples
- Five nights at Freddy’s series
Clickteam Fusion Mobile Game Development Advantages
- Tutorials help you in developing your game.
- It is an all visual programming engine.
- A strong development community will help you at any step of the development.
- It is quick and easy for prototyping.
AppGameKit is a fit for all game developers. Whether you are a beginner or an expert, AppGamekit offers the perfect solutions for all. It is a user-friendly platform that uses a C++ similar coding language. AppGamekit is the perfect solution for multiplatform game development. It is a cross-platform engine and thus the game developed using AppGamekit will be available for all platforms.
AppGameKit Game Development Examples
- Driving Theory Test 2018
- Echoes III, etc
AppGameKit Mobile Game Development Advantages
- Developers can develop games without learning the engine much as it uses a similar language to C++.
- AppGamekit magic helps in increasing productivity, complies with the game, and launches it on the device for a test run.
- Go native lets you build games with C++ using IDE you have already worked with.
There are different benefits of all mobile app languages and no language is better than the other. It is just about your use case, your budget, the platform you want to launch the app on, and some other things. If you want to use the most suitable mobile app language according to your requirement and have the best app developed, make sure that you choose an expert and skilled mobile app development company.