The Best Game Development Software Tools for Games in 2022
Have you had a concept for a game simmering away for years? What if you could make that plan come to life?
With the correct software and a little bit of knowledge, anyone can create a video game today. That doesn’t mean creating video games is simple, though. Even games as simple as Flappy Bird need a significant effort for them to look and feel good and stand out among the sea of gaming apps on the market today.
But, thanks to game development software, game development has become much more streamlined in recent years. So, even with little knowledge of app development, you can still be able to create the game you’ve always dreamt of building.
If you have a concept for a game, don’t let it be forgotten. Make it come to life with these game development software tools.
The greatest game development program for those without any programming experience is Construct 3. This game development tool is entirely drag-and-drop; everything is GUI-driven. The app’s design characteristics are used to implement the game’s logic and variables.
The beauty of Construct 3 is that it can export to a huge variety of platforms and formats without requiring you to make any changes to your game whatsoever. When your game is finished, you may export it to a variety of platforms, including HTML5, Android, iOS, Windows, Mac, Linux, Xbox One, and Microsoft Store.
The documentation for Construct 3 is among the best and most thorough we’ve ever seen for a game development tool. In addition, the forum community is very active if you ever need help, and there are hundreds of tutorials that will help you understand ideas from basic to sophisticated.
Most programmers have only minimal experience making animation, audio, or game art. But that’s okay since you can always browse and buy pre-made items from the Game Developer Asset Store with Construct 3. The majority of asset packs cost only a few dollars or less, although professional-grade models can cost up to $30. Additionally, you may purchase sample games with a source, which is useful for research and learning new strategies.
All of the essential features are available in the free edition, but there are some restrictions, including a cap of 25 events, a maximum of two object layers, two simultaneous special effects, one web font, no multiplayer support, a limited HTML5 export option, and no ability to sell your games. All of these limitations are lifted with the $99 annual Personal license.
GameMaker Studio 2
Like Construct 3, GameMaker Studio 2 has a drag-and-drop interface for variables and game logic that you can use to design whole games. But unlike Construct 3, GameMaker Studio 2 has more versatility and capability because of its Game Maker Language, a scripting language that is similar to C.
Once your game is finished, you can export it to as many platforms and file types as you like without changing your code, including Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and more. It’s terrible that exporting to any platform is not possible with the free version.
In-app purchases, real-time analytics on user behavior, source control, multiplayer networking, and extensibility via third-party extensions are just a few of the interesting quality-of-life features that GameMaker Studio 2 supports right out of the box. Other great features include support for source control, multiplayer networking, and extensibility. Additionally, it includes built-in editors for animations, shaders, and pictures.
Although you can use the free version indefinitely, there are restrictions on how intricate your games can be. The $39/year Creator plan supports exporting to Windows and Mac. Or you can pay a one-time, one-time fee to permanently unlock each specific export: Desktop is $99, HTML5 is $149, Amazon Fire is $149, and Android/iOS is $399. Exports for the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Nintendo Switch are each available for $799 per year.
In 2005, Unity debuted as a 3D engine, and in 2013, it introduced formal 2D support. There’s a very strong chance you’ve played a game developed on Unity. It’s ideal for making games of all shapes and sizes, from mobile 2D simple games to jaw-dropping graphical masterpieces.
Component-entity design was not Unity’s idea, though. But it played a significant role in its spread. Briefly said, everything in the game is an object, and you can connect several components to each object, each of which regulates a different part of the object’s logic and behavior.
Use C# if you want to get the most out of Unity. The good news is that there are a ton of excellent Unity tutorials available online to get you started, and it’s utilized by both novice and seasoned game creators equally. The included documentation is fantastic, and Unity itself offers a ton of beginner-friendly, in-depth video series.
The most platforms for which Unity has the most export support are Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, HTML5, Facebook, various VR systems including Oculus and Steam VR, as well as a number of gaming consoles like the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Wii U, and Nintendo Switch.
Want your game to have a minimap system? How about a networking solution made for business? Perhaps you require environmental textures, HUD visuals, and 3D models? What if your action-adventure RPG had a dialog system? On the Unity Asset Store, you may purchase all of this and more, with a fair probability that it will be free.
As long as your games generate less than $100,000 in sales each year, the Personal plan is totally free and doesn’t limit any engine capabilities. For up to $200,000 in annual sales, the Plus plan is required. It also grants the editor access to the sought “black theme.” The Pro plan, which allows for infinite revenue, is required after that.
Godot, like Unity, allows for the development of both 2D and 3D games. This free game maker’s 2D component was thoughtfully developed from the beginning, which results in improved performance, fewer bugs, and a cleaner overall workflow.
Every aspect of Godot’s game architecture is separated into scenes, though probably not the kind of “scene” you’re picturing. A scene in Godot is a grouping of objects like sprites, audio, and/or scripts. Then, you can combine several scenes into one larger scene, and those scenes into other larger scenes. It’s quite simple to stay organized and change individual pieces whenever you want using this hierarchical design strategy.
The scene elements are maintained by Godot using a drag-and-drop system, but each element can be expanded using the built-in scripting system, which makes use of a unique Python-like language called GDScript. Even if you don’t have any coding knowledge, you should give it a try because it’s simple to learn and enjoyable to use.
Right out of the box, Godot can be used to deploy to a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and HTML5. No additional permits or purchases are required, but there might be some limitations (like needing to be on a Mac system to deploy a Mac binary).
For a game engine, Godot iterates astonishingly quickly. It has so many wonderful features already, like physics, post-processing, networking, many built-in editors, live debugging and hot reloading, source control, and more, because there is at least one significant update per year.
Unreal Engine 5
Unreal Engine 5 (UE5) is the most expert of all the tools on this list. The Unreal franchise’s gurus, who are aware of what makes a top-notch engine and what it takes to deliver next-generation features, built it from the ground up. They are performing tasks with precision.
The ability to iterate and develop as quickly as possible is one of the guiding principles of UE5. As a result, you get features like live debugging, hot reloading, a streamlined asset pipeline, instant game previews, plus hundreds of included assets and systems like artificial intelligence, cinematic tools, post-processing effects, and more.
The Blueprint system, which enables you to construct game logic without touching any code, is one of UE5’s distinguishing features. It’s sufficiently sophisticated to allow you to design complete games—even complicated ones—without ever using a source editor. However, if you like, you can also code your own Blueprints.
The ability to construct game logic without touching any code is one of UE5’s distinguishing features. Without ever opening a source editor, you can now develop complete games, even sophisticated ones. Nevertheless, you have the option of creating your own Blueprints using code.
You have access to the complete engine as a free user (including source code). Royalties are exempt up until you earn your first $1 million in gross revenue, starting with Unreal Engine 5. Following that, 5% of every sale will be paid to you as a royalty. In comparison to UE4, UE5 shows a considerable focus on enhancing video game graphics to at least movie-quality CGI. How do they intend to make this happen? Nanite and Lumen, two fundamental technologies, serve as a foundation.
The greatest free game creation tools generally enable exporting to a variety of platforms, and Defold is no exception. Publish your game on Facebook, Steam, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, and more platforms.
Defold supports a variety of complex features out of the box with no additional configuration needed, just like GameMaker Studio 2.
The engine is best suited for 2D production even though it has good 3D support. You will have access to 2D sprites and map editors, 3D models and meshing, and a variety of particle effects using a component-based framework. To fully appreciate Defold’s capabilities, you’ll need to test out the other features and technology that are also available.
Any aspiring game creator only needs to pick up Defold’s tutorials, manuals, and forums to get a plethora of knowledge and get hacking. The forums and FAQ are extremely helpful for conquering particular challenges; many developers have encountered the same problem you do and have found a solution, so you can follow their example.
Defold is open-source and free to use as long as you purchase their license (available on the Defold website for free) and follow its requirements. No matter how much attention your game gets, Defold continues to be free to use.
RPG Maker MZ
For those who wish to produce games without needing to learn to program, RPG Maker MZ is a fantastic free game maker. Create any RPG you can think of with the character creator, map editor, and database.
Although much logic can be implemented using RPG Maker MZ’s internal Events system without the need for extra code, you can if you’d like.
Along with the textures included with your free RPG Maker installation, you may choose from hundreds of asset packs on the Market Place. Everything you could possibly need to create an RPG is available here, including music, character sprites, and whole-level designs.
You have access to hundreds of asset packs on the Market Place in addition to the textures that come with your free RPG Maker installation. Here, you can find music, character sprites, and entire level designs—everything you could possibly need to make an RPG.
Before you must pay an $80 license fee, you have access to a 30-day free trial.
Cerberus X (CX) is a lightweight 2D game developer that can meet your needs. Even while it’s not the list’s most sophisticated client, it’s an excellent option for new programmers to pick up and get their hands dirty with.
Create games using the Cerberus X IDE and export them to platforms like Windows PC, macOS (10.15.x and earlier), Linux, Android, iOS (13. x and earlier), and HTML5 in conjunction with potent graphics APIs and the Mojo framework.
You only need to fill in the blanks with these APIs and the Mojo framework in order to create a playable game.
For understanding the ins and outs of the engine, CX’s tutorials and active forums are fantastic resources, and they’re surprisingly well-updated. Cerberus X is a modular language, so you can contribute code to other developers or import modules from other producers to use in your own game.
Although Cerberus X is available for free download, you are welcome to help the creators by setting your own pricing.