When comparing GameSalad vs ShiVa, the Slant community recommends GameSalad for most people. In the question“What are the best 2D game engines?” GameSalad is ranked 55th while ShiVa is ranked 81st.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
Pro Straightforward pricing with capable free option
The free ShiVa Web version is limited to web publication, but otherwise has the same capabilities as the $200 ShiVa Basic. Upgrading to the $1000 ShiVa Advanced brings tools geared toward team development and professional releases, such as integrated SVN support and profiling tools. All versions are royalty-free.
Pro Lua can be used for fast coding and C++ for optimization
All game logic can be scripted in Lua. ShiVa also provides a cross-compiler from Lua to C++, allowing Lua scripts to be further optimized and compiled to native code for performance.
Pro Great support
In addition to the help forum, Basic and Advanced licensees have chat and direct email access to the developers.
Pro Native c++ export
Pro C++ plugin development options
Pro Great performance on mobile
Smaller platform specific executables, native code export, good FPS even for complex scenes. ShiVa has great advanced optimization features, including PVS and LOD, decreasing number of drawcalls even in complex level. Platform specific profiles allow developers to customize size and compression level for textures and test those settings directly in editor. Other engine features, like lightning baking, mesh combining and GPU skinning will boost performance too.
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.
Con ShiVa 2.0 has been worked on for nearly 4 years!
After 4 years of development and promises ShiVa 2.0 has JUST gotten into beta access.
The current version 1.9.2 of ShiVa was released in December 2013. While there is active development on version 2.0, its beta is available only to paid licensees of the current version.
Con High Cost
Costs $200 for the basic version alone, which allows you to publish to any format other than web. The Team/Pro version costs $1000