[Updated August 19, 2020]
A while back I ran a survey asking current Solar2D developers what they liked and disliked about the framework. Today I’d like to share the top four responses, with the most common response at the top and working down.
1. Rapid Development
This was the top reason people gave when asked what they liked best about Solar2D. And it’s the thing that really won me over. After a couple decades of programming in everything from assembly language to BASIC, I felt like I’d “paid my dues” and shouldn’t have to code every single thing anymore. Solar2D was the first framework where I felt they “got it.”
2. Ease of Use
This made #2 on the list by just one vote. Some people mentioned the fact that Lua is an easy programming language to pick up, and some mentioned the Solar2D API calls that make it simple to put a sprite on the screen, animate images, etc. Easy is good, and I think Solar2D strikes a good balance between making things easy and still giving you enough “power” to get the job done.
3. Target Multiple Platforms
Write your code once, run on iOS and Android devices, Mac/Win desktop, TV, etc. Same codebase, different platforms. I’ll be the first to admit I’m kind of an iOS snob, but from a business standpoint it only makes sense to target multiple platforms. I’m lazy enough that if I had to write my games twice I probably wouldn’t bother, but Solar2D makes multiplatform easy.
4. The Community
Even though this came in last, I think it’s one of the most important things. Because if you get stuck and can’t get a question answered it doesn’t matter how quick and easy something is. The Solar2D forums have very smart people hanging around who not only answers questions, but often writes code chunks to explain something. And the new Discord channel is great for getting information quickly.
The top reasons why people like Solar2D probably aren’t a surprise to anyone who’s ever used it, but it’s nice to have actual statistics to show what you thought was true, is.
It’s easy to use, it’s quick to get something up and running, you can build for multiple platforms, and when you get stuck there are people ready to help you. That’s exactly why I use Solar2D for my apps and game development.