If you've wanted to see a neutral third party review and comparison of the Lua game development platforms available, the Game From Scratch blog has posted a "Battle of the Lua Game Engines" review covering Moai vs. Corona, LÖVE, and Gideros.

While Moai gets called out on being more difficult than some alternatives (as price for flexibility) and needing better documentation, the summary says it all:

"[Moai] supports the most targets of all the libraries, has complete source code, and more importantly, the source code is very well written and very easy to read."

"For a commercial product for iOS/Android, I would select Moai. The API is a natural fit to my coding style ( I prefer flexibility over accessibility for time critical code ) and the C++ source code is a great boon to me, but to a non-C++ programmer, this would obviously be less important. Also of course, the price is nice. Most importantly, the open nature means I know I will never encounter a problem that I can’t code my way out of, the biggest downside to Corona."

Thanks to Game From Scratch for a fair evaluation from a developer's perspective.

The latest Moai SDK is now available for download. For this 1.3 release, we have new features, bug fixes and we have brought Android closer to feature parity with iOS.

MOAISim.setTraceback saw a lot of attention, which will allow for better error reporting. We've also got improved Crittercism crash reporting with Lua stack traces and support for the Facebook SDK 3.0 on iOS.

A special thanks to Moai contributors markusFisch, mirsadm, tommo, shanehyde, franciscotufro, and sgeos for their contributions to this latest release.

Coming up next for Moai SDK - support for iOS 6 and iPhone 5 with Xcode 4.5.

Here are the highlights of the Moai 1.3 release.

  • Added MD5 Hash Writer to compute a hash of a stream as it writes
  • Added Crittercism crash reporting for Lua stack traces, See samples/util/util-crash-report
  • Fixed network reachability initialization on iOS
  • Fixed input bug with multiple presses in one 'Frame'
  • Android - Fixed incorrect accelerometer data on tablets
  • Android  - Added C-Ares ( Fixes DNS lookup blocking on HTTP calls )
  • Android  -Added MOAILocationSensor
  • Android - Added MOAICompassSensor
  • Android - Fixed status bar issues with 3.1 tablets
  • iOS - Updated Facebook SDK to 3.0
  • iOS - Updated Crittercism SDK
  • MOAIApp - Added getUTCTime to Mobile
  • MOAILayer - Fixed bugs where MOAILayer:setVisible had no effect
  • MOAIHttpTask - Added 'getProgress' function to HTTPTask for Curl
  • MOAIJsonParser - Fix for issue with 64bit ints
  • MOAIFmodEx fixes for 'setLooping'

MirsadM and his company Gravity Four contacted us this morning about their newest game release: Fruit Versus Robot.  Made with Moai, the game is already available in iTunes, Google Play, and the Amazon App Store for Android.

This is a neat game that lets Android and iOS users build a player avatar and then compete with friends or other online users in a variety of trivia and arcade mini games.

Check out Fruit vs. Robot on your mobile device, and contact Mirsad directly through our forums if you'd like to roll out a mini game inside this competitive framework.

Great news: our buddy Paul Kulchenko just added Moai SDK support to ZeroBrane Studio! ZeroBrane Studio is a slick IDE for Lua and Lua-based frameworks that supports full debugging, watches and stack view. I took it for a test drive over the weekend and was really impressed.

Check out Paul's screencast for a demo of Moai support and the project links:

http://notebook.kulchenko.com/zerobrane/moai-debugging-with-zerobrane-studio

It's pretty nifty.

Korby Sears interviews Todd Hooper on the MOAI mobile game development platform, the state of HTML5, Strikefleet Omega, Wolf Toss, and Double Fine's choice of the Moai platform for the upcoming Double Fine Adventure.

Recorded at Casual Connect 2012 in Seattle, WA.