Stencyl vs Unity 3D


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I am a "traditional" programmer since 1982 (yes, I am old) and have developed a number of applications and games in a variety of languages. Complex games, simple games. With game development kits (yes, we had them also in the 80s) or without or pure API based stuff on mobile phones around 2000 (early Brew and Java devices such as Phillips, Siemens and Nokia handsets).

Our company uses Unity for our native games (Windows, some iOS and Android) and HTML5 for mobile. I tried Stencyl because I liked its way to get a quick result once you specified out what you need (I use it for prototypes only). And that's the point: without any concept or idea, neither Unity or Stencyl is easy to learn, to handle or better then the other. It is just a language or toolbox. Noting more, nothing less.
From my experience, I would say
- Unity 3D is doing a great job in 3D
- Stencyl is doing a great job in 2D
Sure, my games won't get better with all the new features of Stencyl.
But I do have more fun creating bad ones.

MayazCastle Keeper


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99% of the games created in Unity look like something you could also create of Stencyl - at least from what I've seen. I mentioned it in my above post, when I choose to do 3D programming, I will be using the Unreal engine. I've seen much higher quality things being produced in Unreal than in Unity. And Unreal uses a click and drag block system similar to Stencyl. Does that mean that Unreal is not a real interface (no pun intended)? Does that mean that Unreal is just for kids? If you look for developer jobs, I bet you would find a lot more jobs requiring knowledge of Unreal than you would requiring Unity experience... and it has an interface that's similar to Stencyl.
I hope you mean 99% of 2D Unity games could be created in Stencyl.


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Unity3D is good for 3D games. I tried using it to create a 2D game and it's quite annoying to try to do, honestly. Since the editor is designed for 3D, navigating it for 2D use is a pain. Accidentally middle-click and drag and suddenly your view is all messed up, reset, do again... it's just annoying.

Stencyl is much better suited for exclusive 2D game development, and Unity (or Unreal) for 3D. Both have their place and excel in different ways.

Stencyl definitely seems worth the money!
-Yodaman Jer


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Thanks for the reply and let me rephrase that for you : 
Unity 3D making 3D games good it is , rather use Stencyl for 2D games you must  - Yoda catchphrase   :D :D .


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I am working in both of them,to some level of course,since i am more into graphics,i was more,now i tend to be more into programming and trying to make small games completely on my own.
As some of other guys said,it is more up to what is the problem or game idea,mechanics,...,and then how to solve it.
I am just doing some tests on Stencyl vs Unity 2d workflows for my own projects,and there are no big advantages or any of them,its just kind of different workflow to me.
Or some other issues,like porting to most of the platforms,community,learning curve,clients,market,...
For now,and i hope it will stay that way in future,there is no way to make 3d games in Stencyl.
So if you want that Unity is obvious choice.
There is a way to combine 2d and 3d in Unity also to some extent,so thats also nice feature.
On other side,if you need some fast prototype to show to your potential client,or some advergame, Stencyl would be my first choice by no means.
It also pushes you to experiment and play more,and that way you learn faster,which is huge benefit to me,and even come to some lucky accidents also in game dev.
In Unity that just isnt possible,although you have there Asset Store and lots of premade templates and even visual coding tools,which were made by some guys just to ease the pain and learning curve for others,so it comes to that same issue about visualizing scripting tools,...
Also there isnt Flash export in Unity anymore,so if you need that you have to look for other solution,but on other side it brings bunch of other platforms that Stencyl can not export to.
And so on and so on,...
I was praising and recommending Stencyl to some more or less experienced programmers or game devs,but for some of them it also was a turn off when they saw visual coding.
Its like some way of thinking this must be too good to be true,and more of people would know for it...
Or something like thats too easy and probably you can not make good games with it...
Yeah,like code blocks are falling like in Tetris and you just move them around to make something,or sometimes you just whistle and games are made.
If it was just easy like that,...
Sorry for long post,i just meant to say you can not and should not compare tools of trade on that basis this one is better,or one vs other,just like that,since there are always pros and cons for every out there.
So my opinion is that it is possible to make same 2d games in both of them to almost any extent,and that is all up to you or people who are working in it,and that is just what i say to someone who asks me about it.


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Little off the topic but not so much.
Since,unfortunately,i was out of Stencyl for some time recently,due to some obligations but also type of jobs i have worked on,so there wasnt much time for it.
And then one day when i saw:
first impression was,hey its like ingame Stencyl,or those guys must have been from Stencyl team,because even colors for code blocks looks same in some way.
So again,as a workflow its just something neat,fast,creative and gives you nice way to experiment,learn and produce.
And this game although in none direct connection to Stencyl,proves it.
People just like it that way,especially younger,and that is great thing. 


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With the recent release of Unity 5 is making 2d games much easier now?

I'm very interested in learning Unity since it is more "professional" and could possibly lead me into a new career path but if it really makes making 2d games that much harder, I'd rather just stick with Stencyl...


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I just read through the release notes. They did boatloads of changes on handling graphical and sound assets. I did not see anything about changes to handling the programming side. I would guess that Stencyl is still easier to program for 2D.

If you want to help your career, learn 3D.


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If you want to help your career, learn 3D.
That should probably be: "If you want to help you career, learn a programming language!"
The 3D part in games mostly relates to the math involved. If you can't write a single line of code for a 2D game, you won't be able to write a single line of code for a 3D game.
Proud member of the League of Idiotic Stencylers! Doing things in Stencyl that probably shouldn't be done.


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"If you want to help you career, learn a programming language!"

Indeed :)


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I'm actually a programmer by profession already. I'd like to get into game design though as a profession. I guess it doesn't matter what tool I use to make my games then as long as my future employers can see and play my games.


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I think that developers who say that making games with Stencyl is cheating or not "real" programming are missing the point. Ultimately creating a game or any application from scratch requires basic logical thinking. Stencyl uses blocks to help you construct the logic, and it's a visual language which has all the power and flexibility of a traditional one.  It requires just as much effort to make a great game using a visual language as it does a traditional language, because the thinking is the same. Only the doing differs.

I have coded with C# and Java in the past, and I have used Unity for about 2 years, and from my own perspective, I prefer using a visual language to a traditional one. It's refreshing. In my daily full time job, I code in traditional languages, but for a different purpose, not for gaming :) But honestly, if I were to try make a good 2D game with a traditional language I would be looking at maybe a few months of coding to get it right, and I can do the same in Stencyl in a matter of days, and still realize the full potential of the game visually and logically but in a smaller time frame.

To me, if I can create an amazing 2D game, that looks great, plays well and makes a lot of money for a few days of work, then I have only gained so much more than using a traditional method. Honestly, the customer (player) doesn't know or care what you made the game with, if it's fun, it will be downloaded and played and enjoyed  :)


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Sorry, I realise it's a dead thread now but I couldn't hold my tongue. Anyone who says Unity and Stencyl are even close to being even in the difficulty rating have either never used Unity, or are lying to conceal the fact they don't have the intelligence/patience to master Unity. Stencyl is SIGNIFICANTLY easier to get to grips with and use on a day-to-day basis, end of story. If they really were even, why would anyone bother with Stencyl when Unity has so much more to offer in terms of features, design potential, compiling options etc.... Ignoring the kids/fake vs real programming IDE argument (it's a dumb conversation no matter what stance you take) the WHOLE POINT of Stencyl is to create an environment that's more palatable for inexperienced designers and programmers (i.e. easier). When I first started using it I had very limited knowledge of programming, particularly for games, and within one week of first downloading it I had made a game that ended up selling on FGL for a decent amount of cash (more than I could earn in a week at my day job). Show me an example of that in Unity. You can get by with no coding experience and the interface is far more intuitive... it's a no-brainer. Of course you pay for that when you compare features and engine 'power' but the question wasn't "which engine is more powerful?", it was "which is easier?" and the answer is Stencyl. To argue otherwise is an insult to the efforts of Jon and the rest of the Stencyl team.


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Unity is convenient for those who know programming and want to make 2d games. You have many interesting features there that are still not available in Stencyl. But if you're not much into any programming language but are good in logical thinking, Stencyl is really good with the building blocks.

That being said, I'm willing to test the extension playmaker for unity. I've heard Playmaker is visual coding and you don't have to know any programming language. It's the most successful Unity extension too. So I believe it's really worth something. Other great thing about Unity is their asset store. Am not talking about the game kits but the extensions and plugins to enhance your games. Those would make life much easier. Stencyl is far behind in assets.

That being said, I love Stencyl very much. It helped me learn designing game a lot.
If I helped you at anytime, help me back build my twitter followers :)


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Having used Stencyl quite a bit (made one pretty ambitious game, ) and having used Unity a whole lot (my entire master thesis was done using unity, to just mention one project) I think I have a good understanding of both.

If someone comes to me and says "I want to learn to make games where should I start?" I think the answer is Stencyl regardless if they know programming or not. The thing is a programmer needs to learn entity component system architecture properly (ECS for short, that is the behaviour scripts of game objects in both stencyl and unity) and the best way to do that in my mind is in Stencyl. Stencyl forces you to use ECS in a very nice way and I can safely say that making a game in Stencyl made me a better unity developer.

Once you have mastered the basics of ECS you might be ready for Unity. Unity is getting easier and easier to use even for 2D games, just check out this presentation I guess the "end-game" for you as a developer will always be Unity or Unreal from my experiance with Stencyl. Even for my simple game there was unexplained lag for a lot of users and the data management in Stencyl (saving data and such) just got too tedious for me. I did love the visual language in Stencyl though and it would be awesome if they could make a Stencyl editor extension for unity. Sure there are visual scripting tools but I really miss the Stencyl one.  Personally I would easily pay the Stencyl price to get that extension for Unity and seeing how well Playmaker is doing I think it would make quite a bit of $$$ too *hint hint*

As someone also mentioned the amount of available assets on Unity asset store is staggering and makes life a whole lot easier for a developer so that should also be taken into account.

A final word on platforms. Unity covers lots of platforms but no longer supports flash. Also the Web GL is rubbish at the moment (export file sizes are huuuge). So if you are targeting Kongregate or such sites then Unity is not really an option since the death of the unity web player.
"It came from the forest!" a zombie defense shooter
Also, check out my RPG inventory system on stencyl forge or test it:
Current project (hack n slash RPG):
I also do Unity development both 2D and 3D