There are programs that allow you to create games even if you don't have much or no programming knowledge. With these software it is possible to develop multiplatform games in 2D and 3D, with themes ranging from RPG to educational games. There are free and paid options to fit any project's budget.
Twine is one of the game creation tools that requires little or no programming language knowledge. The program, however, is restricted to the development of text-based games, allowing the creation of non-linear and interactive stories.
Ideal for adventures, RPG's and mystery thrillers, it publishes the result in HTML. The format gives freedom to make the game available on different platforms through the browser. If you want to turn it into an app for PC or smartphones, you'll need to use a converter.
- Twine (free): Windows | macOS | Linux | web
2. Unreal Engine
The Unreal Engine allows you to create from simple 2D games to titles with lush 3D graphics. Theoretically, you need to have programming skills to use it. But a beginner-friendly solution called Blueprint is offered.
The tool is so powerful that it can be used in complex projects, as is the case with the Final Fantasy VII remake. It is possible to export the created game to different platforms, such as PC, video game, smartphones, VR equipment, among others.
The service is free until your project raises $3. From there, the creator must pay 5% of the profits to Epic Games, the developer of the Unreal Engine.
- Unreal Engine (free): Windows | macOS | Linux
3. GameMaker Studio 2GameMaker Studio 2 - Drag and Drop
Despite supporting 3D games, GameMaker is best known for developing 2D games. The program stands out for being easy to use and allowing anyone to make their own game. Without writing a line of code, through the drag and drop mechanism.
But that doesn't mean that those who know programming can't have fun. If you are part of this group, you can customize the creation however you like. The service allows exporting the result to multiple platforms. However, in some cases it is necessary to pay an extra amount.
- GameMaker Studio 2 (paid, with free trial): Windows | macOS
Gamesalad is a good option for those who are starting in the world of game development. It does not require knowledge of programming languages, allowing you to create through a drag and drop mechanism.
The software guarantees good 2D results, albeit with limited resources. The platform also has a version aimed at education, with the objective of teaching programming concepts, game design and digital media creation.
Pro version subscribers can publish on major platforms such as HTML, desktop and mobile.
- GameSalad (paid, with free trial): Windows | macOS
5. RPG Maker
As its name suggests, RPG Maker is a tool for developing 2D games in the Role Playing Game style. The program has several versions available, which offer different features. RPG Maker VX promises to be so simple that even a child can use it.
That is, it does not require any programming knowledge to develop a game, just drag and drop. The application allows you to create characters, insert music and sound effects, among other features. The game can be exported to HTML5, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS.
- RPG Maker (paid, with free trial): Windows
Quest is a tool that allows you to make interactive story games even without knowing how to program. Although the focus is on text, it is possible to insert photos, music and sound effects. There is also support for YouTube and Vimeo videos.
Anyone with programming knowledge is free to customize the look of the game the way they prefer. The result can be exported to PC or mobile app.
- Quest (free): Windows | web
Unity is an option aimed at those who know programming. The software, free for users with revenue of less than $100 a year, lets you create 3D games with stunning graphics.
The program has tools for animation, audio and video, insertion of effects, lighting and much more. Work can be published on different platforms such as PC, mobile, video games and VR and AR devices.
- Unity (free, with paid plan options): Windows | macOS | Linux
Kahoot is not really a development platform, but it can be useful for those who want to build simple educational games. The site allows you to create quizzes, true or false dynamics, puzzles, among other resources to use in virtual or face-to-face classes.
It is possible to establish the number of points and insert a timer, in order to make the game even more fun and competitive. Everything is displayed individually on each student's screen, either through the dedicated app or the web version of the service.
- Kahoot! (free, with paid plan options): Web | Android | iOS
What program to use to create games?
It all depends on your skills, goals and type of equipment you have.
There are tools that offer almost ready-made games, such as Kahoot, while others require knowledge of a programming language, such as Unity. So, before choosing, you need to consider your design and programming skills.
Programs with ready-made games can be ideal for those who do not want to invest in a career in development. Those with the ability to create by clicking and dragging game elements also require no or little understanding of the subject.
Although easy to use, they offer more creative freedom and customization items. It is a good option for those who want to learn to program and invest in the gaming universe. This is the case with GameMaker Studio 2 and Quest.
It is worth noting that most programs, even those with resources for beginners, have resources for those who master programming. These users can further explore the options, customizing virtually every aspect of the game.
It is also important to consider the equipment you have to develop. Before starting to download the program, you need to check if your computer meets the minimum requirements. It is essential that you have hardware that allows you to work fluidly and without crashes.
Otherwise, opt for a lighter, less-featured software or an online tool. That way, at least, you'll be able to do what you want.
Do you want to create a story-based game or do you prefer a 3D FPS game? So it is necessary to analyze the resources offered by the program, to be sure that it will deliver the desired result.
If the game you intend to develop has a specialized application, we recommend that you choose it. RPG Maker, for example, offers specific features for this type of storytelling, which you probably won't find in other tools. Or you will see them less intuitively.
In addition, it is important to check if the software exports the game to the desired platform. It's no use developing an entire game and then finding out that it can't be played on mobile or a VR device.
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