Game Development Engines for Mobile Platforms: Project anarchy


In the previous chapters of this article, we looked into such mobile game engines as Unity3D and the Unreal Development Kit, but now let’s focus on Project Anarchy.

This engine was created by Havok and was based on technologies that the company had been developing since 1998.

Initially the company only developed a physics engine, which is still used by many large game development companies such as EA, Nintendo, Microsoft, Sony, Bethesda and many others.

In 2007, the company was purchased by Intel Corporation. In 2013, Intel decided to enter the mobile device market with the Project Anarchy bundle for three different platforms, iOS, Android and Tizen.

While the first two platforms are well known, Tizen is relatively new, it was launched on January 1, 2012 to be precise. It was a joint project from Samsung and Intel, who led 10 other companies to create a new open-source Linux-based platform for many different devices (from smartphones and cameras to entertainment systems in cars and airplanes).

But let’s get back to iOS and Project Anarchy.

First of all, we’ll need two computers: a Mac and a PC.

The Windows PC will have a number of SDKs (some with base code) and utilities for the creation of levels, cinematics, physics, etc.

Development is done with Visual Studio C++ and levels are scripted using Lua.

MacOS will only get the SDKs – no utilities. You can still develop on MacOS using native applications such as xCode though – if someone prepares actual resources from Windows applications.

That’s actually quite convenient, as this allows designers create everything on Windows and iOS developers can easily code in xCode, which they are already familiar with.

Launching a game is not trivial and requires a particular sequence of steps from compilation of Windows graphical resources to the gathering of the code for these resources on MacOS.

One of the demo examples (PA has dozens) has already been compiled for iOS and can be downloaded right from the Apple Store using this link:

So what technologies does Project Anarchy offer:

  • Havok Vision – Havok’s graphics engine
  • Havok Physics – On of the most well-known physics engines (over 400 games use it)
  • Havok Animation Studio – Animation
  • Havok AI – Library for programming an AI

What about licenses?

Project Anarchy is absolutely free for iOS, Android and Tizen under three conditions:

  • Developers will help develop the PA community
  • There will be some marketing for Havok when promoting games on the market
  • If you’re making an Android or Tizen game, you have to make it for Android x86 (or Tizen x86 – if it exists) as well

I think that’s very fair considering the amount of functionality you get.

Unity3D already supports GameController Framework and its possible add ProjectAnarchy support by yourself and UDK will soon have new API for large consoles support. All three engines certainly have their place.

Small Indie studios will choose one; companies that have worked in the game industry will choose the other and license the familiar instrument. Some will prefer full freedom and take part in something completely different. All of them will be right in their own way, so choose whatever you like most and create new hits!

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