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Video Game Builders

Page history last edited by Mr. Howard 6 years, 5 months ago

You don't have to be a programmer to build video games. There are many different options that require no code at all. In Video Game Design, we learn several in order to learn the basics of programming. But there are far too many to cover in a single semester. This page is a list of many of the tools available.



 Quick Page Links:


Used in the Video Game Design Class

  • Gamestar Mechanic (Free)- Very basic game builder. We use this in Video Game Design to learn the basics of good game design.
  • Kodu (Free) - Kodu enables you to build games using a series of visual elements in a rich 3D environment, without having to learn a single line of code.
  • Scratch (Free) - Scratch is a programming language that makes it easy to create your own interactive stories, animations, games, music, and art
  • MIT App Inventor (Free) -  App Inventor is a visual, drag-and-drop tool for building mobile apps on the Android platform.


Other Game Builders Installed in the Lab

All these Game Builders are installed in the lab but only covered briefly (if at all) in the Video Game Design Class)

  • 001 Game Creator (Free/Paid - Downloaded) - Develop RPG, Tower Defense, and 2D platformers. Fairly complex but powerful. Ideal for top-down RPG games.  
  • Stencyl (Free/Paid - Downloaded) - Stencyl helps you create iOS and Flash games in a flash with or without coding. Fairly complex but powerful.
  • GameMaker (Free/Paid - Downloaded) - Another commercial-quality game creation too. Fairly complex but powerful.  
  • My Doodle Game (Free - Downloaded) -  My Doodle Game is a fun and creative game making tool, where you can literally draw your own games and then have hours of fun playing them!


Recommended Game Building Engines (listed in order from simple to complex)

There are a lot of game builders available. Some are awesome, some are junk. These are some the better one. See the List of Other Game Builders section below for more options.

  • Pulado - (Free - Online) Another web-based game builder. Lots of templates to choose from, but you are essentially remixing their canned games.
  • GameFroot (Free - Online) - GameFroot makes it easy for absolutely anyone to:  Make instantly playable games online and on iPhone, play games you’ve made or that others have made, and share your creations and favorite games with the world. It's similar to Scratch coding with an emphasis on creating games. Tutorials are very limited, so you have to explore on your own.
  • 3D Gamemaker (Paid - Downloaded) -  With just one click of a mouse, you can create a uniquely playable game without needing any programming knowledge or artistic skills at all. Really just combining canned game elements (vs programming), but looks fun.
  • Code9Leap - Learn to build web-based games using HTML5 and Javascript.  Let's make your own game with HTML5! With powerful game engine "enchant.js", you can build up your game in 9 minutes! If you are new to HTML5, don't worry about that. Start up your project with modifying sample code. Code9leap includes "CodeMirror", the HTML5 based web editor, so you can write code on your browser.
    Note: If the site loads in Japanese, click the "In English" link on the bottom.
    Note: Mr. Howard has a book on this if that works better for you.
  • Unity 3D (Free - Downloaded) - Unity is a cross platform, professional 3D game engine that allows users to create beautiful, realistic 3D games. Objects in Unity games are given behaviors by creating scripts.  These scripts can be written in JavaScript, C# or a dialect of Python called Boo.  Most tutorials recommended that JavaScript is used for scripting.
  • Unreal Development Kit (UDK) (Free - Downloaded) - Many learners are exposed, nearly every day, to a world of high resolution, life-like graphics and sound in the computer and console games that they play. These visually stunning games require professional level tools and a wide variety of skills to produce.  The Unreal Development Kit is just one example of the free professional level games design tools which are available to learners and teachers. UDK provide a visual scripting control language, called Kismet, which allows complex in game conditions and actions to be generated using a drag-and-drop approach.  A visual approach to controlling the game environment enables learners to develop a logical understanding of the 'programming environment' without the difficulties of a complex language syntax.
  • Amazon Lumberyard (Free - Downloaded) Free AAA Game Engine. Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for you to create the highest-quality games 


Lists of Other Game Builders


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