Game design and development require the knowledge of a programming language. Whether they’re amateur or professional, game developers must learn ActionScript, JAVA, C++ or some other complex programming language necessary for creating 2D or 3D games. But, fortunately, these days, there are various game-making tools that don’t require coding.
In other words, with all of the tools on the market in today’s gaming industry, you can really get into game development without any formal education. These are user-friendly and they include a straightforward drag and drop interface, an event system, graphics editor, a level editor, behaviors, special effects, and more toolsets that will make development much easier and it will also save both time and energy.
If you want to make an actual run at game development as a more serious career, you should probably pursue some more conventional means, but all the recent success stories really show that it’s entirely possible to succeed without them.
The modern generation of game creators not only offers a fantastic toolset, but it also allows game developers to monetize and publish their amazing games on Google Play Store, iTunes, and more app stores. Some of the most popular PC games have been developed using the advanced software programs.
Here’s a list of the best game creating software for PC games which will turn out to be appropriate for both moonlighting developing after you get home from your regular job in the evening and for going all-in on a long-shot Kickstarter to make your dream game become a reality. You’ll find all resources you need to get started below, so enjoy!
Best Windows 10/8.1/7 game maker software
Editor’s choice: Indie Game Maker
We recommend this software as anyone can start making a simple game or a more complex one using 3D modeling software, which is now a requirement for any game developer’s toolkit. This software gives you framework to design and share a great gaming experience.
With Indie Game Maker you get to create your game in three phases, each of them allowing to be as creative and complex as you want it to be. The great thing about this Game Maker is that you can set the groundbase of your design and start testing, iterating and then work on the details to smooth it up. You just need enough to get going.
If you want to learn more about the game developement you can download the Cat-Fu Game kit and get to look into each phase assets as documented by the game makers. From this you can add your own characters or environments, or even re-build an entirely new game.
You can start with the free trial just to plunge into the process. With your characters and environments created in 3D, you can then start building your game. You build levels and create the rules for how your game works in the Stingray game engine on Maya LT. Altough it has a good complexity level, you don’t need to be a programmer to use it.
This will be your best bet in case you have never written a line of code in your whole life. This game development tool is GUI-driven, and this means that everything is drag-and-drop. Variables and game logic are implemented using the design features included in the app. On the other hand, even if you want to write code you should know that it’s unavailable.
With this software, you are able to export your work to a dozen of different platforms and formats, and you don’t have to change a single thing in your game to accommodate these options. After you finished your game, you can export it to the Windows Store, HTML5, Chrome Web Store, or Facebook. If you get a paid copy, you can also export to Windows, Linux, Mac and more.
Construct 2 features some of the most complex documentation included in a game development tool. Most developers lack skills in music, art or animations, but this is not a problem when using Construct 2 as you can always browse and purchase ready-made assets from the Scirra Store. You can also get sample games with a source which can be helpful for studying and learning new tricks and tips of all kinds.
The free version of this tool is limited to 100 events, two simultaneous special effects, four object layers and access to a small portion of the included sample assets.
Before we had fancy HD graphics and more gigs of storage space, some words of a screen were enough. Back then, before graphical games, you would only have some text-based adventures that unfolded similarly to a choose-your-own-adventure story. As you might imagine, making a text based game is really an advisable first undertake of a game project. You will not have to worry about lots of programming and graphics, and that’s why you will have enough time to focus on creating believable stories with a narrative with in-depth dialogue trees and choices.
Quest is a very intuitive and straightforward text-game creator, and its interface is free of clutter. The UI is designed in such a way that really makes sense from a game-creation point of view.
In case you are planning on creating stories for others to get involved with and if you want to keep things basic, the software is the perfect place to start, and you can even use it entirely in your browser.
Adventure games are one of the main genres that have seen a significant comeback in the last past years, apart from retro-style games. This opened the doors for indie developers to tap back into the pulse of the Myst faithful. This is a smart evolution considering the fact that most games from the Adventure genre could be summarized as Text-based adventure games with graphical presentations.
Adventure Game Studio software is totally free, and it’s designed for simple use. Of course, you should know that there haven’t been lots of blockbusters made with the help of this program, but this doesn’t mean that there haven’t been a few successes. The program provides you all the necessary tools for building your own adventure for free. You can bring your story and artwork and slot it in, and the program will make sure to do the rest. You can create, test and also debug the game, and all these in a single place.
The RPG Maker has been around for quite a while now. The VX Ace edition of RPG Maker has come a long way and it’s an incredibly flexible and powerful software in the scenery of today’s industry. It may not be as adored as more other programs when it comes to making professional commercial games, but it sure does have its great features.
The software is designed like an RPG featuring lots of menus and areas to soft through and to learn them, and the community is also beneficial and vast. You will see that it’s quite easy to pick up and to learn the program very quickly. You should keep in mind the fact that you will have to dedicate an extraordinary amount of time to this in case you want to create something worth playing.
The software itself promises to be simple enough for a child but also powerful enough for a developer, and it’s supposed to offer you the most powerful RPG making tools.
This is one of the most flexible, powerful and easy to understand game making programs on the market. YoYo Games just recently opened up the full Standard license completely for free, launched their own marketplace and boast one of the largest and the most significant communities.
It’s also essential that the internal program language called GML is straightforward to learn and it will teach you concepts that you will be able to apply also to other languages such as C#. This is the reason for which Game Maker is the ideal starting point for any developer. There’s also a growing list of hi-quality games developed with this program, and this brings validation to it.
The software features a drag and drop interface which makes it incredibly easy to pick up and get stated as soon as possible. It will lay the foundation you need to branch off into coding your own games. There’s an endless wealth of information and tutorials available, and all these make the program excellent to boost any developer’s career.
Stencyl is quite a portable game studio that offers a fantastic toolset and also an extensive platform support. The program requires no coding and this game developing tool includes the coolest drag-and-drop interface. The interface is inspired by the MIT Scratch project. The software developers modified MIT’s project by adding a bunch of new features. You will find out the dragging and dropping blocks was never the piece of cake it is with this program.
The program allows advanced game developers write their code, import libraries, and custom classes and it offers them full freedom to create their games. Developers will also be able to design scenes and to build worlds using the software’s Scene Designer. It also features an Actor editor tool which offers you the possibility to create characters and NPCs and to tweak their behaviors and appearance.
You can create Flash games for free and publish them on the website of the program, but if you want to publish them on Windows, Google Play and more, you will need to pay $199 every year.
This is an online-only application targeted at PCs that lets newbie game developers create web games and offers them lots of toolsets. Developers will be able to create cool arcade games, shooters, platformers and space adventures. You’ll be glad to see that every genre has its own set of tools and there is also a separate physics game creator for creating physics-based games and a graphics editor that lets you create you very own pixilated characters.
Even if the program is a pretty great platform to create a game, unfortunately, it doesn’t support application monetization. You will not be able to publish your game to a mobile market. On the other hand, you can publish your games on the company’s website, and you’ll receive ratings by other members.
Sploder is a space where everyone can create games online and share them with the whole world, and all you need for this is a great imagination and also the desire to create. Sploder’s community is self-regulating, and the members monitor the site content every day.
This is another online game making program which features an open community where developers and all game enthusiasts can discuss and share all of their creative ideas. This online toolset helps amateurs and also professional developers to create HTML5, web and also mobile games. GameFroot is a straightforward online too for creating pixilated games, but in case you are thinking about monetizing your games, you should know that you have to pay for this. You must also pay money if you want to get some learning resources and publish to AppStore, GooglePlay or other markets.
This tool includes lots of useful features for professional users such as private groups, which encourage developers to create games together and to copy protection and support. Even if the app is not the best game maker for Android and PC, it will definitely turn out to be worth trying. Don’t forget to get the free version first and only go for the pro one in case you will be satisfied with the service, features, and interface.
In case you are not an absolute beginner and you already have some experience and some programming knowledge, Unity might turn out to be the perfect choice for you. Its only setback may be the fact that the software is quite intimidating to learn for users who are complete beginners. This particular limitation together with the fact that the pro license is quite expensive and you really need it if you want to make a profit off of your games are the two main minuses of the program.
Unity is also one of the most flexible and the most robust programs for creating games, and it also features lots of support, assets to purchase, its very own built-in IDE and also the ability to create various 2D and 3D games. If you are interested in creating 3D games or if you have some background in a programming language, maybe this will turn out to be the ideal tool for your needs.
This is a beautiful interactive experience for every platform, and it allows to create 3D HTML5 and WebGL games that will amaze everyone. The program also allows coders and creatives to develop Rich Media Ads that run everywhere. You will be able to reach your audience wherever they are, and this includes desktop, mobile, social media and also instant messengers.
The PlayCanvas is a free and open source engine, and it’s easy to pick up for beginners and also powerful for experts. The company’s transparent development process is great for everybody.
The program’s tools are built on the open source technology, and you will be able to create content in the cheapest and the fastest way possible. You can develop anything from simple product demos to complex games.
The program is free to use for public projects, and you also have the option of choosing a paid plan for unlimited private projects.
All these tools from the list above are some of the most powerful ones on the market, and their complexity varies, so some of them are ideal for beginners, and others are perfect for pros. The programs above are a great balance of user-friendliness, flexibility and power, so check them out and stick with the one that you love the most and which best suits your needs and imagination for creating the coolest games.
Editor’s Note – this article has been originally published in July, 2017. We have recently updated it to include a new software suited for Game Makers’ evolving needs.
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