As such, Lanica's Platino game engine requires the free Titanium SDK, but the additional content creation apps that constitute the Lanica Game Platform can operate independently and can be used in conjunction with other game development platforms and tools.
Lanica was co-founded by Carlos Icaza, former CEO and co-founder of Ansca Mobile (now Corona Labs), maker of the Corona SDK game engine, and Kota Iguchi, former CEO of Infosia, maker of the Emo-Framework game engine.
Icaza in a phone interview said that Lanica's focus extends beyond game engines. "Making games is not just about the engines," he said. "It's about managing the assets, creating the levels and designing graphics."
The point of a game engine, he said, is to accelerate development. But game engines, which provide a framework for coordinating images, sounds and code and rendering everything on screen, don't address many of the time-consuming tasks related to asset preparation. "If we did an engine, what good is it if we can't complement it with other tools?" he said.
Aside from the Platino game engine ($17-$68/month, free for non-profit use), the platform includes Animo, a suite of design and development tools (a sprite editor, an IDE, a font tool and a particle effects tool), and Cosmo, a forthcoming suite of cloud-hosted backend services for game makers.
"The key to making a game is to iterate fast," said Icaza.
Certainly, there's some truth to that. There are so many mobile games in the various app stores that low-cost, rapid-fire game development appears to be a more appealing business model than risking a fortune on both development and marketing in the hope of a breakthrough hit.
Though game discovery is a marketing problem that every game developer faces, Icaza insists player retention is an even bigger issue. Lanica's forthcoming Cosmo services should provide developers with the infrastructure to encourage player engagement.
The challenge Lanica faces is not only a crowded game development tools market, but also an announcement last week that the next release of Unity3D, version 4.3, will include a new set of 2-D game creation tools.
Over the past few years, Unity3D has become a popular 3-D game development platform, boasting a community of some two million developers. But its focus on 3-D games, which tend to require well-funded development efforts, left room for smaller companies to develop 2-D gaming tools. With Unity Technologies expanding its focus, its software could lure developers away from smaller tool makers, at least those without healthy developer communities.
Icaza, however, sees Unity's expanded focus as a validation of what Lancia is trying to do. And his company's affiliation with Appcelerator, which in April said it had more than 450,000 developers, should help attract and retain customers, particularly among large corporate clients that rely on Appcelerator for managing cross-platform entertainment and gaming projects.
"The developer's success is our success, so it behooves us to make developers successful," said Icaza.
Google in the Enterprise SurveyThere's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ≠products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ≠mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ≠distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
CIOs Get Smart About BIITís tried for years to simplify business intelligence efforts. Have visual analysis tools and Hadoop and NoSQL databases helped? Respondents to our 2014 InformationWeek Analytics, Business Intelligence, and Information Management Survey have a mixed outlook.
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial ServicesIT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of October 9, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."