With the advancement of technology and increasing use of mobile phones, It has become more than calling or messaging device. As a result, mobile phones are becoming smarter day by day and mobile game development is increasing.
If we talk about mobile app there are millions of application available, along with other applications, mobile game development is the major one.
Mobile plays a vital role in every individual life, it has become a major need for everyone. People are not only using smartphones for performing intelligent actions but it has also become a source of entertainment.
One of the most used apps is gaming app, Because of incessant interest in games, mobile game development has become an industry niche in the digital market.
Earlier, gaming app was only part of the desktop, games like Mario was a hit at that time. Now desktop users are using a mobile app to play games. The credit goes to the unpredictable growth in the mobile market. The desktop has lost its charm due to mobile phones.
Today, mobile gaming and graphics play an essential role in mobile game development. So, to cater to all the gaming development requirements, you need to have rights tools.
In this article, I have tried to bring the best game development software, tools or we can say mobile game engines used by developers that will also help you to develop an ideal mobile gaming application.
If you are keen to make mobile games without any technical skills these tools are for you.
Game development pro tools/ game engine
Game development engine is quite heavy, complex and requires skilled developers to manage projects as they’re highly customizable and the possibilities are endless.
Moreover, it saves a lot of time by offering many preset modules, libraries, effects, and tools as these tools are beginner friendly with a large number of guides but still, it requires prior knowledge. It is not the task of a single person as it requires the whole development team for large projects.
Unity is a cross-platform gaming engine, used to create 2D,3D games. It is extended to support 27 platforms. It offers easy and faster ways to develop apps by offering every resource required.
Almost 34% of the mobile games are made with unity app. It’s a multi-platform solution for artists, developers, designers to create desired gaming app.
Unity gaming engine is popular with mobile app development that C# with a 45% market share, and touches over 600 million gamers across the globe.
- Unity engine depends on layers where different game objects can be set and those layers would help developers manage the scalable project.
- Play Mode in Unity engine integrated to help developers debug projects fast by running and pausing project any time.
- Huge asset store, plug and play with pre-built templates.
- Like other tools, its built-in editor allows you to edit images and organize animations from animator window, audio editing, particle systems.
Developer: Unity Technologies
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows, and Tizen.
Games: Tiger Woods PGA Tour 12, Mini Metro, Pokémon GO, Super Mario Run, Angry Birds 2, Temple Run, Wasteland 2, and more.
- Free for personal use.
- Paid plans start at $35 per month.
- personal edition is free.
- plus edition – $35/month.
- pro edition – $125/month.
Unreal engine is the engine developed by epic games. It is the best engine to work on a large sophisticated game with a 3D game engine with features like dynamic shadows, physically-based rendering, and custom post-processing, and Unreal powers.
It also offers expertise in Virtual reality and builds games that are supported by many platforms and operating systems with C++ and visual scripting that will help in game logic quickly.
This is designed especially for first-person shooters, MMORPGs, RPGs, fighting, and stealth games.
- It allows content creators and developers to provide art assets, models.
- Includes sounds, environments, code snippets, and other features.
- Unreal Engine’s graphical capabilities are far ahead of other tools.
- Hot reload function.
- It also includes AI components.
- The code is written in C++
- High degree of portability.
Developer: Epic Games.
Platforms: iOS and Android.
Games: Marvel Heroes, Infinity Blade 3, WWE Immortals.
- Free to use
- For commercial products having more than $3,000 per calendar quarter takes 5% royalty on gross revenue.
It is an open source cross-platform GUI based software used to develop gaming apps. It has detailed documentation, community support and editors in sprite sheet editing, particle, font, and tilemap editing.
It has high efficiency, the game app can have size up to 1.5 MB. Due to its library existing resources, the kit is popular among developers. It works with both Swift and Objective-C and also supports iOS X. It supports Android through Spritebuilder Android plug-in.
SpriteBuilder is a graphical design environment where you can prototype and build games. It also has OpenGL as a rendering engine and Cocos2D is the ultimate framework for working in multiple frameworks.
- Capability to test your app.
- A vast API functionality including sprites, actions, animations, particles, transitions
- Audio libraries.
- GUI elements
Developer: MIT License.
Platforms: Tizen, iOS, Android and Windows.
Games: Big Fish Casino, Dragon City, BADLAND, Castle Clash, clash of lords 2.
- Free version
Marmalade SDK also allows launching the mobile game in different stores in the shortest period of time. It includes a set of libraries, documentation, samples, and tools to simplify programming, with both 2D and 3D games development.
- It allows access to the graphics rendering capabilities either by using the OpenGL API directly or Marmalade SDK layer functionality.
- Exporter plug-ins used in app development
- High performance.
- Open architecture.
- Support for specific capabilities of iOS, Windows, and Android
- Test simulator.
- Marmalade Juice game development tool that supports porting of iOS games to Android.
Developer: Marmalade Technologies Limited.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, Tizen, and Blackberry.
Games: Lara croft, Doodle Jump, Need for Speed-Shift, Plants vs. Zombies, Cut the Rope.
- $600 per license
There is no game without visuals. None of the game can become really successful without effective visuals. In order to make real masterpiece Gameplay, storyline, mechanic, and stability play an important role.
Graphics offers very first impression on a user mind and eyes and these game design tools would help you manage your quest. If it will not work your game have to face failure.
Creating objects, characters, the environment in 2D or 3D or creating skeletons, texturing, is the most crucial phases to develop a game.
Maya LT is a software for 3D modeling and animation that allows creating surfaces, the skeleton of characters, textures, and environments. It offers Hypershade for textures.
It is a cost-effective, fast and effective app building and is targeted at indie developers. It can be used conveniently with multiple game engines like Unreal Engine and Unity3D.
It offers a tool, 3D Paint, provides drawing on the polygon mesh where each object can contain up to 25,000 polygons.
- Equipped with a cross-platform scripting language, known as Maya embedded language.
- Node graph architecture
- 3D modeling tool
- 3D animation tools
- Hight quality material
Games: Overcooked, We Happy Few, Wartile, The Sims, Bully
- $30 per month.
It is a powerful 2D skeletal animation tool for games with advanced animation. It is one of best framework for game development as character images are partly attached to bones to make animation easier.
As Spine contains tons of features. However, most of the features are unavailable in the free version. It has an intuitive workflow to rig and animate skeletons, and tweaking animations.
- It merges two animations into one.
- Efficient workflow for animations and integration.
- It has interpolation features.
- It has various tools to shape and refine 2D animation.
- The spine can pack images into a texture atlas or sprite sheets.
- It imports data in its JSON or binary formats.
- It is supported by 19 game engines and 7 programming languages.
- Procedural animation that allows the bones to manipulate code.
Developer: Esoteric Software.
Games: Sweet Meat, unruly heroes, Rocket punch, Bulb Boy, Funday Factory, Bee Square.
- Free version available.
- Paid plans start at $69.
- Professional – $329.
- Enterprise $2200 annually plus $269 for each additional user.
Yebis is a complex software for impressive realistic environmental effects. It can be used with rendering engine or pipeline. Yebis appeared 10 years ago with add-on new technologies, and algorithms.
It has visual effects and useful features with realistic environmental effects and HDR rendering.
- Real, simulated and HDR rendering effects.
- Easy to use.
- Optical effects for real lenses.
- Colour grading effects.
- Blur effects for speed.
Developer: Silicon Studio.
Platforms: iOS, and Android.
Games: Figureheads, Moto GP 14, Fighter Within, Dragon Ball Xenoverse, Dark Souls III, Magic Duels etc.
- Free trial
- Other paid plans.
Game Creation software
Game creation tools allow creating a game without writing any code. It depends basically on drag and drop frameworks, that allow you to build the game and releases it at a small interval of time to provide simple developing experience.
Moreover, it allows tools to go beyond drag and drop and manipulate the code. it’s good to create small games and impossible to create a unique project. As a result, capabilities of these tools are limited.
Most of the audience of such game maker programmes are students and amateurs without technical skills.
It is an HTML 5, 2D coding free editor. To construct games you don’t need to have coding knowledge. It is constructed in most of the mobile platforms like iOS, Android, Windows phone as well as blackberry.
Construct 2 has a powerful event system where anyone can need to drag and drop objects, add behavior to them to make it alive. Most important is that you can view your game without the need of compiling.
- 70 plus WebGL-based pixel shader effects.
- It has features like fade, platforms, movements, path- findings etc.
- Flexible behavior.
- You can preview anytime without any loading time requirement.
- A simple visual interface such as pixels-shader effects, blend modes, and particle system.
Developer: Scirra Ltd.
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackberry.
Games: Airscape, The Next Penelope, Cosmochoria, CoinOp, Mortar melon etc.
- Free to use.
- Paid plans start at $104.
It allows building a 2D mobile application for iOS, Android, windows, Os x. Corona uses Lua layered on top of C++ to build graphics applications with two operational modes simulator and narrative.
The simulator allows you to build app directly whereas in native corona allows integrating Lua code with Xcode and Android, an easier language to learn.
It is a powerful framework used by more than 300,00 developers to develop gaming applications with 1000 built-in API’s, PLugin, and Corona SDK extension.
- Corona SDK uses an engine called OpenGL that modifies game’s graphical qualities.
- It has a Corona Editor and Text plugin.
- Built-in monetization.
- More than 500 custom APIs and plugins.
Developer: Corona Labs Inc.
Platforms: iOS, Windows Phone, and Android.
Games: Zip Zap, Designer city, Gunman Taco Truck, PKTBALL, I Love Hue, The lost city etc.
- Corona SDK is 100% free
- Enterprise: $79 per month
- Unlimited Enterprise: $199 per month
Fusion allows you to create 2D games with a wide range of extension objects to creates event based games without any need for programing language.
It has an intuitive interface, native fillings and visual editor which is used to add all the elements like a string of text, counters, character through the mouse.
Fusion gaming engine has a multitude of exporter options, which gives you the ability to publish for multiple platforms and also you can select properties of each object by clicking on checkboxes or through a drop-down menu.
- Easily accessible to well-versed or inexperienced in programming.
- Graphics editor.
- Strong development community.
- Easy prototyping
Platforms: iOS and Android.
Games: Quadle, Diabolic Seasons, Future Police, Bit Odyssey etc.
- Free version
- Paid version at $49.99
- Additional package: $39.99 to $149
GameMaker allows you to build games using drag and drop interface. Its framework is especially for 2D and 3D gaming development like a multimedia tool, gaming, and VR.
GameMaker offers its own language which is similar to C known as game maker language, which allows you to go beyond drag and drop. It has control over the game and helps you to easily learn the language.
- 2D spine and Built-in editors for animation
- Real-time analytics
- Multiplayer networking
- Source control and extensibility
- Free version supports windows and paid version supports platform such as iOS, Android.
Developer: YoYo Games
Platforms: iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Tizen.
Games: Crashlands, Psebay, Bluk, Feral Fury, Murder in Hotel Lisbon, Aces of Luftwaffe
- Free trial also available
- Paid version: $99.99
- MObile plan: $399
Game audio creation
There is no chance to get in the game market without good sound effects, music etc. Sound play the role of capturing audience, fun games and buffing storytelling. These tools allow you to create own sound through the use of libraries.
Your game should sound exactly as you imagine. It should be clean and possible to test with game experience and provide ultimate experience to users.
It is also the topmost sound effect engine for video games and applications that consist of sound files API of diverse formats.
FMOD is written in C++ and the interesting thing is that the developers have access to the effects through Unity, Cry Engine, Source, BigWorld Technology, and Unreal Engine plugins.
With an efficient workflow, intuitive visual interface, and powerful collaboration tools, it is possible to create audio by using intuitive visual environment into the game and allows multiple team members to work on the same project at a time.
The recent release of FMOD Studio 1.4 has added extra platform support and enhancements to live game output recording, playback, and scrubbing etc.
It consists of three services:
- FMOD Ex – It is a sound playback and mixing engine.
- FMOD Designer 2010 – It is a tool used for complex sound events and for playback music.
- FMOD Event Player – It is an auditioning tool in conjunction with FMOD Designer 2010.
- Consist of programming API and authoring tools.
- Advanced plugin architecture.
- Multiple license schemes.
- FMOD is written in portable C++.
Developer: Firelight Technologies.
Platforms: Blackberry, Android, Windows Phone, and iOS.
Games: Allods online, Bioshock, Celeste, World of Warcraft, Guitar Hero III, Need for Speed: Shift.
- Free Version available.
- Paid plans start at $5,000.
Wwise i.e Wave Works Interactive Sound Engine is an advanced solution for game developers. It is a cross-platform audio engine and allows team collaboration and provides useful services plugins, integrates with Unity and Unreal.
Wwise seems to have a difficult interface but it very functional software, as it offers an interactive audio toolset, reduces technical risks, and provide comfortable limitless collaboration.
- It allows to import sounds, apply effects, mix new sounds etc in the different environment.
- It has various SoundFrame API.
- It manages the sound integration.
- Plug-in architecture for effect, and source control plug-ins
- Cross-platform sound engine
- The feature-rich interactive audio solution for games.
- Tweak sound effects for games.
- Supports 14 platforms.
Platforms: iOS, Windows, and Android.
Games: Dirt Rally, Overwatch, Lucky’s Tale, EVE: Valkyrie.
- Free version available.
- Paid plans start at $750.
- Premium plans start at $18000
Miles Sound System
Miles Sound System known as Audio interface library is one of the sophisticated, robust, and fully featured sound systems.
There are more than 5400 games on 14 different platforms and offers a full-on toolset that integrates high-level sound authoring with 2D and 3D digital audio.
The latest features in version 9.3 include designed toolset, iteration, and soundscape debugging, allowing designers to capture a game’s sound event stream and replay it whenever required.
- Includes editing for audio pre-sets, environments, events etc.
- Audio toolset integrates sound authoring with 2D and 3D digital audio.
- It includes features like streaming, environment reverb, and multistage DSP filtering.
- Highly-optimized audio decoders for MP3, Ogg, and Bink Audio.
Developer: Rad Game Tools
Platforms: iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and Windows.
Games: Metal of Honor Allied Assault, Duke Nukem Forever, Silent Storm: Sentinels.
- Free version available.
- Paid plans based on a request.
The fabric has many audio features and custom user interfaces which allows developers to design audio using Unity game engine. As it includes features and custom user interfaces for audio directly within the tool.
Fabric allows users to create complex audio structures and reduces dependency by giving more power to sound designers to work on projects independently.
The fabric is written with Unity’s scripting language and provides a number of integrations with third-party technologies, audio assets with complex behaviors.
- It allows adding as many extensions for additional functionality.
- Custom user interface
- VolumeMeter component to measure audio levels.
- It allows design quickly and easily of audio behaviors.
- Audio assets are located under one hierarchy.
- It is used by big publishers and developers that have more than 100+ million downloads.
- Fabric integrates its own custom effects i.e. Stereotizer, Sample Panner etc.
Platforms: iOS, Windows, Android, Mac, Linux, PlayStation, Xbox, and Wii
Games: Hue, Star Wars Uprising, The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land.
- Free version available.
- Paid plans start from $1,500.
In this article, we explored and learned tons of different mobile game development tools that strive to develop an app that falls in the parameters which need technical knowledge in some aspects. If you are a beginner and not at all technically sound there are tools that can be used by drag and drop without any coding knowledge. Moreover without mesmerizing layout user does not like the game. The above list of developing tools are preferred by developers, You can choose the best tool that suits best for your development requirements.