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Archive for category Game Engines


Unity is a powerful 3D game development tool for multiple platforms including the iPhone.  Developers can use Unity’s intuitive visual editor combined with scripts written in Javascript and C# to create iPhone games much more quickly and easily than native development using OpenGL.

The Unity Indie engine (for development companies earning under $100,000/year) costs $199.  To publish on the iPhone you’ll also need the iPhone Basic license at a cost of $399.

Unfortunately games programmed with the Unity iPhone Basic will always exceed a 10MB package size forcing users to download the game over WiFi rather than the 3G network.  The iPhone Advanced license ($1499) allows build size stripping, but even then it can be difficult to get a full featured game below the limit.  But that didn’t stop games like Zombieville USA from becoming one of The App Store’s top games.

Alternatives: iTGB

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iTGB is a 2D game engine from industry veterans GarageGames which brings the capabilities Torque Game Builder (TGB) to the iPhone platform.  TGB is a powerful and easy-to-use engine featuring:

  • Support for a wide range of platforms including Xbox 360 and Wii, which is great if you plan to port your games to another system.
  • A GUI level editor
  • Physics engine
  • Audio support

Using iTGB, iPhone Games can be prototyped in TGB on Mac or PC using the Level Editor and TorqueScript C++ like scripting language and then optimized for deployment on the iPhone.  Along with the complete features and toolchain of TGB, iTGB gives developers:

  • WYSIWYG 2D editor at iPhone screen resolution
  • Powerful scripting language with thorough optimizations for rapid script execution
  • Multitouch and accelerometer input support
  • Touch screen gesture recognition
  • PowerVR Texture Compression
  • Full source included to integrate any other commercial middleware

There are also several add-on kits for the TGB level editor that can help speed up the development process.  iTGB is available for $500 and it requires TGB Pro ($250).  Note that while games can be developed on the PC, they cannot be deployed to the iPhone without a Mac.

Alternatives:  Unity

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3D Game Engine from Garage Games

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Only works on Windows

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Free 2D game building framework

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