This version of Aura is only for GameMaker: Studio 1.4. For GMS 2, please see here

Aura is a lightweight, simple to use lighting engine for your 2D games. It's main feature is that it is simple to use and a no-fuss solution to the problem of creating lights and shadows in GameMaker.

After testing other shader-based lighting options, I found that none of them were simple enough for what I needed, so I created my own and decided to share it with people here on the Marketplace. If you require sprite shadows, or a more full and featured system for complex lighting effects, then consider another product as this was not designed to compete with them, but rather to offer an alternative for those people that don't need such "power house" engines.

That said, Aura is still pretty feature rich so read on to see what it offers:


  • Cross platform! Tested on Windows Phone, Desktop, iOS, and Android. Should work on Mac, Linux and HTML5 too!

  • Instance based lights, meaning you can set scale, rotation, colour and alpha easily.

  • Static or dynamic lighting, with static lights being blindingly fast, even in large numbers!

  • Dynamic lights create realistic shadows, with multiple lights casting multiple shadows

  • Static lights can be "updated" manually, making them briefly dynamic, so that you can control the performance of your game at all times (project files have an example of this)

  • Shadows can be box, circle, or polygon shaped. Polygon shadows can be created easily through a points list method and can be concave!

  • Aura uses "Multiply" blending rather than "Additive" blending, giving super-natural effects, without any of the brightness and saturation associated with other lighting engines.

  • The project files have three rooms (shown in the video) for Dynamic Lights, Static Lights, and a Demo room where you can see how all the features work together.

More info

End User Licence Agreement (EULA).

Changes in 1.1.6

IMPORTANT UPDATE! This update changes one of the scripts to use a different way to render shadows. This new method more than halves the vertex batches required when drawing, and so optimises things for mobile by quite a bit. You should also see an fps boost when compiling using the YYC module.

Should you have any issues, then simply delete the script "Aura_Light_Update" and rename the "_OLD" version appropriately. This will give you the exact same functionality as previously. Note that this should not be necessary in most cases, and the lighting should look identical with this new script update.

Version 1.1.6. Published April 18, 2015

Created with GameMaker: Studio v1.4.1567

Age Rating: 4+

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Константин К 13 October 2018


Sorob T 03 July 2017


Meng J 17 June 2017

Very good extension and worth every penny I spent

However I would like to leave a question for the author here: I am working on my local split screen multiplay game that need the shadow line of sight feature. I wonder if your extension can support this, meaning players can have their own line of sight for their own views? thanks!


Jarin R 24 May 2017


Jonathan M 01 February 2017


Collin W 24 November 2016

Amazing and useful, but one complaint...

I had actually written an extremely similar set of scripts long before I ever saw this. The major difference in our engines is that you have Vertex Format stuff, and mine was using the built-in draw functions. Another huge difference, and my only complaint, is that in my engine, I could gives shadow casters a texture, and in yours, they are always covered by their own shadow. What I'm doing for each wall is spawning a new shadow caster for each wall. It was turning the walls black where the shadow caster was (Which I REALLY dislike) so I just made walls create a solid black tile and then destroy itself, but leave the shadow caster, to improve performance. Is there any way to draw textured walls? How do you do that in your game, Skein?


Ken M 07 November 2016

Awesome and easy to figure out


Miles T 30 July 2016

I've purchased 5 engines for comparison...

... and I gotta say thus far yours takes the cake. Very well documented and commented. Vey adaptable too.

I have a request though. One of the engines bought, was the Tru Light engine. It pales in comparison when it comes to compatibility to your engine. However there is one thing that I like about it - the fact how the shadows edges blur with the distance away from the shadow casting object. In your engine the shadows stay sharp throughout the entire distance from the light. It's not a huge pointed as to not recommend the lighting system but the smoothing shadows would definitely improve the visual look. Otherwise I'd either have to dig deep into your maze of surfaces or use a shader on my end.


Nocturne Games (Publisher) 22 October 2016

Thanks for the great comment! About your suggestion... I have looked into different ways of doing soft shadows and managed to get something workable based on scaling down the shadow surfaces and then scaling them back up. However... this reduced the framerate by about 3/4 in a basic scene! It also affects compatibility as it requires quite a bit more texture memory... So, I'm not going to add it into the engine, I'm afraid, as I think the rewards are not worth the loss in performance. But thanks very much for the rating and for the suggestion!


Brock V 04 July 2016


Very well organized / commented code, with a lot of ways to customize it. I had a small issue with shadow casters and some of my sprites, but with a little help from the developer I was able to get this up and running in my current project. Support is incredibly quick, friendly, and helpful!


Austin S 31 May 2016

Easy yet powerful (relative to most light systems)

Easy yet powerful (relative to most light systems)


Michel M 11 December 2016


I have now purchased 4 lighting systems and tested on my android phone after 3 or 4 lights the fps drops almost to 0.... with this asset its amazing my phone can handle around 80 lights..... seriously I am amazed and thx to you i can create awesome games... Love you!!!


Richard H 11 June 2015

Impressive and highly useful!

Very aesthetically pleasing and amazingly resource efficient for producing this kind of dynamic lighting.

The only problem I had was that if two shadow casters were next to each other with no space in between them (in my case several 32x32 wall instances side by side on a 32x32 grid) a properly positioned light would still shine through the middle of the two instances as if there was a tiny space there. This was a bit of a problem when a light followed a character and a character passed by walls like this.

One solution to this problem would be to make stretches of walls a single object rather than many instances (possibly using Nocturne Games' Optimize Objects asset), but this could still create difficulties when two different types of wall objects need to be side by side.

All in all, that problem is not enough to make this any less than a five star product. I will be using this engine in a number of my own games!


miguelito b 30 April 2015

Awesome starting point!

I was looking for something I could build on top of for my very specific needs. This was exactly it. The code is all split up in a very maintainable way and easy to read. Not only commented, but descriptive and helpful.

Definitely performs well enough for the purposes I can envision!


Anonymous 17 March 2015

Absolutely beautiful lighting engine!

The engine is incredibly small, doesn't have much impact on a games speed (I can have 83 lights on screen before the FPS even twitches) and seems very easy to play about with. Very well commented and all round excellent code.

This review was left for a previous version of this asset.


Devon G 04 March 2015

Star Party!

This asset was amazing in not just its function, but also its learning value. On top of being a wonderfully simple resource to implement I learned at least 4 wonderful coding tips just from working with Nocturnes code.

Thank you for producing this and making it available! Worth every penny.

This review was left for a previous version of this asset.


Eric M 04 February 2015

Absolutely great!

Only suggestion would be to let the Shadow Caster Objects be able to only cast shadows. Otherwise objects with sprites that also need to cast shadows have a shadow cast upon them as well.

This review was left for a previous version of this asset.

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