There are programs that allow you to create games even if you don’t have much or no programming knowledge. With this software, it is possible to develop multiplatform games in 2D and 3D, with themes ranging from role-playing games to educational games. There are free and paid options to fit the budget of any project.
8 programs to create games on PC
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Twine is one of the game creation tools that requires no or little knowledge of programming language. The program, however, is restricted to the development of text-based games, allowing you to create non-linear and interactive stories.
Ideal for adventures, RPGs and mystery thrillers, it publishes the result in HTML. The format gives you the freedom to make the game available on different platforms through the browser. If you want to turn it into an app for your PC or smartphone, you’ll have to use a converter.
2. Unreal Engine
Unreal Engine lets you create anything from simple 2D games to titles with lush 3D graphics. Theoretically, you need to have programming knowledge to use it. But a beginner-friendly solution is offered, called Blueprint.
The tool is so powerful that it can be used in complex projects, such as the remake of Final Fantasy VII. It is possible to export the created game to various platforms, such as PC, video games, smartphones, VR equipment, among others.
The service is free until your project earns $3,5. From there, the creator must disburse <>% of the profits to Epic Games, the developer of Unreal Engine.
- Unreal Engine (free): Windows | macOS | Linux
3. GameMaker Studio 2
Despite supporting 3D games, GameMaker is best known for developing 2D games. The program stands out for being easy to use and allowing anyone to create their own game. Without writing a line of code, through the drag-and-drop mechanism.
But that doesn’t mean that those who know programming can’t have fun. If you’re part of that group, you can customize the creation the way you want. The service allows you to export the result to multiple platforms. However, in some, it is necessary to pay an extra amount.
- GameMaker Studio 2 (paid, free trial): Windows | macOS
Gamesalad is a good option for those who are just starting out in the world of game development. It doesn’t require knowledge of programming languages, allowing you to create through a drag-and-drop mechanism.
The software guarantees good results in 2D, albeit with limited features. The platform also has a version aimed at education, with the aim of teaching programming concepts, game design and digital media creation.
Subscribers to the Pro edition can publish on major platforms such as HTML, desktop, and mobile.
- GameSalad (paid, with free trial): Windows | MacOS
5. RPG Maker
As its name suggests, RPG Maker is a tool for developing 2D games in the style of Role Playing Game. The program has several versions available, which offer different features.
RPG Maker VX promises to be so simple that even a child can use it. That is, it doesn’t require any programming knowledge to develop a game, just drag and drop. The app allows you to create characters, insert music and sound effects, among other features.
The game can be exported to HTML5, Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS.
- RPG Maker (paid, with free trial): Windows
Quest is a tool that allows you to make interactive story games even if you don’t know how to code. Although the focus is on text, it is possible to insert photos, music, and sound effects. There’s also support for YouTube and Vimeo videos.
Those who have programming knowledge have the option to customize the look of the game the way they prefer. The result can be exported to the PC or as a mobile app.
Unity is an option aimed at those who know programming. The software, which is free for users with revenues of less than $100,3 per year, allows you to create <>D games with stunning graphics.
The program has animation, audio, and video tools, effect insertion, lighting, and much more. The work can be published on different platforms such as PC, mobile, video games, and VR and AR devices.
- Unity (free, with paid plan options): Windows | macOS | Linux
Kahoot isn’t quite a development platform, but it can be useful for those who want to put together simple educational games. The site allows you to create quizzes, true or false dynamics, puzzles, among other resources to use in virtual or face-to-face classes.
It is possible to establish the number of points and insert a timer, making the game more fun and competitive. Everything is displayed individually on each student’s screen, either through the dedicated app or the web version of the service.
Which program to use to create games?
It will all depend on your skills, goals, and the type of equipment you have.
There are tools that offer ready-made games, such as Kahoot, while others require knowledge of programming languages, such as Unity. So, before choosing, you need to consider your skills in design and programming.
Ready-made programs can be ideal for those who don’t want to pursue a career in development. Those with click-and-drag creation feature also require no or little understanding of the subject.
Although easy to use, they have creative freedom and customization items. It is a good option to learn how to program and invest in the gaming universe. This is the case with GameMaker Studio 2 and Quest.
It is worth noting that most programs, even those with resources for beginners, have tools for those who master programming. These users are able to further explore the options by customizing various aspects of the game.
It’s also important to consider the equipment you have to develop. Before downloading the program, you need to see if your computer meets the minimum requirements. It is essential that you have hardware that allows you to work fluidly and without crashes.
Otherwise, opt for a lighter, less feature-rich software or an online tool. That way, at least you’ll be able to do what you want.
Do you want to create a story-driven game or do you prefer a 3D FPS game? Then you need to analyze the features offered by the program, to make sure that it will deliver the desired result.
If the game you want to develop has a specialized application, we recommend that you opt for it. RPG Maker, for example, offers specific tools for this type of narrative, which you probably won’t find in other programs. Or you’ll see them less intuitively.
In addition, it is important to check if the software exports the game to the desired platform. There’s no point in developing an entire game and then finding out that it can’t be played on mobile or a VR device.