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11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games

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

http://code.google.com/p/2d-isometric-engine/

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

as3isolib – Free

http://as3isolib.wordpress.com/

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

http://www.ffilmation.org/

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

http://actionscripter.co.uk/blog/?page_id=76

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

http://isoengineas3.sourceforge.net/

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

http://www.davidworks.com/?id=int_iso

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

http://yaief.wordpress.com/2008/12/05/isometric-terrain-engine/

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

OpenSpace – Commercial – Trial version available

http://www.openspace-engine.com/

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

http://www.games.seantcooper.com/IsometricEngine.aspx

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

http://www.theoworlds.com/products.php

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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This post has 46 comments

  1. William

    on February 23, 2010 at 5:13 pm

    From the comment of the author AngelStreet on your review at http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2009/08/18/as3-isometric-engine/),

    http://sourceforge.net/projects/isoengineas3/ and http://code.google.com/p/2d-isometric-engine/ are the same project

    btw davidworks’ one is really impressive!

  2. Flash Isometric Engines overview « Flash Team

    on February 23, 2010 at 6:31 pm

    [...] a comment » Emanuele Feronato gives a brief description of 11 Flash isometric engines. 49.989670 [...]

  3. Chris

    on February 23, 2010 at 7:16 pm

    Thanks for that :)

    Next blogpost about some plattform engines with included physics (maybe the newest box2d) :)

  4. Charlie Schulze

    on February 23, 2010 at 9:20 pm

    Great review of these engines. I actually just finished a blog entry yesterday where I chose to integrate as3isolib and papervision. The most I had found before were 3 so thank you for digging some more up.

    Charlie

    http://papervision2.com/papervision-isometric-view-pathfinding-using-as3isolib-and-a-a-star/

  5. Federico "FNX" Nisoli

    on February 24, 2010 at 3:29 am

    Wow, you mentioned Football Village which I’m the lead developer! I’m so honored :D

  6. shaman4d

    on February 24, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    Very useful. But what the best of its?

  7. Arioch

    on February 24, 2010 at 7:51 pm

    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.

  8. Vinicius

    on February 24, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Well. I’ve developped my own also. I wonder what would take longer, improve mine or learn the other ones.

  9. Flanture

    on February 27, 2010 at 5:22 pm

    Great list. It’s good to have most of them in one place like reference. What’s your favorite?

  10. Weekly Shared Items – 2. March, 2010 | TOXIN LABS - weblog of a german design student from wuerzburg

    on March 2, 2010 at 8:08 am

    [...] 11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games [...]

  11. John

    on March 5, 2010 at 12:06 am

    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.

  12. Ezio Domisuto

    on March 15, 2010 at 8:34 pm

    I’ve been developing an iso engine for Domisuto LLC that we’re currently using in our Facebook game TinyTown http://apps.facebook.com/tinytowngame/ Tiny cars and people will be in the game soon.

    We’re open to the idea of licensing the iso engine if anyone is interested.

  13. Antonio Terazzo

    on March 15, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    Thanks for the post. A very useful one! TheoWorlds has a simple demo which shows the performance of the engine. http://www.theoworlds.com/avatar/performance/performance_demo.html

    I’m currently searching for a good (and not expensive) isometric engine for a 3d poker game in Flash. TheoWorlds seems to be too expensive.

  14. A Freelancer’s Flash Bash [6] | Freelance Flash Games News

    on March 19, 2010 at 12:32 am

    [...] Feronato has a nice little series on Box2D game creation, and compiled a list of isometric engines for flash game creation. Be sure to check it out for some great free and commercial [...]

  15. Ezio Domisuto

    on March 19, 2010 at 4:05 am

    Hi again,

    We just updated TinyTown with the Tinys. We can support complex environments and lots of animating and pathing entities at a high frame rate with our iso engine. Check out our app http://apps.facebook.com/tinytowngame/ to see it in action. And contact us via our website http://www.domisuto.com if you’re interested in licensing.

    Thanks.

  16. as3isolib

    on April 14, 2010 at 7:42 pm

    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

  17. AS3 Code Libraries (APIs) – Joe's private place

    on May 13, 2010 at 6:04 pm

    [...] Update 24/02/10: Emanuele Fer­onato has a good list of Iso­met­ric Engines on his blog [...]

  18. Jose Campos

    on May 24, 2010 at 7:53 pm

    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.

  19. Adrian Parr’s Blog » Blog Archive » AS3 Code Libraries (APIs)

    on July 2, 2010 at 12:16 pm

    [...] Update 24/02/10: Emanuele Feronato has a good list of Isometric Engines on his blog [...]

  20. Eber Rojas

    on July 13, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    TheoWorld tiene serios problemas en el algoritmo de pathfinder.

  21. AS3 Code Libraries (APIs) « Tournas Dimitrios

    on October 10, 2010 at 3:08 am

    [...] Update 24/02/10: Emanuele Feronato has a good list of Isometric Engines on his blog [...]

  22. 11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games – Emanuele Feronato » Fish XL

    on December 14, 2010 at 6:51 pm

    [...] 11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games – Emanuele Feronato. VN:F [1.9.4_1102]please wait…Rating: 0.0/10 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.4_1102]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes) Category: General You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site. [...]

  23. TouchLibs » Blog Archive » AS3 Code Libraries (APIs)

    on December 16, 2010 at 9:34 am

    [...] Update 24/02/10: Emanuele Feronato has a good list of Isometric Engines on his blog [...]

  24. AS3 CODE Library (API) - Mijimiji Blog

    on January 3, 2011 at 6:15 pm

    [...] Update 24/02/10: Emanuele Feronato has a good list of Isometric Engines on his blog [...]

  25. Andaho

    on January 16, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    The Davidworks virtual campus is everything I dream of :)

  26. melisawilson18

    on February 17, 2011 at 4:31 am

    We are experts at designing Flash banners, Flash menus, Flash videos/audio
    http://3dflashlogo.com/flash-logos.php

  27. Isometric Games and Meeting Minutes 5/11 « Lively's Flash Builder Users Group

    on March 5, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    [...] Then we reviewed 11 possible isometric engines from Emanuele Feronato. And of course one of my favorites, Electrotank was not on the list, so make sure you visit that [...]

  28. Roy

    on March 16, 2011 at 4:50 am

    Hi Guys ,

    I’ve been looking around for several days.
    I got stuck on the isometric map/stage building part
    I’m thinking of how you guys build the wall surrounded the stage.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=55d0wDkw_rU&feature=player_embedded#at=149

    The link on top is a game created in Iphone and also a isometric concept. Can anyone show me how to built the yellow wall in the game?

  29. angielski wroc?aw

    on June 10, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Great collection, wish I have more time to try them all

  30. Thanksink

    on June 13, 2011 at 11:03 am

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

  31. Game Development: Links, News, Resources (1) « Angel “Java” Lopez on Blog

    on July 23, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    [...] 11 Flash isometric engines you can use in your games http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2010/02/23/11-flash-isometric-engines-you-can-use-in-your-games/ [...]

  32. Ovidiu

    on August 11, 2011 at 12:47 am

    Does anybody know any as3 iso lib with physics, or how to integrate a physics lib like box2d with a iso lib like as3isolib? I couldn’t fine any

  33. rina

    on September 15, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    very great stuff , i like this list , i have played only few in this list but i will try other after reading this post .

  34. Andrew

    on November 12, 2011 at 5:18 pm

    Fliso by Sean t Cooper is by far the best and fastest.

  35. Mattius

    on December 22, 2011 at 1:37 pm

    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

  36. kennygregory

    on December 28, 2011 at 12:13 am

    If anyone would be interested in a base game engine using as3isolib email me at admin@legitcode.com for further details. This engine has all the basics that you would need. As you’ve probably noticed its hard to find any documentation or support with this library.

  37. John

    on February 19, 2012 at 11:45 am

    Thx Emanuele for this post !

    I found another one ( http://www.induxe.com )

    Informations about this ?

  38. Learning Math through Programming | Jeremy Shuback . com

    on March 5, 2012 at 5:57 am

    [...] http://www.emanueleferonato.com/2010/02/23/11-flash-isometric-engines-you-can-use-in-your-games/ [...]

  39. pavel

    on April 15, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    Hey guys anyone interesting in joining in new project? Currently im owner of game called Vorlia, atm game is 2d tile by tile base we trying to make it ISO version if someone is interesting let me know email me at paveltoromanov1@gmail.com

  40. Your Concience

    on May 31, 2012 at 12:47 am

    I’d buy you a coke, but it has a really bad track record: http://killercoke.org/. Change your beverage of choice and I’ll kick down some coin.

  41. jo

    on October 30, 2012 at 11:28 am

    how to get this TheoWorlds – Commercial?

  42. Tahir Alvi

    on December 14, 2012 at 5:06 pm

    Awesome example, Thank You

  43. DesignTime

    on January 25, 2013 at 8:38 pm

    Nice collection, thanks for sharing it.

  44. Fred

    on April 10, 2013 at 1:40 pm

    Hi,

    Do you have more info about http://www.davidworks.com iso library ?

    Thank you

  45. Seb

    on July 11, 2013 at 10:10 pm

    Hi,

    I’m working on an adaptation of As3isolib with Starling !
    http://pautay.com/blog/?p=21
    Pretty good result for now. I’m planning to adapt a game I made http://www.dumbknight.com with a friend of mine (really good graphic artist http://www.comboutique.com/shop/homeboutique-9975.html) to a mobile version. Hope it will be available soon ! :)

  46. Flash Indie Game Interweb-Mash-Up: March 1, 2010 « 8bitrocket.com

    on August 26, 2013 at 2:47 pm

    [...] Do you need an Isometric Engine for you game? Emanuele is the run-down on 11 various engines. [...]

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