The developer of Spark Engine, Aris Kostakos, tried to answer to all your questions but wasn't able to due to his low account reputation(wasn't able to post links and stuff).
He then approached me and sent me a text file containing his reply:
I'm Aris Kostakos, the developer of the Spark Game Engine. This thread has been brought to my attention today so I thought I'd take the chance to join the forums and introduce myself and our team.
Spark is indeed a start-up company originally conceived by me and Theodora Kapsalis about 2 years ago. We've recently completed our first round of funding which allowed us to grow our company to 3 people:).
I'd like to start by saying that Spark is a sincere effort on a new way for building games. I've been using tools to create games my whole life (Amos, Klik & Play, Multimedia Fusion, 3D Game Studio, Unity) but a couple of years back I really felt I could do one better, so we set off trying to create the game engine of our dreams. If you're interested in finding out more on how we started and more technical details about how Spark works, there's a
I gave to the Greek game community a couple of months ago. It's about 25 mins long; make sure to turn on the English subtitles.
So, about your questions on Spark..
[quote:b97mo760]For me, it sounds a bit too good to be true. I mean, cross-platform engine and editor? Visual or code programming? Multiplayer with your own custom built server? 2D and 3D games? Native code exports for all platforms? And all that (and more) just after release?
Dream engine . But yes, it's all possible. It's a combination of making the right technology choices and taking advantage of well established open-source libraries. That, along with the fact of the rapid technological advances lately (mobile phones with hardware acceleration, huge browser improvements, loads of cross-platform solutions) and it actually makes sense.
cross-platform engine and editor: Spark is created with Haxe. It can re-compile itself to native code, or code wrapped in VMs. The editor is cross-platform because it's made using Spark.
Visual or code programming: This is nothing new. But we're very proud of our Data Separation approach of doing this. You can read about it on the presentation I mentioned above.
Multiplayer with your own custom built server: The server uses nodejs and can be programmable with Spark, like you program your clients. We offer a free cloud service to host your servers with 1-click, and we're using a great open source library called Pomelo, to help us with the inner nightmare that is networking.
2D and 3D games: Software/Hardware accelerated 2D rendering is done by Flambe. 3D uses Away3D/AwayJS. If you have some time to burn, check out my blog post about 2D and 3D games..
And all that (and more) just after release: Yes, all of the above have already been implemented. We've been working full time (I should actually say, 12-18 hours a day) for a year and a half. But we have a lot of work to do still for the editors, and keep adding more features before we can release something.
[quote:b97mo760]Second: HTML5, Flash, and natives, what is wrong with them? sounds like "OMG WE HAVE EVERITHIN", first: if they have html5, they already have multiplatform, ok, for some reason they could prefer native I'll admit, but flash..? Flash? Flash? pointless.
As long as Zynga is still using flash-powered games, flash will be alive. The game development community of flash is much more established, and right now it greatly outweights the html5 game community. But the biggest reason for targeting actionscript is actually not flash but AIR. Imho, Stage3D>WebGL and for all the js wrappers out there, nothing can compete with AIR. So, the idea here is, build for js for your html5 games, but when going to target iOS or Android, give the Air build a try because it should run faster than your phonegap/cocoon/crosswalk build. But we can still support both options by keeping our codebase written in Haxe.
[quote:b97mo760]Use powerful physics: would love to see that working in a browser too, just to see.
2D physics is powered by Nape. 3D by Bullet. Take a look at these beautiful Nape examples that you can try on the browser.
[quote:b97mo760]I hope that they don't want to follow YoYoGames' example.
What do you mean by this? We'd love feedback on the pricing model. Not our major concern right now, but it will be pretty soon. One thing I know for sure, the free version will be pretty capable.
[quote:b97mo760]the engine uses XML for scripting.
[quote:b97mo760]His other businesses like Swift Ebook Studio seams to be a no go.
Wow, you really did your research . A publishing house in Greece is using Swift Ebook Studio and has published more than 70 ebooks with it already. Swift ebook studio is what allowed us to quit our day jobs and start working on Spark in the first place.
I think that's everything. If you want to give the engine a try, subscribe for the beta which is scheduled for around June. For the Alpha next month, we've kept that more private. It will have limited functionality and it's meant more for people that really want to help with the engine than start developing games with it. If that's you, then subscribe for the Beta, then send an e-mail to including the e-mail that you used when you subscribed and a note that you want to join the Alpha."