Game Development Software

“Game Development Software” comes in many varieties and at various price points.  But what are these so-called game makers?  Traditionally games are made with a programmer who writes the code that controls the entire game.  Graphics handling was coded as well as sound and every minute detail of the game was created each and every time.  This problem was simplified by the creation of “libraries” and later “.dll” files (which are still libraries, btw.) which are shared code or “functions” to handle the commonly associated tasks that are used in most games.  But you still had to learn how to make your program talk to these library files which meant having to learn the name of the “event calls” or “function calls” that they use to perform the associated tasks.

Programming Example

Programming Example

On top of that, you had to manage the graphics and multitude of other files, like sounds and music, within the code itself which meant you had to remember and type in the files’ names each time you used them.  Testing your game required you “compile” your programmed code into the language that the computer knows which is called “Assembly”. (Note that some programmers write their games and software directly in the Assembly language, which is even more difficult than using other languages.)

Using this method is very time consuming due to the fact that usually programs would have thousands of lines of code which would have to be examined if an error has occurred. After correcting said error, you would have to recompile and test again.

Game makers simplify this process as much as they possibly can.  Imagine if you took all those libraries and combine them into a ready to use software that generated the code for you.  Now all you have to do is set up the logic of the events, collisions, and triggers.  In essence you are telling your game how to behave based on it’s observations as to what is happening at that moment within the game.  

Event Editor in Stencyl

Event Editor in Stencyl

Instead of programming, game making software allows you to “script events” which will handle what the game will do based on conditions and trigger states. For example: Lets say that you want to check to see if the player has made it to a particular spot in the level of your game within a certain amount of time.  The game maker will check to see what time it is and if the player is at the location you have specified.

It can look something like this:

  1. If the player is not at the location and time remains you can ignore the event and continue on.
  2. If the player is not at the location and time is up, player loses a life and the level restarts.
  3. If the player is at the location and time remains, player gains points and next area is loaded.

 Most of these game making packages allow the user to construct and easy to follow flow chart of events in order to control the bulk of your game.  Problems can be found in using most of these game making software.  The biggest is performance.  They tend to be interpreted programs, meaning they have to read their own code and pass it to the computer in it’s own language instead of the computer reading it directly.  This can cause slow execution of your game and possibly tie up resources on your user’s computer.  One game creation solution that is said to avoid this complication is “Game Develop”.

So instead of writing code you are now able to use an event editor (which varies from software to software) to create your games.  Another important thing to note is that these are “object” orientated in nature and are handled by the game maker’s game engine itself.  This saves you time from creating unique identifiers for every object you can and will have within game.

Hover your mouse over the navigation bar to get more information on the game development software we have covered.  Don’t forget to click on your selection and enjoy!


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