Programmers can create a video game using a development tool such as Unity, GameSalad or GameMaker: Studio. Unity and GameSalad offer free services for beginning programmers.
When creating a video game, programmers first need to decide the genre of the game; the gaming platform, such as PC or mobile; and the input interface, such as keyboard or controller. Game creators must also decide whether the game should have 2-D or 3-D graphics. Unity offers advanced 3-D graphics tools in addition to 2-D and 2.5-D tools. GameMaker: Studio specializes in 2-D graphics and offers limited 3-D tools. GameSalad offers a 2-D graphics interface ideal for beginners and developers with no prior experience with program code. Developers drag and drop graphics onto the gameplay area and select from pre-made characteristics and behaviors.
After deciding the core characteristics of the game, the programmer should create a prototype, which is a rough version of the game. Programmers can use rough shapes and figures to test out the game’s mechanics.
Once the game mechanics work, the creator can flesh out the look and sound of the game with graphics and audio effects. Experienced artists can use their own artwork, and novices can use simpler pixel-based art or manipulate photographs in PhotoShop to create graphics. Creators can then use programs like Garageband to sample and create music and sounds.