A list of game engines you can use to create your first or even millionth game.
Need an idea for a game? Try starting with my Game Design Improv app! For more ideas check out Escape Room Bot.
2D Game Engines
- BuildBox, a quick and easy way to build games (I haven’t tried it).
- Game Maker Windows, and many people recommend it. Here’s an introduction.
- Corona looks like it’s one of the more advanced options on this list. I have yet to try it.
- Construct – make games in your web browser!
- RPG Maker Obviously if you want to make an RPG this is worth looking at. Here’s an introduction.
- Scratch is a game maker for kids made by MIT.
- Stencyl. An amazingly visual way to quickly create games for flash and iOS. Cross-platform.
3D Game Engines
- Amazon Lumberyard
- Godot, open source and setting better with every release.
- Source is Valve’s in-house engine that can be used to make your own games.
- Torque3D engine
- Unity3D is a popular option and if you’re starting out in it you may want to check out this free Unity training or Unity’s own tutorials. Great for indie startups
- Unreal, a another popular choice which is also great for indies.
For a complete and incredibly long list of game engines take a look at Wikipedia’s category page.
Software for Interactive Fiction
- Twine is a good game creation tool to let you focus on writing; ideal for RPGs, interactive fiction, and other text-heavy games.
- Versu is another great deal for making a game around interactive fiction.
- StoryNexus is an online platform that permits monetization.
- Choice of Games is another online platform that permits monetization and mobile apps.
- Inform 7 is free software allowing you to write in plain language.
- Belle – visual novel maker is open source and free software.
- Ren’Py another visual novel maker which uses python on the back-end.
Can’t find the application you’re looking for? There’s always Wikipedia’s category page on video game creation software.
All of these can be used to make tabletop games of all types. For keeping up to date on all things table top check out BoardGameGeek. To publish your game on-demeand check out The Game Crafter.
Hi Adam, I am the Director for a Middle School summer program in Southern California. I was looking to get a game design class going. What do you think the best software/program is for that age level? What kind of experience would someone need to teach a course like this?