I'm evaluating learning Lua & Defold, but

…I have some questions.


I’m currently developing an FPS with UE4 but I like learning other things at the same time as a mental “active rest”.

The last 2 months I’ve been learning and practicing Javascript because I wanted to make simple 2D games with Phaser but I realized that if I wanted to port them to Android or Desktop it would take a lot of work.

And then I found Defold or should I say rediscover because I knew it existed but I discarded it because I thought it still was closed-sourced & had the requirement of using some servers to build and save projects.

Fortunately this is all in the past, therefore I’ve been skimming some tutorials, forum posts and watching a lot of videos about the engine. I like it.

I also like the philosophy of keeping it simple, “small” and focusing on 2D, even if it’s a 3D engine. This bring me to some questions, one of them being:

If I want to combine some 3D elements for some games is it easy to do it or does the engine totally discourage this pratice? If it’s posible, can I do it with the built-in editor or would I need external tools?

When I say 3D I don’t mean Fortnite or Skyrim but something like Death Rally or GTA 1 that had buildings and obstacles made out of ultra lowpoly models.

Another usage of 3D models I want to try is to fake FOV like the game Teleglitch by having very tall black walls.

Apart from that, is there an out-of-the-box way to add normal maps to my sprites or do I need shaders or plugins for that?

Even if any form of 3D is imposible to use I still want to learn, do you have any recomendations? I think tinkering with Lua would be the best starting point for me.



You mean, like this?


It’s pretty easy to add 3D elements, and you can use the Defold editor to do it. Normal maps are not built-in, but I’m sure you can get community help with it.


I remember having seen a game/demo made with Defold that was a mix between 2D et 3D…

Ah, here it is:

I’ve only dealt with 2D until now, but it looks like creating nice 2D/3D games with Defold is possible.

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I was thinking more like what ross.grams posted right below you but thanks, that example is also cool and with colored lighting and normal maps it looks great.

Yeah I checked the work of this man but the way he uses the editor for the map layout is a little different to what I was thinking. It is part of the reason why I started the thread, to see if I can add models in different more “normal” ways.

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OH YEAH! Just like in Teleglitch, it looks awesome! It is amazing what you can do with a bunch of blocks here and there to enhance visuals.

And if I can do that with the editor I’m happy.

So, where do you recommend me to start? The book “Programming in Lua” for example?

Also, before I forget again, what about cubemaps? I want to experiment with gameplay similar to Myst 3/4, where you can explore the environment through 360º panoramas, I think I saw a post talking about having inverse spheres/cubes to make it work.

Yup, the editor isn’t amazing, but it’s perfectly usable for 3D stuff.

Try searching the forum for “learn”, there’s a bunch of threads about how to learn Defold and Lua. I’d say to start with one of the official tutorials to learn the Defold workflow and then learn lua basics as well as possible.

I don’t know about cubemaps, sorry. Anyone?

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Thanks @ross.grams, I queued some of the videos recommended and made a list of the written materials. I think I’ll just go through the book I mentioned while I tinker with the tutorials and see how it goes.

And for the cubemaps I found:


So Unity f*cked it up, huh?!

I’ve been working a lot with that engine this year, I even attended a “dev” school for 4 months to be trained and changed my original game concept to make something with more appeal, and then this happened.

So, I’m thinking about switching again…

I simplified quite a lot what I want to accomplish & now I don’t even need 3D physics so I think Defold is the best fit.

Aesthetically I chose the neon retro/synthwave style & I want to know how could I make colors glow.

Also, I haven’t visited the forum much, I’d like to check out some new tutorials if there are any. Can you provide me some links?



I assume you’ve already seen the tutorials at defold.com/learn?

I think @jhonny.goransson can give you some advice on how to create a glow shader?

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The Unfolding Defold videos are new right? I don’t remember seeing those.

Will that shader work on mobile?

No idea! Probably. Try it!