What are the limitations of GDevelop?

Hello All!

I’m looking at GDevelop for developing games, I don’t know how to code so I don’t have many options and GDevelop is the only free that I find.

I was looking at the games shared by the community and I noticed all of them are simple, basic games and many of them seem pointless, unfinished I should say and most Android games are running slow that I don’t really understand why even the one the developer of GDevelop is making and none of them has ads or in-app purchase in them which is interesting. Even if you make a game for fun, why would you don’t even try to make money. It makes me wonder if it is because of the limitations of the engine or something else. Before I decide to sit down and start learning how to use GDevelop, I would like to ask the question what are the known limitations of GDevelop? What is that you know in general can not be done in this engine? I would be more interested in first hand experiences when you tried something and you could not do it because of the limitations. If that ever happened, what was it and why?

I also have some specific questions
-can you develop games for all platforms and all features works on all platforms, is there any thing that works only on one platform but not the other?
-could you develop an isometric RPG similar to Diablo for example?
-could you make an open world game without loading screens?
-could you make fun physics game where you need to sling, drop, shot, bend items, stack them on top of each other …etc, can you do water is there any limitation to physics in general?
-can you use sprter or spine animations?
-can multiple people work on the same project the same time, let say I have two person working on different parts of the logic would it be possible?
-one thing I also noticed there are no lights and shadows in GDevelop games, it is not supported?
-I also did not see really nice particle effects, there are no particles here?
-is GDevelop actively developed does the developer look in to the future or just maintenance happening for the most part or not even that, what is your experience?

From my experience most free tools are free for a reason and it is not always a good one, I would like to know what is that reason for GDevelop. By looking at the games shared, I doubt it would be success of the engine allowed to become free.

It would be my first question to you guys, I imagine you get this sort of questions all the time.
I hope I get some answers.

Thank you.

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Well, depends on what do you call basic. You may think Tetris or Angry Bird is a basic game but in-fact it does require the same as any other games if you can make those from scratch then you can make anything. But in case you mean nobody made any big games like Diablo, that is because for one thing, most people start using GD are complete beginners who don’t know anything about game development or very little. So they start making simple games and after that, mostly 2 things happening. The people think realistically and don’t even try to make a big game, they are happy with making small things that you would call “basic”, or they try but fail because of lack of experience this is what you wold call “unfinished” I guess or get to the point when they are stretching the limits of GD or need a certain feature GD does not have and they need to move on to a more advanced engine and therefore not many people are finishing and sharing big games here.

That is because the Android games are HTML5 games wrapped in to an Android app using PhoneGap and Crodova. Old devices running Android 4 have a hard time running these games. In case you are using HTML5 for Android, you want to consider to set Android 6 or 7 as the minimum requirement. But from my experience GDevelop is also generally slower then most other HTML5 game engines out there. I have experimented a lot with this and when it comes to performance, GDevelop is pretty slow compared to others, but the most simple to use except Construct 2. So I think you need to decide what is more important to you. Being easy and free or being fast. But frankly, if you already know you do want to target Android I recommend to choose something that natively export to Android, GD is not native. It is wrapping HTML5. The most simple solution is AppGameKit. It does require coding and it is not free, but it is using very simple and very easy to use commands like SetSpritePosition() for example. Not more difficult than using the event in GDevelop to “Set the position”, except in AGK you do need to set up your own content management system. It may scary if you don’t know how to code but once you get familiar with using arrays, types and loops, it is not that difficult and it gives you more freedom and more control. If you want to make an open world game with no loading screen, you definitely want to have full control over what is stored in memory and when and what is being rendered on the screen and when something is triggered on what. It is something that GDevelop does not allow you to control. But in return it is easy, so it is also something that you need to consider if you need control or you want it to be easy. AGK in my opinion sit nicely in the middle, not too complicated yet offer lot of control.

People constantly reporting problems with adsense, it does not work for many and they decide not to use it I guess. I never tried it. IAP is not available in GDevelop.

I tried to make an isometric game in GDevelop with detailed animations and sprites, the reason I failed was because the size and quantity of the images caused extreme long loading times, several minutes on my gaming PC and on a much slower devices I could not even wait for the loading to finish. The loading time can be reduced by using Atlas images, but it is not supported in GD. I switched to a 3D engines since also because I was using 3D models anyway for the 2D graphics and using a 3D engine solved all the problems I had and I don’t use GD since. I do follow because I think it great, but I’m no longer using it myself.

Technically yes, but it is a lot of trouble, the fact you are using events instead of a programming language means absolutely nothing when things becoming complex. What really matters is how well you can design the different parts of the game but I find the events limiting at such scale. Events are made with a certain use case in mind, when you are trying to combine these events to setup your logic to fit your case, often you don’t get the results you want because of the way the events are working internally. You need to start working around these limitations and bugs caused by the internal design of the events which is can be challenging even if you have a good understanding of how certain events works internally under the hood.

Technically can do, but in open world games you do really want to take control of how content is loaded and stored in memory. In GD you have no such control and the events are triggered for every single instances, you may end up using lot of resources only to check when to trigger certain events on which objects because you are going to have a lot of them in an open world game. In case you are going to be using GD you do need to brake your game up in to scenes.

You can develop games in GD4 for Windows, Linux, OSX and HTML5 but not all the features are shared, I believe you can find a list of the features on the home page. In GD5 you can develop only for HTML5 right now

No and it is not planned to my knowledge.

GD does not support collaboration specifically. You can not merge different version in to one easily. Someone need to grab the work of all people and put it together in to one project by hand. 4ian (or a contributor, can’t remember) did actually tried to make the GD projects modular so you could export import events and layouts separately and we also had the option to share events online but it has not been maintained after all. Last time I tried it was broken, reported it but has not been solved to my knowledge, and it was GD4 only, GD5 does not support this at all.

In HTML5 no, in GD4 desktop we have basic lighting but people reported rendering glitches and it is also limited, you can have only a single dynamic light in the scene.

GD got particle system but just like with lights people reported bugs and crashes all the time when used. I believe GD5 did received a new particle system, I have no experience with that.

Yes and NO. For 2 years it have been maintained by a contributor (Victor). In the past 6 months or so, the developer is actively working on GD5 and by that I mean weekends but I did not see many improvements in the actual engine so far. I would say it is maintained only. In theory the developer do plan to bring new features at some point, but no information is shared and nothing has been confirmed. In case you stick around, be prepared the developer won’t share lot of information regarding the plans and what is being developed. It may change in the future but an other thing worth not here is that, the developer prefer to discuss development on GitHub, you won’t see lot of conversation here on the forum. The “Feature request” and “Improve GD” topics are no longer used by the developer for discussions, and also when it comes to discussions 4ian prefer to have a conversaion at a technical level about why a = function(){} is better than b = function(){} and this is why he prefer GitHub which do makes sense. What doesn’t make sense in my opinion though is that he seem to completely ignoring the users. People on GitHub are not necessarily users, they are programmers playing around with the source of GD but not using it therefore real users can’t really expect to get the features and fixes they need. I feel the development of GD uncertain at this point, I don’t really understand what direction it going or what is planned and it seems to contiue rely on contribution on GitHub which is only make it even less certain it future and the direction it going.

Hope it helps.


Yes, using the “top down movement” extension.

Nice example here: youtube.com/watch?v=00S1H1Ja8KU

The physics engine doesn’t do things like bending, ropes or liquids, but can deal with movement and collisions of square or round objects, with variable mass, elasticity etc. Throwing, stacking, falling, sliding of objects are all there.

Thank you both.

You don’t seem very positive, it is a bit puzzling why are you still here if you are not using the software and you see the future uncertain. I value the information you shared but I hope others also going to answer my questions unless they agree in which case I’m not very motivated after reading your reply. AppGameKit is not something I’m interested in, I prefer something require no code and comes with an editor but what you told about HTML5 make me consider to find something that can export to Android and Windows natively in which case I left only with Clickteam. But thank you for the suggestion.

The isometric movement looks nice but there is a lot more to it than just movement on a small land. There is also combat, weapons, items, progression, shop, mobs, crafting may even building and a huge map. Unfortunately I don’t see people using GDevelop for such complex games and what ddabrahim told about the loading time because of the images also leave me with the question if GDevelop can support a complex and big game at all. But thank you anyway.

I have been doing game development for fun over a year now. I have messed with Unity, UE4, GameMaker, Construct, and GDevelop(most recent).

To stay in th positive direction, the fundamentals of GD are solid. Having the ability to create a custom made sprite, with custom collisions, and allow Java code within the editing has actually allowed for some amazing creation possibilities that many have still yet to discover.

Regardless of limitations anyhow (which all programs have), the development is active and currently functionality is great for getting started.

I currently have a 4 level parallax background, a player with 7 animations, pixel perfect collisions, weather conditions(rain only so far), and working on background and foreground grass at the moment, as well as an android friendly GUI. I have tested on my phone my game so far and it works great.

For what its worth, I would say the only thing you lose is time, unless you stick with it :slight_smile: By the time a good developer gets to the point in their game with GD, many changes on the dev side will have been made anyhow. If a part of what you need is currently not a function, move on and request it, and have patience and Im sure if it is viable for the development of GD, it will be implemented.

Hope that is helpful in some way

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To be honest, I dont even know. I guess it become a habit after so many years. I open the browser and type in the forum address without even thinking and once I see the titles, in some case I cant stand not to reply :laughing:

Maybe it hard to believe in case you don’t know any code but once you know how to code in any language which is just a few syntax rules you need to follow, it is just as easy as the events and a lot faster really since you don’t need to navigate between menus instead you can just type. But I understand if you have doubts, I was the same once.

AGK does have a 2D visual editor as a separated DLC so if you want you can make your levels inside an editor and then run it in AGK with a click of a button. In case you want a 3D editor, with a DLC you can also load GameGuru levels in to AGK with all textures, models and also animations and even the HLSL shaders from GameGuru is being replaced with GLSL in AGK by the loader. You get almost 1:1 result visually. but you still need to add logic using code inside AGK.
On a good day you can get the whole AGK package at 70-80% off which is not much more than any other tools out there.

I can tell you that right now, in Clickteam not all features are available or works the same on all platforms and this limitation is the reason I did not use it. If I make a game and I decide at the finish line I want to publish it to a certain platform I was not considering before, I don’t want to find my self the game won’t compile and there is nothing I can do about it.

This is also a nice thing about AGK, all the features in AGK are fully cross platform except platform specific features obviously. But 99% of features do compile to all platforms without require any changes which is make it truly stand out. No other engines offer such cross platform compatibility, in most engines you do need to make changes in order to make your game run the same on different platforms.

But the decision is yours.

Good luck.

Oh, I would love to throw a list of features here that have been requested in the past 5 years and I’m not even sure if it have been considered at all but I really need to go to bed now. :smiling_imp:
GD is begin developed only in spare time by a single developer and Lizard-13 did contributed lately but don’t be so sure anything is being implemented you request. If anyone going to consider anything here that would be Lizard-13, but still 4ian make the decision if merge the pull request or not. I’ve seen great features thrown away by 4ian because he did not want to maintain it :frowning: He is the boss and if he is not interested in maintaining something in the core product he won’t include it. Of course I can understand why, I’m not blaming him or anything but it still sucks.

But let stay positive, GD is great unless it missing any feature you need. :laughing:

I will say just one thing, probably (just probably) there is no such software in the whole world that lets you work with isometric maps, open worlds, physics (liquids and drag&drop included), lights & shadows, inventory, progression, particles (probably you’ll want them to illuminate and collide with your open isometric world too), with ads and in-app purchases, skeletal animations, and every feature compatible with all the others, with a cool editor supporting real-time collaboration, etc. And with the capacity to export to multiple platforms in a click, and without coding! (and if it’s free better) :smiling_imp:
You are searching the Holy Grail, the Ark of the Covenant, a Chimera, … the Higgs Boson? :laughing:
I’m sure with some work you can make such game with an engine developed for such big projects (Unreal, Unity, Godot?), but you’ll have to code, and for such features, code a lot. My advise (don’t read it if you don’t like advises), would be using GDevelop or Construct to make a small game and get an idea about the event system and get some programming-like knowledge, then start learning programming in a bigger engine if you still want to make that super game :slight_smile:
I know I sound rude, but it isn’t because this engine, it’s because you are asking for something no engine can offers.

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I have used many engines, and languages. I quite enjoy GDevelop. Just to touch on a couple of the ops questions.

Large open world, easy. I am developing a massive open world space game, demo soon! :smiley: . Keeping resources in memory is odd in GDevelop but easy, sound in your initiation events just play the sounds then pause on channels, then simply play the channels in the game when needed and it’s always loaded. Images are the same, as are animations, put them where you need them, hide them and shows them when needed…not pretty but works very well.

As for performance, I have an old laptop i3, 8go ram, Intel hd 4400 and have 300-400 dynamic objects in heavy battles 60fps on Windows and Linux.

It’s a great program, just takes time like anything.

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Thank you guys.

Most of you seem optimistic regarding the capabilities of GDevelop yet none of you have published any games and non of you really mention any limitations either. It fine if you guys think GDevelop is capable and worth the time but then I would like to see evidence, finished games that also runs well.

It would be very important the game work on both mobile and desktop the same and offer an easy way to include ads and in-app purchase and easy way to export the game. I don’t think this requirement would be out of this world. I did look in to GDevelop and Construct 2 Free in the past few days but I don’t think I’m going to be using them. They are HTML5 only and many people reporting problems with HTML5 games on mobile devices. I also find it too complicated to convert HTML5 to Windows and Android. From GDevelop 5 I can export to Android but the game did not run well on my mobile, maybe it is the holy grail I’m looking for but I do want to focus on my game and I don’t want to deal with problems like no sound on mobile, not scaling right, the game running slow…etc and I definitely don’t want to spend hours only to export to see that it doesn’t work. I also tried to access the sensors in my mobile to check if I tilt the phone or something but could not find a way to do it. So HTML5 is not the way I go for sure. But thank you anyway and my apology to all of you for wasting your time. If GDevelop 5 do get native export, may be I have a look again and come back with more questions. Hope by that many of you finish the game you are working on right now.

I did take a closer look at AppGameKit, it does not seem to be that difficult indeed but I could not say that it crystal clear. But multiple people did mention that how easy and simple to export the same game to all platforms. I did also come across a video showing how easy it is to make an AR game in AppGameKit and preview on mobile. It is really caught my attention and give me some great ideas and inspired me. Unfortunately the trial version does not allow me to export to mobile and it does not include the Visual Editor but I think I give it a go and see if I like it. Thank you.

I don’t know did you search only html and mobile games, but here is some native games:

There is a game that will released on Steam this month:
[url]Hyperspace Dogfights [Alpha] [Itch.io] - #58 by arc1tec4]

My game work in progress (“open world”, gameplay happens in one scene. Metroidvania kind of game):

And games in GDevelop website:

Especially game Jeux suis fan by Michael J Hatena seemed pretty interesting.

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Yes, I did search for mobile games in the first place.

My understanding is that those games are made in the old version of GDevelop and the home page saying the old version is no longer developed so it is definitely not something I would consider using also it is desktop only, there is no native mobile export unless I missing something.

Regarding the games on the website, I don’t want to hurt the feelings of anyone, I understand those games did require great deal of effort to make but still, I would hardly call them complex games. What I would like to see is a game that compete with studio titles. To be honest HyperSpace Dogfights was the reason I decided to take a look at GDevelop, it is a decent game but doesn’t show a lot of gameplay but nice animations and graphics. I was hoping to find more of similar quality but more complex games, I did not so I asked for what the limitations are to get a better picture why nobody is making big titles here. But as I mentioned, the problem now is that GDevelop 5 is a HTML5 engine, I prefer native mobile export because HTML5 seem to have lot of problems on mobile. But thank you.

To be honest, I don’t think it fair to judge an engine based on what the users are doing. I’ve seen horrible games made in Unity and Unreal that even made it on to Steam. But of course it does not explain the lack of commercial games made in GD.

I guess the bottom line is, most commercial games are made in other engine but not only because they are better but also because they do offer priority support. Free tools normally don’t provide that and not even many paid tools. When you make a commercial game and you do have a budget and a deadline to meet and not only make it for fun, you do want to get customer support so in case you have any game breaking bug that stand in your way to meet your deadline, you can request a fix and don’t need to wait for a public release so you can continue and meet your deadlines. Also if you need further explanation that the documentation does not provide you can ask for it or in case you simply need technical help in general with the problem you face you can request assistance over skype or messenger or even face to face with a technician. It is something that most paid commercial engines do offer. In case of open-source engine devs also need to consider how many people are familiar with the source code so how many people can potentially fix any problems they might have. So, when you expect to see studio quality games, you also need to consider this when you ask the question why people are using or not using X and Y for making commercial games. It is not only about pure features and capabilities but also support they can get.

So, only because people are not using GDevelop for commercial games not necessarily means limitations but only that, there are better solutions out there for commercial and big games.

For making HTML5 games that runs in the browser, personally I would use Phaser, then Construct 2 then either GDevelop or RPG Maker MV, so GDevelop is only the 3rd or in case you want to make an RPG, the 4th on my personal list for HTML5 games in the browser.

For HTML5 on mobile, personally I put Phaser first, RPG Maker MV 2nd because they do support atlas images and that is important for performance and their content management system is extremely well designed and fast, Phaser also offer a light weight physics engine specifically for mobile devices that is a lot faster on mobile then Box2D, Then I put Construct 2 3rd and GD is only the 4th again.

For making mobile games in general, personally I prefer AppGameKit, for many reasons it is simply the best and most simple solution out there in my opinion then I would put Godot and Unity 2nd and 3rd. But there are lot of other engines that people are using for mobile, like Cocos2D and Starling for example that I don’t really know as AGK does what I need perfectly and I did not look further.

For making games in general there is no best or worst engine. For the most part it is depends on what kind of game you want to make and what platforms you do want to support. Normally you need to choose engine for the game you want to make. For example, No Man’s Sky started in Unity then they decided to make their own engine. EVE Valkyre started in Unity then the devs decided to go with Unreal. Most of the time you can’t just pick a single engine and go with that one for a life, you need to be flexible and find the engine fit best the game you are making.

At the moment I would recommend GDevelop to complete beginners who do want to target desktop and the browser but in case you do want to target mobile, I would recommend to keep your ambitions and the number of devices that you going to support at the minimum with GD.

The thing with GD (and any software that uber-simplifies things) is that it targets new-on-the-industry users. Why?, as it simplifies the process through events you’ll face some kind of technical limitation someday*, after that you/your team will switch to a more complete engine, more difficult/complex but with more freedom. You can do that easily because you’ve learned the event system/the logic/the workflow, and the bases never change, having said that I must note that the learning experience of GD is invaluable, but it’s a shame that complex games become something improbable :neutral_face:

*For example you can’t detect collisions between two instances of the same object and then differentiate them, because you can’t manipulate objects lists nor instance variables manually (there are workarounds, though).

The main limitation in my opinion, is the person using it, GDevelop has some weird things that have to be done as workarounds, but everything does I think anyway, the ability to figure these out is of course another important learning factor. I think a complicated game is very doable in GDevelop! :smiley:.

My main engine aside from this one is Ethanon Engine, and it’s mostly code, but having to write everything myself, every function for everything from rotation to pathfinding got old with the limited time I have. Plus Angelscript is quite slow and not ready for heavy lifting like pathfinding…but anyway, meant for beginners or not, with a fraction of the time I can create something in GDevelop and it runs really well. To begin with it didn’t I had to figure out GDevelop’s quirks, with of course the forum with all the experienced members old posts helped me tremendously. :slight_smile:

GD being for “newbies” is kind of a misnomer, since to get something that runs smoothly and working well takes hundreds if not thousands of hours depending on what you’re working on. I’ve learned a ton and still am learning after probably 600 hours at this point, and I don’t think I’ll truly ever learn everything for another 1000.

I can’t accurately say what the limitations are because I feel like I haven’t really learned the proper optimization processes yet. But from what I have learned, GD is extremely powerful and more intuitive than other systems, but even a newbie wanting to go in and make a full fledged game better have time and dedication.

I know this thread is pretty old, so, many limitations don’t exist anymore but I want to reply some of the assertions, because the subject is interesting for me.

One of GDevelop limitations is obviously the absence of 3D.

I think many amateurs don’t out adds simply because they already know their games are too basic to pretend a payment. In my opinion, this is a good way to think, because represents humbleness. Maybe they will pretend when create good games in future.

Anyway, some people are young, so is in their rights publish even basic or unfinished games, this help them to be more comfortable and not excluded from game developing, encouraging them to make better in future as they both grow up and acquire skills.

“-could you make an open world game without loading screens?”
To be honest, even triple A games have loading screens. Old GTA games have it. Sometimes is a matter of performance more than a game or developer limitations.

“most Android games are running slow that I don’t really understand why”
I agree with ddabrahim’s reply, but this is the reason we have to support GDevelop. Every user/developer is a great chance to make GDevelop (or any other game engine) better and let the team implement new features and upgrade this engine.

“It would be very important the game work on both mobile and desktop the same and offer an easy way to include ads and in-app purchase and easy way to export the game. I don’t think this requirement would be out of this world.”
As far as I know, PCs and mobiles have peculiar differences. Every game engine team (Godot, Unity, Unreal, etc.) explains make the same game for mobile phones needs to be adapted.

I agree with ddabrahim, again, when he say “I’ve seen horrible games made in Unity and Unreal that even made it on to Steam.”
I remember the wave of horrible indie horror games back in the 2010. Many FPS with terrible physics and bugged characters drawn in a childish way. Other genres can be mentioned but I think is enough right now as an example.

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This limitations don’t exist anymore too, the community working on a solution really impressive!


I knew it would happen, and this is a very good news although I’m waiting for a complete implementation with Blender or similar 3D software.

I remember when Sparkman on YouTube shows how to implement 2.5D sprites on GDevelop, then Pandako with his/her phenomenal skills.

Another limitation could be the lacking of useful pre-built tools. For example, times ago there was a grid movement made by mikesheldon (Grid movement [GDevelop wiki]) but it doesn’t exist anymore, only on GDevelop wiki. That would be very useful to shorten the time for those who want to create an old style top-down JRPG.

Anyway, anyone can contribute, so every lacking in GDevelop can be filled one day. I’m very positive on open-source free software.

The exention grid movement has been updated to become this one:

There is two examples for it, links are in the description of the extension, and in the game templates in the homepage of the app.

I knew that extension, I’ve talked about it in another post: Grid based movement that actually works