HTML5 game engines help you create games without worrying about low level functionality and features of a game.
Modern technology provides an alternative to every traditional aspect of our lives. One such contribution is video games. Video games were developed as a test of hand-eye co-ordination with some mental processing and was initially introduced by the military as a form of simulated training for soldiers.
Now video games have become a popular entertainment industry having multiple genres and a vast user base. All of you reading this article are guaranteed to have invested time in playing some video game titles.
Now as video games are a form of software, it needs to be developed by some video game developers. Furthermore, not all video games are built from scratch and utilize a type of framework to make these fun, interactive, pieces of software.
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These frameworks are called Game Engines which provides all the core functionalities for the game.
Here we will be interested in discussing some HTML5 game engines that are popular and capable of creating quality games.
So without further hindrance, here are 15 top HTML5 Game Engines:
15 Top HTML5 Game Engines
ImpactJS is one of those game engines which have stood the test of time since 2010. You can be sure that it has gone through some heavy testing and is very capable.
ImpactJS also comes with Ejecta Framework, which will easily help you to publish games to iOS platforms. You also get a level editor and debug tools.
The game engine comes with a price tag of $99 and is definitely worth it. With a massive community and extensive documentation on game creation with the engine, your curiosity and passion will merge.
GameMaker has been making games for nearly two decades now. It was built back in 1999 but in 2011 the engine got an HTML5 exporter which allows developers to create HTML5 games with this historic piece of software.
The engine is great for passionate novices to learn the art of making video games but professional can and do use GameMaker.
Game development will be a mix of preloaded plugins(there are a lot of plugins) and GameMaker’s own scripting language.
It comes with a price tag of $200 and is a quick way for creating cross-platform games.
It gives you complete power over for prototyping and executing HTML5 canvas based games. It is also equally adept with WebGL or the native OpenGL(ES) based games.
LycheeJS won’t cost you any money to use. It has hit the industry very recently but receives a significant amount of updates to stay up-to-date.
MelonJS is another option for an HTML5 game engine. It has a great community and can be modified and expanded upon by any interested developer. This makes MelonJS quite an interesting contender in the game engine industry.
Apart from the open-source part, it is a general, lightweight game engine with basic features.
One key feature worth mentioning is a tiled map format which makes the level designs very quick and easy.
MelonJS is a free software which is released under the MIT license.
Construct 2 is a powerful HTML5 game maker and extremely popular among the developer community. And speaking of community, the engine has a large community of users and has been tested a lot.
The game engine has a free and paid version to choose from and will not disappoint your inner designer one bit.
EaselJS is free and comes as a part of the CreateJS. It is another great game engine and is more preferable if you have a background in Flash/AS3. The engine basically gives you a canvas which you fill with nested objects and create your game.
The engine will offer you a straightforward, easy to use framework with multiple elements categorized in the display list. You can use your mouse to provide some shape based interactions to these elements.
Phaser gives you a framework with which you can quickly create your game. It depends on you to make the game fun for your players but for you, with Phaser, game creation is going to be a whole lot fun.
The engine is relatively new but is capable of easily creating games that can run on a desktop, mobile or a browser environment.
The engine supports Canvas and WebGL rendering and is based off Flixel.
Phaser is free for all and gets constant updates.
PixiJS is a fairly recent game renderer to hit the market in 2013. It is fast, light and has a great library which will have you making games for all devices.
One of the main advantages of using PixiJS is that, without any knowledge of webGL, you can enjoy hardware acceleration.
PixiJS is free, comes built in with Phaser game engine(discussed above) and is also usable with other HTML5 game engines.
Quintus is another new, actively maintained and updated Game Engine released under the MIT license.
It is free for any enthusiast to try out and is very light weight.
Cocos2d-x is an HTML5 game engine available as a port of the popular Cocos2d. It is cross-platform, makes 2D games and is licensed by MIT.
Currently, it is supported by canvas and WebGL renderer. It has all the great API as that of the Cocos2d JS binding engine.
The software is free and is worth a try if you have been roaming game engines to find a fit.
WADE is a flexible, powerful, feature loaded HTML5 game engine to have recently hit the industry. It is also cross-platform, and you can make games with it from mobiles and web browsers to PCs and consoles.
WADE is the default choice of people trying to make high-end games for mobile platforms and is definitely one of the better engines for this genre.
The game engine is smart enough to take care of all the harder bits of game development leaving you to engage thoroughly in what matters- conceptualizing and developing the game.
WADE is free, and an open source piece of software but some features have to be paid for.
LimeJS is an HTML5 game framework used for developing games since 2011. It is great for building fast, native experience games.
The framework is highly suited for making games for touchscreen devices and modern desktop browsers.
It is free to use and has a great community with constant upgrades right around the corner.
PandaJS is a high performing HTML5 game engine with which you can make games for desktops as well as mobile platforms,
The game engine has support for plugins, it is fast and reliable, has a large community and gets updated and maintained on a regular basis. Best of all, unlike a panda, it is not heavy at all.
PandaJS is a free HTML5 game engine and gets its licensing from MIT.
KiwiJS is another open source HTML5 game engine. It is relatively recent but has a great community behind it.
It is very easy to use, fast, is extremely compatible with Canvas and is very user-friendly. There is also support for webGL rendering. Numerous tutorial videos and example are provided that can turn a novice into an informed and capable game developer.
You can also use the engine to develop games for touch screen and incorporate multi-touch support.
This game engine is also licensed by MIT and has a free price tag.
GDevelop is an open source HTML5 game engine which is also cross-platform and extremely easy to use. You won’t need any programming skills whatsoever to make games with this engine.
There is extensive documentation provided to help you learn how to use the great multitude of elements and features you get with the engine.
It is also flexible in the sense that you can create your HTML5 game and then choose where it is going to be played on the internet, or export it to iOS and Android, or even use it merely as a native game. Of Course, you can choose to export to EVERYWHERE.
Gdevelop is free and is definitely worth a try.
All of us play video games, but developing them is another story. For every game you play, for a couple of minutes to a couple of hours, a developer has invested a countless number of frustrating days on the game, starting with programming, then developing, then debugging, etc.
Game engines significantly improve the life of game developers by introducing features that will get all your generic aspects of game development covered in moments.
Here was a list of some of the most popular and functional HTML5 game engines being used in the industry. Many are free, and some are paid and these proposes a great way for you to get into the gaming industry. Who knows, maybe you are going to make the next Mario?
So let us know how these engines fared for you in the comments and mention any other HTML5 engine we forgot to mention but is a really good performer.