Latest tools to design 2D games: What's trending in? - Plunge Interactive

Latest tools to design 2D games: What’s trending in?

Mobile game development is one of the industries that are undergoing a long streak of changes, especially if we’re talking about 2D games. Despite the fact that smartphones are becoming more powerful by the day, and 3D games are starting to become more popular, a lot of people prefer to stick to 2D games. Be that as it may, their expectations from these games are getting higher, so developers are on a constant quest to find new tools and techniques to make 2D games attractive. If you’re a game developer looking for great tools to help you design that perfect game, you’re just in the right place.

1. Unity


You can’t talk about mobile game development without mentioning Unity – one of the most popular game engines of the moment. Initially Unity was mainly focused on 3D gaming, so only 3D-oriented developers could take advantage of what this powerful engine had to offer. However, things changed with the apparition of Uni2D – the 2D-oriented version of Unity. Uni2D brings the best of Unity to 2D game developers, giving them easy access to features like realistic physics, multiple rendering modes (Mesh or Grid), support for sprites and skeletal animations and many other options that will make any 2D game look absolutely stunning. With Uni2D, creating the next-gen 2D games is as easier as it gets. Say goodbye to dull 2D games with choppy graphics and a boring gameplay.

2. Construct 2

Construct 2

Construct 2 is a great tool for 2D development because it’s simple and to the point, with no unnecessary elements or complex options to get into the way. The aim of Construct 2 is to offer aspiring developers a quick and intuitive way to create simple 2D games without the hassle of writing countless lines of code. Construct 2 is object oriented, so the development process is very straightforward: you drag and drop the game elements into the workspace, define their behavior, create the events and voila – your game is ready. Even though the overall simplicity of the platform may not be exactly what perfectionist game developers are looking for, as it doesn’t allow a very high level of customization, it can be the perfect tool to use to create a quick game prototype that can serve as a good start point for the final game. One of the highlight features of Construct 2 is its ability to export a project for a large variety of platforms; since the whole suite is HTML5 based, support for most modern browsers is present by default, but games can easily be exported for Android, iOS, PC, Mac or Linux as well.

3. Game Maker Studio

Game Maker Studio

Game Maker Studio is a great tool to use when designing 2D games because it successfully combines the best of both worlds: an intuitive graphical interface-drive development mode targeted at newbie developers, and a powerful scripting-based development mode for experienced developers. The platform comes with its own scripting language – Game Maker Language (GML), which is basically a blend of C, C++ and JavaScript. Using GML, a skilled developer can tweak even the tiniest details of a game, pushing it to perfection. Game Maker Studio is also platform-friendly, being able to export the projects as Android or iOS apps, Windows executables or HTML5 code for running inside a browser.

4. Stencyl


Stencyl is a development platform that comes with a slightly different approach for the design process by using blocks of logic to define what a character can and cannot do. This approach makes it easier to understand for programmers, which are usually already familiar with logic-based functions; developers that are not familiar with this type of workflow will have a bit of hard time understanding how things work, but once they get it, working with Stencyl will become quite fun. The platform uses drags and drops for logic blocks, making it easy to assign certain properties or actions to an element. Further customization can be achieved by writing custom code for the logic blocks, so if you know your way with ActionScript, you can simply write your own code for the logic and make things happen your way.

This is the guest post by Jason Phillips and Airplane Games 365!

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