Godot is also open-source game design software packed with plenty of handy tools. This software supports both 2D and 3D game design and has its own custom scripting language. Godot is compatible with Windows, Linux and OS X; and you can design games for those platforms and PlayStation 3, iOS, Android, Haiku, HTML 5 and Blackberry 10 with the software. Open this page and press the Download 2.1 button to add Godot to your desktop or laptop.
Godot has innovative scene-based design architecture with which developers can combine multiple scenes (a collection of game elements) into larger scenes. Developers can design games in Godot either with C++ or the software‘s custom GDScript that’s optimized for the scene-based architecture. The software has a dedicated engine for 2D game design, and you can also develop 3D games by importing 3D models. Godot includes a timeline animation editor with which users can animate 2D or 3D graphics. In addition, the program’s built-in editor incorporates a debugger tool with which users can lay down some breakpoints and program stepping to go through code one line at a time.
GameMaker: Studio is one of the best established game design packages for Windows, and there’s also a Studio 2 in development. With this program you can deploy games for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Linux (Ubuntu), HTML 5 and PlayStation Vita. There’s a freeware version of the software, which you can download from this page, as well as a Studios Professional and Masters Collection retailing at $799. Studios Masters Collection enables users to export their games to all platforms, while the freeware is limited to just Windows.
GameMaker: Studio is developer software that incorporates an intuitive drag-drop-drop UI for game design. It also has its own GML scripting language that’s comparable to C, but provides greater flexibility when combined with the software‘s drag-and-drop UI. In addition, the software supports the Box2D and LiquidFun particle physics engines to add realistic motion with; and it also boasts integrated cross-platform shader support.
GameMaker incorporates a Debug Mode that launches a Debug Module when you run your game. With that you can inspect the finer details in games down to individual instances and variables. The Debug Module includes watch windows that display source code, global variables, step properties, instance variables, buffer data, call stack events and more besides to give you a comprehensive overview on the game. Furthermore, users can add debug breakpoints (a stop point in the game code) within the Debug Module or from the Studio IDE with a hotkey. GameMaker’s comprehensive error reporting for scripts can also further assist developers discover bugs in their games.
So those are five developer toolkits with which you can design games for Windows, Mac, Linux and consoles. As all the design suites include debugger tools, you can track down and fix bugs in the games more quickly without any standalone debugger required.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in March 2017 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.