How far can I go with Codea for 2D/3D game dev?

I’m currently a Unity developer, working on a big 2D project. It is very nice, but I also have the latest iPad Pro and I want to leave my old laptop at home and go out to work in a cafe. I have some small game ideas that I want to fool around with, but I like to write complicated systems that work together.

For example, I like to write RPG systems such as equipment systems, inventory systems, character systems with stats etc. that all work together. I know that Lua isn’t a solid OOP language, but I believe I can work around the limitations.

So my question is, how far can I bring my projects before I’ll need to export to Xcode? Is it like any game engine that the limitation is your imagination? Or are there serious limitations and roadblocks that doesn’t have any workaround and would require exporting? I know that it doesn’t have a visual editor like Unity, but I have experience with engines like MonoGame so that won’t be an issue as long as I can write my custom UI editors.

Why I’m asking is, the app is relatively expensive in my country, so I’d like to have as much assurance as I can before buying it.

Thanks for reading.

@dwarfengine I’ve been using Codea for over 8 years and there’s still things that it does that I haven’t fully used yet. Basically I use it just for fun, so I can’t say how well it would work for what you want. But I would say you can do a lot, maybe not as easily as a dedicated language for some specific work. I think it will all depend on your programming experience and how well you know Lua and eventually Codea. I’m a retired programmer with over 35+ years of experience, so I have no trouble writing code. I don’t know anything about Unity, MonoGame, and I don’t do anything worth while that I need export using XCode. But I do write a lot of code, mostly while I’m watching TV. I have over 600 Codea projects, and I write a lot of little example code to help new users who have questions. I would say spend the few bucks. Even if it doesn’t work for your specific needs, you’ll still get a lot of enjoyment just writing things and running it on your iPad Pro.

As for Xcode, I believe that’s only used to put programs on the App Store and not anything else. As I mentioned above, I never did anything with Xcode. Anyone who has Codea on their iPad can use the code you write. It doesn’t need to be converted to anything. You can send the code to them in a lot of different ways either as plain text or zipped.

@dave1707 Thank you a lot for your answer. I guess I’ll save up money to get it. As you also said, I really want an app that allows me to build and run on this beautiful iPad I have. I feel like I’ll enjoy it a lot.

my articles on show spacewar, asteroids, and space invaders. should give some sense of what can be done with x amount of code. some’s codea examples are enlightening too, including frogger, cargobot, and others

@RonJeffries I actually saw your Asteroids series. It’s so detailed and informative. I’ll definitely check it out more. Thanks for the reply.

@dwarfengine just wanted to chime in that having used Lua before it can totally be a solid OOP code slate. I’m just new to this Codea community but I think there’s a ‘class’ that can make any Lua table created by it to behave just like an OOP class: fields, static/member methods, inheritance, etc.

On another note, I use Unity in a professional environment and can do pretty much anything with it but I’m curious about the reach Codea can have with the use of an iPad Pro too. Already using procreate to learn some drawing and it just feels nice. Unity has an editor with easy to use referencing dropping by drag and dropping which is probably the main thing Codea doesn’t have?
Also a big jump-starter on unity land is that it has TONS of starter projects for sale… what you want to do there would be something like RPG starter kit or tools or similar.

Do you know if there’s anything of the sort for Codea in a centralized way? A set of libraries for aiding the development of a game.

Nevertheless, really like this endeavor, I bought Codea years ago, never used it but happy to see that it still goes on.