Game apps created a long time ago used to be chunks of manually written codes. They were complicated. Making things move on the screen along with managing the graphics and adding features with the help of text inputs only aren’t easy at all.
These days, things have changed. You may still need a little coding knowledge to make professional games with the latest features. But, for starters, there are software that help you create games without any codes or requiring programming skills.
Does Game Development Require Coding?
It isn’t a necessity. In fact, with the presence of powerful engines like Unity and Game Maker Studio, you are able to create entire games without a single line of code. But if you are serious about the game development business and are looking to take it as a career, you will need to have substantial programming skills.
Having some coding knowledge will help you know what’s happening behind the scenes. It will make it easier for you to tweak elements in the game when you have to, as coding will always be more accurate than drag-and-drop. It gives you better control over the game you are developing.
You can refer to one of our previous articles, How to Become a Mobile App Developer, if you are looking to take mobile app development as a career.
How Difficult is it to Program a Game?
Game development is one of the most difficult types of programming. It requires you to do a lot of things – planning, designing graphics, coding (or drag-and-drop), and more. All of these game development phases demand a lot of dedication and hard work.
Game development is one of those fields that you can take only if you sincerely love what you are doing. Creating a single game is one thing. It will take you hours to master the craft until you can build everything that your mind can imagine. So, the real question is whether you have the patience and drive.
How Do You Make a Game App?
We look at the general process of creating a game app:
Develop an Idea
Take your time. You need to let your mind run free. Remember, it is not only about the breathtaking graphics or game mechanics. A good idea will overtake all of that.
We take an example of two games. Asphalt 9 and Hill Climb Racing. Both are racing games, but Hill Climb Racing is different in the sense that it has a third-person view, and people need to balance the car, which requires concentration and thus, is addictive.
We are not saying Asphalt isn’t a good game. It may be the most stunning car racing game ever produced for mobiles. Hill Climb Racing isn’t close to Asphalt’s graphics or interface. But when it comes to the number of downloads, Hill Climb Racing has more than 500 million while Asphalt is way behind with only 10 million.
Most of the successful games like Angry Birds, Flappy Bird and Temple Run have numbers to boast because of their ideas. Their developers gave people a new experience. Thinking out of the box, they changed in one way or another people’s conventional view about games. You will need to do the same.
Decide if it is 2D or 3D
Another step is deciding if the game should be in 2D or 3D. The idea is to make the game look and feel right, and even if 3D is more advanced, it may not always be the right decision.
Creating a 3D game needs more resources and powerful systems. A 3D game may seem unnecessary in some cases. Flappy Bird is a great example. No matter how many studios have copied the game and some even making it 3D, the original 2D version has always been the best.
In some cases, games may need to incorporate 3D objects in a 2D environment. For example, the popular game Fruit Ninja uses 3D fruits in front of a plain 2D background.
Choose a Platform
The next step is choosing a platform. You can create a game natively for one environment, or you could also go for cross-platform or web applications.
A native app is one that has been created explicitly for one operating system. On the other hand, a cross-platform game can run on more than one operating system, and a web-based application can directly run on web browsers.
We have an article, Native vs Hybrid App Development, where you can get a complete idea of all these concepts.
Code the Game
Learning Java is the baseline for most game programmers because it is a simple dynamic language with a lot of applications. Also, people choose Java because it is similar to another programming language for games, C++, which gives better control of the hardware. It is easy to learn them side by side.
Games like Star Wars Galaxies and Runescape were created in Java while Counter-Strike and Football Pro use C++. As you learn Java and C++, you will find it simpler to learn other languages.
Other languages you can learn are C# and Swift (for iOS).
You can also choose to use game engines to create your games instead of coding. We talk about it now.
How to Make a Game Without Coding
You need to install a game engine that allows you to design and create game elements with drag-and-drop or with point-and-click. Instead of having to write codes, you can work with the Graphical elements on your screen. You may not be able to create something like Pubg or GTA San Andreas without using actual codes. However, you can still learn, play around, or even create a popular game if you have a simple yet viable idea.
These are the engines that you can download to start making games without coding:
GameMaker Studio 2
Their slogan being “Making Games is for Everyone”, Game Maker 2 studio lets people of all backgrounds and expertise level build excellent playable games. They’ve rightfully claimed – on their website – that they have done everything possible to make the development process simple and give you the resources so there are “no limits to what you can achieve”.
The Game Maker 2 Studio platform is mostly drag-and-drop and also comes with a built-in scripting language which will help you to understand the actual code or even edit them if you have some basic knowledge. Also, on their website, they have many essential tutorials which will be enough for you to learn and start creating games.
You can use the tool to create games for every platform, including IOS, Android, PC, and even Nintendo and gaming consoles. There are three versions of the software, including the Creator, Developer, and Console, and their price varies along with the features. On top of that, you can also get a Free Trial for 30 days.
Official Link: https://www.yoyogames.com/
Unity already had more than 5.5 million registered users in 2016. Also, according to Unity CEO, people download 2 billion copies of unity games every month. These two stats show how popular and preferable Unity has been as a game engine around the time.
The game creation tool is entirely free for every kind of profit use until the developer makes more than $100k a year. Once you do, you will have to pay $1,500 for the Unity Pro license to continue with their services.
Official link: https://unity.com/
GameSalad’s main initiative is to help people learn computer science by creating games. Even if the proposition may not sound too appealing to many, you can’t underestimate the tool.
GameSalad lets you create amazing 2D games for mobile phone platforms, including iOS, Android and Windows. You can also publish the games on Amazon KindleFire, Mac OS and Tizen. Furthermore, they have a platform called the “GaleSalad Arcade”, where GameSalad users can upload their games, play them, and learn from each other. Built on an “If This, Then That” logic, GameSalad is a compelling program, letting people with no programming knowledge brag about the games they created.
You can initially try GameSalad for free and later opt to buy the Basic or the Pro version. The prices are affordable, and you get all the rights to the games you produce.
Official Link https://gamesalad.com/
Conclusion: The basics of creating a game app are just like developing any other apps; you need to plan, look for an idea, create and publish. Learning to code is the best way to move forward in the business, but you can also create basic games with no coding skills at all. You will need a lot of perseverance and patience, as it takes time for a person to be an outstanding game developer.