4.5 out of 5
PROS: The interface is easy to use and unified across platforms.
CONS: No Android & HTML5 support at the moment (will be available soon with version 3.0 though)
VERDICT: A great program which is brilliant for any developer. Highly recommended!
PRICE: Free (free) / $79 (Pro yearly) / $149 (iOS Pro yearly) / $199 (Studio yearly)
VERSION REVIEWED: 2.1.0
Stencyl is a perfect program to use for all game developers, whether they are new to the concept, or a grand master of coding.
The Stencyl GUI is both easy to understand, and efficient. You can easily select a game that you want to edit (or create a new one), easily manage all of the aspects of the game in a simple dashboard, and in no time at all, you have a game.
If you are new to Stencyl, three things can help you out majorly; the sample games, the ‘Stencyl Forge’ and the ‘kits’.
The sample games contain a variety of features that show the potential that Stencyl has to offer – ranging from a side scrolling shooting game to a pinball game. It is easy to open these games and observe the different coding styles, and make changes to test ideas out if you so desire.
Stencyl Forge is an online database with user-uploaded content. It consists of images, sounds, behaviours and more. There is also a feature page, consisting of the top content and the new and noteworthy content. Everything there is easy to download and can be very useful.
The kits are very useful if you want to make your own game, but need a little help getting started. There are currently three kits: ‘Drop Block’, physics game in which you remove blocks to get the character to the exit; ‘Run and Jump’, an advanced physics engine involving feats like fluid movement, wall jumping, and ground pounding; and ‘Space Shooter’, a top-down shooting game, in which the main character, a spaceship, must shoot other space ships.
A very useful feature of Stencyl is the scenes. Scenes are used to store different levels of a game, or in menus. They can interact solely or with each other, making it easy to organise both visual and coding aspects into different parts of the game without confusion.
Currently, the normal Stencyl allows you to make iOS games and Flash games, and Stencyl Pro allows you to also make standalone desktop games. However, in Stencyl 3.0, they are hoping to expand to both Android and HTML5. We’ve also been told that they are currently working with Microsoft to officially support Windows 8.
In conclusion, Stencyl is perfect for anyone and everyone interested in coding, and can be used to create amazing and innovative games. If you are even slightly interested, I strongly suggest you check it out.