The below article is a modified version of a post from my blog, Games By Design. I figured it would be helpful to you guys.
Looking for tools to build your video game? Well, I have some tools for you to help you get started. Of course, this short list is mainly for beginners as I mostly mentioned the easy to use design software without much coding involved. I may talk about the more advanced software later. If you need help with these programs, post in the software’s respective forums.
www.engine001.com – Engine 001 - A free and easy to use game creation engine that is used for making RPGs, action games, shooters and platformers (and can be used, with some work, to make arcade games). It is constantly being updated.
www.yoyogames.com - Game Maker - A shareware (limited features with the free version, 3D and more with the paid version) game creator that can reasonably build anything and is quite easy to use. To make even more advanced games, it has it’s own programming language using GML. Now available on (and able to create for) other platforms such as Mac and HTML5.
http://www.en.compilgames.net/?file=kop1.php – Game Develop - I haven’t tried this but it looks nifty. Also a bit like Game Maker but with some differences.
http://www.scirra.com/ – Construct 2 - Also similar to Game Maker, but some prefer this more. I personally have not tried it, but it has a free version (like Game Maker) so it is probably worth a shot. If you like this, check out Construct.
http://gamesalad.com/ – Game Salad - Pretty much a Game Maker for Mac. Not cheap.
http://game-editor.com/Main_Page – Game Editor - Quite similar to Game Maker in a lot of ways.
http://www.adrift.co/cgi/adrift.cgi – ADRIFT – An easy to use yet powerful piece of software for making old text adventure games.
http://www.textadventures.co.uk/quest/ – Quest – Regularly updated and free, similar to ADRIFT.
http://www.adventuregamestudio.co.uk/ – Adventure Game Studio (AGS) - I haven’t tried this one myself but is a program to make it easier to make point-and-click adventure games.
http://inform7.com/ – Inform 7- Not as easy to use as Adrift but is still recommended. You code games using natural writing! A neat programming language for sure! If you like this, you may like Inform 6.
http://2drpg.com/- RPG Makers – A set of programs designed to help you make a RPG – some are free and some are commercial products.
http://www.thegamecreators.com/ – Misc Software - A website that sells game development tools like FPS Creator, Dark Basic Pro, App Game Kit, The 3D Game Maker, etc. It also sells lots of modeling software. Some require a bit of programming knowledge, some do not. Check them out!
Once you get used to these, you can start on coding with more advanced programs or programming languages.
Well, if you have any questions, please post a comment. Post a comment as well if you know of any other easy-to-use game creation software that people may want to use. Thanks! Bookmark and enjoy, I hope this helped.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Nathan. He prefers his last name not to be known. He’s probably a high-class superspy, but we don’t mind. For a temporary amount of time, he is the editor of Indiegraph. He’s our point man for interviews, and occasionally he takes a blowtorch to a game to see whether it measures up to his standards. He runs Gamesbydesign, an IndieGraph affliate site dedicated to game design articles. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter at http://twitter.com/#!/VGR_Reviews.