Wanna make a Desktop App using Lua?

CoronaSDK is a wonderful options for creating apps quickly. However many of us developers have asked for some kind of an option to create Desktop apps. Now there are several ways we can achieve that. Here's a quick rundown on the options that we can use

1. Moai -> this is a framework that can help create apps in Lua for the Mobile devices and for the Desktop. In-fact they have plans of offering a cloud version too. The fails of Moai is that it is *not* aimed at the entry level or beginner programmer, it is a serious tool with heavy duty access to stuff and can also include external C/C++/Obj-C type libraries too. Requires to be compiled using xCode.

2. Wax -> this is Mac only and can create executables for the iOS and the MacOSX using xCode, this can also integrate external libraries, this actually works on the fact that it creates a lua wrapper around the libraries that you expose. Requires to be compiled using xCode

3. Kobold2D -> this is a framework that sits on top of Cocos2D and uses wax to expose the code to lua. This is a specialised framework. This has a cocos2D style object handling and requires to be compiled using xCode.

4. LÖVE -> this is a strange cross platform framework, I say strange coz it feels like it is insignificant but offers the developers to create desktop apps using pure lua. If you develop on windows, you can also include some dlls that you need for your app. It already has physics, dynamic shading, etc all in a nice and easy to use interface. The con in using this is that the source code is in text readable format, (you can compile it to bytecode, but then the portability is not ascertained as different platforms could handle bytecodes differently)

There could be more that I might have missed, but these are the ones that use Lua and I am certain of. There are several others that target the mobile platforms only.

So over the coming times, I shall have some tutorials on using Lua in your game development using some of these frameworks. Most preferably it will be LÖVE as it does not require a lot of stuff to be setup, write the main.lua and run it with LÖVE... you are done and the API are also quite easy.

so have fun checking these options out...


  1. Great article!
    Here is another engine I found while looking for ways to program for desktop using lua:


    It works for Windows, Mac and iOS and includes modules for networking, physics and pathfinding.

    Greetings, keep up the good work,

  2. Lua is a very powerful language. This is a reason why programmers choose and use this language for different applications. It is also compact with the binary size growing only by a couple of hundred kilobytes, and that it is quite fast compared to other scripting languages.


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