Some positively reviewed game design programs include Game Maker: Studio, Unity, Twine and Game Salad. These programs offer powerful creation tools for designers of various skill levels.
Game Maker: Studio is one of the most popular design tools, offering functionality for both beginners and more advanced designers. The software’s internal programming language is fairly simple to learn and is similar to more complex languages, making it an ideal starting point for aspiring designers. The program’s drag-and-drop interface also makes it easy for novice users to create games.
Unity is a more advanced 2-D and 3-D game design program for more experienced users. The software is not free, and Unity’s complexity can be intimidating for users without programming experience. However, Unity is the program of choice for many smaller game designers due to its extreme versatility and powerful toolkit.
Twine is a very different game design tool geared toward text-based games, particularly interactive fiction. The game allows users to create expansive dialogue trees, forging branching story pathways for players to follow. This completely free software is responsible for designer Zoe Quinn’s popular game “Depression Quest.”
Game Salad is a simple tool geared mostly toward making mobile games. The program requires no coding knowledge, allowing novice users to begin creating games quickly. Its tool set can be limiting for more advanced users, but it’s ideal for those just starting out.