Game Making Tools collective spreadsheet
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Name (click to read comment)Version numberURLDevelopment PlatformTarget PlatformsLicenseGenres/types of gamesSuggested Grade LevelsInstallationTutorialsGroup Work?One Day ExpectationsOutside Resources and Community SupportSkills LearnedIssues and Notes
Adventure Game Studio3.3.3, Mac, Linux, iOS, Androidfree, adventure games like old school Sierra or LucasArts games9+extensive series of tutorials available, including a youtube channel:
The whole series is about 400 minutes long.
There's also a 13-part text tutorial:
For fans of old-school point-n-click adventure games (King's Quest, Monkey Island, etc.). Kind of a pain to actually use, though, compared to newer apps such as Stencyl, GameMaker Studio, or Construct 2.
ARIS2 with GPS, Android just announced!free, open sourcelocation-based mobile games, tours, and interactive stories?download editor from site or itunes app store; download beta releases of client from site state that the tool mechanics can be learned in an hour or two. their training page has docs for blog, google groupGroup doesn't currently have plans to code for Android devices, though they welcome remixes of their code for other purposes.
Construct 2r206, Personal $130, Business $430top-down, side-scrollers, platformers, flexible for almost anything7+through Steam, very easy.Less than 1 hour to make first game using beginner's guide. Crashed for me 45 min in, so save often!Doesn't appear to have ability to export individual objects (and their behaviors), so more than one person editing a project is iffy.Easy to create scenes (layout) with actors and behaviors and link scenes to each other. Could get far if designer has a game design document already in hand.vibrant community forums. sharing of projects, ideas, help, resources, etc.conditional behaviors, object instancing, intance variables, layersSteps in this are 60/second. review at
CraftStudio, Mac, LinuxWindows, Mac, Linux, HTML5free basic, pro is choose your own price with minimum3D gamesdownload from site Wiki has text and video design collaborationforum, wiki, social networksBoth visual and Lua text scripting options. Building blocks. The fact that designers can work on the same project live, without having to worry about versioning, checking assets in and out, etc. makes this definitely one to watch, especially for group-based classroom use.
Cyberix 3D
Gamefroot, iOS for Profree basic, pro coming soon2D platformer5+Reminds me of GameSalad, but the games I've seen students make with this be really basic... Maybe in the right hands, this could be a contender.
GameMaker Studio, desktops, and consolesfree version has fewer features, multi-tiered pay versions that add individual features as desired; Mac version $19.99top-down, side-scrollers, platformers, flexible for almost anything8+through SteamVery text heavy tutorials built into the app. Not as well written or comprehensive as Construct 2. Able to complete first tutorial in 40 min but still some confusion.Built-in source control through the use of usernames/passwords checking in and out process.huge support due to it being on Steamobjects, instances, scripting behavior and simple AISteps in this are 30/second. review at
Godot, OSX, Linuxopen source
InkleWriter; they'll convert it to HTML, kindle or ebook file for $10 but user can then do whatever they want with that conversion including sell itinteractive fiction, choose your own adventure6+none, browser basedwebpage, 15 minutesVery easy to use; the main barrier/bottleneck is having written content ready.Not a huge forums, but team (2 people) seems relatively responsive. Also, lots of good press recently and some notable games (Sorcery! and 80 Days).branching storylines, conditional dialog/storyA bit easier to use than Twine, but also less extensible. What's nice is students can just jump right in through a broswer. A good example of what students could create is the Inkle version of Frankenstein on iOS.
Kodu1.4.64.0, XBoxfree for PC, paid for XBox2D and 3D adventure, side scroller, racing, storytelling6+download from MS Download Centerlinks to printable text pdf, video downloads on About pageSingle session lesson plan availableemail, twitter, facebook, youtube, site forum, share completed projects "creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming", uses a "visual" programming language, math module lesson plan availableDesigned for ages 8 and up and classroom use, classroom kit with lesson plans available. review:

Kodu and Gamestar Mechanic are more like game makers that come with lessons to teach kids how to make games... Not sure they should be on this list, as the others are more like actual commercial game makers.
Quest5.6.1, open sourcetext adventures?download from siteWiki has text tutorialforum, wiki, social networks, Education section in the forum for teachersstory structure developmentpost completed games to the site for players to play online or download
Ren'py6.99.4, Mac, LinuxWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Androidfree, open source novel9+ should be doable in a couple of hoursThis makes Japanese-style "visual novels," which are often dating sims--text heavy with little player choices, but that's more a genre thing than a limitation of the game platform. Examples of really good, innovative games using Ren'py include Christine Love's Digital: A Love Story and Analogue: A Hate Story.
Scratch, donations welcomestories, games, and animations4+none needed unless your system doesn't meet requirements to use on browserScratch Help has interactive tutorials and starter projects intended to be collaborative and for finished projects to be "remixed" by other designersCould easily create an interactive narrative in one dayforum; huge amount of finished projects from other designers to remixcoding, "think creatively, reason systematically, and work collaboratively"designed for ages 8 and up and classroom use.'s review
Snap! games, stories, and animations4+As an enhanced version of Scratch many of the lessons in Scratch apply. The site also contains some curriculum/lessons for learning about the specific new features in Snap!
Sploder, a suite of tools to make different types of games, but pretty rigid and no consistency between review:
Twine2.0.7http://twinery.orgWindows, Mac, Linuxbrowserfreeweb-based interactive stories, though technically, it could be completely image driven6+download filevideoshow to think about narrative visuallyCreates a URL for your interactive story. Hugely extensible through HTML, Javascript, and stylesheets, but doing all that means knowing how to do all that... Depression Quest is an excellent Twine game.
Unity3D5.1.1, MacWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Steam, browser, and consolesfree basic or paid premium2D and 3D, all genres9+download from sitethorough video and text based tutorials organized by user experience level designed with studios in mindforum and online help, large community supportThis is a serious game creation tool that many studios use. It can take years to become expert in it. Would be good for advanced students, hs-level self-directed courses, or full year-long game design courses.
Unreal Engine4.1, MacWindows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, Steam, browser, and consolesFree, with 5% royalty that starts after the first $3,000 of revenue per product per quarter.2D and 3D, all genres9+download from siteVideo and Text tutorials, as well a thorough documentation wiki and active community forums.
designed with studios in mindBy utilizing the blueprints system, and the built in project templates, students should be able to create basic gameplay funcitonality (player movement, objectives, etc.) on their first and online help, large community supportLike Unity3D, this is a professional level game creation tool that many leading game studios use. One important distiction from Unity3D is the inclusion of the Blueprints visual scripting system, which can make coding game logic within the engine an easier experience than in Unity, which requires either javascript or C# coding. Because it is a professional tool, there is no efective skill ceiling on the tool.
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