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It's very quick to get things up and running with Corona SDK. The API is extensive and while it's not 100% feature-complete with the iOS API, it's close enough that you could create tons of games and never run into a roadblock. The API docs can be found here. See More
To build your app with Corona you have to send it to them online to compile. Your source code never leaves your hard drive, it's some bitcode that goes up and back, and as long as you have an internet connection it's invisible. Even large games/apps are so fast you'd never guess any connection was being made. Hit run and your game runs. Period. Offline builds work fine with enterprise and Corona Cards as well. See More
It uses Sublime, with an extension for autocompletion and launching the emulator. The editor doesn't provide enough information about parameters or documentation when calling a method and when you use objects it's unaware of the properties each class has. All it does is kinda drop templates into your code. This is more like using Notepad++ compared to Visual Studio. Sublime has no idea what the variables represent. See More
There is a plugin that let you use Xcode as an editor, complet with debugger and all. Very practical See More
Corona SDK ships with Corona Simulator, which runs your game/app directly on your PC/Mac and updates every time you make changes. It provides immediate feedback to your actions, you can see your changes right on the screen, without necessity to make build to device. Getting instant feedback really boosts tenfold prototyping and development speed. See More
Now with "Live Builds" you can see code changes in realtime on your device. With the live build feature, once you have created a build and installed on a device, you get lightning fast turnaround times because any change on the code or data is updated to the devices running the game (within the local WiFi) immediately. So changes can be tested on the real hardware within a very few seconds. What's even more impressive, this even works flawless with multiple devices running the game. You have to use it to learn how good of a feature this is while development and even more, while doing QA. Imagine fixing bugs and everyone of your QA team/friends/whoever helps to get your game done, has all changes on his device without doing anything but waiting 5 seconds - outstanding. See More
Corona does not throw photoshop-like madness full of buttons editor. You can go as fast as you want, learning and building game from ground up. Eventually, you'll learn how much corona is doing for you. But to start you don't have to master complex editor software. It's a great tool to learn to start game development if you want to learn how to program and make games. Your experience will be 100% transferable to any other Pro game engine. See More
Clean toolchain, one-step texture packing & exporting See More
Most existing documentation is out of date. API documentation sometimes exists, though is usually just a one-liner and more often than not is completely absent. New features and significant system rewrites often make it to a major release without a single line of documentation accompanying them. See More
A new feature since Cocos2d-x v3.1 is support for 3D models (in your 2D game), not only this but support for skeleton animations is included too! This awesome feature allows for impressive characters in your game along with easier, more fluid and realistic animations. See More
Cocos2D-x is not only open source but also supported by Chukong Technologies of China and USA. Regularly updated and adding support for the latest technologies. 2014 has already seen the release of Version 3, a new Cocos Studio development toolkit (optional) and support for new technologies like skeleton animation systems Spine and Adobe DragonBone. See More
According to the Cocos2D-x website, 25% of iPhone games are made using Cocos2D-x (A Cocos2D mobile variant.) This means you will not be alone in development, and will have access to a large community and know you are developing for an engine that works. See More
Although the Moai SDK is very advanced and uses complicated features, the documentation wiki thoroughly and clearly explains how to use these features, such as the Moai Cloud(a service that provides web services for your game), and multiple ways to build from source. See More
Pico-8 can run on a C.H.I.P. micro computer with ease. In this scenario (on a system with low specs) Pico-8 makes sense, as you may not have enough CPU to run the many separate tools needed to create a game simultaneously. It's also less hassle for beginners (although that could be debatable). Some people might also like that constraints are set for you, rather the setting your own and sticking to them (many people seem have issues with that and understandably so). Forcing newbies to learn programming is also a major plus, Lua is a very easy language to grasp and a great first programming language to learn. Also Lexaloffle are worth supporting, there are much worse places for your money to go. See More
Everything in one place / low system requirement / great implementation of Lua programming / the dev is worth supporting
Here's the flip side of the coin, if you're willing to put in a very small amount of extra effort, many cons begin to arise, as you can set yourself limits in Löve. If you do it that way, you could also use any music tracker (even on or emulating an 8-bit computer, SidWizard - C64 and LSDJ - Gameboy both totally slay the pico-8 tracker) or any music creation environment you like (including code based options like super collider or a full on DAW). You could also use a pixel editor of your choice, that is far more user friendly and has a color pallet of your choice (just google NES, C64, SNES - color pallet), plus countless other options too long to list, that would make Löve using a set of chosen constraints far superior to pico-8, (plus love can do more then just pixel games if you ever choose to diversify). See More
PICO-8 is a "fantasy console", a re-creation of an imaginary game console from the late 80's or early 90's. As such, there are some rather retro limitations on screen resolution, color, and code size. This is actually a big pro, as it limits scope tremendously, making it far more reasonable to bang out a game in a short time. Games are exportable as png with the code embedded, leading to easy trading and collection of "cartridges". See More
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