When comparing Corona SDK vs Skyline, the Slant community recommends Corona SDK for most people. In the question“What are the best game engines for beginners and non-programmers?” Corona SDK is ranked 13th while Skyline is ranked 26th.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
Pro Very simple to use
Corona SDK is completely free as of March 2, 2015. That includes pro-tier plugins.
Pro Lua syntax
Uses the great and easy-to-learn Lua programming language.
Pro Amazing learning curve
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.
Pro Corona Simulator
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.
Pro Good documentation and lots of tutorials
Pro Cross-platform desktop and mobile
Corona works on OS X, Windows and Android (including Kindle Fire & Nook).
Pro Great community
Pro Ability to call any native (C/C++/Obj-C/Java) library
Pro Very comprehensive API
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.
Pro Content scaling
It's easy to create a game that looks good on many different sized mobile devices.
Pro Live builds - update builds running on a device automatically
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.
Pro Well supported
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 Making a device build requires internet connection
To build your app for the device (iOS/Android/AppleTV) Corona requires to fetch resources from online. This would include base application template and plugins. This allows not to perform local build or use Xcode or Android Studio to do a build. Even Large games/apps would build very fast with good internet connection.
Your code never leaves computed. Corona SDK would transfer some information to determine which plugins and pieces has to be transferred in order to make a final steps in build.
As a bonus - you get basically one button press to get from your Corona Simulator game to game on a device.
Con Closed source
Since you don't have access to the code, you can't make changes to the SDK. You even have to implement workarounds on issues that have long been reported, but never fixed.
Con Free, but not completely
Such conventional plugins as a reference to AdMob for example, cost $300 per year!
Con No C++ SDK
Con Still in beta
Not all features are fully implemented yet.
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 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).
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.