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22 Jan 2014

Make Games Without Programming

For the aspiring indie developer that wants to make games but doesn’t know the first thing about programming, this is certainly unfortunate. While common sense would tell you that you should learn how to program in order to make your first game, what if you just want to make your first game to see if you can actually do it? You know, to prove something to yourself. Good news aspiring indie developer, because it is certainly possible to make games without programming a single line of code. Consider the software below to develop your own games, and prove to yourself that you can indeed create your own, awesome game.

Buildbox

Game Academy’s flagship game making software, Buildbox is designed to be so simple to use, that anyone can figure out how to make a game of their very own without any need for a manual. Featuring an asset wheel that allows users to drag objects and designate their purpose in-game and a host of gameplay options for tweaking your games in every way imaginable, Buildbox makes it a cinch to create any game you desire. Complete with advanced monetization options and the ability to publish games on over a dozen platforms simultaneously, Buildbox makes it simple to create top-quality games in record time, all the while building your app empire from the ground up.

Construct 2

Scirra LTD’s Construct 2 is a Windows-based editor that allows anyone to create 2D games via an easy-to-use editor and a visual “event’ system. Allowing anyone to create HTML5-based games that can run in a web browser, Construct 2 also provides an exporter for allowing one’s game to be played via desktop executables and Facebook, as well as on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, and Blackbery devices. Additionally, the software also supports various visual effects such as realistic physics that can be implemented easily into one’s game, the ability to preview the build instantly on mobile and tablet devices via Wi-Fi, and so much more. One of the most powerful game development tools ‘sans the programming requirement,’ Construct 2 is worthy of a consideration.

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RPG Maker

We’ve all heard of Avangate’s RPG Maker – heck, it was the go-to software for every teenager when I was growing up that wanted to try their hand at developing RPGs. It has been around since 1988, yet that doesn’t mean RPG Maker is an outdated dinosaur by any means. The latest versions of RPG Maker are arguably the most impressive the product line has ever seen, sporting a vast array of graphics and audio that will allow you to get started with developing your RPG quickly and easily. In addition, the official website of RPG Maker also features a ton of quality assets, tutorials, and more, making this one of the best choices if you want to specifically design an RPG.

To The Moon was designed using RPG Maker if that tells you anything about how flexible and powerful RPG Maker actually is. A dinosaur? In terms of software, absolutely – but it’s a dinosaur that has grown smarter and better with age.

FPS Creator

Alternatively, maybe you want to create your own FPS. If this is the case, consider TGC’s FPS Creator. You will need to know fairly basic scripting for advanced customizations of your FPS, but if you want to make a standard FPS and nothing more, you can begin to make games without programming using only the editor alone. They also have a variety of assets on their site as well, allowing you to make a fun FPS that will be a delight to play.

Game Maker: Studio

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There are many programs that allow non-technical people to make games.

Remember when I mentioned that RPG Maker was the go-to software for many a teenager as I was growing up? Here’s the other go-to game development tool that everyone clamored to: YoYo Games’ Game Maker: Studio. I remember when it first hit the scene in 1999 too: it took non-coding game development by storm, and everyone wanted to learn how to use it so they could make some sick games. While it’s certainly been around a long time, this is another instance of a dinosaur growing ‘smarter and better’ with age.

Game Maker: Studio is a lot like Construct 2 in that it offers a visual editor to allow you to create your own game, yet allows advanced users to customize their game further via its own Game Maker Language (GML). Truthfully, if you are interested in learning how to program, Game Maker: Studio is a great starting point as GML will allow you to ‘get your feet wet’ when you decide to learn future languages.

If you are uninterested in learning how to program? No problem. Game Maker: Studio contains an awesome editor that allows you to create quality games for the desktop (including Mac and Linux), multiple mobile platforms such as iOS, Android, and Windows Phone, HTML5, and beyond. It’s a powerful tool that can introduce you to the world of programming or can be used by itself via its powerful editor, so give it a shot.

I’ll turn the article over to you guys. Do you prefer different game development software that doesn’t require programming? Let us know in the comments below!

10 Responses

  1. The biggest drawback to ALL of the options you mentioned is they only run on Windows machines. For people who didn’t “drink the Koolaid” and use Mac instead, one of the better options for code-less game programming is Stencyl — http://stencyl.com

    While you *can* drop down and actually write code, you don’t have to. And it’s cross-platform (like all good software) so it runs on Win and Mac and generates games for iOS, Android, Flash, Windows, Linux and Mac.

    They have a free version that allows you to publish to Flash as well as test on mobile devices, so you can get started for zero dollars.

    1. Trey Smith

      Will check out Sencyl, looks cool! We’ve made mac only game builders in the past (Project Zero and Project Mayhem), but this year we’ll unveil our first Mac and PC software. Really excited about it, it’s a game changer.

  2. Pingback : Make Games Without Programming - GameAcademy.com - appgong

  3. Steven Levy

    Nice list!

    I think its important to understand that these tools have their limitations and weaknesses. Some people may think they can make the next blockbuster with these tools without taking the time to understand the amount of work it takes even with such game making tools, it can be done but you must put in the effort. You still must have a good concept and have the discipline to see the project through. Also you should always start small, with something simple and move on to more complex projects, you will learn a lot from doing the easy things and gain confidence to more challenging things. Also probably most important read as much as you can, it can be the manual of the game making tools, the forums, the samples that came with the program always keep reading there is a lot of stuff that can help you understand the game making process and what it entails. Just because you don’t have to program doesn’t mean everything else is a piece of cake. You need time and planning to get the work done, its a lot like making a movie, you can have the best and easiest to use equipment on the planet and still make a lemon.

    Just my 2 cents. (Sorry if that was too long)

    Also found a huge list of game making tools some that don’t require programming are also included:

    http://freegameslist.weebly.com/game-creation-tools.html

  4. Carrie

    Buildbox looks impressive. I’ve been up all night looking through all of the “no coding required” make your own game options and while there is still a learning curve, right now the only one I see investing the time and energy to learn is Buildbox. I’m new and really only want to start with simple games and scale it up and this seems to be the best option. Thanks for your hard work and effort.

  5. Meh

    No just no!!

    Learn actual programming not some third party software that limits your freedom and creativity.

    Python is a great place start.

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