If you want to start making a game, here are some development tools that don’t require any coding skill: Twine, RPG Maker, Scratch, Stencyl, Construct, CraftStudio.
Written by Marina Rossi on May 29th, 2013
6 Game Development Tools for Beginners
[This post was originally published in Italian on Girl Geek Life]
Making video games is considered a complex activity – and it’s true – but now you can express yourself using game development tools even if you don’t have any coding experience. In the last few years video game as a medium has been democratised: you can work on a game all by yourself, using it as a way to tell your stories and experiences.
Here is my selection of 6 (almost) code-free game development tools:
Do you love to express yourself through writing and do you want to try making a game even if you don’t have a programming skill? If you have in mind a plot for an interactive fiction, maybe with different storylines bound together, Twine is your perfect choice. You’ll use it like a text editor and then you’ll add links between each part of the story, just like an hypertext in HTML. Chris Klimas has developed Twine which can be downloaded for free (Mac and Windows).
During the last year Twine has been chosen as development tool by beginners and famous game developers either. Here is my selection of some of the most interesting Twine games.
- Sacrilege – about a flirt during a party
- What’s in a Name? – about sexual identity and social exclusion
- Conversations With My Mother – a letter from a mother
- Howling Dogs – a story in a lab
- Broke Down – casino and gunshots
RPG Maker VX Ace
If you want to try making a more artistic kind of game, you can try RPG Maker VX Ace. It’s a long-time well known software, as you can read on Wikipedia, and it’s often used by people who love JRPGs. Lately it has been used to creat interactive graphic novels too. In RPG Maker you can easily script levels, maps, manage dialogues and – if it’s the case – character fightings. You can download the demo for free for Windows, while the complete commercial version costs $70.
Here some RPG Maker games:
- To the Moon – set inside the old dying man memories
- The Witch’s House – a horror adventure
- Lisa – a girl and the demons in her family
- Hidden in the Shadows – find the castle exit, run!
- [last but not least, I’m adding this game which wasn’t included in the original post] Mainichi – a great game by Mattie Brice about some of her everyday experiences
Scratch isn’t just a game development tool: it’s a educational software (targeted to 8-16 year old kids) which has been developed by the MIT. Scratch allows you to have an easy approach to programming: using the visual editor you can learn how boolean algebra works or how to set conditions (if) and have actions (then).
A very similar interface is offered by Stencyl, a game developmente software you can download for free (Windows and Mac). You can create a Flash game with the free license, but you can also publish your game on iOS if you buy the mobile licence ($ 150). Stencyl is interesting for its active community that offers many graphics and sounds assets.
If you want to create a 2D game you can take a look at Construct 2, that exports in Html5. I’m looking forward to play Hamstarök. Construct has a community and an asset store where you can buy some assets.
If you’re feeling more geeky you should try CraftStudio which allows you to create a game in a collaborative way. You can try the beta version for Windows, Macintosh and Linux.
[And if you are interested in more game development resources, take a look at our beginners guide So, You Wanna Be a Game Designer?]