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11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games

Emanuele Feronato Actionscript 3, Flash, Game design, Links

I am playing isometric games for more than 20 years… probably started with Q*bert, one of the oldest games I played is Head Over Heels on my Commodore 64, and I was an hardcore player of UFO: Enemy Unknown.

As you should know, isometric projection is a method of visually representing three-dimensional objects in two dimensions, in which the three coordinate axes appear equally foreshortened and the angles between any two of them are 120 degrees. A great way to represent 3D worlds on old 8-bit computers since their CPUs did not handle a real 3D world, and a great way to create casual adventure games nowadays.

I am showing you a list of 11 Flash isometric engines, some of them are free, others are commercial, and some still unreleased. I am writing to all authors to have more info about their engines, meanwhile this the most complete list I was able to make.

Engines are listed in alphabetical order.

2D isometric engine – Free


Open source, multilevel and multiplayer tilebased isometric engine, reviewed in this post

as3isolib – Free


As3isolib is an open-source ActionScript 3.0 Isometric Library developed to assist in creating isometrically projected content (such as games and graphics) targeted for the Flash player platform. As3isolib includes utilities, primitives and views. As3isolib was developed with simplicity, speed and performance in mind so that developers can focus on actual implementations rather than having to learn a complex API.

You can see latest project using this engine at http://apps.facebook.com/downtowngame/

FFilmation – Free


The FFilmation Engine is an AS3 isometric programing engine, focused mainly on game development. The aim of the project is providing a robust development platform, where game designers can work on the game’s details and forget about the render engine. It is intended to be really usable from a “real production scenario” point of view.

See a demo playing My Name is Poncho

Flash 3D Isometric Game Engine – Unreleased


Vector isometric engine allowing to zoom, rotate and pan the environment in a “real” 3D world. I’m asking the author more information, stay tuned

isoengineas3 – Free


2D Isometric Engine project build with Flash AS3. It is an open source, multilevel and multiplayer tilebased isometric engine. No more information.

Isometric Game Engine – Unreleased


An isometric engine built from scratch for an online virtual campus. No more info.

The demo is quite interesting so I am going to contact the author for more information.

Isometric terrain engine – Free


This is an isometric terrain generator, actually an abandoned project but still an inspiration.

OpenSpace – Commercial – Trial version available


OpenSpace is a powerful Flash based isometric engine and framework for rapid development of multi-user virtual worlds and MMO communities.

Check Football Village to see it in action.

OpenSpace is licensed on a “per-seat” basis: a separate license is required for each user working with OpenSpace.

Sean Cooper Isometric Engine – Commercial


Made by Sean “BoxHead” Cooper, the engine is based on some techniques used in the PC game Syndicate, which he wrote in 1993. The technique is simple and extremely fast, well suited to Flash and will run fast on most machines.

At the moment there isn’t any project showcase, just a demo in the official page, and no info about the license, but being developed by a PROgrammer like Sean makes this engine quite interesting.

TheoWorlds – Commercial


TheoWorlds Builder SDK v2 is a kit that will help you develop online virtual worlds much faster, without starting from scratch. At its core it contains the original Theo Isometric Engine™ that lets you create pseudo-3D maps, place on them objects and characters, and organize the interaction between them.

You can test the engine playing Treasure Hunter

TheoWorlds Builder SDK v2 is priced $3,200, while the light SDK v1 $799

T.I.L.E. (Tangerine Isometric Level Editor) – Commercial

http://www.tangerinepop.com/ then click on “tech”

According to the site, T.I.L.E. provides the ability to rapidly build a standard lock & key adventure game with hundreds of rooms. It also provides the primary software framework needed to build a quality MMO with numerous maps and new play modes via in increasing list of new game mechanics.

An example of a game developed with this technology is GraveShift

Prices range from (as said on the site) “half to less than half the costs of building it yourself”

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Comments 46

  1. Pingback: Flash Isometric Engines overview « Flash Team

  2. Arioch

    Argh… I needed this post three weeks ago ! ^^
    Now i’ve my own engine… I learned a lot though.

    I didn’t manage to find good ressources in AS3 to help me to design it.

    That’s where you’re post could help me.

    TY for it.

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  4. John

    I was reading about isometric in AdvancED ActionScript Animation by Keith Peters the other day.
    I can really recommend it to anyone looking for good resources on this topic.

  5. Pingback: A Freelancer’s Flash Bash [6] | Freelance Flash Games News

  6. as3isolib

    Hey thanks for the mention and spreading the word.

    Just an FYI, the as3isolib.v2 is currently in development. I can’t say much more than that at the moment

  7. Pingback: AS3 Code Libraries (APIs) – Joe's private place

  8. Jose Campos

    Hey guy im playing with as3isolib but i have some problems, i placed a tree and a ball, im moving the ball, the bad thing is that the ball is always over the tree, i dont know how to make it go back when it is supposed to do it…., any ideas or tutorials, i read all of the google code page.

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  11. Pingback: 11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games – Emanuele Feronato » Fish XL

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  15. Thanksink

    Thanks friend for this info, this is great for my proyects. Now i only need any tutorial… No, i search more info. Thanks, Thanks.

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  17. Mattius

    As a graphic designer and love nothing better than creating isometric imagery of photos and scenarios for elearning.

    Recently I seem to be getting asked more and more for animated illustrations and if I could bring together the two as animated isometric imagery I’d be very happy.

    Coding is not a barrier, I’m OK with AS2/AS3 and so all that remains is identifying which of the ISO engines to consider.

    Any advice would be very welcomed.

    Matt, Wales (a little part of the UK), UK

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