When comparing Moai SDK vs GameSalad, the Slant community recommends Moai SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Moai SDK is ranked 19th while GameSalad is ranked 54th. The most important reason people chose Moai SDK is:
Because it uses Lua + C++.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Because it uses Lua + C++.
Pro Gives you total control
You can use your own custom shaders and extend the language with C++. MOAI doesn't give you everything, instead it gives you the tools you need to develop any game you want.
Pro Full source code is available
So it is extendable with C++
Pro Easy-to-use particle engine
Uses a limited subset of Lua
Pro Uses Lua, with LuaJIT where possible
Pro Is used by many pro developers
Moai SDK is used by popular developers including Double Fine for their mobile game, Middle Manager of Justice, and for their Kickstarter hit, Broken Age(formerly, Double Fine Adventure.) It was also used to create the popular mobile game Bubble Ball 2.
This proves that this engine can be used to make fully-featured and fun games.
Pro API interfaces
Has options for development like Hanappe and Rapanui, providing a different way to interact with the engine.
Pro Helpful community
The Moai SDK Forum is active and users will go to great extents to answer queries, post code snippets, beta test, and even purchase and give feedback on each others' games.
Pro Helpful and detailed documentation
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.
Pro No-code editor
Pro Has a Windows(.exe) version on par with Mac
The Windows version is now upto date with all the features of its Mac sibling.
Pro Multiple publishing platforms
Can create and publish games for iOS, Macintosh desktop and laptop computers, Android, Kindle, Amazon FireTV and FireTV Stick, Windows 8 and Tizen devices.
Pro Gamepad support
Gamepad support is available as of 0.13.3.
Pro Free standalone viewer app allows instant, live mobile device testing
The GameSalad Viewer is a free app available for iOS, Android and Kindle. Once installed on your mobile devices, you can deploy and test your GameSalad games live on any mobile device running the Viewer that is on the same local network as your dev computer.
This even allows Windows users to test their games on iOS devices without a Mac device and without any complicated code signing or provisioning profiles.
And, you can even take your games with you -- once loaded onto your mobile device, a history option caches recent games on your device without any connection to the dev computer.
Pro Allows you to focus on the logic rather than code
Since the user mainly uses menu options there is very little code needed to be keyed in. This makes the code very easy to read and understand.
Hence there are many help videos on youtube
Pro Extensive community of seasoned professionals for support
Extensive community of seasoned professionals in all disciplines (graphics, game design, animation, physics, music, video production, marketing, etc.) producing tutorials, videos, publishing tips, free templates and who are willing to answer forum questions and help newcomers.
Pro Powerful expression editor and functions
Allows you to create expressions on par with LUA (it's back end-language).
Pro Custom collision shapes with JSON support
Allows you to import JSON data for custom collision shapes to use with Gamesalad's implementation of Box2d physics.
Pro Easy to publish
Software prepares your app so you can just send it to Apple. All my games are reviewed with no problems.
Pro Drag and drop editor
The drag and drop editor makes GameSalad very easy to use, no programming experience needed.
Pro Great engine
Very quick to learn and great for making games. Community is very open and helpful.
Con Not for beginning developers
The Moai SDK has very advanced features which allow it to create powerful games. A drawback from this is that it is not very suitable for beginners.
Con Not necessarily tested or stable
Con Scarce documentation
Since it is a minimalist framework there is not that much documentation, but if you are used to reading API references and source code you are good to go!
Con Development has ceased
The last update was over a year ago. Users should not expect things to still work on future OS versions unless they're ready to fix them yourself.
Con Poor editor performance
Especially when you're working on a big project.
Con No scripting language or SDK
If a needed behavior is not supplied by GameSalad, there's no way to add it.
Con Product is suffering - Lacking company leadership and no voice from corporate
Some customers are currently in a holding pattern from the lack of support and messaging from GS corporate. GS is currently unstable and developers are waiting for another update that has been going on from 2015.
No word or message from GS corporate about timeframes or deliverables.
You can read the ongoing discussion here.
Con Product is in Limbo - company is lacking developers
Con Expensive compare with others
There is no free version any more and it is very expensive compared with other engines.
Con Doesn't support Windows platform (*.exe)
Doesn't support Windows platform (*.exe)
Con Bad editor
There is no scene zoom, search boxes, or snap to grid. There is also no ability to focus view on the actor or use folders for file structure.