Game Development

7 Free Game Development Tools for beginners

Ever wondered how games are developed and what software and tools are used to cook games. There are a variety of game development tools and software available to design robust games. The internet hosts a lot of free game development tools and engines using that anyone with the high-speed connection and basic knowledge on software can develop a game. 

Gone are the days where it takes a year to launch a game. With the debut of game engines and technologies like Cloud computing, Augmented reality and Virtual reality, game development is taking the planet by storm. Also, the days are gone where people used to play games during their free time. 

It is predicted that the number of gamers worldwide will exceed 3 billion by 2023 this shows the craze for games. If you are a beginner with a concept for a game in your mind, you can easily bring the idea to life with the right set of game development tools and software. 

There are hundreds of different game development tools out there that are used to create games in a thousand different ways. In this article, we will discuss top free gaming tools that are good to start with. 

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What is a game development tool?

A Game Development tool is a software application that is used to facilitate or ease the development of a game. It takes care of tasks like level editing, conversion of assets to the required format, script compilation, etc. 

Game development tools help game developers to design or construct a game quickly by reducing the need for programming. 

What are the benefits of using game engines?

  1. Game development tools come with integrated artificial intelligence systems that make it easy to develop multiple character games by taking care of backgrounds and other characteristics of the game. 
  2. No knowledge of programming is required as the game development engine comes with GUI through which the user can develop the game just by drag and drop the items. 
  3. You can easily export games to multiple platforms like Android, Windows, macOS, Xbox One, etc. without changing any part of the game. 
  4. Game engines are compatible to create both 2D and 3D environments.
  5. Plugins, Apart from editing tools plugins features in the game engines help game developers to extend their creativity.
  6. Game engines with documentation and are supported by active community forums that will help you to understand the concepts from basic to advanced. 

Discover more about game engines


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7 Free Game Development Tools for beginners

Below are 7 best free game development tools and software that you can use to bring your dream to reality. For your convenience, the list is structured from the simplest to complex one:

1. Construct

It is the best game development engine for beginners with a drag-and-drop interface as it does not require any coding knowledge. With this game development engine, you can easily develop and publish games on platforms like Windows store, Facebook, Chrome store and also on Android, Linux, Mac and windows

Construct comes with a lot of documentation and tutorials that will help you to understand the concepts easily. It also comes with an asset store where you can buy ready-made assets from Scirra store.

Highlights:

  • Compatible with multiple platforms
  • Adequate documentation and active forum
  • Pocket friendly

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2. GameMaker Studio 

Similar to Construct GameMaker Studio also comes with a drag-and-drop interface. It is one of the largest game engine tools. It is loaded with features like source control, multiplayer networking, real-time analytics, and extensibility through third-party applications. It also features inbuilt editors for images, shades and animations. 

This gaming tool can be used by both professionals and noobs as it comes with a powerful programming language as well as drag-and-drop interface. It also comes with fair pricing where you can use the free version indefinitely with limited features. 

Highlights:

  • Drag-and-drop and code
  • Integrated features
  • Freedom of publishing on every platform

3. Unity

Famous games like Angry Birds, Super Mario run, flappy bird, NASCAR Heat 5, etc. all the games are developed using Unity. It is one of the popular third-party game development tools used by game developers worldwide. Unity is a cross-platform gaming engine and compatible with both 2D and 3D environments. 

It helps developers to make the game more intuitive with the object-based design feature that allows users to merge different components to every object. It also comes with a cool collaborative feature where you can create games along with your friends and colleagues. 

Highlights:

  • Compatible with 2D and 3D
  • Collaborative feature
  • Collection of Game assets

4. Godot engine

Godot is an open-source and free game engine that is developed and maintained by a group of developers worldwide. With this free game development tool, you can develop and publish games on various platforms without any restrictions. Godot gets updated frequently with amazing features such as hot reloading, live debugging, built-in editors, post-processing, networking and many more. 

Godot uses GDScript (python-like scripting language) which is very fun to use and easy to learn. It follows a hierarchical design approach which makes developers stay organized and modify the individual elements whenever required. 

Highlights:

  • Built-in advanced features
  • Open-source 
  • Scene-based design

5. Unreal engine

Unreal Engine is one of the professional game development engines developed by Epic Games. It comes with immense features for mobile, PC and console game development. With its unique blueprint system, you can create an entire without touching any code and even complex ones. It also has a YouTube channel with over 800 videos that explain every functionality of the game engine. 

It comes with top of the line features such as artificial intelligence, cinematic tools, post-processing effects, live debugging, hot reloading, instant previews, etc.

Highlights:

  • Created by industry experts
  • Create once, publish everywhere
  • Best tutorials on the planet

6. Stencyl

Similar to Unreal engine, Stencyl is a cross-platform 2D game engine that runs on Android, Windows, Mac and Linux. Game developers use this game engine to make quick prototypes of their game ideas. You can also upload your own graphics and tweak them to get the perfect output. 

Highlights:

  • Cross-platform
  • Flexible
  • Easy to use interface for beginners

7. ClickTeam Fusion

It is designed for advanced game developers as it requires more coding to create games. ClickTeam game engine tool comes with an excellent editor system that allows game developers to build games quickly. 

ClickTeam Fusion allows developers to import games and apps from various platforms with the help of OUYA console and Box2D physics engine. 

Highlights:

  • Hardware acceleration
  • Integrated physics engine

Other important free game development tools include:

  • GDevelop
  • Defold
  • RPG Maker MV
  • Blender
  • UbiArt
  • Gamesalad
  • Twine
  • Flowlab
  • Quest
  • GameFroot
  • Sploder
  • Cerberus X

Graphic Design Tools used to create game art: Objects and Components

  1. Adobe Photoshop
  2. GIMP
  3. Pixelmator
  4. Inkscape
  5. Marmoset Hexels
  6. Gravit Designer
  7. Sumo paint
  8. ArtRage
  9. Vectr
  10. Krita

Above mentioned are some interesting game development tools for beginners that require less programming knowledge suits for teachers, professionals and students. If you are really serious about game development, you should learn some programming as well. Below are the programming languages that are used in game development:

  • C++
  • Java
  • Javascript
  • HTML5
  • CSS3
  • SQL

Now the question is, Should I learn the game development tool or programming language or graphic design tool? If you are confused about how to start and where to start, you can take up an online course on game development where you can learn all the concepts from basics. 

We at Skyfi Labs have developed some interesting online courses on game development that covers the basics of game development, steps involved in it, game development tools and programming languages. All these courses are conducted in live online sessions by industry experts which gives a greater learning experience. Below is the list of game development courses that you can opt to kickstart your career in game development:

  1. Game development using Augmented reality
  2. Python for game development
  3. Game development with Unity

What you will learn?

  • C# programming
  • Creating Scenes and levels
  • Introduction to Unity platform
  • Introduction to AR
  • Introduction to Python programming
  • Animating sprites

and many more...

Click here to learn more about game development courses

If we missed out any of your favourite game design and development tools, let us know in the comments.

7 Free Game Development Tools for beginners
Skyfi Labs Last Updated: 2022-05-18





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