I'm currently using Unity. Their core product is decent but their team (at least the CEO and the sales guys, I haven't interacted with any tech guys) are obnoxious. I met with their sales rep in Asia (where I'm based) and he told me in no uncertain terms that they don't care about small teams. And that they were horrible at communicating because they don't see themselves as having any real competition. I think it's the fist time I've been heavily invested in a technology and at the same time wanted to see it become obsolete.
One of the best parts of Moai is Lua. I had started with Unity working in C# (seemed like it would be less performance bound) but didn't really like the toolkit until I switched over to the relatively obscure Boo (it has a Python-like syntax). Even with the almost total lack of documentation it's just way more productive than the other language choices. Switching to really terse scripting language has had a big impact on productivity for me.
Our entire business model is built around supporting individual developers and small teams, and while we've more recently started to learn to support bigger customers, it not how we think about our product and company and we've kept building and licensing great tech that we then release to everyone using Unity – the same for all, from the littlest indie shop to EA.
PS. I'm glad that you liked Boo, it's a cool language whose designer works for us doing many Mono and compiler-related projects.
PPS. Apart from being kind of enthusiastic about Unity and the business we're in I'm usually not told that I'm obnoxious, but I can live with it if I have to. In any case feel free to get in touch on twitter (davidhelgason) or by email at david at unity3d.com. Also would love to hear more about your bad experiences in Asia, these are new teams and maybe someone didn't get the memo about democratization yet.
[Edit: I received an email from Nicholas. I'll follow up with him]
Unity is a fine product as well. We have a number of Unity developers building their game back-ends on Moai Cloud, and we are working to build more features for them.
Engine + Tools > Engine
Moai = Engine
Unity = Engine + Tools
I've got 25 years experience making AAA games. I am continually amazed at how productive people are in Unity. I've got several x-coworker friends from various AAA game companies including Namco, EA, Vicarious Visions, and others that have started using Unity. All of them can't praise it enough. Some of these are even engine guys. In other words, the types most likely to have a "not invented here syndrome".
I've also been watching and participating in game jams and watching the amazing things coming out of them with the largest percentage coming from Unity.
Even GDC had several unity games at the experimental gameplay session, the indie games summit and more.
There's also a large market of 3rd party libraries and editor plugins for Unity that provide many of those things like support for social network X or picture service Y. Unfortunately Unity stupidly made the store for those plugins only accessible from inside Unity, buried in the Window menu under "Asset Store" so that none of it is discoverable from the outside.
Of course there's a learning curve. If you've written your own engine it's easier to get a couple of images/models on the screen by writing code from scratch. But for a real game with a team that initial speed is quickly dwarfed by the amount of work writing exporters to support your artists, level editors to support your game designers and the fact that Unity editor is fully interactive while the game is playing for the ultimate in quick iteration times. You can practically edit functions on the fly as the game runs.
No, I don't work for unity and I actually haven't done more than a couple of tutorials nor have I used Moai but I have written 6 game engines and all the tools and utilities for them and after seeing my various friends and x-coworker's successes and praise for Unity I'm not about to pick something that only provides 1/2 to 1/3rd the feature and therefore have to pick up the slack myself.
No question, there is big power in the Unity tools. But if you want to build a 2D game with physics and access to cloud services, MOAI does a pretty damn fine job of giving you exactly what you need, and getting out of the way.
Plus, you don't have to buy a per-seat license for MOAI...
If Linux Steamboxes do become a reality they would quickly be able to release Unity for that platform.
Of course I wish they would release the editor for Linux as I would like to use it :)
Especially if they just shipped statically linked code, to not bother with glibc/libc changes, or other differences between distros.
Get this Autodesk? Not writing plugin in C++ and restarting every time each one of your god-damn products. Or the pains of the python that came with it (and assert() causing crash of the whole god damn thing).
So back to Unity. Last year, just for fun I was able to write an importer while Unity was running for one of levels, just to see it happen.
The productivity thing amazes me too. We've built some incredible things in ridiculously short timeframes. It really is a game-changer.
Someone alert the media that Android's NDK has been available for around 3 years now and allows you to write apps/games entirely in C or C++ for Android.
Other than the cloud parts, can anyone compare it with Love2D?
I've found myself being very, very productive in MOAI. It took me 30 minutes to build a Path-like custom control for one of my applications, whereas it took me a day or two to do it in Love2D, and its nowhere near as elegant as the MOAI approach.
Moai Cloud can work with any front end SDK. We do have several Corona and Unity devs building game back ends on Moai Cloud. Robert Nay, the poster child for Corona, is one of them.
They raised $1.8M on Kickstarter. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1613260297/shadowrun-ret...
- is open source and free to use (attributionware, CPAL 1.0 )
- It works almost everywhere: Android, iOS, OS X, Windows, and Google Chrome (NaCl). The Linux port is in the works (they mostly need build scripts). See  for more details.
This sounds to me like their plan is to constantly be updating the Lua scripts from their cloud server.