Candli combines traditional art creation with visual programming in a unique way. With Candli, a person with no prior training can scan their own drawings and pictures, and with a handful of visual rules, assemble them into a fully-functional video game. They can then share it online for play and remix. Candli focuses on 2-D games, as this makes creating visual assets accessible to anyone. Candli provides a support for education, in the fields of development of personal creativity, video game design and history, computer science, mathematics, and others.



The key technology behind Candli, its the visual programming language, was first developed by Stéphane Magnenat and colleagues for the Thymio educational mobile robot. While robots are great for tangibility, they are expensive, not easy to expand and impossible to duplicate by their users. This constrains their creativity.

From research…

Then at the ETH Game Technology Center, Stéphane Magnenat and colleagues found that a similar visual language can be used to program video games. Combined with quick asset capture using a phone's camera, this allows to create worlds and adventures directly out of the imagination of the users. They validated this concept in a research paper.

…to product

Then, Stéphane Magnenat along with Hannes Sommer founded Enlightware as a spin-off of ETH Zürich, and started re-implementing Candli from scratch, as a web-based service. In fall 2020, an early-access alpha version was made accessible on


  • capture of game assets with camera
  • programming with visual rules
  • sharing and remix
  • integrated onboarding
  • integrated 2-D physics engine
  • any smartphone can be used as a remote camera
  • desktop and mobile friendly
  • integrated forum and community
  • an ideal introduction to computer science and mathematics


Micro tutorial video, by a kidYouTube

Micro tutorial video, by an adultYouTube


Awards & Recognition

  • "ETH Spark Award 2019" nominated
  • "Pädagogischer Medienpreis 2022" won, category "Pädagogische Praxis"
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About Enlightware GmbH

Enlightware® is a social enterprise active in the field of computer science and software engineering. Enlightware's mission is to foster autonomy, creativity and collaboration skills through digital products. The founders of Enlightware dream of a world in which anyone can enjoy leveraging digital technology to express their creativity.
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