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What is Solarus

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Solarus is a free and open-source game engine for 2D games, licensed under GPL v3. It is written from scratch in C++ and uses SDL2. Consequently, it is compatible with a large set of platforms. You can explore the source code if you're curious.

The engine itself does not contain any copyrighted code or assets. Thus, Solarus cannot be eligible for a DMCA from anyone, including Nintendo.

What is not Solarus

Solarus is not a SNES emulator

  • An Super Nintendo™ emulator: It is a game engine.
  • A The Legend of Zelda: A Link To the Past™ ROM hack: A Link To The Past assets (tilesets, sprites, musics, etc.) are totally separated from the engine (the engine does not contain them).
  • A Zelda engine: It can power any Action-RPG or Action-Adventure game (or any kind of game you want, with a little more work).
  • A no-code game editor: You will need to code (in Lua) to specify the game's logic, unlike RPG Maker. However, Solarus provides a graphical editor to create maps and sprites.

What has Solarus to offer

Solarus is a very lightweight engine, and is very easy to develop with.

  • A C++ engine that handles all the heavy computation (graphics, collisions, etc.). You won't have to dig into the C++ code.
  • A Lua API built for Action-RPG or Action-Adventure games in mind (maps, items, enemies, treasures, etc.)
  • Solarus games are cross-platform (Windows, Linux, macOS, Android, iOS, etc.)
  • Solarus games are packaged as .solarus files, which are easy to distribute.
  • An IDE named Solarus Quest Editor that allows to graphically edit maps, sprites, Lua scripts, etc.
  • A game launcher name Solarus Launcher that players can use to launch Solarus games, a bit like an emulator.

Get started in game dev with Solarus!

Solarus is a good tool to start learning how to code and to make games: Lua is a simple-to-learn and powerful language that is widely used in the video game industry.

Last update: February 10, 2023