Many professional programmers mentioned video games as the reason that led them to take an interest in the development of software: “I also wanted to be able to do that.” And it had merit, because a few decades ago aspiring programmer did not have many of the tools that today make life easier: you had to be ready to fighting with C or assembler.
Fortunately, the range of tools and languages is much broader today, and the ‘learning curve’ is much softer, so much so that it is possible to create a video game completely without touching any code.
From Engadget we offer you a small compilation, so that you too can try your luck:
Gamesalad it offers us the possibility of creating simple 2D games cross-platform without entering even a line of codeonly by dragging and dropping objects from one side to the other of the screen, thanks to your gallery of graphics resources.
It has a free version, which does not allow to customize the start of the game resulting, or include ads or to export it to Android; version ‘Pro’ removes these limitations.
Very used in educational settings, when other platforms of visual programming such as Scratch are small.
Stencyl it is another example of ‘Scratch steroids’ focused on the development of video games in 2D. Intuitive and cross-platform (Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, HTML5, Flash), and provides tools for designing scenarios and characters.
As above, Stencyl it also has a limited free version (you can only export to a limited number of projects). Unlike that one, it gives us the option to complement the visual programming with writing code.
Construct 3 it is a tool of creation of video games using visual programming, focused on 2D games, which its users usually praise your learning curve and intuitive event system.
To be based on HTML5the games that it produces are cross-platform: not only can we upload directly to the Web, but also can compile it for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS and Android. But remember that such use of the HTML5 technology also it will entail technical limitations: it is not the best option for an ambitious project.
Another positive aspect? Has a very active user community and a huge amount of tutorials (both official and unofficial).
Another negative aspect? Costs 89 € / year; and if we pay, we will no longer be able to modify our projects.
GameGuru // AppGameKit Classic
The web GameGuru offers, nothing more enter, a concise description of what it offers this program: “a process of creating games easy, nice and full, designed specifically for those who are not programmers or designers“.
If you’ve ever used a level editor for other video games in 3D, you will notice that the interface of GameGuru is fairly intuitive: allows you to easily create a functional map and distribute the same to the player character, their enemies, and to the different items. In general, everything in this program seems to be focused on creating video games FPS (first person action), but with a little inventiveness, the range of genres opens up quite a bit.
The artificial intelligence of the NPCS will not be-to remain soft – especially noteworthybut if you want to delve a little more, and start to toquetear code, you can resorting to script in Lua (a programming language very easy) to improve it.
Another option is to export the game that we have created to edit it with AppGameKitanother game engine from the creators of GameGuru but considerably more complex and versatile. GameGuru is on sale on Steam for 19,99 €, compared to 41,99 € AppGameKit Classic.
Godot it is a program lightweight, free and open source whose popularity is growing day-to-day. Is available for Windows, Linux and Mac, and allows you to generate executables also for Android and iOS, as well as to export to HTML5.
Although it remains in the shadow of Unreal Engine and Unity3D, is a powerful alternative to the same, that it allows us to create both games in 2D as in 3D (using OpenGL for the rendering).
That, of course, makes its use more complex, and forces us to start typing code (supports its own language GDScript, as well as C++ and C#), although we can still use your tool of ‘Visual Scripting’
In the same way that GameGuru is a tool created with the video game of genre FPS in mind, the goal of RPG Maker is to produce JRPGs in 2D (think of ‘Final Fantasy VI‘or, better, in the controversial ‘Pokémon Iberia’created -effectively – with the software that occupies to us).
The different versions of RPG Maker offer editing tools, events, maps and databases, in addition to extensive galleries of graphics, textures, characters, and audio.
The more recent versions offer the ability to compile games for Windows, Mac, Android, iOS and HTML5.
Ren’Py / TyranoBuilder / Visual Novel Maker
We grouped these 3 tools because they are linked to a genre of video games: the ‘novels ‘ visual’something like the digital version of an illustrated book of ‘Choose your own adventure’. These video games are very popular in Japan and in which the predominant aesthetic ‘sleeve’, are staffed only by images (you can even be static), audio, and dialogs.
Three programs stand out in this area and, if we had to rank them from less to more visual (meaning ‘visual’ as a possibility to mount the video game without touching code), the order would be the following:
- Ren’Py VN Engine (free and open source, it lacks the visual tools of the other two).
- TyranoBuilder (14,99 € on Steam, available for indows and Mac, your games are multipaltaforma).
- Visual Novel Maker (54,99 € on Steam, created by the same developers quee RPG Maker).
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