Want to make a game but don’t know how to code? Here are a few free, easy to use engines to check out.
It’s no secret that making a game usually requires a solid understanding of computer programming. Unfortunately, not all of us have a knack for programming, so here are a few free, easy to use engines there that you can use without knowing any programming languages.
These can’t truly replace the flexibility and offerings of computer programming, but it’s great for those who want to make small indie games or just check it out.
I personally think that Stencyl is one of the easiest engines to use. If you want to start making games without coding knowledge and you’re looking to start off easy.
Instead of typing out codes, Stencyl functions on drag and dropping code blocks that can be found in the game engine. Not only that, it has an extremely simple, user-friendly interface. Unlike other platforms you won’t be overwhelmed by loads of icons or UI when using this engine.
The downside of using Stencyl is that it’s only limited to 2D games. And has low capacities, meaning that you can’t create a really big game with it or have too many frames. It’s probably best suited for creating flash games.
Ren’Py is a Visual Novel creation game engine. The engine is focused on making Visual Novels, allowing you to easily add in dialogue and choices.
Using Ren’Py will require a little bit of coding. Don’t be intimidated as Ren’py has an easy to learn script language. It’s extremely straightforward and there are plenty of tutorials online. The coding is pretty minimal, such as inserting images for backgrounds or characters. It gets a little annoying though as you have to save the picture in the project folder and then write it in the scripts.
The free version of Construct 2 offers a decent amount of functions for most people to create simple games. If you are looking for an easy and simple start, Construct is definitely recommended.
Construct 2’s user interfaces is somewhat similar to the way the UI in Windows works. So it’ll be a comfortable engine for Windows users. However, the free version may offer limited events and also some limited technical feature. Furthermore, this engine is HTML-based only, meaning games here can only be made for the browser.
GDevelop and GDevApp
GDevelop is an open source game engine that is not only just easy to use, but also contains tons of advanced features. Such as pathfinding.
This engine does not uses the drag and drop function but that does not mean coding is required for GDevelop. Instead this engine functions on features such as adding behaviour to objects and event systems. As well as allowing you to design advanced levels and interfaces.
Beside that, there is also the GDevApp which is a online game creator based on GDevelop. This allows you to create games without even installing the programme, you can do it straight on your browser. Pretty cool right? You can even develop a game in GDevApp and export it to GDevelop.
GDevelop’s flexible architecture allows you to choose if you want to create an HTML5 game that can be played on the web and exported to iOS and Android. Or even just a native game for your operating system.
Find out more and download it on their website: http://compilgames.net/
This is perhaps the most popular free and easy to use Game Engine. GameMaker is a well-developed Engine that is easy to learn. It’s beginner friendly and also provides a powerful engine for developers who wants to make larger and more complex games.
Some renowned commercial games have been made with this engine, such as Hotline Miami and a most recently, Undertale. If you are unfamiliar with those games, feel free to check them out and that might give you some motivation to try Game Maker out.
Find out more and download it on their website: http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker
Keep in mind that just because these engines are easy to use or learn, does not mean that you’ll be able to hop into it and immediately know the ropes. Just like driving a car or riding a bicycle, you’ll need to learn the basics before being able to create your game. There’s a world of forums and video tutorials for all these engines, so make sure to spend some time learning the platform before using it.
These kinds of engines are also useful to existing developers. Since they’re easy to use, developers can quickly come up with quick prototypes to test game concepts. Don’t be discouraged by the terms free and easy to use or beginners game engine. As Undertale has proven it’s all about how you use it.
We hope this list helps on your game dev journey! Let us know what if there are any other topics that you’d like us to cover, in the comments below!