Best game design software with debugging tools [2020 Guide]

Matthew Adams
by Matthew Adams
Windows & Software Expert
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Debugging is a big part of the software development life cycle that eliminates errors in code. Debuggers are invaluable tools for game design that enable developers to identify and remove glitches, or bugs, that may have crept in.

So if you’re looking for game design software, you should select one that comes with an integrated debugging tool tailored for games. These are a few game design packages that include built-in debuggers so that you can fix code without any separate standalone debugger tools.

Best game design software with built-in debugging

Autodesk 3ds Max (recommended)

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3DS Max is considered faster for demanding hard surface modeling projects. As a matter of fact, some of our editors felt that its UV projection tools and smoothing groups are immensely better than almost every other tool from Autodesk. Consequently, there’s a widespread impression that 3DS Max is the benchmark as far as hard surfaces are concerned. Well, when we scanned its abilities, it’s hard to disagree.

First, you can create models in numerous intuitive ways. You can also easily extract information for your model to help inform planned modifications. You can as well blend and mix up to six materials to create realistic hard surface models. The software’s spline-based modeling features have also been earning rave reviews as they are super-efficient when creating/ editing poly formats in surface modeling.

Second, 3ds Max developers allow a user to debug its models and pretty much everything is created in 3ds Max with the MAX Script Debugger. You will be able to detect and fix all the glitches you may get in your 3D models.

Bottom-line? The 3DS Max software offers 3D hard surface models of the highest possible quality in much less time.

    – Subscribe to Autodesk 3DS Max or get a free trial


Unity gaming programming

Unity is one of the industry-leading design applications tailored for the Unity engine that lots of publishers develop their games with. This is a multiplatform game engine with which you can develop software for Windows, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, iOS, Android, Wii U, 3DS, Mac and Oculus Rift. The software has Personal, Plus, Pro and Enterprise versions to design games with. The Pro version is retailing at $125 a month ($1,500 per annum), but you can still add the freeware Unity Personal to Windows by clicking the Download now button on this web page.

Unity boasts a flexible editor with which you can develop both 2D and 3D games with C# and Javascript scripting. The software includes extensive animation, graphics, audio and 2D and 3D physics design tools; and you can also extend the Unity editor with more than 1,700 extensions. Furthermore, Unity has a MonoDevelop IDE debugger tool with which to debug JavaScript, Boo and C# scripts. This tool enables users to inspect code by executing the scripts step by step. You can also establish conditional breakpoints at lines that you need to analyze more closely with Unity’s debug tool.

Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine 4 is another of the most renowned development kits in the industry that big publishers design games with. This includes a full suite of creation tools for game design and supports all the major gaming platforms, such as Xbox One, PS4, Windows, Wii U, Oculus, etc. It’s great software for designing first-person shooters, MMORPGs (multiplayer RPGs) and stealth games. The full software is available with a monthly $19 subscription, but users also pay 5% of the gross revenue from their games designed with UE4.

Perhaps the best thing about Unreal Engine 4 is its Blueprint system that enables users to design games without a source code editor. Blueprint is effectively visual scripting for game design with which you can set up and edit scripting node networks, and the editor also incorporates various debugging and analysis tools. For debugging, the Blueprint Editor includes Play in Editor and Simulate in Editor modes that enable you to pause game executions and step through Blueprint graphs with breakpoints. With that built-in debugger, you can then inspect the game‘s property values and make changes when required. Unreal Engine 4 also includes a Gameplay Debugger tool that displays overlaid real-time game data for specific data debugging.


install GDevelop gaming software

GDevelop is ideal for beginner developers as coding isn’t so essential to design games with it. This is open-source software with which you can develop games for Windows, Linux and web browsers. The software is compatible with the Windows, Ubuntu, Mac OS X, iOS and Android platforms, and you can save its installer by clicking the Download button on the GDevelop website.

GDevelop enables you to design games by inserting object and event elements, and it translates those into machine code. The software provides tons of objects for games, such as text, 3D box, tiled map, sprite and particle engine objects. Users can design more advanced levels and interfaces with GDevelop’s scene editor. Even though minimal coding is required, GDevelop still has an integrated debugger tool for native games. That enables developers to view and modify scene data, play through or render scenes frame by frame and insert new variables and objects. Overall, this software is ideal for developing HTML 5 web games; but you might need something with more extensive tools for 3D game design.

Editor’s Note: This article continues on the next page. If you’re interested in other gaming software, check out our wide collection of guides.