Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by The Soft Best
The Best Game Making Software: Not many years ago, the programs to create video games used by developers and teams of developers, otherwise known as game engines or game engines, were powerful development tools that were difficult to learn and cost-prohibitive, requiring hardware within reach of a few capacious pockets.
The Best Game Making Software
With these software titles for PC and consoles were developed, practically the only gaming platforms available until a few years ago.
What is a program for creating video games?
Things have changed a lot with the emergence of social networks and the spread of smartphones and their respective stores. Since then, everything has begun to evolve in the videogame landscape with the continuous birth of instant games for platforms such as Facebook and thousands if not millions of games for iOS and Android devices.
Today it is possible to choose among the most powerful and modern programs to create video games without paying anything and begin to gain experience in view of a future publication and a possible career in a market that is increasingly rich in opportunities.
Game creation software is a platform designed to allow game developers to focus on the more creative aspects of their work. He can delegate to the game engine the management of all those aspects, which otherwise he would have to personally carry out with thousands of lines of code and downtime for procedures such as compiling the software.
What is the Best Game Making Software for creating video games?
The one just provided is an exact and, simultaneously, a generic definition that performs to summarize the many tasks performed by modern game engines. In fact, from the conception of the original idea that will lead to the creation of the new game until the launch on the market, the team of developers will use the game engine.
From the creation of the scene to the detailed definition of the environment, complete with lighting and special effects, from the creation, selection, and placement of characters and contents to the definition of the behavior of every single element in the game, from the test phases on the different hardware platforms to the release on all the reference stores, everything revolves around the video game engine.
In a completely hypothetical way; you could create any video game from scratch and bring it to publication in the stores without using any game engine, performing every single task with your arms, or more precisely, with your fingertips on the keyboard. It is an arduous task since it would involve reinventing the wheel thousands of times.
Yes, because the video game engine condenses in itself to be reused at will, the most advanced technical solutions used by programmers to bring games to life. So, yes, you can do without the game engine; however, it would be like putting the word processor aside and going back to movable type printing.
But the essential utility of the video game engine also extends to other fundamental tasks. As anticipated, the range of action of a game engine embraces a multitude of tasks. From this brief excursus, it will be evident that this tool greatly facilitates the task of developers. However, learning how to use it to exploit it as a professional necessarily requires adequate training.
The video game platforms
The last of the many features of the video game engine that we cannot overlook here is also one of the cornerstones of this activity. As already mentioned, today, the stores that distribute video games are numerous—one for each of the most popular hardware.
Platforms: PC, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo, Android, and iOS. And many of these, in turn, provide for use on very different devices: Google’s Android runs on smartphones, smartwatches, and smart TVs; the same thing for Apple’s iOS. At the same time, Playstations can also be ‘portable,’ as well as Nintendo consoles.
Together with those just mentioned, the no less essential distribution channels represented by social networks should be considered, like Facebook, which represents the vast instant game market. And last but not least, the web games are playable through any browser.
All of today’s game engines allow you to export the game developed for distribution on many, if not all, of the aforementioned platforms. The competitive advantage is easy to say: think about what waste of resources and time would entail today the need to develop each title individually, for each of the platforms on which you want to distribute it.
This does not mean that the different versions for Android rather than for iOS, for Playstation rather than for PC, do not need any subsequent optimizations. Even so, the competitive advantage of a game engine is literally immeasurable.
How a program to create video games works
Having learned broadly what a game engine does, it remains to understand how programs to create video games work. And this is where some of the most important differences between the different options available arise.
At the beginning of each project, the graphics engine provides an empty scene, a sort of deserted movie set with no scenery—an internship.
The developer, step by step, will shape his idea by defining the set and providing all the sets: a farm, a rocky landscape, the surface of Mars, the ocean floor, the interior of a spaceship, or a castle. Or even just a brick wall to break down. Notoriously, in video games, there are no limits to the imagination.
A game engine, or the software for creating video games, offers a development platform that allows you to define the game environment and insert all the elements you want. The game environment can be in three dimensions, 3D, and reproduce a natural environment, for example, the surface of Mars or a forest to be explored, a metropolis to cross confronting opponents, etc.
But the game environment can also be in two dimensions, 2D, like so many successful games still today. Also, in this case, it is possible to reproduce a natural or domestic context, the interior of a castle, an underwater environment, etc. 2D games require far fewer hardware resources than 3D games; however, many 2D games are highly engaging, reaching millions of fans.
Skills in using programs to create video games
Creating the game environment 2D or 3D requires creative skills from illustrators and animators and the ability to define, develop, and refine the interaction dynamics envisaged by the game you want to achieve. Characters and graphic elements, in general, can also be created using other software, specific for illustrations and the creation of so-called ‘assets,’ but at least to a certain extent and in a first phase. It depends on how complex and articulate you want to achieve; many of the assets can be developed thanks to the engines of programs to create video games.
As it is easy to understand, developing a game environment on several levels, which allows a more or less long path, always involves a large amount of work for professionals in the sector. And in fact, one of the factors that matter most during development, able to make the difference between a game developed by a well-known production company and the project carried out by a small team or even by the individual creative, is the number of human resources. Who works there.
The most graphically gifted games, with characters acting in a realistic environment in which the protagonist or protagonists, for multiplayer games, can move freely, often require the reconstruction of detailed environments, complete with buildings and roads. The development of these complex and vast environments makes use of the most powerful and sophisticated game engines but also of many hours of computer work.
As we have seen, the development process is always long and complex. To summarize it at least in part, a brief summary of its fundamental steps appears necessary.
Process of creating a video game
Once you have clarified what you want to accomplish, you always proceed roughly as follows, regardless of the programs to create video games:
- I define an empty game environment, with the minimum parameters to be modified later, during development;
- I define the ‘physical’ characteristics of this environment: lighting, gravity, playing surface, any natural elements that define its local ‘geography’;
- I insert all the expected structural elements, natural and artificial, inanimate and animate;
- I create or import the main characters, including the protagonist;
- I define the commands that control the characters;
- I decide the abilities and behaviors of the elements controlled by the game and not by the player;
- I define the goals and possible paths for the player;
- I adopt any artificial intelligence that literally plays with or, more often, against the player, in order to avoid too repetitive behaviors that are now outdated;
- I plan all the levels by repeating the last steps listed above;
- I export the game for each of the platforms on which I intend to distribute it;
- I test the game and eventually make changes and optimizations;
- I export the definitive versions, and it is distributed on the various official stores.
The advantages of using programs to create video games
At this point, the complete picture in which you work behind the scenes in order to develop a video game should begin to appear. A process that takes great advantage of recent video game engines to take advantage of the industry-standard procedures and tools.
In summary, the competitive advantage brought by a search engine can be summarized in the following points:
- integrated development environment;
- compatibility with advanced and modern programming languages;
- integration with software specialized in the production of 2D and 3D graphics;
- integrated 2D and 3D animation tools;
- integrated and advanced simulation tools;
- state-of-the-art realistic lighting algorithms;
- optimized procedures for videogame development;
- export for all gaming platforms;
- often free for beginners or available at affordable costs;
- the most sophisticated are also used by the largest software houses;
- integration with cloud services for multiplayer and other player services;
- integration with social platforms for sharing and marketing.
The functionalities they provide are roughly an acquired heritage, destined to change only following the adoption of new technologies. As happened, for example, with the introduction of Virtual Reality and related viewers.
How to choose a program to create video games: advantages and features
In the universe of video games, dozens of programs have succeeded in creating video games. Some have established themselves and are now considered state of the art. On the other hand, others have just been launched and promise to earn a significant share of developers. This preliminary consideration is fundamental. Learning to exploit the full potential of a video game engine requires a huge investment of time and personal resources. Choosing one that runs out of support for further updates within a few years would be considerable damage to anyone.
But how do all these software differ, and what determines their success?
There are game engines specialized in the development of 3D games, while others are solely dedicated to 2D games. Some then allow the development of both types of games. So the first evaluation to make for choosing the best game engine concerns the type of games you intend to develop.
Another aspect to consider is the support on which the game engine of interest can count. There are well-established and avant-garde ones on which you can bet with relative safety. Others are very recent but developed by cloud platforms that guarantee excellent services and other competitive advantages, such as a large pool of users.
Generally speaking, one should proceed by evaluating the characteristics of the most popular video game engines, some of which are mentioned below. Visit the relevant official sites and read opinions, considerations, and questions shared by users on forums and specialized sites.
Costs for software to create video games and limits
Today the cost scheme converges on offers that are very accessible if not real and total gratuitousness.
Some of the most powerful and established video game engines provide full access at no cost until the programmer begins to make significant profits with the games produced using the specific game engine. From that precise moment, you will begin to pay: an annual fee or as a percentage of profits.
Other game engines, on the other hand, provide access costs right away. However, these costs are widely accessible to the majority of those who already have minimal equipment, i.e., a PC or Mac and an internet connection.
However, what has been reported so far should not lead us to believe that the video game engine takes care of everything, and the creative developer only has to drag and drop to achieve a billionaire global success.
Even past the learning curve imposed by any game engine, you must be prepared to work hard on developing an idea that is also original. Any video game requires the fine-tuning of thousands of details and choices that cannot be delegated to the game engine—a passion and a job that can nevertheless repay with important professional and economic satisfaction.
15 Programs for creating videogames – Software for developing Videogames
1. Unreal Engine
The Unreal Engine is probably the most powerful graphics engine among those on this list; born as an engine of the FPS developed by Epic Games; it has grown to allow the development of any type of video game.
It is the graphics engine of all games developed by Epic Games (including Fortnite) and has been used for the development of games such as the Batman Arkham series, for the remake of Final Fantasy VII, and many other successful games. Unreal Engine is free and requires you to pay a percentage of the revenue from game sales.
It has a marketplace from which you can buy various items to use in your games (such as 3d models of objects and characters or extra features.
Even if it is possible to develop a game without programming a single line of code, to obtain better results, it is essential to know how to program; the programming language used is C ++.
Unity is another complete graphics engine, which allows you to develop any type of game for any platform.
The developers are among the most active, and every year they release a new version with tons of new features and improvements.
Despite this, the graphics engine is not yet at the levels of realism achievable with the Unreal Engine.
Unity is available in different versions, a free one perfect for getting started and other more complete paid versions.
Unity has a marketplace with tons of downloadable and purchasable content.
In addition, the community is probably the largest among all those of this software, and it is possible to exchange advice and opinions.
3. Cry Engine
Graphics engine developed by Crytek that is very close to Unreal Engine for realism and physics management, Cry Engine was born as an Unreal Engine for FPS, but then it was extended to all other genres.
Cry Engine was used for the development of games such as Prey, Crysis, Ryse: Son Of Rome.
Like Unreal Engine and Unity, Cry Engine also has a marketplace with downloadable and purchasable content, even if among the 3, it is the least supplied.
The programming language that can be used for the development of your games is C ++.
4. Amazon Lumberyard
Graphics engine developed by Amazon and used for all games developed by Amazon Game Studios, available for a few years but still in beta version, it is a good alternative to the engines seen so far. It allows you to develop any type of game.
The graphics engine is completely free, and you will have to pay only if you decide to use other Amazon services associated with it (for example, the Amazon cloud).
Lumberyard is partially based on the CryEngine, so the Engine works very similar to that of Crytek.
5. Godot Engine
Another complete graphics engine, suitable for the development of any type of game, physics management is not at the level of previous engines but also requires less effort and less programming knowledge.
It offers 3 choices regarding programming languages: C ++, C #, and GDScript (similar to Python).
It allows you to develop games for PC, Mac, Android, and iOS; it does not allow native development for consoles, but thanks to some external plugins, you can also port games to consoles.
The software is completely free and open-source; it does not require any type of payment.
The relatively recent game engine, but growing fast, especially in the mobile field, allows you to develop both 2d and 3d games and allows you to easily integrate systems to monetize mobile games.
There are several versions of the program, one free and others by subscription; the free version is very limited and useful only for learning how to develop with this software or for creating very simple and short games.
Buildbox allows you to create a video game without ever having to use a single line of code, so it’s perfect for those unfamiliar with programming languages.
7. GameMaker Studio
GameMaker Studio allows anyone to develop a game in hours.
The game engine allows the development of 2D games only, but for the game genre, there are no limits.
The software has a free trial version for 30 days, after which you will need to purchase a license.
The licenses have a fairly high cost considering that they must be purchased for each target platform; the development for consoles costs about $ 800.
Like Buildbox also GameMaker Studio allows you to create software without having to program, but for those who want, it also allows you to add scripts using the GameMaker Language (based on C).
8. Cocos Creator Engine
Cocos Creator Engine allows you to develop 2D and 3D games and has a graphical interface similar to Unity’s.
The game engine is completely free and open-source and allows you to develop games for PC, Mac, Mobile.
To extend the functionality of your games, you can program using TypeScript.
A Construct is a tool that allows you to easily develop games for the Web and for mobile.
It does not require programming knowledge, and it is possible to manage each action through visual events.
The program has different types of licenses, starting from a free one with some limitations up to paid ones with unlimited features.
GameSald is a very easy-to-use 2D game development tool that allows you to create your own game in just a few hours.
It is impossible to extend the functionality of your game with programming; the game’s development is completely entrusted to the visual editor; for this reason, it is also suitable for those without programming knowledge.
Even Stencyl, like the last programs I have listed, allows you to develop 2D games for PC, Android, iOS, and the Web.
You don’t need to know how to program because it is possible to do everything using the program’s visual editor.
12. Visionary Studio
Visionaire Studio is a video game development software specifically for graphic adventures.
Being a specific software makes it the ideal choice for those wishing to develop this type of game.
In fact, it has no unnecessary extra features for graphic adventures, and it has all the features needed to develop a point and click.
This tool was used for the development of the Deponia series; you can download the trial version before purchasing it.
13. Adventure Game Studio
Another tool similar to the previous one, suitable for the development of graphic adventures.
Unlike the previous one, it is completely free, even if I personally think it is slightly inferior to the previous one.
Excellent tool for developing graphic adventures, but I recommend focusing on Visionaire Studio.
14. RPG Maker
Perhaps one of the longest-running tools, available for a very long time, this software allows you to create 2D RPGs.
Potentially you don’t need any other software to develop a game because RPG Maker has everything you need inside.
If you want to have a game that differs from the others, however, I recommend that you create your own characters as well as all the other game elements outside of RPG Maker and then import them.
In this way, the game will not graphically resemble the hundreds of games developed with this tool.
The fact remains that RPG Maker is super easy to use and that you can create an RPG in no time.
15. Visual Novel Maker
From the authors of RPG Maker, this software allows you to create Visual Novels, i.e., interactive stories.
This type of game shows a series of screens with dialogue, and the player will have to choose what to have his character say and what actions to take, all simply by choosing from the different options.
Also, in this case, as for RPG Maker, the development of the game is really simple and does not require any special knowledge.
Visual novels can be created in no time.
These are 15 of the best software for creating videogames, there are also others, but personally, I think the ones on this list are the best.
Choosing one over another depends on the programming language you know, the type of game you want to make, and the target device of the game.
For 3D game development, I recommend Unity or Unreal Engine. For graphic adventures Visionaire Studio.
On the other hand, if you want to quickly develop a game at an amateur level, perhaps to have fun with your friends, you can focus on RPG Maker, GameMaker Studio, or GameSalad.