Beyond a developers knowledge in code or their skill with designing characters or creating stories, a developer still requires software to merge all that and form it into a product. From the most obvious being a game engine to also the smaller steps in creating and editing content, like code editing software, imaging software, sound production tools, and game frameworks. I’m going to take you through some of the options available when it comes to engines and all those other helpful tools. I’ll give you examples of what some of these tools helped to create, and in doing so, I hope this will help both veteran developers and new developers who are just getting into the industry in deciding on how to approach their games.
CryEngine is an expert tier and powerful engine with a huge facet of features. It is 100% royalty free and costs a minimum of $9.90 per user each month, which gives access to full source code and a marketplace similar in vein to that of Unity and Unreal Engine. A popular game to use CryEngine in the indie community is Miscreated, an open world multiplayer survival game with similarities to H1Z1 and DayZ.
Construct 2 is an HTML5 game engine that focuses on the creation of 2D games. It doesn’t require code knowledge and is GUI-heavy to help lower the difficulty barrier and help as many people as possible regardless of skill level. Designed for indies and hobbyists as well as designers and visual artists. There is a free version of the engine, although if you are wanting to create a fully fledged product, prices start from $137.99 for a personal license and $449 for a business license. That exactly on the cheap side but this is why a free edition is there to test out features. A great example of this engine is the arcade racing top down shooter The Next Penelope.
Clickteam Fusion is designed for speed and functionality and also is friendly for those who are not strong with programming languages. Previously known as Multimedia Fusion, the engine has been used to create some hugely successful games such as the Five Nights and Freddy’s series, Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures, and The Escapists.
Monogame is an open source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. This will allow XDA developers to build a game in Monogame and successfully port it to multiple platforms. Thousands of games have being built with Monogame, many of them very successful, such as: Axiom Verge, Skulls of the Shogun, Neurovoider, and Towerfall Ascension.
Previous Articles in which we cover:
We have an in-depth look into Unreal Engine written by
Another article on Unity by BSM and written by yours truly located here.
We wrote an article pertaining to RPG Maker just last week which can be found here.
Notepad++ is a powerhouse of a text editor, Very popular with programmers, but even more popular with anyone that would usually need use of the standard notepad. Multiple code languages are color coded for ease of viewing and makes work a lot easier. The speed of Notepad++ is exceptional—it can process larger files with ease—and there is support for unknown file types: even if a file is full of raw data, Notepad++ will try its best to open and display what it contains.
A much more professional code/text editor aimed more at programmers alone—and does come at a cost. Sublime Text comes with features like a distraction free mode, multiple selections, command palette, split editing and the ability to customize anything within the app. Has a freemium version, but continued use will require a license for $70 USD.
A free, open source, cross platform audio editor that supports multi track recording and editing with support for multiple formats. Lacks any advanced functionality but for a novice user to edit basic audio files, it does the job.
A complete software audio production solution. FL Studio allows you create, edit, and master audio whether specifically for a soundtrack or for running a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). It supports midi controllers and VST plugins, allowing for an endless stream of content possibilities. I personally use FL Studio for my own personal hobby work; in comparison to similar applications (like Ableton Live), I find it to be user friendly. It will cost money to gain access, starting from as low as $99 up to $899 for a version with all plugins.
Hopefully this article has pointed you new developers in the right direction, and for the seasoned devs, maybe you’re interested in trying out a new engine! Want to give a shoutout to your own personal favorite tool or engine? Do so in the comments!