When comparing Moai SDK vs GameMaker Studio 2, the Slant community recommends Moai SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” Moai SDK is ranked 18th while GameMaker Studio 2 is ranked 83rd. 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 Quick prototyping
Pro Good user interface
Pro Well-optimized engine
Pro Has a trial version (but limited functions, can't export)
Pro Many unofficial tutorials
Most GMS1 tutorials are fine for GMS2
Pro Highly customizable IDE
Although users must work within the IDE and editor, GMS2 has many options to customize the look and feel
Pro Good documentation
Pro Huge, generous community
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 Not the best scripting language out there
GML is just weird; if you want to learn programming, it is not the best because it teaches bad habits and has many odd shortcuts and shortcomings that won't transfer to a real language
Con HTML5 export is buggy, doesn't "just work"
Con Quite expensive
Windows ($100) + HTML5 ($140) + Mobile ($400) + UWP ($400) is $1,050, plus $800 anually for each console export separately. But doesn't do anything any of the free engines can't do, and the stability and tech support aren't great.
Users frequently report crashes and hangs, particularly when working with assets, and the software uses a complicated underlying meta-file structure that may become corrupted and cannot be rebuilt
Con Limited support for OOP
Con Small development team
The core programming team is only 5-10 people, with about 30 employees total, so bug fixes can take a long time to be addressed, and there aren't many official tutorials