Fortunately, PolyCode, the creation of Ivan Safrin, has plenty to recommend it. It has out-of-the-box support for 2D and 3D physics libraries, and a Lua API for scripting via that elegant, compact language. It’s on Mac and Windows for now, but looking at the dependencies, Linux and mobile should be possible, too.
And whether you (or I, cough) have time to sit down and learn to use it, the first signs of new eye candy invigorated by its tools are already appearing. At top, my favorite. I can’t find any information on it (Ivan, you’re going to be hearing from me, as I want to know more), but it uses 3D graphics with pixellated characters, and looks terrific. It’s entirely developed in Polycode Lua.
Timothy Saccenti also offers up a video for MNDR’s “Cut me,” working with Polycode’s Kinect connectivity. I like the overall spirit of the video, though I worry that some of this effect is going to get old fast without some fresh takes on how to work with the data.
But I can sum this all up fairly quickly: Polycode’s worth a look for easy use of physics and fast-and-breezy Lua coding. (Lua fans may also want to check out LuaAV for Mac and Linux, a very awesomely-powerful environment with some especially-nice visual and 3D tools.)
Here’s what I propose: if you’re playing with Polycode, let us know how it goes! And show us what you make – even rough sketches welcome. We may even have to start doing co-coding sessions on IRC or some such thing.