Making games is a hard job. A game is made even if you don’t understand how they work. As Tom Francis, a former PC Gamer writer, said when he was making Gunpoint: “You should think of it this way: Your game is so crazy that I can’t believe it. People who are mentally ill are in the hospital with this person. It has completely lost its mind, and to get it to do anything sane, you have to be prepared for it to yell, scream, and say things that are completely ridiculous.”
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Many indie game developers told us to just start making and programming your own games, and they all said the same thing: just do it, even if you don’t know how to do it yet. You can do it, no matter how scary it is. You can do it. To help you make your first game, we’ve put together this list of 2D game engines for people who are still learning how to write code. These engines are great for people who are still learning how to write code. Hopefully, this will give you the push you need to start making your own apps.
GameMaker Studio 2
Price and License: $100 for permanent desktop license; Free trial available
Best for: Short-format 2D platformers and RPGs; cross-platform games
Notable games: Nidhogg, Hyper Light Drifter, Undertale, Risk of Rain
GameMaker Studio 2 is your one-stop shop if you want to start making games, and it’s free. In the platform, you can learn how to use the simple drag and drop tool or write code in the engine’s own scripting language called GML. There are a lot of people who have used the tool to make well-known game to tell us about their own experiences with it.
The best people
He says GameMaker is great for beginners because it’s easy to write code, and Yoyo Games has a lot of tutorials and guides to help people get started quickly. A marketplace also sells add-ons that let you change the engine so you can make a platformer or a top-down RPG.
People who make games with GameMaker are a big help to Alx Preston, the person who made Hyper Light Drifter. They should be learning how to get help from the community and how to use the engine’s tools to get what they want, he says. He says that young developers should use the community as a resource.
The game might not be ready for Steam right away. The code for GameMaker is very forgiving, which means that projects can get messy very quickly. It’s good that in the early stages of a project, you can make changes quickly and focus on the game design, but if you don’t keep some personal organisational standards, this will come back to bite you in the butt.
In addition, Duncan Drummond, who made Risk of Rain, said that because GameMaker is so simple to use, it can be hard for people to make good games. People can make a lot of money with it, but if they do it wrong, they can lose a lot of speed. Even though GameMaker doesn’t work with any other engines, Drummond said it might not be the best tool for you if you plan on moving to Unity or another engine down the road.
Advice for Newbies
“Remember to remove your work! It’s a good idea to start over a lot to work out your design muscles.” Mark Essen and Nidhogg are two people who work for Mark Essen.
“Start now! Get as much help as you can. Work even if it’s bad. The more mistakes you make, the more you’ll learn about the subject at hand.” Alx Preston, a Hyper Light Drifter, says this:
“Start now! People enjoy it because it’s easy to do and fun to play with. It doesn’t cost you anything except time.” There is a chance that rain will happen
Price and License: Beginner’s package is free, $35/month for Unity Plus, $125/month for Unity Pro
Best for: Pretty much everything indie
Notable games: Ori and the Blind Forest, Galak-Z, West of Loathing, Cuphead
Unity is one of the main platforms for popular indie games. It has a lot of great 3D features, but there are also a lot of great 2D games made in the engine. If you want to learn how to make games with Unity, you’ll have to work harder than with the other engines on this list. With a huge community and a lot of tutorials, you’ll be able to get started right away.
Unity’s store also has a lot of add-ons that make the engine better for making 2D games. There are tools like Corgi Engine and Rex Engine that come with platforming physics, controls, and abilities already built in.
People from both inkle and Asymmetric Publications talked to us about how to get into Unity as a new programmer.
The best people
To make a game, Thompson might have used to make them the old-fashioned way. He has quickly become a fan of Unity, which is the engine he used to make the team’s new game called West of Loathing. After 2-3 years of using it full time, the most exciting thing for me is how quickly you can come up with ideas and prototypes. After using many engines, both small and simple for personal projects and complex for AAA games, “Unity is by far the best engine I’ve ever used, and it lets me be the most productive I’ve ever been.”
When you use one platform for all of your development needs, there are some limitations. People who work on Unity often have to fix bugs, which means that you might have to wait a while for them to do so. Humfrey says that even though inkle has said that fixing bugs is at the top of their list of priorities, we still have a lot of problems with the editor and debugger at inkle.
Advice for Newbies
“Try to think of what you want to do as something you want to make, rather than a skill you want to learn. A person who knows how to do things is both useful and rewarding. In the long run, I think people get more out of setting a goal, learning the things that they need to do to reach that goal, and then achieving the goal.” Victor Thompson, West of Loathing: – Victor Thompson
Godot, which is pronounced “G’dough,” is open source and free to use. It’s been praised for being very light and fast, and it can make both 3D and 2D games. In addition, it has a special language called GDScript that you can use to write code for it. If you already know Python, or if you’re a beginner, GDScript should be easy to learn. It also lets you write code in other languages, like C++ and C#. It lets you write code in other ways, like with connectable blocks. It can be used on Windows, Mac, Linux, HTML5, iOS, and Android.
On the other hand, many people have said that its tools are too restrictive, making it hard to achieve the same level of customization as other engines. Even though the engine works differently, it also has a learning curve for people who have worked with another engine.
Godot doesn’t have any best-selling games made in its environment yet, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good engine for new game developers to start with.
The Corona Engine is free to use, and it runs on the Lua programming language, which is very simple and easy to learn and use. Corona is made for making mobile games. When you make a game, you can see how it looks on a phone emulator. Corona is also useful because it allows you to make changes to the game right away. This means that the changes you make to the game are shown right away.
Corona is a bit bare bones, there is no real interface like other engines, just an IDE and the game preview. A sprite sheet is a type of file that can be used to make all of the assets and animations in the game. This can be both scary and liberating, and it can be a lot of work, too. While it’s true that Lua isn’t that hard to learn, the documentation is very well written and easy to follow.
Nobody makes big name games with Corona, but it has some popular apps, like Gunman Taco Truck and Fun Run 2, that are very popular. Even though Corona is free to use, there is a fee for some of its own integrations, like with ad providers.
RPG maker is very limited; it was made for one thing. If you ever want to make something that isn’t a 2D RPG, you should look for a different engine. However, if you want to learn how to make a 2D RPG, this is a good choice. In addition, RPG Maker has a learning curve, which might not be fun for people who like to code and make games.
An engine called RPG Maker has made a few successful games, such as Yumi Nikki and OneShot. It’s more popular as a hobby engine than as a professional one, though. There is a set price for RPG Maker MV. It and its cheaper predecessors often go on sale, though.
This is not really a game engine, but more of a framework with a lot of features but no easy way to start making games. This is a big relief for many people who are good at programming and want to get rid of the black boxes in more common game engines, but don’t want to do all the work of making their own engine. This is a big relief for many people. There are games that can be written in Java, Scala, or Clojure. It’s made for the Java platform. Being on the Java platform means that the games made with libGDX can run on a lot of different types of computers and phones.
If you’re new to programming or making games, it would be better to look for a more beginner-friendly engine than this simple framework. A lot of people might not be able to do just setting up the environment for libGDX.
There haven’t been any big changes to libGDX, even though it’s free and open source.