When comparing Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family vs Skyline, the Slant community recommends Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family for most people. In the question“What are the best game engines for beginners and non-programmers?” Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is ranked 20th while Skyline is ranked 30th. The most important reason people chose Cocos2d-x and Cocos2d Family is:
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. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro A proven engine for mobile development
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. You'll know you are developing for an engine that works.
Pro Supports 3D models with skeleton animation
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.
Pro Great script language support
Especially with Cocos2d-JS you can develop games cross web and native, and the native solution have great performance with JS Bindings, much better than hybrid solution.
Pro Allows for easy debugging
It has a built-in Python interpreter that allows for easy debugging.
Pro Greater performance than high level APIs
Cocos2d-x is C++ based engine and it has CPU advantages for most platforms because of that. It uses polygonal mesh methods for sprite rendering for using GPU advantages. (You also use quad methods for benefit CPU).
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.
Pro Great video tutorials
Hundreds of video tutorials available.
Pro OpenGL hardware acceleration
Pro Easy integration of 3rd party plugins
For example, if you want to add a rating plugin, you use
sdkbox::PluginReview::init(); and if you want to add the Vundle Ad Network SDK, you use the one packaged in SDKBox
Pro Highly active community for questions and support
Cocos2d-x forums are active.
Pro No external dependencies
Because it is based on Pyglet.
Pro Great tech support and friendly community
A growing community that is always helpful with dev response times averaging less then 24 hours. Often less than 12.
Pro Comprehensive WYSIWYG editor
Skyline provides a straightforward drag and drop development environment that can be customized to suit individual preferences. Playing the game and animating the scene can be done from within the editor at any time.
Future versions will allow extending editor's functionality with plugins and offer an official way of trading custom plugins.
Pro Highly affordable licensing
Skyline's commercial edition costs just £40, has no royalties or earning limitations and includes 2 activations per license purchase and a year of free updates.
Pro Runs well on lower end machines
Skyline can be run on a machine with 2GHz Dual Core CPU, 2GB of RAM and Nvidia's 9800 GT (or equivalent) GPU. While, obviously, higher specs are recommended, it's reasonable to expect around 60fps on small scenes with these specs.
Pro Excellent terrain editor
The Terrain editor is easy to use and will include features such as hole cutting.
There is a differed lighting render for internal scenes, which makes creating multi light and beautiful/atmospheric scenes so much easier.
All the tools for the terrain are in one place such as placing road/paths, vegetation, billboards, and the settings are easy to locate and change.
Planned features include:
Hole cutting in terrain and
Pro Low learning curve
Making a game in the current top engines is hard work, making something small and basic in Skyline is not. Easy to learn drag an drop model placement and editing supplemented with easy to follow video's on forum make the process straightforward.
Pro Full global illumination
Including image based lighting.
Pro Has a free version
A free version that's limited to non-commercial usage and lacks a few features is available.
Pro Impressive water render
Rendering of a water plane looks fantastic and is easily edited for different effects.
The schematic editor is designed to make it easier for non-programmers to create games.
Pro Asset store
Not much in it at the moment but is starting to grow and will continue to grow with an increase of users.
Pro Constant development and regular updates
There are many additions to the engine that are on the road map such as multi threading and tree physics.
The feature list is constantly evolving with each user request and idea put forth.
Pro Support for custom editors
Skyline has a custom editor that gives the user of making their own tools for use directly in the editor to develop their games. All the editors are made using the Qt Designer and programmed in lua inside the engine itself.
Pro OSVR support announced
Open-Source Virtual Reality support is in development.
Pro More editor's
Weapon Class Editor.
Advanced Mesh Editor.
Environment Editor (volumetric clouds and day night cycle, lightening, ocean settings, height fog).
Pro Lots of learning resources
The documentation is been rewritten and follows a structure like a course.
Introduction to > Level designer with examples > Artists
There is also video tutorials, video examples and video tutorial series been produced.
There are user created demo scenes, examples and more.
Pro Visual GUI/HUD Dditor
Making HUDs and GUIs has never been easier
Pro PBR Workflow
Full PBR workflow, your not stuck to Secular or Metallic it has both
Pro One on one private support with engine developers
Can contact the Skyline developers and they will always respond and help as fast as they can.
Con Poor documentation
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. Cocos2d-x family is developed by Chinese mostly, so market outside of China is not their main priority. Some tools (like Cocos Studio) have China-specific services and markets.
Con Poor support and non-existent community
Up until 2013, this was one of the best engines around. However, since then it was bought by a Chinese company and began stagnating - it's virtually in a slow death. Most developers abandoned Cocos in favor of more modern solutions leaving the community weak and the forums with little or no traffic. Although the Cocos2d-x Forum seems to have a decent community going.
Con Cocos2d-html5 is way behind Cocos2d-x
While Cocos2d-html5 tries to mimic it's Cocos2d-x sister and has the same people working on it, it has lots of restrictions compared to Cocos2d-x: no Spine mesh support, no 3D models, bad text label quality, etc.
Con Fragmentation; hard to find useful tutorials
Cocos2d family includes different projects: cocos2d-x, cocos2d-html5, cocos2d-objc, cocos2d-XNA. Most tutorials describe techniques specific to single project of the family, and cannot be applied to other projects.
Con Can seem very complex for a novice developer
There isn't much documentation or tutorials.
Con Modest functionality
Almost all free alternatives are more convenient, faster, and more functional.
Con No C++ SDK
Con Small community
There is a small but helpful community that are constantly creating video tutorials and one member is creating a FREE ebook to make the transition to the engine simpler.
Con Currently limited to targeting PC
Mobile targets are planned.
Con Still in beta
Not all features are fully implemented yet.
Con Lacks occlusion culling and lightmapping
This is been added in a future update, however a date of this update hasn't been given yet.
Con Free Version currently not available/severely limited when available.
The free version has massive amounts of features functionality removed, including the ability to compile anything standalone.
The free version is currently (as of November 2017) not available until the next major release.
Note: some of what is below is open to change, this is the coming set of changes.
The price will be jumping from $40 to £99.99 ($132.32) for the lowest tier able to build a standalone. This tier will not be able to remove the engine splash screen.
The next tier will be £199.99 ($264.66).