Yes, the Defold engine and editor with full functionality is completely free of charge. No hidden costs, fees or royalties. Just free. And we will not start to charge for anything after the beta period.
This may seem out of the ordinary, that a commercial game company releases its core technology for free, but here’s how we see it: the more people who use Defold, the better the engine will be. By releasing Defold to the community, _everyone_ can help making Defold better, by creating tutorials, by finding bugs, improving the documentation, and much more. And since King uses Defold internally, every day—the better the engine gets, the happier our internal developers will be. We believe great tech attracts great talent. All in all, we believe this ultimately leads to better games—not only for us at King, but for all game developers.
That’s it. And that’s what we’re all about—making and celebrating great games and the amazing people creating them.
We are deeply committed to Defold. Teams at King game studios all over the world are creating games made with Defold and have been doing it for years. It is not going away.
Yes, we believe in “eating your own dogfood”. Here at King several of our game teams use the same version you have access to. Everyone downloads Defold from the same locations and get updates the same way.
You don’t have to. Starting with Defold editor 2 you can store your games wherever you want. Defold was originally designed to be a complete turnkey service, including collaboration tools and storage. There are benefits to using our servers and we will continue to supply value to those who do use it through the dashboard. However, we realize that some users prefer other storage providers and we are working on supporting that.
If you are tech-savvy, there is a workaround available. See this HOWTO on our forum.
We log anonymous usage data from our websites and the Defold editor in order to improve our services and product. The editor application also sends error reports to Sentry.io whenever a runtime exception is thrown.
If you choose to use our analytics service, we gather anonymous usage data of your game for you. This data includes the number of installs, players as well as retention data. We see the same data about your games as you do.
Defold was created by Ragnar Svensson and Christian Murray. They started working on the engine, editor and servers in 2009. King and Defold started a partnership in 2013 and King acquired Defold in 2014. Read the full story here.
The following platforms are supported for the editor/tools and the engine runtime:
|macOS 10.7 Lion||Editor and runtime|
|Windows Vista||Editor and runtime|
|Linux (64 bit)||Editor and runtime|
|Android 2.3 (API level 9)||Runtime|
With one click you can publish to iOS, Android and HTML5 as well as macOS/OS X, Windows and Linux. It’s truly one codebase, six supported platforms.
Defold uses OpenGL ES 2.0 for graphics rendering, which is available on all our supported platforms.
Absolutely! The engine is a full blown 3D engine. However, the toolset is made for 2D so you will have to do a lot of heavy lifting yourself. Better 3D support is planned.
All application and game logic in your Defold project is controlled through script. The Defold engine has the Lua language embedded for scripting. Lua is a lightweight dynamic language that is fast and very powerful. Read more on our technology summary.
When building custom materials, OpenGL ES SL shader language is used to write vertex and fragment shaders.
Yes, select the “About Defold Editor” in the menu. The popup clearly shows Defold beta version and, more importantly, the specific release SHA1. For runtime version lookup, use
The latest beta version available for download from http://d.defold.com/beta can be checked by opening http://d.defold.com/beta/info.json (the same file exists for stable versions as well: http://d.defold.com/stable/info.json)
Yes, check out
Yes. The Defold beta editor checks for an update at startup, just like the Defold stable version does.
Defold has built in support for IDFA (Advertising Identifier). You can fetch it via
sys.get_sys_info(). When submitting, Apple has three checkboxes for their three valid use cases for the IDFA:
If you check option 1, the app reviewer will look for ads to show up in the app. If your game does not show ads, the game might get rejected. Defold uses the id for cross promotion of your games, so you should check option 2.
Defold ships with built in support for purchases through Apple’s Appstore “in-app purchases” on iOS devices and Google Play’s or Amazon’s “in-app billing” on Android devices. Facebook Canvas “game payments” are supported for Facebook Canvas.
There is no built in support for ads, but there are a couple of extensions and libraries available for various ad networks:
Check out the Defold forum for more information.
Check if there are spaces in the path leading up to the Defold application. For instance, if you put the folder Defold-macosx containing the OSX version of the editor in your Applications folder, then you should be ok. If you rename the folder Defold macosx the editor might not start anymore. On Windows, putting Defold under C:\Program Files\ can trigger this problem. This is due to a known bug in the underlying Eclipse framework.
The build process can fail to rebuild files in rare cases where it have previously encountered build errors that you have fixed. Force a full rebuild by selecting Project > Rebuild And Launch from the menu.
In some cases it is not possible to run a game in the browser locally from the filesystem. Running from the editor serves the game from a local webserver. You can, for instance, use SimpleHTTPServer in Python:
$ python -m SimpleHTTPServer [port]
Make sure that you start the editor with the supplied shell script:
Do not execute Defold directly.
Make sure that you have libssl 0.9.8 installed on your machine. Some distributions come with a later version, but Defold needs version 0.9.8.
Check the console output in the editor. If you get the following message:
/home/myname/Desktop/Defold/plugins/com.dynamo.cr.engine_220.127.116.11502231306/engine/linux/dmengine: error while loading shared libraries: libopenal.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
then you need to install libopenal1. The package name varies between distributions, and in some cases you might have to install the openal and openal-dev or openal-devel packages.
Yes, it does. They are called collections. They allow you to create complex game object hierarchies and store those as a separate building blocks that you can instance in the editor or at runtime (through collection spawning). For GUI nodes there is support for GUI templates.
Chances are that you try to add a child in the game object file and that is not possible. To understand why you have to remember that parent-child hierarchies are strictly a scene-graph transform hierarchy. A game object that has not been placed (or spawned) into a scene (collection) is not part of a scene-graph and can’t therefore be part of a scene-graph hierarchy.
Parent-child relations express nothing else than the scene-graph transform relations and should not be mistaken for object orientation aggregates. If you try to focus on your game data and how to best transform it as your game alter its state you will likely find less need to send messages with state data to many objects all the time. In the cases where you will need data hierarchies, these are easily constructed and handled in Lua.
That is a visual artifact called “edge bleeding” where the edge pixels of neighbouring pixels in an atlas bleed into the image assigned to your sprite. The solution is to pad the edge of your atlas images with extra row(s) and column(s) of identical pixels. Luckily this can be done automatically by the atlas editor in Defold. Open your atlas and set the Extrude Borders value to 1.
Yes, you can. The built-in sprite shader has a constant “tint” defined:
sprite.set_constant("#sprite", "tint", vmath.vector4(r, g, b, a))
The Z-position of a game object controls rendering order. Low values are drawn before higher values. In the default render script game objects with a depth ranging between -1 and 1 are drawn, anything lower or higher will not be drawn. You can read more about the rendering script in the official Render documentation. On GUI nodes the Z value is ignored and does not affect rendering order at all. Instead nodes are rendered in the order they are listed and according to child hierarchies (and layering). Read more about gui rendering and draw call optimization using layers in the official GUI documentation.
No. The only effect is precision. The z-buffer is logarithmic and have very fine resolution of z values close to 0 and less resolution far away from 0. For instance, with a 24 bit buffer the values 10.0 and 10.000005 can be differentiated whereas 10000 and 10005 cannot.
There is actually consistency. Angles are expressed as degrees everywhere
in the editor and the game API:s. The math libs use radians. Currently the
convention breaks for the
angular_velocity physics property that is
currently expressed as radians/s. That is expected to change.
It is just a vertex colored shape. Bear in mind that it will still cost fill-rate.
All resources are ref-counted internally. As soon as the ref-count is zero the resource is released.
Everything is component-based. It’s possible to create a headless gameobject with multiple sounds and play sounds by sending messages to the sound-controller object. A benefit is that you can duck sounds based on interval, etc
In general all resources are statically declared with the benefit that you get resource management for free.
No, it is currently not possible.
Yes, set physics.debug flag in game.project. (Refer to the official Project settings documentation)
Defold runs a modified version of Box2D in the background and the performance cost should be quite similar. You can always see how much time the engine spends on physics by bringing up the profiler. You should also consider what kind of collisions objects you use. Static objects are cheaper performance wise for instance. Refer to the official Physics documentation in Defold for more details.
It depends on if they are playing or not. A ParticleFx that isn’t playing have zero performance cost. The performance implication of a playing ParticleFx must be evaluated using the profiler since it’s impact depends on how it is configured. The memory cost of a ParticleFX is around 140 bytes. As with most other things the memory is allocated up front for the number of ParticleFx defined as max_count in game.project.
Each proxy loaded collection has their own input stack. Input is routed from the main collection input stack via the proxy component to the objects in the collection. This means that it’s not enough for the game object in the loaded collection to acquire input focus, the game object that holds the proxy component need to acquire input focus as well. See the Input documentation for details.
No. Defold supports properties of hash types. These can be used to indicate types, state identifiers or keys of any kind. Hashes can also be used to store game object id:s (paths) although url properties are often preferrable since the editor automatically populate a drop-down with relevant url:s for you. See the Script properties documentation for details.
Defold includes all of the Lua 5.1 standard libraries as well as a socket and a bit operation library:
All libraries are documented in the reference API documentation