When comparing Moai SDK vs Adventure Game Studio, the Slant community recommends Moai SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Moai SDK is ranked 20th while Adventure Game Studio is ranked 24th. 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 Easy to learn tool
Good for newbie game creators. Can be used for prototyping: on several occasions was used to make a demo/experimental version before creating a final commercial product on different engine.
Pro Completely free and open source
AGS is licensed under Artistic License 2.0 and is completely free for use for creating both freeware and commercial games.
Pro Relatively well documented
Besides the manual there are multiple text and video tutorials and code samples written by community.
Pro Used for a number of high-profile commercial releases
Adventure Game Studio has been used to develop games such as "Resonance", "Blackwell" series, "Gemini Rue", "Primordia".
Pro Lots of assets available
An extensive library of game templates and script modules accumulated over years. You can construct a simple game in hours (if you know what you are doing).
Pro Friendly community
An old, big and active community which would support newcomers not only in learning basics of the engine, but can help with every aspect of game making (including art, voice acting, moral support, etc).
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 Development is slow
Further development of the engine is currently slow, done by only few people in their free time.
Con Assets cover almost exclusively adventure/quest genre
The features, script functions and game templates are very biased towards adventure/quest genre. The non-adventure games were made in AGS (2D shooters, platformers, turn-based strategies), but their development usually requires to write everything from scratch.
Con No visual editor for scripts
You have to actually write all scripts yourself.
Con AGS Script isn't as full-featured as other scripting languages
Its own scripting language has lower syntax capabilities compared to modern script languages.
Con Workflow is closely coupled with the editor
Workflow is very tied to the editor and custom file formats, which can cause problems for bigger, more professional projects (interfering with source control, parallel development, automated builds, etc)
Con Graphics renderer is a bit dated
Graphics renderer is not well optimized for high-resolution games and complex effects.
Con Uses dated tech
Engine is based on the old technologies, which impose number of limitations and may cause problems on latest systems (level of annoyance varies depending on your priorities).
Con Natively supports only 2D
2D only native support, 3D could be supported with plugins though.