Slashdot has a question up titled “Ask Slashdot: Tools For Teaching High School Kids How To Make Games?” which asks what would be a good game engine to use with a high school class to make some games. Here is a rundown of all of the game creators we’ve posted about on this blog so far. I really recommend the first three (Gamestar, Sploder, and Pulado) for getting your game design on and then the second four (Stencyl, Construct 2, GameSalad, and Unity 3d) for getting your game programming on.
http://www.gamestarmechanic.com/ GameStar — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.sploder.com/ Sploder– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pulado.com/ Pulado (make your own games) — web client — publishes to web/flash/cloud — free
http://www.stencyl.com/ Stencyl — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/ios — free
http://www.scirra.com/ Construct 2 — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.gamesalad.com/ GameSalad — desktop mac client — publishes to web/HTML5/android/ios — free and paid
http://www.unity3d.com/ Unity 3D — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid
http://marketsmaster.org/flash_professional_8/ Flash 8 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android — free and paid
http://www.adobe.com/cfusion/tdrc/index.cfm?product=flash Flash Pro CS5.5 — desktop client — publishes to web/flash/android/ios — free and paid
http://www.gamegonzo.com/create/ GameGonzo — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.yoyogames.com/gamemaker/html5 GameMaker — desktop client — publishes to web/HTML5 — free and paid
http://www.sharendipity.com/ Sharendipity– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.pictogame.com/ PictoGame– web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://scratch.mit.edu/ Scratch — desktop client — publishes to web/java — free
http://starwarsgamecreator.cartoonnetwork.com/ Star Wars — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
http://www.nick.com/games/spongebob-game-builder/ SpongeBob — web client — publishes to web/flash — free
I have also includes links to Flash 8 and Adobe Flash Pro CS5.5. Flash 8 is much more suited to artists and simple coding while Flash Pro CS5.5 is the latest version which is more suited to programmers and also publishes games to Android and iOS. There are all kinds of tutorials for building games straight in Flash (without any other frameworks).
One of the big boys on the block (that I know of) in the game creator business is Sploder. Sploder has been around since mid 2006 and I think they literally have tens of thousands of games built with their game creator. Originally it started out with one game creation wizard where you can create classic shooter type of games. Lately however they have expanded to include four different game creators: Platform Creator, Physics Puzzle Maker, The Algorithm Crew, and Classic Shooter. Another good thing about Sploder is there is no download AND you can even start creating games without registering. Sploder generates Flash games which you can embed on your own site or you can play them in your Android web browser.
Classic Shooter gives you one space ship which shoots and then you build out your level for it to fly around it. It has all kinds of things it can shoot at, powerups to pick up, and levels to run through (all designed by you of coarse). It has a sci fi space them and custom graphics can not be added. Additionally it has a robot version instead of a spaceship.
The Algorithm Crew is kind of a top down dungeon maze game creator (in 3D). It has a Generate Maze button which auto builds out a maze for your players to run through (or you can build it yourself). It mainly has a sci-fi theme and custom graphics can not be added.
Physics Puzzle Maker looks like it is for creating games like Angry Birds or platform games (or really any similar physics based Flash game). It has a huge number of options and different physics actions. Not only that but it has custom graphics which you can assign to elements in your game. All of the custom graphics seem like they have to be created in an editor provided by Sploder but the editor seems to support animation as well so it isn’t too much of an issue to draw up some custom graphics (Pulado allows for custom graphics).
Platform Creator is a pretty advanced platform game creator with all kinds of different options like vehicles, caves, tunnels, armor, extra lives, guns, whips, and many more cool toys for you to add into your games. Everything is drag and drop and it has a huge number of tile graphics for you to use to customize your game. I’m not sure if they are procedurally generated via a random seed or what but I literally scrolled through thousands of tiles. There are 10-20 spacey and dungeony kind of backgrounds which remind me a lot of Samurai Jack art style. In any event this is probably by favorite game creator of the four on Sploder’s site. No custom graphics here but a wide variety to choose from.
Overall I would recommend Sploder if you are into hand crafting your levels or if the game builder IS the game for you. Check it out here.