Game Making Software For Beginners: 10 Great Options
Game design is an exciting hobby that could even turn into a career. Whether you’re just interested for curiosity’s sake or are considering a career in game development, you can play around with the process of game making with free and inexpensive software right away. This is an opportunity for you to experiment with tasks that would be part of the career without any formal game design experience, allowing you to find out whether the career would be a good fit for you and even which area you’d like to specialize in without needing to spend a significant amount of money.
1. Unity Game Maker
With both a free and a paid version, this software is a good option because it supports game making in 2D as well as 3D. Because this is such a popular choice, many users have created excellent tutorial videos online–many of which exist on YouTube and are free to watch as many times as needed.
It also has phenomenal export support. Games can be exported for compatibility with PC and consoles including windows, MacOS, Linux, and even Xbox One and PlayStation 4.
You can experiment with different levels of graphic detail, and also take advantage of the asset store to gain access to various helpful resources.
Unity is most popular for creating 3D games such as fantasy games, virtual reality games, and augmented reality games. You can learn more about it here.
2. Game Salad
This is a great software for familiarizing yourself with the fundamentals of programming language. One helpful feature of this game is that a lot of data such as character actions and items is stacked into tables. You can take these as they or edit them to make changes as you desire.
Game Salad also includes features such as in-app purchases and paid ads so that you can earn some money from your game once it’s available to the public.
Some games that have been successfully created on Game Salad and gone on to rank among the top 100 in the Google PlayStore include Echoes of Aeons, Booger Boing, Beyond Solar Trailer.
Game Salad comes with a free trial period, and after that, two different subscription levels. Depending on the subscription level, you will be able to publish your games on suitable platforms like GameSalad Arcade, HTML 5, Android, and iOS.
3. Game-Maker Studio 2
This drag-and-drop software allows beginners with no coding knowledge to build games more simply. If you haven’t been able to make much headway with coding yet, this is a great software for getting your feet wet in the game creation world even without the coding knowledge.
Even using this drag-and-drop software, once you’re done, you’ll still have the support to publish your game to multiple different platforms without the need of any coding modifications.
You will also still be able to build in features like paid ads, in-app purchases, and even integrations with third-party apps.
Game-Maker Studio 2 frequently releases updates to their software, allowing you to add new and better features to your game over time. And most excitingly, with this software, you can watch in real-time the number of people currently playing your game. How cool is that?
This software comes with a free 30-day trial, after which its standard version will continue to be free, but its Creator, Developer, and Console versions will only be available as a paid subscription.
4. RPG Maker
As the name implies, this software is best for designing fantasy and action games. This game-making software comes with a variety of premade characters, tiles, and other items, but users also have the ability to add to the existing repository and even redefine some of the graphics. Music and images are also customizable.
A large community of developers who use this software is available for additional user-made resources. Lots of interesting and helpful videos and tutorials are made and shared between developers in this group.
There is a simple game design option for beginners, but more advanced users with a comprehensive knowledge of Ruby language can go much farther with the software’s capabilities. Games made with RPG Maker can be used on the following platforms: Game making software for Windows, Mac OS game creation, Android game development, iOS, and HTML 5.
GDevelop is a useful software for those who have limited time to spend on designing a game but don’t want to sacrifice the creative graphic appearance of a game. And for those developers who are on a tight budget, this is especially useful because it is a free, open-source software.
GDevelop come equipped with lots of quality control tools such as Piskel and Jfxe particularly for controlling sound quality.
This software supports Mac, IOS, Windows, Linux, and android and no coding language knowledge is needed to build games with it.
6. Unreal Engine 4
Another excellent game-making software for users without coding experience, this high-quality option for the PC market is surprisingly also free to use and open-source. This software provides users with a faster rendering process, better quality editing tools for making characters and items more life-like, and even the ability to add some amount of AI to their characters.
Unreal Engine 4 uses the blueprint system, which makes it easier for beginners to use the software. But more advanced users will have the ability to do a wider range of things including creating their own variety of blueprints. The company has spent a significant amount of time in making extensive tutorials and resources for both the beginners, the advanced developers, and those who fall somewhere in between.
Games made with Unreal Engine 4 can be published not only to the Android and iOS app stores, but they are also compatible with Playstation and Xbox consoles.
7. Adventure Game Studio
Adventure Game Studio is also a free and open-source software and is most ideal for point-and-click action games. Knowledge of C programming language, which is ideal for designing high-resolution games with a classic look, is required to use this software to its fullest capabilities.
In spite of the requirement of familiarity with C programming language, the software also provides various pre-made plugins, backgrounds, and items. Additionally, the software supports a variety of fonts, so you can try out different fonts until you find one that best fits the aesthetic you’d like to achieve for your game.
Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS are all supported platforms for games that are made within the Adventure Game Studio software.
CRYENGINE is another software that fortunately comes with a vast amount of support tutorials and informative documentation for new users to take advantage of. It also has a dedicated community of users who create additional resources and help each other through their game development journeys.
A repository of pre-made animated characters is available for users to pull from as needed. One strength of this software is the extensive attention to the laws of physics that they’ve applied to these pre-made characters. They all move with lifelike actions.
Games made on this software will be suitable for Windows and Linux.
This software comes with one of the largest libraries of pre-made characters, backgrounds, and items that can be found among game-developing software. It also comes with plug-and-play monetization options such as through ad revenue.
In addition to the helpful guide Buildbox provides at the beginning of each project, it also boasts the wonderful feature of drag-and-drop capabilities. Easily experiment with different designs and layouts by simply dragging various items around and dropping them wherever you’d like them to be on the screen.
There is a free version of this software as well as a paid version. Finished games can be published to Steam, Windows, the iOS app store, and Android app stores.
Stencyl is a game-development software specifically for 2D games that doesn’t require coding knowledge, though those with coding experience will be able to do more extensive things with the software.
In addition to drag-and-drop capability, there are also other features like zooming in, grid-snapping, and selection tools that can be used to make your background more interactive.
Completed games can be published to any platform and are compatible with more ad embedding tools.
You can check out more of my recent articles here!