Dungeon Stacker - the first Defold project


Hi there!

I’ve made a tiny game while learning the engine, you can play it here:

Below is a bit of backstory and my initial thoughts about Defold.


  • I’m a game designer with no formal programming training and experience.
  • I always wanted to be able to prototype mechanics and make small games, mostly for my own pleasure.
  • I’ve started with Unity, as I had a lot of really experienced developers around who helped me.
  • I’ve made a number of prototypes and micro-games (you can also check a couple of them on my itch page.
  • After some time I felt that Unity is simply too much for my goals and has a few (personally) irritating things, starting from the overly-complicated animation flow to the editor’s RAM/CPU usage and the whole OOP thing that is really a pain to handle sometimes.

Why I ended up trying Defold:

  • It looked cool.
  • It is mostly 2D oriented, which suited my needs.
  • It promised things that were really tempting: a very easy way to animate object properties, small build sizes, ability to build HTML5 games that work fine on mobile devices.

What I’ve discovered while learning the engine:

  • Challenges
    • The editor itself is not that lightweight actually, especially on the older hardware.
    • Another thing with low-end hardware: the editor’s layout is really not suited for lower resolutions, using it on a 1366x768 screen on a laptop is a pain, as I have to toggle panels in order to maximize space.
    • After being spoiled with auto-completion and other nifty stuff in VSCode, so the built-in code editor seems a bit bare bones.
    • Having knowingly ditched C# in favor of Lua I faced with the fact that I don’t really know how to properly handle data and pass it to different parts of the system. I also suspect that Lua can be used in a much more effective and elegant way that I managed to do it.
    • The whole shaders and materials stuff makes me desperate.
  • Cool stuff
    • go.animate() is a wonder and just feels right, especially cool that it all comes with a set of predefined easings and such.
    • Making and organizing sprite atlases with animation groups and tilemaps is intuitive (although tilemap editor could have a couple more features like flood feel, brush multiple tiles etc.)
    • The builds are indeed very small and work well on mobile. Very nice.
    • The community is very supportive. I’ve learned a ton of things in the Telegram group and here on the forum.

What’s next:

I will certainly continue messing around with the engine. My next priority is to learn how to properly handle various screen resolutions, the whole UI system, working with assets/third-party modules and building projects for mobile platforms.

I thank the community for supporting novices like myself and everyone who have have read this sheet of text and tried the game. Your feedback and thoughts are very welcome!



Thank you for the great write up of your experience with Defold and for some excellent feedback. Good luck with future Defold projects!



Thank you Björn! I will try my best!

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