Swedish giant King, creator of games like Candy Crush and Farm Heroes, have made their game engine, Defold, available – free of charge.
Defold is designed to provide an easy-to-use engine. It’s a complete platform for 2D game development, and lets people create games without additional services, software or hardware. It lets developers use workflows and features at the same level as advanced game studios. Defold’s own website states:
“The tool set is designed specifically for 2D authoring, flexible content management and un-obtrusive error handling. The game engine, at the core of Defold, is light-weight and stable, designed for high performance game simulations. The content pipeline is robust and reliable. Defold is run by a team of passionate game developers with a long industry experience. The ultimate goal of Defold is to provide the best game development experience to be found. The fastest route from idea to finished game. Create, inspire, delight with the collaborative game engine Defold.”
A couple of the games that have been created with the Defold engine are:
‘Hammerwatch Coliseum’ by Crackshell is a fantasy-themed hack and slash adventure for mobile devices, where gladiators fight against monsters and rivals in a chain of increasingly more difficult challenges. The team behind Hammerwatch Coliseum came together from several different game studios before going together to form Crackshell. ”What unites us is a love for games and in particular a strong nostalgia for the games we grew up with. Hammerwatch Coliseum has been created in the spirit of these old school games but it has been reimagined for new platforms.”
‘Sling a Kitty’ by PocApp Studios is a fun, brain-teasing puzzle game for mobile devices. The objective is to play as a lost kitten, flinging and bouncing up, over and through trees, waterfalls, patches of honey, and many more obstacles to be reunited with the cats’ family. Sling a Kitty is developed by PocApp Studios, a small game company consisting of seven former game developer students from Sweden.
The Defold engine may very well change the current status quo of the Nordic developing scene. Made free of charge and with outstanding results, one can only imagine the possibilities of games to emerge from King’s announcement.
Now, smaller teams of developers can produce games with graphics and mechanics similar to greater studios. Something that could threaten those bigger studios, because while they have been using pre-Defold engines, their developing expenses continue to go up. It’s a definite game changer, competition is a necessary force to sort out case games that can’t compete with public standards and expectations.
Now that it’s easier to meet those standards and expectations, does that mean that we get overall better games? Or does it mean that we’ll see an avalanche of mediocre, but pretty games, lacking story, soul and heart?