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20 JavaScript Engines For Building Games On The Web 2019

20 JavaScript Engines for Building Games on the Web 2019

The global marketing for online gaming is exceeding $100B revenues, which can only mean that online gaming is going to continue climbing up the ladder as a way for investments, business, and projects that could lead to new opportunities. Truly it has been a wonderful sight to watch the online gaming industry go from using Flash and Java to power their games, to using powerful 2D and 3D gaming engines that mostly are run through JavaScript and HTML5. Mobile and social games are becoming more popular (could it be because of all those iPads kids are running around with these days?), and there’s a clear pathway for growth indicated.

Mobile game developers have struggled for years to make the ends meet when it comes to game development, it seems that whenever someone builds an amazing game, someone else comes along with a simpler version and takes away the big prize. That was the case with Flappy Bird, and many other games that had a seemingly simple gaming experience, yet managed to make the game creators millionaires on the spot. That’s the dream of all game developers, to create a game that would secure their lives financially. While a dream, it’s not impossible to achieve.

Creating great games requires knowledge of programming, of system architecture, the possibilities of using psychics in technology, but also a solid framework upon which to build your game. And such game development frameworks now exist in great numbers, some call them game development engines. We will focus primarily on JavaScript game engines, with the occasional mention of a solid HTML5 game development engine. Both languages are closely tied together, and some of these game engines have powerful features and tools to ensure that the games you build knock your competition out of the door immediately.

Phaser

Phaser

Phaser is a clear favorite amongst seasoned and beginner game developers who want to build games using a HTML5 framework, Phaser’s open-source codebase, and large community allows anyone to quickly get started with creating games for mobile devices and desktop computers. Phaser’s JavaScript functionality comes together with the Pixi.js library that helps to keep together WebGL and Canvas components. With Phaser, you can build games that would net you millions of dollars in revenues if you manage to take an approach of a truly phenomenal game.

Phaser’s preloader makes it easy for developers to load their game assets and have them automatically handled so that you don’t have to waste time writing extensive code for each part of the game. Phaser utilizes many helpful external libraries to achieve stellar physics movements while enabling spending animation features so your games feel professional and appealing. You could have your very first real world Phaser game experience up and run in just a couple of hours, there’s a ton of code you can borrow on sites like GitHub and not to mention the endless piles of great tutorials that will get you up to speed in no time.

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Crafty

Crafty

Crafty is best defined as a JavaScript game engine that puts together a collection of components that can be used for building interactive games. Through components, you can make the choices for your game that won’t bloat up your codebase, or give you too much of a headache if you need to port a part of the code elsewhere. Binding events with Crafty let you manage how system events behave, so you can create custom calls and actions. Crafty’s small size is what’s most appealing to newcomer game developers, as some developers have implied that you could build games without having Crafty in your collection of engines, yet the convenient components system lets you quickly lay out a roadmap for your game and its progress. Crafty.js has an extraordinary community who are all interested in helping fellow game developers to build and structure games.

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PhysicsJS

PhysicsJS

PhysicsJS has been around for a few years now and still, manages to go strong as one of the best choices for a physics engine for online games. It’s a safe choice for beginners, as much as it is for seasoned developers. Weed through the demo previews in the showcase page and see the kind of physics experiments you can do for yourself since the code editor is interactive you can apply custom code tests and test them in a live environment.

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BabylonJS

BabylonJS

You’ll have heard of Babylon.js even if you haven’t heard of game development before, this library has had a successful run for a ton of years now, and continues to rise higher to the top as one of the leading JavaScript game engines with WebDL and 3D development support. Babylon doesn’t require to be installed as an internal entity on your computer, so all development can happen within the browser/code editor itself, making it an appealing choice for those who want to develop on the go. Babylon is certainly amongst the most in-depth game engines that can be used to create traditionally animated gameplays or thoroughly designed projects that would resemble a deeper capacity for resolution and interactivity.

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Pixi.js

Pixi.js

Pixi.js is a 2D game rendering engine intended for HTML5 games. The goal is to make Pixi as fast as possible throughout any device type. With Pixi.js you can enjoy the benefits of HAC (Hardware Acceleration) without investing countless hours in studying the concept. Pixi’s audience/users are those who don’t want to use WebGL yet wish to utilize rich game content, interactive displays, and apps that are supported on all platforms equally. That doesn’t mean that Pixi doesn’t support WebGL, of course, it does, as much as it supports HTML5 Canvas property, it’s the way that Pixi has been built that enables for it to be a smooth, rapid, and evenly interactive rendering engine.

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PlayCanvas

PlayCanvas

PlayCanvas is a full spectrum game engine with 3D capabilities. It’s graphics infrastructure supports WebGL 3D, physical rendering, concise lights features (with shadows), lightmaps, meshes, GPU engine for particles with an in-built editor, PostFX, allows integration of 3D materials from the most favorite 3D software in the market; 3D physics are possible thanks to the Ammo.js 3D engine. The cherry on the top is the fact that PlayCanvas operates in the cloud, so you can build browser games (all major browsers supported) from within your browser.

Some see PlayCanvas as a premium JavaScript engine for game development, but if you look at the pricing catalog you’ll notice that the only thing that isn’t free is your own self-hosted hosting. If you apply for the free plan your games will be hosted on PlayCanvas, which might be a hurdle for some but in the bigger picture of things, it’s a wonderful way to get started, after that it’s only a few more bucks a month anyway. PlayCanvas finds purpose by game developers, brands who need animated brand experiences for marketing, and concise visualization projects for real-estate and other similar agencies

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melonJS

melonJS

Melon.js came about through the process of exploring game development with JavaScript which has led to Melon.js possessing the following features: a sprite-built JS engine for 2D game development, is an independent project which doesn’t require additional libraries to work, supports mobile type devices as well as all leading browsers, optimization for mobile devices for motion and hardware, in-built HTML5 audio support, a practical physics engine to reduce the CPU usage, a great deal of effects that would be required for creating a functional online game in the browser. Community forums is hosted on Google Groups where you can quickly yield answers to your questions in regards to how Melon.js works or in the case of you experiencing bugs. The documentation features severals dozens of demo applications built with Melon, some of which are open-source and can be used to learn different aspects of game development from.

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Stage.js

Stage

Depending on your requirements or prior experience of online game development, Stage.js could be a flexible and easy solution for building your first 2D games with HTML5 and JavaScript support. Stage.js is open-source and supports your favorite platforms. Create dynamic puzzle games, or games based on simple physics.

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Kiwi.js

Kiwi

Kiwi.js takes the frustration away from developing 2D games for HTML5 browsers. Kiwi integrates a super fast WebGL and Canvas rendering engine that can deploy your games to desktop and mobile devices. The rich collection of Kiwi plugins allows you to create more meaningful game experiences, some of those plugins are: an achievements engine so you can create custom achievements based on user progress, an artificial intelligence algorithm so your game can grow depending on the choices your users are making, an advanced integration of physics into your games, quest management, sprites and shades for all situations, also a social media connector so your users can log-in using their social media details, but also to share their game progress on social media. Kiwi.js has some of the best tutorials in the market, making it easy for anyone to quickly build their very first HTML5 game using a JavaScript engine.

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Goo Create

Goo Create

Goo Create allows you to build a game even if you have never read or seen a code of line before, it’s very similar to a popular learn to program application where you mostly build something through a graphics user interface. With Goo Create, you’re going to use that UI to create beautiful gaming scenery that you can amplify with your own ideas to build it into a game. Creating a replica version of Flappy Bird will take you only an hours worth of your time, as all the commands are inbuilt inside of the software itself.

Goo Create is an open-source project entity that does provide premium support and pricing plans for serious game developers. Goo Create removes the endless hours of time consumption when it comes to rendering your full project package because everything is built in the browser — it automatically is compiled within the browser too. It doesn’t have to be a game that you are building either, Goo Create caters to animation experts and brands that wish to create beautiful digital visual demos for their products or showcases, the tools you need are all there.

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Panda.js

Panda

Panda.js will give you a taste of what a 2D HTML5 engine for building games in the browser looks and feels like. Panda’s tiny package size, and convenient documentation for learning commands makes it a brilliant first choice for novice online game developers.

While a tiny engine in itself, Panda supports many libraries and algorithms that you’ll come to learn more about through whichever game engine you decide to use — rendering is done through Pixi.js library, you can create beautiful particle-based effects, a physics engine will guarantee that your games feel authentic, you can create custom Panda.js plugins and share them with other developers, your games can be sped up through concise local data storage, create custom Google Analytics events and track their performance within your game, and yes there’s more but you’ll have to check it out for yourself — the real learning begins when you write that first couple of lines of code.

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QICI Engine

QICI Engine

QICI takes the Phaser engine and builds on top of it its very own interface that integrates game development directly into the browser, you won’t even need to use a code editor (unless you want to) on your computer to adjust code and other important aspects, funnily enough you could even develop on your mobile device; say goodbye to those long and boring train rides, now you can just work on your game while you’re traveling.

With QICI Engine, creating HTML5 Games just like Web Development, use your favorite code editor, use your favorite web browser, leverage JavaScript language and all the best web development tools, QICI Engine takes care of the complexity of the underlying technologies, so you just focus on what’s important – making your game! QICI was built by developers and designers who have had decades of accumulated experience with making user interfaces work intuitively. The creative dashboard boosts your productivity as you learn to rely on functional tools and features that make your life ten times easier.

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lychee.js

lychee

Lychee might sound farfetched in the context of developing online browser-based games. But in fact, some of the examples do show that you can use Lychee for building 2D games. What’s more interesting than that is that you could plug Lychee in your existing game engine. It takes advantage of some of these ridiculously good features. Lychee is built on the back-end of ECMAScript 2016 and integrates both Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning. This provides a robust and progressive approach for high-end application development.

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WiMi5

WiMi5

Ever wanted to know what it is like to create, publish, and monetize an online game without ever having to leave your web browser? That’s kind of the stretch that Wimi5 is trying to make here. It’s an interactive game development platform that supports many dynamics and aspects of the current online games we have today. It blends it all together within a single dashboard user interface. You can then transform your ideas on paper into real tangible experiences for the browser.

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Play My Code

Play My Code

Games and gaming together have been such a big part of the history. We’ve all played at least one game in our lifetime, and most likely have thoroughly enjoyed it. Some stick to playing traditional games like chess, while in the 21st century it’s more hip to play digital games. These digital games aren’t always complex, but can be incredibly fun and interactive. Knowing that, we all have the required creative juices to produce a game of our own. What we don’t have is the right tools to do it.

Learning to program from scratch could take us years to achieve. It also requires knowledge to truly build a digital game from absolute zero. That’s the vision that Play My Code lives by. It’s to enable the average user to create his own game, without having to know too much of code. It can even teach you how it all comes together. Play My Code can serve as your all in one solution. It can get the ideas that you’ve written on paper into a real and tangible digital form. Through learning a simple scripting language, you can replicate some of the world’s most popular games. You can even take it a step further and build your very own browser based game.

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Unity

Unity

Unity 3D is world’s most sought after game engine. Developers use it in incredibly varieties of ways for building games that helped them earn billions of dollars combined. Many of the games that you find on the Steam game collection libraries used Unity to build their games. This isn’t just something that you can use to build games for the browser. It’s also something that you can use to build seriously cool and fun games for a huge set of devices. This includes iOS, Android, Windows, Linux, PlayStation, XBOX, Wii, Virtual Reality and television sets.

Unity’s huge collection of features and tools could ensure that your next game lives up to your own expectations. There’s nothing that Unity couldn’t do in the context of its own technological power. Unity community is one of the most friendly game developer communities. Through learning Unity, you could set yourself up for great opportunities at game development companies in the future.

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V Play

V Play

V-Play another great choice for 2D game developers. It’s also for application developers who want to bring forth a visual appearance on their apps. Create better web apps without investigating nearly as much time. Concise animations algorithms allow you to create flowing designs with zero jetlag in the transition; great for sports applications developers! Automated device detection allows you to deliver your apps in their best visual appearance for devices of any kind. Game engine supports aspects like visual scenery development, multi-media support, integrated networking tools for multi-player games, and user input supports. It also supports concise physics, animations and particles, and an artificial intelligence algorithm. This algorithm will help you sustain your games growth based on what your users are doing with it. Very rich library of tools and features are provided by V-Play — one of the biggest ones for 2D games.

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Isogenic Game Engine

Isogenic

Isogenic Game Engine might not look like much externally, but believe us with this information we’re about to share. It’s a powerhouse of a game engine capable of structuring large, complex and visually appealing multi-player games. Use the 2D & Isometric capabilities to create digital game environment worlds. Super physics algorithm and functionality ensures that your games feel amazing every time the users play it. Sweep through the documentation to begin learning why big brands like BBC are using Isogenic for their own personal platforms.

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Alex Ivanovs

Alex is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience in design, development, and small business. His work has been featured in publications like Entrepreneur, Huffington Post, TheNextWeb, and others. You can find his personal writing at The Divine Indigo.

This Post Has One Comment
  1. Seriously No construct 2 / 3 ? Its like leaps ahead of most of the libraries/engines you have listed here and spits out pure html/js. And pretty much no programming needed if you don’t want.

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