Making top 2D games with the GameMaker: Studio game engine is easy. No code or programming required Become a Hero class GameMaker. These licences enable you to publish your amazing games to Xbox One, PS4, & Nintendo Switch. From $399. Education. There are over 1,000 institutions using GameMaker to teach STEM subjects to learners of all ages, from middle school upwards. Learn More. System requirements. Creator Windows. Gives you access to all GameMaker Studio 2 features, and enables you to publish games to Windows with a GameMaker Studio 2 splash screen. Comes with a 30% discount when upgrading to Desktop. More info.
Making games is hard. The more you know about the process, the more miraculous it seems that games get made at all. As former PC Gamer writer Tom Francis when he was making Gunpoint: "The most useful way I've found to think of it is this: Your game is fucking insane. It is a mental patient. It has completely lost its mind, and to make it behave in any kind of reasonable way, you have to be expecting every sensible instruction to be met with screaming, preposterous bullshit." While it's easy to feel paralyzed by the thought of learning to design and program your own game, we asked quite a few indie devs for their advice and they all offered the same advice for beginners: just do it.
Jump in, no matter how scary it is. To help you take that first exhilarating (and inevitably frustrating—but also, probably, rewarding!) dive into game development, we've devised this handy list of 2D game engines for developers who are still new to programming. Paired with developer recommendations, hopefully this will serve as the push you need to get started.
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 destination if you want to get into game development.
The platform allows creators to use the tool's easy-to-learn drag-and-drop interface, or work hands-on with the engine's own scripting language, GML. We talked to several developers who've made popular games in GameMaker, who shared their own experiences with the tool. The Pros Mark Essen, creator of Nidhogg and Nidhogg 2, says GameMaker is great for beginners because scripting is pretty open-ended, and Yoyo Games has and guides to help folks get set up quickly.
A also offers add-ons to customize the engine to build a platformer or top-down RPG. Alx Preston, the mind behind Hyper Light Drifter, says that the GameMaker community is a huge asset. He notes that young developers should be "...learning the best places to get support in the community and the best tricks to use for the engine to achieve what you want—usually by going to the community as a resource." The Cons Of course, you might not be making a Steam-ready game right off the bat. "Because GameMaker is so forgiving with its code, projects can get messy very quickly," Essen says.
"I like that in the beginning stages of a project you can iterate quickly and focus on the game design, but down the line this will bite you in the butt if you don't maintain some personal organizational standards!" Duncan Drummond, the creator of beloved roguelike Risk of Rain, also noted that GameMaker's ease of use can come back to haunt developers.
"It's very easy and fast to develop, but does come at a performance cost if done incorrectly," he says. Drummond also noted that GameMaker doesn't translate to any other engines, so if you're looking to make the jump to Unity or another engine down the line, this might not be the tool for you.
Beginner's Advice "Don't forget to delete your work! Starting over frequently is a great way to work your design muscles." — Mark Essen, Nidhogg "Get started! Get involved, get as much help as you can. Just make work, even if it's bad. The more mistakes you make the more you'll learn." — Alx Preston, Hyper Light Drifter "Just start! It's fun and relatively easy—and doesn't really cost you much but time." — Duncan Drummond, Risk of Rain 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, and while it has impressive 3D capabilities, there are dozens of fantastic 2D games built in the engine, too.
Unity has more of a learning curve than the other engines on this list, but with a huge community and bountiful tutorials, there are more than enough resources out there to get you off to a solid start. Unity's asset store also includes a wealth of add-ons that customize the engine for 2D development. There's Unity's free , and tools like and , which offer platforming physics, controls and abilities out of the box.
We spoke to both inkle's Joseph Humfrey and Asymmetric Publications' Victor Thompson about jumping into Unity as a new programmer. The Pros Thompson may have been used to making games the old-fashioned way, but has quickly grown to be a fan of Unity, the engine he used to create the team's latest game, West of Loathing. "After 2-3 years of using it full time, the most exciting thing for me is how quickly you can put together concepts and prototypes," he says.
"Despite having used many engines, both small and simple for personal projects as well as big and complex in the AAA industry, Unity is by far the best designed engine I've ever used, and allows me to be the most productive I've ever been." The Cons However, there are some limitations when using a single platform for all of your development needs. If you encounter a bug in Unity, you're often at the mercy of the engine's designers to fix the problem, which can involve some waiting.
"Despite publicly saying that they've put bug fixing at the top of their list of priorities, we still find editor and debugger stability a big problem at inkle," Humfrey says.
Beginner's Advice "Whatever it is you want to do, try to shape it in your head as a thing you want to make, rather than a skill you want to have. It's useful and rewarding to know how to do things, but in the long term I think people get more out of setting a goal, learning the things that they need in order to achieve that goal, and then reaching the goal." — Victor Thompson, West of Loathing In early 2017 we wrote about , and how the engine has become a go-to for aspiring indie developers.
But there are also some other tools you should check out: , which is open source and cross-platform , a tool designed for making games without programming Price and License: Free Best for: 2D Visual Novels, Simulation Compatible with: Python Notable games: Long Live the Queen, Analogue: A Hate Story Ren’Py is an easy-to-learn open source engine.
While the tool does require some programming, you really only need to know how to use a text-editor and photo editing software to get started. It’s a useful gateway to Python for newcomers. Here’s what Georgina Bensley, creator of Long Live the Queen, had to say about Ren’py.
The Pros "Ren'Py is open source and cross-platform, which opens up a broad range of opportunities for dedicated users," Bensley says.
"I also consider it a plus that it is beginner-friendly but still requires looking at and editing script files, rather than a graphical drag-and-drop interface, because I think it's useful to get people over that hurdle of thinking that code is scary." Ren’Py is also a good tool if you feel overwhelmed by the sheer prospect of building a game from scratch: "One of the biggest roadblocks faced by people who've never made any sort of game before is simply the belief that coding is 'too complicated' and not something that they would be able to do.
Being able to get a simple game up and running quickly helps get new developers over that hurdle, even if visual novels are not something they intend to make in the future. Once you've made something that other people can play, even something simple, it can change the way you feel about yourself and your ability to do things." The Cons Ren’Py is a bit limited in support for graphical and mechanical features. If you’re looking to create games with 3D, Live2D, collision detection and other bells and whistles, you might want to look elsewhere before getting started.
Beginner’s Advice "Don't be afraid to try, it's easier to get started than you think. Don't be afraid to ask for help, there are a lot of other people out there who have been where you are and can offer tips, or who are looking for projects themselves and might want to join you. Don't assume that something is impossible until you've at least talked about it." Price and License: Free Best for: Text-based adventure games Compatible with: Unity, C#, HTML Notable games: 80 Days, Sorcery!
ink is a good, free supplement to Unity if you're seeking an easy way to write branching dialogue and narratives. It's easy to learn, using markup instead of script, and it integrates with Unity smoothly thanks to the engine's built-in integration. ink was built as "middleware," according to inkle's Art and Code Director Joseph Humfrey—after writing an ink script, it's expected you'll plug it into a larger game within Unity.
However, developers are also welcome to use the Inky Editor to export a game to the web. The Pros Writing extensive narrative with branching paths can get messy, so ink is an excellent tool to ensure you don't get lost along the way. "This allows writers to use Inky to write their dialogue and narrative text in a format that's a lightweight interactive markup," Humfrey says. "The ink engine running within Unity can then read these scripts, and produce text that can be presented by the game." Its open nature also comes in handy when creating more ambitious projects.
Humfrey notes, "The text that's produced by the ink engine doesn't even necessarily need to be presented literally. For example, in Heaven's Vault, the ink engine produces a dynamic film script that's interpreted by the game and presented more like an interactive graphic novel or adventure game." ink also happens to be a great tool for people who are more interested in writing stories for games, as opposed to pure programming.
"...There are increasingly a lot of interactive writers who have been using ink," Humfrey adds. "Where The Water Tastes Like Wine is a game by one of the makers of Gone Home and is using ink.
It has a large team of well known writers including Leigh Alexander, Emily Short and Cara Ellison. So increasingly, if you're a writer interested in game development, ink could be a good way to get started." The Cons ink is best used to complement games made within Unity, rather than as a standalone engine. Humfrey says, "ink isn't an alternative to Unity—it's complementary.
In fact, ink is one of the only interactive fiction authoring languages that was specifically designed as middleware." Beginner's Advice "The most common advice is that you should make a demo game, and I still believe that to be best advice. For artists, make sure you've got an awesome portfolio that shows what you're good at, and hides what you're not good at—only show your best stuff.
So, get out there and make stuff!"
best 2d game maker software - Buildbox
"Game development in today's technology arena requires a fast paced environment capable of working with many platforms. Gone are the days of developing only for a console or only a computer game, now you must be able to put games on computers, consoles, the web, and mobile devices. And you must be able to do it quickly. GameMaker Studio 2 is the perfect environment for today's game developer." "Game maker Studio 2 is the best 2D game engine solution you can think of.I have used it before and I was not disappointed.It allows you to export your game directly to windows desktop,Android TV,PLAYSTATION 4,Mac OS X,HTML5 and many more.Its awesome and all you need to do is to try,You can even try it for free!!" "2D games are some of my favorite games.
I've never had any computer programming experience and I've always wanted to make my own 2D game. I found this game creator easy to use and had my first game up and running within the hour. I did not even have to know any programming.
I can export my game to IOS, Android or other platforms. It has opened up a new world of 2D game creation for me." "GameSalad creator is a great, simple, easy game creation toolkit that helps even the most neophyte developers create, design, develop, and release their work.
The fact that I can include revenue models, such as in-app purchases and ads means that, even though I have to pay per month to use it, means I can make that money back. My only issue is that it's subscription-based software; I feel like I'd prefer to just pay once for it and then be able to take my time developing." This is a comprehensive list of great 2D game engines that have been tried, tested, and recommended by 203 people like you. Have a look at these 15 software, read what other users say and: • Get the solution that best fits your needs • Vote for your favorite answer and give your opinion • Suggest a new solution WHAT IS THE MEANING 2D or also known as Two-Dimensional is a shape that has only two dimensions.
It has no thickness and is only comprised of length and height. DID YOU KNOW Did you know that 2D was the most common graphical style of game until the mid-1990s?
According to, 2D games are shown from only one viewpoint, typically either from the top (top-down games like Contra and numerous shooting games) or the side (side-scrolling games like Mario and Sonic, or other shooting games, some of which use both perspectives).
Video games started earnestly back in the 70s wherein games such as arcade smash Pong and the first ever video game console Magnavox Odyssey were released.
Since technology was rapidly moving, several more systems were developed and graphics were a little more than white pixels on a black background during that time. By the end of the decade, graphics had a quite improvement in terms of more pixels and more varied colors. One of the best examples of an improved is Donkey Kong, it was developed by the Shigeru Miyamoto in 198. Its gameplay focuses on maneuvering the character across a series of platforms while constantly dodging and jumping over obstacles.
Donkey Kong was just one of the many games invented that are truly known as one of the originals. • "Unity is definitely a competent game engine though it's not really a 2D engine. While it is capable of creating a 2D aesthetic, the engine actually overlays 2D layers in 3D space in order to create a 2D game.
So while the engine itself is good, I don't think it would be accurate to think of Unity as a 2D game engine." "Monogame is definetly the very best 2D game engine available. Once I downloaded and installed it I stayed awake for well over 24 hours playing games that I used to play on PlayStation on my PC! Before I had found Monogame I tried some other 2D game engines and with those ones I probably spent over 24 hours just to try to get them to work!" "I love making my own games and was looking for the best 2D game engine.
I found out about Godot Engine and decided to try it. Wow, I'm impressed. It does everything I need it to do, both with 2D and 3D games. It's open-source, which is awesome. I just love all the various features included with it. I strongly recommend it if you're a game developer looking for something new and free." "I love that Godot is completely open source and free! It's one of the best 2D game engines I've used. It's very simple and clean, which makes it easy to just focus on coding.
I also liked that it was easy to learn from when I first starting using it. It may not be as well known as some other game engines, but I'd definitely recommend checking it out." "I really like the idea of BYOND.
It’s more of a niche community, but it provides tons of support for both gamers and creators. As a gamer, I felt like there was a wide variety of games to choose from, and I really enjoyed interacting with others and providing feedback to game creators.
There were a ton of helpful tutorials, and using it felt like a very involving experience." "Stencyl is such an incredibly easy, user-friendly, and vibrant game creater! I have just a small amount of coding knowledge and have been wanting to try my hand at game creation for such a long time but I had never found a good way to get started.
When I found Stencyl, I was so excited since this app gave me the basic tools that I needed to get started in game creation. I even have published a few games that my friends and I all know play!
I highly recommend!" "This 2d game engine provides an intuitive experience to those looking to enter the gaming market. Im beginning to understand now why the app store is so saturated with such low rated games filled with ads, microtransactions, and blatant ripoffs of mario bros, GTA, or minecraft. Corona seems to not appear on any top lists for 2d game engines so I cant say for sure if this is truly a good engine to use." "GDevelop is a cross-platform game creator designed to be used by everyone.
It is based on an intuitive event system, a powerful way to express the logic of games, without having to learn a programming language. Any kind of 2D games can be created. It supports Sprite objects, physics, particles engine, support for arbitrary collision masks, 9 patch objects, a platformer engine, pathfinding and most of the features of modern game engines.
Games can be exported to Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux, Facebook Instant Games or HTML5 games!" "I have had nothing but problems trying to play this game. I use chrome and I know there is some issue with my windows chrome version and java but this was crazy ridiculous. The game wouldn't load and on the occasion that I could get it to load it seemed so slow.
The frustration I felt trying to get the game to even play made me want to never try again. " "I tried using Buildbox and I wasn't very impressed. The available components all work, but they scope of what can be designed using the tool is pretty limited; you'd be better off learning something more robust, because to make something interesting in Buildbox you'll need to do a lot of work anyway." Summary Best 2D game engines Rank Solutions Type Votes Price 1 Software 29 Paid 2 Software 21 Paid 3 Software 19 Paid 4 Software 19 Free 5 Software 18 Free 6 Software 15 Free 7 Software 13 Paid 8 Software 12 Free 9 Software 10 Free 10 Software 9 Free The name and logo of Softonic are registered trademarks of SOFTONIC INTERNATIONAL S.A.
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"With GameMaker, I went from no programming knowledge to full-time developer in 2 years!" Seth Coster - Butterscotch Shenanigans - Crashlands "GMS 2 is absolutely amazing and I cannot get over how great this software is to use" David Galindo - Vertigo Gaming Inc.
- Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!! "GameMaker is really easy to use" Jordi de Paco - Deconstructeam - Gods Will Be Watching "Most definitely the best program I've used for years!" Seth Groom - Nykra "I would probably not be where I am without Game Maker" Jonatan Söderström - Dennaton Games - Hotline Miami "A fluid workflow and an absolutely beautiful work environment." Sebastian Nigro - Rock God Tycoon "It's fast to prototype anything we can think of" Alex Preston - Heart Machine - Hyper Light Drifter "GMS 2 halved my development time and makes development exciting again." Logan Foster - WaveLand "We spent only 5 weeks from zero to release" Jo-Remi Madsen - D-Pad Studio - Savant: Ascent Easy to get started Making games development accessible to everyone means taking away the barriers to getting started.
Using our intuitive ‘Drag and Drop’ development environment you can have your game up and running in a matter of minutes without ever having to write any code!
GameMaker’s built-in language (GML) helps you learn to program as you go and not jump in at the deep end of coding. Top quality without the big cost Requiring a big budget to create beautiful looking games is now a thing of the past. GameMaker allows you to implement AAA game features hassle-free. Bring your games to life with 2D physics, create a thriving player base with cross-platform network play, and create stunning visual effects using shaders.
Make Games Without Coding by Using These Engines!