2017 - State of the art
2016 turned out to be a year of change, we waited patiently until WWDC to see if Apple would make any changes to SpriteKit, but were ultimately left a little disappointed with the presentation and the pace of development. An additional concern beyond the pace of development was that SpriteKit limited us to the Apple platform and restricted us to only developing 2D games. Over the course of the year we started to become aware of two important issues which both have the potential to impact our game development going forward. The first of these was triggered by the rather shaky couple of years that SpriteKit has had, its not so much that SpriteKit is broken or flawed its more the way that Apple responded (or rather didn't respond) to issues with the iOS9 & iOS10 versions of the API. Don't get me wrong SpriteKit is wonderful to use, but there are a fair few issues with the API and its not immediately obvious when (or even if) Apple intends to address them.
After evaluating Unreal Engine 4 and Unity 5 we decided that Unity better matched our roadmap with its cross platform capacities and an extensive list of both 2D and 2D design tools. Unity also uses C# as its scripting language which is surprising close to Swift in terms of syntax. Given the success of the evaluation we have decided (after a lot of discussion) to move our game development over to Unity Personal. Adopting Unity has a number of advantages, it gives us access to game specific tools, advanced lighting, full 3D and cross platform support from iPhone to XBoxOne.
The plan for 2017 is to complete and ship our first Unity project. Lunanaut was initially developed in SpriteKit, but over the last 6 months we have ported many of the key mechanics over to Unity. Our first goal for 2017 is to integrate these mechanics into a unified game core that we can build on throughout the year.