Going through the dozens of comments awaiting moderation because of my absence I noticed several comments about a couple of changes that have occured with the Sio2 Interactive game engine and the Corona SDK.
As many visiting this site probably know I have been maintaining an open source iPhone game engine and commercial iPhone game engines on this site for some time, and I appreciate the comments that allow me to keep those listings up to date.L
First, the Sio2 Game Engine. The engine has been updated and many new features have been added, including a simulator for Windows, and the ability to write C++ code for Sio2 in visual studio. You can read more details about the new version here. The new version is no longer open source as was mentioned in several comments. The “legacy” version is shown on the page, but after clicking through the maze of links you end up with a popup stating the open source version is no longer available.
Now, the Corona SDK. Corona previously had a time limit of 30 days for which you could use their tool without paying a licensing fee. There is no longer a time limit so you can now work as long as you like with the trial without having to pay. So if that has been standing in the way of you trying out their tool you no longer have to worry about it.
Look for more updates tomorrow as I continue to fix plugins (WordPress can be a bitch to come back too after not updating for a couple of months), and catch up on iOS related news.
It’s been awhile since I’ve written about the Sio2 game engine. For those that don’t know, Sio2 is an open source iPhone game engine that works directly with the open-source 3D modeling software Blender. It’s undergone quite a few upgrades in recent times, and has been used in the creation of many apps in the meantime.
In the most recent version all known bugs have been fixed, and there is a dramatic improvement in speed. They’ve also announced Nokia N900 support.
There’s also a new book that just began shipping that covers using Sio2 with Blender. I have to admit blender in the past has made me want to pull my own eyes out, but some people seem to love it. The book is 3D for iPhone Apps with Blender and SIO2: Your Guide to Creating 3D Games and More with Open-Source Software.
You can check out the engine at: SIO2 Interactive (to download the engine, click download, and scroll to the bottom of the page.. it’s a bit hard to find). You can also read more details about the engine, and many of it’s features not listed here, on that site.
If you’re looking for an open source iPhone 3D game engine that’s available now, and has been used in real apps, Sio2 is what’s out there, and it’s very good.
Please leave any thoughts and opinions below. Thanks.
This article is about quickly developing 3D games on the iPhone using free game engines and with CoreAnimation, for information about free 2D iPhone Game engines please check the Previous Article Here.
If you are determined to get into developing a 3D game there are a couple of free engines. The first one I’ll mention is the SIO2 Engine. I haven’t explored this engine in detail, but from running the examples and going through a couple of the tutorials it looks to be well made, it is written in C, but the learning curve is easier than you would think especially if you have used Blender. The second engine is the Oolong Engine created by well known graphics programmer Wolfgang Engel from Rockstar Games. I’ve been messing around with this engine for awhile, and find it to be excellent, be warned though it is extremely low level, and has no documentation so you will be learning simply from example. It is basically the PowerVR 3D SDK optimized for the iPhone with added memory management, 3ds loading, and a math library, and is essentially meant for programmers with an understanding of OpenGL ES, which probably makes it fall into the “not quick” category of development, but I thought I should mention it for those wondering what I would use.
The final alternative for “quick” game development on the iPhone is just to use CoreAnimation, from what I understand game development using CoreAnimation can lead to performance issues, but if you’re developing a game that doesn’t include any fast action such as a board or card game then it may be your best bet. I’d suggest looking at the GeekGameBoard example from Apple. While the example is a Mac OS X the syntax is very similar, and you should be well on your way to coding a game in CoreAnimation. There are a few missing features, but you can certainly develop a non-action oriented game using CoreAnimation. I left CoreAnimation for last simply because from what I’ve read on the iPhone boards it really is only viable for specific games.
Thanks for reading, and if you know of any good free iPhone game development tools that I haven’t mentioned then please comment about them below.