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I am currently using the Cocos2D framework for creating my game but I just happened to come across GameSalad and was amazed by this video.

GameSalad claims to allow you to create games without writing a single line of code. So I ask myself, what is the catch? What makes Cocos2D better than GameSalad? What are the pros and cons of GameSalad?

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I'm not going to comment specifically on GameSalad and Cocos2D but rather on drag-and-drop and coding. Yes, DaD has very fast iteration times, allowing you to get a game up and running very quickly and make changes to it. Coding, especially in the beginning, will take a long, long time, and you'll end up banging the keyboard at some point. However, coding will let you do anything you can imagine, while DaD may limit you to the same archetypal games. For beginners, it is a good place to start though. (GameSalad has a pro version, so that part isn't "free") –  DMan Jan 23 '12 at 3:26
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GameSalad is good for either quickly prototyping ideas, or if you want to develop an iPhone game on your own but don't know anything about programming. If however you have even a little familiarity with programming then GameSalad has many significant cons. The most significant con is that it is simply a very restrictive development tool; I haven't looked at it in a long time so I don't know what features it has now, but last time I looked it didn't even have arrays (if you think about it, how could you represent arrays without programming?) It's hard or impossible to access a lot of iOS features, like Game Center. And then there's poor performance.

Cocos2D is a much more flexible and powerful development tool, but on the downside it's also considerably more complex to use. Working with Cocos2D you will be programming in Objective C using XCode; you can implement literally any feature that iOS is capable of, but it'll be a lot of work.

There is a middle ground you didn't mention: mobile game development platforms like Corona and Moai. These are tools that aren't quite as flexible as Cocos2D but are considerably more flexible and powerful than GameSalad. Meanwhile they use Lua for all the programming so working with these tools is considerably simpler than using Cocos2D. If you haven't done so already, I would strongly suggest evaluating one or both of these.

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Nobody uses closed source drag and drop tools like GameSalad for serious game development. I don't recognize a single well known game on their site.

Go with Cocos2D or Moai. Open source, serious game development.

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I have experience with GameSalad and Cocos2D and GameSalad is an awesome tool for prototyping game and creation of simple games(think Pac man or Space Invaders), but they have no native support for the iOS controls such as keyboard, text fields etc. So the catch is that GameSalad makes it possible for non programmers to create games without writing a line of code.

But that is provided you intend to make simple games. But if you are looking to make the next Infinity Blade, then count GameSalad out as GameSalad does not play that way. I am always suspicious when a software mentions that they can create game without writing a single line of code as I have been developing mobile games for close to 10 years and every single software has it's pros and cons.

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The catch of Game salad is "write games without coding...". However it doesn't mean write games without programming! Just because you aren't coding doesn't relieve you from knowing the math and logic real programmers have to go through when developing apps!

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