Game engines have never been more accessible than they are today. Long gone are the days when you needed to know a programming language to make even a simple game. Both GDevelop and Stencyl aim to make game creation easier. So, let's pit GDevelop Vs. Stencyl to see which one you should chooose.
GDevelop's Event System.
Before we get to which one you should choose, we should talk about what each one of them are. GDevelop is a free, no-code and open source 2D and 3D game engine. It has been used in schools and universities, as well as in commercially-successful video games, marketing agency projects, museum exhibits and more.
GDevelop uses an Event System to program the game's logic, and has a built-in Asset Store, export options for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and web.
The Stencyl Interface.
Stencyl is also a no-code game engine. However, instead of GDevelop's Event System, Stencyl uses a code block approach similar to the one found in Scratch.
Stencyl is also partly open source. The engine itself is open source and can be found on GitHub, but the tool itself is proprietary software. The last stable release for Stencyl was in November 14, 2020.
Both GDevelop and Stencyl are very easy to use. They both provide a no-code approach to creating videogames. However, because Stencyl uses a code-block approach that may be similar to Scratch (a very popular tool), some young users may find the transition from Scratch to Stencyl to be smoother.
However, GDevelop has been a success in classrooms with children as young as 9 years old, so using GDevelop with young children is certainly not an intimidating prospect.
Finally, in order to use Stencyl, you need to download and install software on your computer. GDevelop also allows you to do this, but it has a web app as well, which you can use directly on your browser. Also, GDevelop has apps for Android and iOS, to keep making games on the go.
Once again, GDevelop and Stencyl have a similar, but different, approach. Both engines can be used for free, for as long as you'd like. However, there are some key differences.
Any game you make with GDevelop can be published commercially on any supported platform without having to pay anything to GDevelop. Stencyl's free option lets you publish a game on the web, but it does not allow you to sell it.
Another key difference is that with GDevelop, even users of the free tier can publish and sell Android, Linux, Mac, Windows and web games. Stencyl users will need to pay $99/year to publish native desktop games, and $199/year to publish to iOS and Android as well as desktop and the web.
Some of GDevelop's paid features (Silver subscription on the left, Gold on the right).
Both engines give you leaderboards and other basic functionality for the subscriptions you pay. However, some key differences are that GDevelop offers could-save, mobile apps to keep developing your game on Android and iOS devices, player feedback forms, and more.
Stencyl is one of the only engines to still support the Flash legacy file format, however.
Both GDevelop and Stencyl are free, no-code game engines. However, they have very different approaches to game-making, commercialization and feature sets.
If you're familiar with Scratch and prefer an easy transition to an engine that also uses logic blocks, and do not need to sell the games you create with a free account, Stencyl might be for you.
On the other hand, if you wish to sell your games and publish to mobile platforms with a free account, or if you'd like deep user analytics, unlimited leaderboards, project cloud-save, cross-device sync, and mobile apps for development, then GDevelop is for you.