The Top HTML5 Canvas Game Engines
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Although a relative newcomer (2013), PixiJS's major selling point is speed. They claim to be the fastest 2D rendering engine today. Mainly WebGL-based, PixiJS uses Canvas as a fallback in older browsers. The framework is open source, but they do accept donations. Now at version 4, PixiJS packs a lot of features, including:
- ADVANCED TEXT RENDERING
- TINTING & BLENDING MODES
- SPRITE SHEET SUPPORT
- EASY API
- WEBGL FILTERS
- MULTI TOUCH INTERACTIVITY
PixiJS is the framework of choice for many huge commercial enterprises, so you can be sure that they are doing something right.
You should definitely consider Phaser if you are a newbie to Game Development and want to benefit from an easy framework and solid community.
Developed by Scirra Ltd., Construct 2 is an HTML5 game creator designed specifically for 2D games. It allows anyone to build games without coding using a WYSIWYG editor with drag and drop functionality. One of the distinguishing features of Construct 2 is its Ribbon interface: not unlike that of Microsoft Office products, it provides access to a wide variety of tools. It also employs an Event System whereby events are created by selecting possible conditions and actions from an organized list. Behaviors work as pre-packaged functions that you can assign to objects and reuse whenever needed. They provide an instant way to add capabilities to objects, thus saving time on development. Behaviors include movements such as directions, platform, and car, advanced features like physics and pathfinding, as well as useful utilities like fade, flash, wrap, pin and drag & drop. Although most behaviors can be replicated with events, behaviors are faster to use. Construct 2 comes in a free or commercial edition. The latter allows you to make multi-player games and publish to all of the major app stores. Licenses start at $129.99 USD for a single user.
Whether open source or commercially licensed, all of the above HTML5 game engines are completely responsive, highly customizable and easy to implement. But don't limit your search to those mentioned here. There are plenty of other good choices out there and more of them are popping up every day.
Rob Gravelle resides in Ottawa, Canada, and has built web applications for numerous businesses and government agencies. Email him for a quote on your project.
Rob's alter-ego, "Blackjacques", is an accomplished guitar player, that has released several CDs. His band, Ivory Knight, was rated as one of Canada's top hard rock and metal groups by Brave Words magazine (issue #92) and reached the #1 spot in the National Heavy Metal charts on ReverbNation.com.