What are the free tools to develop your own game? Do you have a game concept that’s been simmering for a while? What if you could make that vision a reality? With the correct tools and a little know-how, anyone can build a video game nowadays.
That isn’t to say that game production is simple. Even a basic game like Flappy Bird necessitates work to look and feel excellent. However, owing to free game producers, game development has become much more efficient.
Here’s a list of the finest free game development software you can use right now to start working on your dream game.
1. Construct 3
There is no need for programming. If you’ve never written a line of code before, Construct 3 is the greatest game creation tool. This game development tool is an entirely graphical user interface (GUI), which means everything is drag-and-drop. The design features supplied by the app are used to build game logic and variables.
The beauty of Construct 3 is that it can export to dozens of different platforms. And formats without requiring you to modify anything in your game. You may spread your game to Android, HTML5, iOS, Linux, Mac, Xbox One, Microsoft Store, Windows, and more after it’s completed.
Construct 3 provides some of the greatest and most thorough documentation of any game creation tool I’ve ever seen. There are also hundreds of lessons available to help you learn subjects ranging from basic to sophisticated, and the forum community is very active if you ever need help.
Assets may be found in the Asset Store. Most programmers have no artistic, musical, or animation abilities. But that’s not a problem with Construct 3, because the Scirra Store is constantly open for browsing and purchasing ready-made items.
The majority of asset bundles are only a few bucks, while professional-grade items might cost $30 or more. You may also purchase example games that include the source code, which might be useful for studying and learning new skills.
The free edition has all of the essential capabilities; however it is restricted to 25 events, two object layers, two simultaneous special effects, one web font, no multiplayer capability, only HTML5 export, and no ability to sell your games. All of these restrictions are lifted with the Personal license, which costs $99 per year.
Unity began as a 3D engine in 2005, but in 2013 it gained official 2D functionality. Although it’s completely capable of developing 2D games, Unity’s 2D system is really bolted onto its primary 3D engine, so you could run across the odd problem or malfunction. Unity also adds a lot of unneeded clutter to 2D games, which can degrade performance.
Component-based design is a term that refers to a design that is built Unity did not invent component-entity design, but it did play a significant role in popularizing it. In a nutshell, everything in the game is an object to which you may connect several components, each of which controls a different part of the item’s behaviour and logic.
You’ll need to utilize C# to get the most out of Unity. The good news is that Unity is so extensively used—among both amateur and professional game developers—that there are thousands of excellent Unity tutorials available online to help you get started. Unity also provides a number of in-depth video series for beginners, as well as good documentation.
As long as you produce less than $100,000 in annual income from your games, the Personal plan is absolutely free and does not restrict any engine functionality. Up to $200,000 in yearly sales, the Plus plan is required, and it also grants the editor access to the sought “black theme”. Then you’ll need the Pro plan, which allows you to earn a limitless amount of money.
3. Godot Engine
Godot, like Unity, allows you to make both 2D and 3D games. Godot’s support, on the other hand, is significantly superior to Unity’s. The 2D element of this free game creation software was meticulously planned from the beginning, resulting in improved performance, fewer defects, and a more organized workflow.
Design based on a scene. Godot’s game architecture is unique in that everything is broken down into scenes—but not the sort you’re thinking of. A scene in Godot is a grouping of items such as sprites, noises, and/or scripts. After that, you may merge several scenes into a larger scene, and then those scenes into even larger scenes. This hierarchical design approach makes it simple to keep organized and make changes to individual parts at any time.
Godot maintains scene elements with a drag-and-drop mechanism. But each piece may be enhanced using the built-in scripting system, which employs a unique Python-like language called GDScript. It’s simple to learn and entertaining to use, so even if you’ve never coded before, you should give it a shot.
Godot may be used on a variety of platforms, including Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and HTML5. There are no additional purchases or permits required, however certain limitations may apply (like needing to be on a Mac system to deploy a Mac binary).
Godot is the only tool on our list that is completely free to use. Because it’s released under the MIT License, you’re free to use it as you like and sell the games you create. You may even download and edit the engine’s source code! (The engine is written in the C++ programming language.)
4. GameMaker Studio 2
GameMaker Studio 2, like Construct 3, allows you to design whole games using only a drag-and-drop interface for variables and game logic. But, unlike Construct 3, GameMaker Studio 2 gives you greater power because of its Game Maker Language, which is a flexible C-like programming language.
Without having to change your code, you can export your game to a variety of platforms and formats, including Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5, Android, iOS, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and more. Unfortunately, the free version does not support exporting to any platforms.
GameMaker Studio 2 is a completely redesigned version of Game Maker: Studio, which was first released in 1999. It’s now one of the most widely used and active free game creation engines accessible. At regular intervals, new versions with feature upgrades are issued.
The free version can be used indefinitely, but the complexity of your games is limited. The Creator plan, which costs $39 a year, allows you to export to both Windows and Mac. Individual exports can be unlocked with a one-time permanent purchase of $99 for desktop, $149 for HTML5, $149 for Amazon Fire, and $399 for Android/iOS. Each export for the Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One costs $799 per year.
To add custom logic, use Defold’s code editor, or use the graphic and scene editors to drag elements directly into your game.
The greatest free game creation tools, like Defold, allow you to export to a variety of platforms. You can Publish your game on Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, Steam, HTML5, and Facebook, among other platforms.
Like GameMaker Studio 2, Defold supports a host of advanced features from a setup without the further configuration required.
Although the engine has good 3D capabilities, it is designed primarily for 2D production. You’ll have access to 2D sprites and map editors, 3D models and meshing, and a variety of particle effects thanks to a component-based architecture. These are only a few of the available features and technology; to fully appreciate Defold’s capabilities, you’ll have to test it out for yourself.
Defold is open-source and free to use as long as you purchase their license and follow the terms of the license. Defold does not charge commissions and is always free to use, regardless of how popular your game is.