Best Free Tools for Game Development

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears!

To those of you who want to make games, be it 2D or 3D, here are some tools to help you get started on that awesome game of yours.

For 2D Games: Stencyl, Game Maker, Construct2, Cocos2D

Stencyl is a game creation platform that allows users to create 2D video games for computers, mobile devices, and the web. It’s an entirely drag-and-drop interface and you can publish your games to Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, and Flash. The software is available for free, with select publishing options available for purchase.

GameMaker accommodates the creation of cross-platform and multi-genre video games using drag and drop action sequences or a sandboxed scripting language known as Game Maker Language, which can be used to develop more advanced games that could not be created just by using the drag and drop features. The software is available for free, with select publishing options available for purchase. (quite expensive compared to others imho)

Construct 2 is an HTML5-based 2D game editor, developed by Scirra Ltd. It is aimed primarily at non-programmers, allowing quick creation of games in a drag-and-drop fashion using a visual editor and a behavior-based logic system. It can also publish to multiple platforms for a price.

Cocos2D is a cross platform, open source, free 2D game engine for mobile gamedev, that is fast and stable, easy to learn and use. Unlike the others above, Cocos2D isn’t really a drag-and-drop engine. It was designed for programmers instead of artists. You can use C++ or Javascript to make your games. The upside: it’s completely FREE!

For 3D Games: Unity and Unreal Engine

Unity is a cross-platform game creation system developed by Unity Technologies, including a game engine and integrated development environment (IDE). It is used to develop video games for web sites, desktop platforms, consoles, and mobile devices. Unity supports coding in C#, Javascript, and Boo. It has a free version and a pro version (paid).

Unreal Engine 4 is a suite of integrated tools for game developers to design and build games, simulations, and visualizations. It is also cross-platform and FREE to use. It supports a thing called Blueprint Scripting (drag-and-drop coding) and C++ if you like. When you ship your game, you pay a 5% royalty. The 5% royalty starts after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter. Pay no royalty for film projects, contracting and consulting projects such as architecture, simulation and visualization.

Now that you know these tools, go check them out and see what suits your needs and skills. If you want to know what I’m using, I have Cocos2D and Unreal Engine 4.

See you in the next post! Baaai!

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