Now it's King (Candy Crush) that is giving away their technology (Defold engine)

Though one may want to wait to do 3D games with it (despite it being advertised to do that) because much of the focus is on 2D at the moment.

Yes, this is the same King that made Candy Crush and all of the other popular mobile apps. It looks to have the same basic feature sets seen in a lot of recent engines such as visual editing and the full suite of tools needed to make a game. The only restriction I’m aware of is that games made with the engine has to be hosted on the engine servers, but that may or may not change in the future.

With so many engines now that have gone free, it may be wise to exercise caution in terms of what to use because the more saturation that this market gets, the more likely at least one of them becomes a dead product in the near future. Choose with caution.

It is not open source and they have no plan to open source it. It is free and you have to create your project on their server atm.
We are having a lovely discussion with the developers on that front at the moment:

gamesfromscratch made a video too:

At the moment you can not write plugins for the engine or extend it.
Another problem is that linux 64 bit editor does not work.

A lot of these issues would be solved if they open source it of course. But they are not planning to do that.

I will stick to Godot for now. Only advantage of defold I see is the support for spine animation format and possibly better performance with 3d stuff. Defold has a much more complete and detailed documentation than godot. Godot has a better design approach (nodes! sceneception…) than Defold and is open source (also has a brand spanking new awesome addon system and an addon sharing on its way) - which i think beats all of their advantages right off the bat. Godot’s git has been gradually getting more and more developer contributions, they have a very vibrant community of indie devs contributing code.

Defold’s advantage is that it has full time paid by king developers working on it. But that is putting off a part of the indie community, because nobody trusts king.

We are seeing an interesting competition starting to brew.

honestly, I don’t think I’m the only one who doesn’t care

the market is too oversaturated

Just face it, you can’t beat out Unity and UE4

no matter what you do.

Conpetition is good. While I’ma huge fan of UE4 (and Unity) it’s still great to be a game developer and have choices where not so long ago you either needed a lot of money or to be a developer that new the ins and outs of graphics development. Now a small team can make great games.

Just fyi, King is bigger than Epic Games and Unity Tech combined. How many Unreal Engine or Unity games are currently in the top 10 highest-grossing in any App Store? Zero. Literally every game up there is using its own technology, including King’s Candy Crush Saga.

Another thing these games have in common is that they aren’t using any super-flashy 3D features that look good as a demo for Samsung’s or Apple’s newest device, but that don’t actually work on the majority of devices out there.

UE4 in particular is a behemoth. Try building the simplest 2D demo they offer (Tappy Chicken), it’s already an arduous process. The editor itself offers you very little in terms of 2D editing. For development, you have to either use C++ (the horror!) or a visual scripting language (the clutter!). There’s no support for a “real” scripting language like Lua or Javascript.

Unity is a bit more lightweight and offers better scripting capabilities, but 2D features were added as an afterthought here, as well.

I’m sure there is a place in the market for a “simpler” and more focused engine like Defold, just like there is a place for Gamemaker and many other engines. In terms of success of the resulting games, Defold has already beaten out Unity and UE4.

I do have to admit that I too am getting a little depressed at the constant “how many siggraph papers are in this game engine” evaluations of engines. Why do I never hear “well, their translation system wasn’t good enough”? Or “Well, it’s very difficult to redistribute patches for this engine compared to other engines”? You know, things that can cause a nasty headache in modern distribution instead of something that can be solved with “eh, we’ll just use last-gen graphics”?

There was nothing in the thread suggesting I may use Defold if that is one of the things this comment hints at, I too will stick to Godot.

The main concern I would have for those who use Defold would be the fact that King games are known for seeing the introduction of bugs that never get fixed. I don’t know whether or not Defold is at fault, but if they develop it like their games, then reporting bugs may be a fool’s errand as you simply may not know if your report will ever be addressed.

I see some advantages and disadvantages:

  • Lua is a nice easy language to learn, but so is gdscript. The api and documentation is way better than godot’s. They have everything with example code.
  • has support for Spine animations and thus sprite meshes, godot doesnt (yet)
  • full time paid developer team dedicated on improving the engine
  • Very good for 2d puzzle games, possibly better integration with facebook and battle tested on actually very successful games
  • editor does not work on linux 64, Godot works awesomely! They are in alpha stage though:
  • Does not have any 3d level editor or material editor, godot does have both and more
  • It is NOT open source and there is no support for addons, Godot has both and is soon opening a sharing platform
  • used and funded by King, bad reputation
  • no open roadmap, no full transparency as to what is being worked on, no github - so bugs are filed at a forum and cant be easily diagnosed/fixed
  • does not yet support admob, but supports facebook ads

Bumping this thread, because the guy behind Gamesfromscratch has finally put together his guide to using Defold (offering insight on what to expect).

In short, working on your game requires you to be on the internet and logged into your Google account (because your new game is not actually on your machine, but instead is in the form of a git project on King’s servers). What does occur on your machine though is your game while it’s being run (but to do that the engine essentially downloads your project as opposed to just reading it).

Supposedly there is a way to bypass all of that, but this alone might scare away a ton of potential users with the presence of alternative solutions that are entirely offline (not to mention the online tie is much greater than Unity and Unreal, even though those engines also require an account). Then there’s no telling what would become of your work if the servers crash.

I really fail to see the point of Defold with all those limitations - especially considering that many excellent 2d engines exist on the market, both free and affordable ones - and dedicated ones for specific game types as well.