In this era of application development, Flutter is becoming more popular and advanced at the same time. No matter what kind of app or game you are building you are developing, the Flutter framework remains an ultimate choice for every developer. Businesses have an eye on game development with Flutter. Fast development, a single codebase system, and a native environment are the few perks that make Flutter one of the best frameworks for game development.
It is obvious that when it comes to game development, developers have to choose a framework that perfectly aligns with the client’s needs and wants. A game developer can either choose a native platform and risk time and money or go with a multi-platform framework like Flutter and risk large app sizes or slow performance. Flutter is the only framework available if you want to do game development without such bloating.
By the end of this blog, you’ll be able to create games using Flutter in no time. Flutter is undoubtedly the best cross-platform mobile app development platform available for game development. It makes the process easier and smoother due to its multiple benefits over other platforms. Moreover, Flutter uses Dart language which is easy to understand for new developers who have even a little knowledge of programming.
Game Engines in Flutter
A game engine is a development platform that is solely used to create video games. In addition, you can also create a virtual environment using the game engines. These game engines provide artificial intelligence and animation features to developers to create virtual interfaces, mostly, for mobile devices.
The following are the most common game engines that are used by developers to develop mobile games.
The Flame engine is a platform that provides ultimate solutions for game development. As Flame is introduced by Google, it combines with Flutter and gives developers a reliable option to code easily. Flame provides all the necessary functionalities and game loop implementations that you must require to develop games. It provides some simple yet effective functionalities and implementations like sprite sheets, input, images, animations, and a flame component system. Moreover, Flame also offers some stand-alone packages that enhance its functionality of Flame. Interestingly, the Flame engine is growing and improving day by day. Owing to this, they have formed a cooperative community where people freely make suggestions, pull requests, and open issues.
2. Flutter Unity Widget
Incorporating 3D visuals within an app is not a difficult task when the development framework is Flutter. You can easily do 3D customization and interpretations with Flutter unity widgets. Flutter unity widget compiles a 3D view of how your app would look on all major platforms before launching it. In this process, both full screen mode and embedded mode are used, so you can be confident that they will work on any mobile device.
3. Flutter Quill
FlutterQuill is a lightweight text editor, component, or game engine that uses quills and feathers. This library is specially built for modern mobile devices. Surprisingly, FlutterQuill for the web is also under development and it will be live anytime soon. Moreover, Quill supports several format options, both in API calls and UI controls. The Quill editor supports all formats by default and allows them to exist within it. Furthermore, you can also configure it with the formats option. You can customize the Quill editor and paste an underlined text into an editor that has no underline button in the toolbar. Keep in mind that this is not the same as adding control in the toolbar. Quill gives you full control over the game you’re developing.
4. Sprite Widget
SpriteWidget is one of the most extensively and broadly functional libraries in Flutter. It is used for building 2D games and high-performance animations in Flutter. From an animated icon to a full fledge game, you can create everything with SpriteWidget. Serverpod is the sponsor of SpriteWidget and it is perfect for the backend for any of your apps or game.
Forge2D is a useful and effective package to use while building games in Flutter. Flame has this open-source engine that provides physics abilities using a Box2D port. Interestingly, you can use this package separately in Dart or your Flame project using flame_forge2d. If you want a complete overview of how to install Forge2D and use it, you can read this page for that.
Is Flutter good for game development?
You might be wondering whether Flutter is good for game development or not. Or can we use Flutter for game development? The answer to questions like these is both yes and no. Because Flutter is a framework that is designed to create intuitive applications particularity, not for games specifically. So, if you want to build a game similar to Call of Duty, PUBG Mobile, or some other FPS games then Flutter might not be the right choice for you. However, if you want to develop simpler but interactive games like 8 Ball Pool, Flappy Dunk, or ludo then Flutter would undoubtedly be the right choice for you.
There are several reasons behind choosing or not choosing Flutter for game development. Here are the benefits and challenges you may undergo after choosing Flutter to develop games.
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Benefits of Game Development with Flutter
There could be several benefits to choosing Flutter for game development. Following are some of the worth mentioning benefits.
- Full-scale Control
One of the major benefits of Game development with Flutter is the enhanced control of the canvas. This allows you to create intuitive visuals inside the game and ultimately come up with an amazing game app at the end. In addition, you can see Flutter’s source code from within the IDE.
- Easy & Simple
Flutter is the only platform that is easy to understand. It uses Dart language, which has a similar context as Java, JavaScrip, and C#. So if you have a basic knowledge of any of these programming languages then Flutter isn’t a difficult thing to adopt. It has an easier interface and a clear development environment unlike other game engines such as Unity and Unreal.
- Cross-platform Capability
Another salient feature of Flutter that makes it stand out from other development frameworks is its cross-platform capability. Leveraging a single codebase facility helps developers build game apps more easily. You only need to code one and it will be ready to be deployed on iOS and Android phones both.
- Perks of Flame Engine
The flame engine was a perfect addition to Flutter back in April 2022 when Flutter 3.0 was released. Previously, there was no particular game engine or any support available for game development with Flutter. When Flutter 3.0 was released, it laid a positive impact on developers to develop games with Flutter. There are several packages that you can leverage using the Flame engine and build awesome games with Flutter.
Challenges of using Flutter for Game Development
As we discussed earlier, Flutter might have some challenges when you use it to develop games. Let’s get to know what could be the reasons for not choosing Flutter to build games.
- Issues with Integration
While building games with Flutter, you might come across integration issues with play game services. You may experience difficulties with integrating offline-first databases which is a must-have feature in in-game apps. Furthermore, you might need guidance to choose the right audio plugins that can play audio in the background and foreground at the same time.
- Bundle Size and Performance Drawbacks
Game development with Flutter may cause animation pitfalls on low-end iOS devices. Whenever there exist any performance issues, DeVTools are not always helpful in diagnosing the issues with a game loop. There is no support for adapting app rendering qualities to the device’s performance characteristics.
- Flame Engine Challenges
You must admit that documentations are the block building for developers. As Flame is a newly launched engine, the documentation present on its official website isn’t that beginner-friendly. It will become difficult for any of the fresh developers to learn game development with Flutter. More importantly, the collision detection in Flame doesn’t handle physics sometimes when two objects collide with each other. It is a must to use Forge2D to cope with this situation.
- Missing Features
Unfortunately, there is no support for creating 3D games with Flutter. The user-space APIs to control the refresh rate is also missing in the Flame engine, such as 120 Hz. Moreover, there is no surety if Flutter has GPU debugging tools that provide visibility into the frame buffer. While on the other hand, we see, that Xcode has useful OpenGL debugging tools.
How do game apps make money?
When it comes to earning money online, app developers are the ones who won’t be left empty-handed. Whether you are an individual Flutter app developer or a renowned Flutter app development company, you can upsell any of your apps right away. There are several strategies that a Flutter app development company can apply to earn money through game apps.
Here are the most common and the only ways through which game apps make money.
- Sell the app right away
- In-app advertising
- In-app purchases
Selling a game app is like a direct deal. You reach out to different companies working closely in the same field and pitch them with your game app. There is the possibility that the company would buy the whole app for you and you can charge them the amount worth your efforts.
In-app advertising is also a common approach and the most rewarding one in terms of making money out of a game app. Your app shows the ads from different advertisers and you get paid for showing those ads in your app.
The last and the most productive approach to making money through a game app is through in-app purchases. This strategy is only applicable if you have an app that can offer something to the users. You can create different subscription options that users will purchase to access the premium features of your app. Furthermore, you can offer different kinds of paid characters, suits, perks, etc. that users can purchase to enjoy an ultimate gaming experience.
Flutter Games Examples
As we have already discussed that Flutter is not a good choice for developing high-end games so you won’t be seeing any famous or top-rated games on our list.
Here are a few simple games that gained popularity over time and got multiple downloads.
- 3D Pinball
- Tetris Game
- Party Game
- Hangman Game
- Snake Game
Game development with Flutter is becoming a hot topic these days because of the increased demand for game apps. Flutter didn’t have any game engine in the past but luckily it came up with Flame earlier in 2022. However, you cannot develop a highly interactive and feature-rich game till now using Flutter. In case you’re planning to build 2D game development with Flutter then this might be your right choice.
Lastly, if you need any kind of assistance related to Flutter app development, you can hire flutter app developers from flutterdesk. FlutterDesk is always there to help pave you out from any of the complex issues you’re facing. Feel free to mention your concerns in the comment box below. Our team of highly professional Flutter developers would love to assist you. Cheers!