When comparing Skyline vs PlayCanvas, the Slant community recommends PlayCanvas for most people. In the question“What are the best 3D game engines?” PlayCanvas is ranked 20th while Skyline is ranked 38th. The most important reason people chose PlayCanvas is:
Assets and content delivery is very different on a web platform comparing to native. So PlayCanvas challenges best practices to allow developers decide how their content is delivered and in what form. Async Assets download allows developers to load content as the app goes, instead of asking to download all assets in advance risking users to simply navigate away while staring at loading screens. Formats for 3D models and textures support covers all the popular tools. And the workflow is as simple as dragging and dropping your files right into the Assets Panel. The cloud will do the rest of the hard work optimizing and converting your files into runtime-friendly and compressed data.
Ranked in these QuestionsQuestion Ranking
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.
Pro Powerful assets pipeline
Assets and content delivery is very different on a web platform comparing to native. So PlayCanvas challenges best practices to allow developers decide how their content is delivered and in what form.
Async Assets download allows developers to load content as the app goes, instead of asking to download all assets in advance risking users to simply navigate away while staring at loading screens.
Formats for 3D models and textures support covers all the popular tools. And the workflow is as simple as dragging and dropping your files right into the Assets Panel. The cloud will do the rest of the hard work optimizing and converting your files into runtime-friendly and compressed data.
Pro Rendering engine runs on the browser
Has an advanced WebGL renderer that runs in the browser.
Pro Real-time collaborative online editor tool
PlayCanvas has an online editor that lets you build scenes and work with other people in your team in real-time. This is all done through the web browser without having to install any additional software.
Pro Avoids having to download lots of textures for lightmaps
Lightmaps are an efficient way to deliver lighting to your scenes for a long time. But they come with the cost of large textures. PlayCanvas offers a unique solution for a web platform, it renders lightmaps when an app is loading in runtime.
This is faster than downloading MBs of textures. And it's much more convenient: simply switch your light sources to bake, and static models to be lightmapped, and the engine will do the rest.
Pro Friendly and active community
PlayCanvas has Feed as homepage for registered users, listing Dev Logs of other developers. This allows to socialize with other developers like yourself in a twitter-like environment.
More to that, there is also an active forum, where developers help each other to solve their challenges.
Developers of PlayCanvas itself are always looking forward to chat and help the community with any problems that may arise.
Pro Integrated physics engine
PlayCanvas lets users integrate physics in their game rather easily, using the powerful Bullet Physics Engine (ammo.js). Should also be noted that the physics engine is delivered as an optional library, so by default being disabled it does not add any extra download size to your apps.
Pro Has a free tier
Engine is free for projects under 200MB and with no more than 2 people on a team. The free tier has no engine restrictions.
Tools are totally free too. There are no special limiting features behind any paywalls, and free users have all the features as paid users.
There are no royalties associated with publishing your apps and games - you've made them, you own them.
It is free to publish to playcanvas.com as well, just by one click in Editor.
Pro Small app size
The engine itself weighs just under 150Kb, and it's always challenged to stay small. There is no extra weight that has to be carried with your app, just your assets and scripts in a runtime-friendly compressed form.
This allows users to engage with your content in matter of seconds, and even just under a second on a good connection.
Pro Open source
PlayCanvas is fully open source and is under active development.
Pro Has hot code reloading
Real-time link between your launched app and the editor allows the developer to preview and play with their scene without needing to refresh the game after every change in the code to see the updated result.
Pro Cross-platform support
PlayCanvas lets you build games that run in mobile, desktop browsers, and native mobile apps. PlayCanvas can even make games that can run inside mobile social media and instant messenger clients like Twitter and WhatsApp.
Pro Very easy to use
Pro Loads extremely fast
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 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 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 Private projects are only available for premium users
The free tier does not support any private projects. Instead, all the code and assets will be hosted openly. While not a problem for open source games and for developers who intend to make an open source game, it can be a deal-breaker for teams who want to keep their code and assets private.