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As Moai picks up steam with devs, Zipline raises cash for crossplatform tools
As Moai picks up steam with devs, Zipline raises cash for crossplatform tools
July 6, 2012 | By Eric Caoili

Developer and tools maker Zipline Games has secured new funding to build up Moai, its crossplatform framework that more high-profile developers are starting to use and pay attention to.

The small Seattle-based studio has added $750,000 in new financing to the $2 million it previously raised from local investors, according to SEC documents filed earlier this week.

Launched with a public beta exactly one year ago, the development platform has attracted a growing number of studios looking for an alternative to HTML5 when building crossplatform games for smartphones, tablets, PCs, and browsers.

Two notable developers creating Kickstarter-funded crossplatform games have already jumped on Moai: Double Fine, which is working on an adventure title; and Harebrained Schemes, which is making Shadowrun Returns. The latter just released a Moai-based title, the 6waves-published Strikefleet Omega, to iOS and Android last month, too.

The platform is driven by the LUA scripting language, and hosts elements like game logic, databases, extra game content, and other key features on the Moai Cloud service. Zipline offers its Moai SDK for free and with a commercial license.

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E Zachary Knight
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I am really excited about this engine. I plan to use it as my next engine of choice once my first game is up and running. Currently I am using Flash as it was one of the few platforms that supports Windows, Mac and Linux. With Moai adding Linux support thanks to Double Fine and Harebrained, I feel confident in using it. I also get the added bonus of easy iPhone and Android integration.

I think this truly is the year of Linux gaming. I never expected it to become the top platform for game developers, but I was looking for it to be taken seriously by them. Thank you Humble Bundle. Thank you Kickstarter for making this happen.

Andrew Grapsas
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Used it and wasn't all that impressed. I really don't think Lua is a good language for building things as complex as games. I know plenty of studios have shipped titles with Lua; but, plenty of studios have shipped titles with hacked together tech, that doesn't mean we should aspire to emulate them.

Give me type safety and language features any day.

Also, their structure for composing 2D graphics, etc. has naming conventions I've never seen in a production engine. Not sure where they randomly grabbed them from.

Maurício Gomes
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I am a coder for 2D games for several years already...

I switched to Lua 2 years ago, using Seth's Novashell engine...

Right now I am using Corona SDK. And I must say that although I LOVE C (yes, C, not C++ even!) I do not regret making games in Lua :)

Kevin Maloney
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@ Andrew

Why specifically do you think LUA is unsuited for game development?

Todd Hooper
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Thanks for checking out Moai. Lua is widely used for a reason - studios that adopt Lua usually find their code faster to write and less expensive to maintain.

As for naming conventions, Moai objects have names like MOAITexture, MOAIShader, MOAITransform, MOAIMesh, MOAIFileStream, MOAIJsonParser, etc. These seem pretty clear to us. The design and naming of Moai's dependency graph objects and attribute/animation system are based heavily on Maya. The MOAIProp/MOAIDeck pattern was named carefully to be both memorable (once understood) and generic. Terms like 'sprite,' 'game object,' etc. were considered as alternatives but were deemed too specific, over-reaching or misleading.

Moai SDK is being used to power a growing number of chart-topping games developed by experienced studios, so it certainly qualifies as a 'production' engine, even if it's design isn't to your personal liking.

I agree that studios should be free to choose the technology and production pipeline best suited to the tastes and habits of their developers. Moai SDK is free and open source - we don't have an axe to grind in the engine wars. There are Moai Cloud customers currently building games with Unreal and Unity as well as Moai SDK.

Andrew Grapsas
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Hey, Todd :)

Not trying to bad mouth the product or anything (though, definitely reads that way). I'm sure there'll be hordes of people that love it, use it, and build successful projects with it. I just would never use it for my game development (pro or side project -- and yes, I was evaluating for pro development). It's not my cup of tea. Naming conventions are only minor nuisance that a few minutes of reading documents will clarify (Deck/Prop are key examples, as you pointed out). My core contention is with Lua. If you want to know why, we can take this offline, I don't want my disagreement with a language to totally derail this thread.

Congrats on the funding!

Lucas Daltro
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Moai is an awesome tool,It's almost an unity 2d(well I said almost hehe)

Freddy Rangel
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Congrations Todd!

Awesome to hear that your company is doing well.

Can't wait to try your game engine out. I've been itching to learn some Lua anyways.