Seattle-based mobile games company Zipline Games announced today that adventure game studio Double Fine will be using their Moai platform to develop their new game.
Zipline Games describes their Moai platform as a toolset designed to allow game studios to easily create games that work well on a variety of devices.
Moai is a mobile game development platform. It’s driven by the Lua scripting language, both on mobile devices and in the cloud. The Moai SDK can handle graphics, animation, input, physics, collisions, and more. Moai Cloud hosts your game logic, databases and additional game content, plus key services you need to build and administer great games.
By using the Moai platform, Double Fine is planning to bring their newest game, tentatively titled Double Fine Adventure, to the PC, Mac, iOS, Android, and Linux.
In a video released with the press statement, Double Fine explained its decision to use Moai to develop its new game.
Double Fine Adventure has previously been in the news for having raised $3.3 million USD in a Kickstarter fund.
Analysis: Moai SDK is an interesting thing. It’s free, although commercial licenses are offered for companies that desire it; it’s open-source; and it utilizes Lua, which is an easily portable language. It’s generally designed for smaller mobile games, but it scales in a way that also allows bigger projects.
There are likely to be two interesting outcomes from this decision.
First off, this is Moai’s high-profile debut. Double Fine Adventure soaks up news and press wherever it goes. It even managed to start an entire industry trend with its Kickstarter investment success. By using this technology, Double Fine is going to be releasing a huge, multi-million dollar project to loads of expectant fans. In other words, this is Moai SDK’s day on the stage. If Double Fine Adventure works great and is a technical success, then I think you can look forward to tons of other studios utilizing Moai SDK in the future, especially since it’s free and open source. However, if Double Fine Adventure is a buggy mess and a technical failure, even if those failures aren’t necessarily reflective of the SDK, then this could be a huge black cloud over the young Seattle start-up. In a lot of ways, the future of Moai SDK rides on Double Fine Adventure‘s success or failure.
Second, thousands of gamers are now invested in the success of a little-known mobile game client framework. Double Fine Adventure is the hotly-anticipated return of Tim Schafer, and tons of excited gamers now have their hopes and dreams placed firmly in the hands of Moai SDK. If Moai SDK turns out to not meet expectations, or to force the development of Double Fine Adventure in ways that gamers don’t want, then this could be a huge coup d’etat of anticipation. The problem with Kickstarter is that you’re investing in a future product and you have no idea how it’ll actually turn out, and I think that if Double Fine Adventure is received poorly, then Kickstarter might suffer as a result of it. Gamers might feel burned by the idea of crowd-funding and could come to the conclusion that they’re better off paying for finished products that are known quantities rather than sinking money into a game that hasn’t even been developed yet. Therefore, if Moai SDK doesn’t turn out well, it doesn’t just mean tragedy for the young, enthusiastic new mobile platform, but it also could very well mean tragedy for the Kickstarter business model as well.
Now, there’s no real reason to assume that Moai SDK is in any way bad or deficient, but it could be a sign that Double Fine Adventure is being developed in a way that is contrary to gamer’s desires. Did the gaming community pay $3.3 million for a game that fit well on an Android or iOS? That’s the multimillion dollar question, isn’t it?