Game engines are tools that take care of more low level processing, allowing you to focus on your game right away instead of having to program it all from scratch. You can make any kind of game using an engine, and some engines don’t even require programming knowledge to use! Below are just a few of many game engines that exist.
Stencyl is a great option to start with if you have no previous programming experience. It uses a visual programming language that is versatile enough to make a variety of games.
A great option for both 2D and 3D games: Free Download
Notable Games: Firewatch, Temple Run, SUPERHOT
Learning Resources: Official Unity tutorials, One of many YouTube tutorials
Useful links: Manual, Script Documentation
Many of the students in CSC404: Introduction to Game Design swear by this tool, and have made publicly well-received games. It’s very popular and you can find lots of support both online and from club members.
This open-source engine supports a simple python-like scripting language as well as C#.
Unreal uses C++ but includes visual scripting “blueprints” that allow non-programmers to build games with it.
C++ and a graphics framework
C++ is the most used language in the game industry. If you want to work in games programming, plan to learn this at some point. To get started with the language, the official website has a getting started page here.
Free Game Media Resources
Here are some resources that you can check out to get FREE Creative Commons licensed media (images and music) for developing your video games with.
- Newgrounds.com – Audio Portal – http://www.newgrounds.com/audio/
- Jamendo – http://www.jamendo.com/en/
- A bigger list – http://videogamecaster.com/royalty-free-music-and-sounds
What if I want to make my own graphics or sound?
Below are some tools you can use to create your own assets for free.
General Image editors
- GIMP – https://www.gimp.org/
- Krita – https://krita.org/en/
- Paint.NET – http://www.getpaint.net/index.html
Pixel Art software
- Piskel(online editor) – http://www.piskelapp.com/
- GIMP, MS Paint, and Paint.NET are great too!
3D modeler – Blender – https://www.blender.org/
Vector image editor – Inkscape – https://inkscape.org/
Sound and Music
- Audacity – http://www.audacityteam.org/
- A big list here – http://www.pixelprospector.com/sound-music-creation-software/