3 Game Design Software Tools You Can Use to Make Your Own Games
Filed under: Gaming & Technology
July 10, 2017
In today’s world, you don’t have to work for a game design studio to build your own game. Anyone with the passion, knowledge, and skills for game design can build and release their very own game. To do so, you’ll need to start by selecting which game design software you’ll use to bring your ideas to life. In this post, you’ll learn about three popular game design software tools, each of which has free or low-cost options and tons of tutorials and guides available across the web.
1. GameMaker Studio 2
Among the best game design software options for beginners to experiment with, GameMaker: Studio 2 (GMS 2) features an easy-to-use drag-and-drop interface for variables and game logic, so that you can build entire games without knowing any code. However, having some background with the C programming language will come in handy for using the software’s scripting language, GML, to further customize your game.
The GMS 2 free version limits you to publishing games to Windows with a watermark, but versions with full export to Windows, Mac, HTML5, iOS, Android, and more start around $100 and up.
Unity is one of the industry’s most powerful and widely used game design software tools, allowing you to create 2D and 3D games for nearly any system—including Windows, Mac, iOS, Android, Facebook, Oculus Rift, Steam VR, PS4, XB1, Wii U, and Switch. Using Unity requires knowing some C programming, although Unity does offer tutorials for beginners if you’re willing to dive in on your own. While Unity supports game design assets created in 3ds Max, Maya, Blender, and similar software, Unity’s asset store also offers an impressive selection of high-quality graphics, model, environment textures, and other free and for-sale items.
While Plus and Pro plans are available, Unity’s free version has everything you need to build awesome games and is royalty-free for anyone with game revenues under $100,000 per year.
3. Unreal Engine 4
Because it’s jam-packed with cutting-edge, advanced features, Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) likely has the highest learning curve of these three game design software tools, but it’s perhaps also the most professional. UE4’s most unique aspect is its Blueprint system that allows users to rapidly develop complex game logic and entire games without ever interacting with a single piece of code. Don’t worry though; those who prefer to code have that option too.
Like other game design software mentioned, Unreal makes it easy to export to popular platforms across mobile devices, computers, gaming consoles, and VR systems. Their payment model is also based on the success of the games you create, so that you can use the software for free, but any time you earn $3,000 in a quarter (3 months), you pay a 5% royalty on your total revenue.
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