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The Best Video Game Creators

Updated on September 8, 2014
Make your own video games with these great platforms.
Make your own video games with these great platforms. | Source

Question!

Have you ever made your own video game?

See results

Inroduction

I play a lot of games. I have always wanted to create them and while I know a little javascript to get me by, well I have never been able to make more than a number guessing game. I sought out to find some other way to make a game that didn't require me learning a complex coding language full of strange words and symbols. I have found 3 of my favorite video game creators. Each of the these platform requires no download and free to use. This means that they work directly within the browser and do not require additional software other than standard browser plugins. They also require no financial information from the user to get started which makes them great for kids.

Take note that all of the game creators are teaching you a programming languange. It is not as complex as other language such as html or JavaScript because the game creators use give their commands in plain English. This allows users that are unfamiliar with programming language to start learning the basics of programming logic without being over burdened by a complex language. Each game creator uses visualizations and intuitive tools to make complex programming much more beginner friendly.

Though there are many game makers out there for children, I wanted to make sure to include creators that will hold an adults attention as well and I think I have succeeded doing just that. I have tried all of these creators and have shared all of the games created from each of the websites. I have also outlined the how each site works, pros and cons of each site.

Sploder

Create games for free with the Sploder platform
Create games for free with the Sploder platform | Source

The Good and the Bad

Pros
Cons
Preset game types to start your project
No way to divert from the game type you started with
Drag and Drop Interface
Stuck within preset game types
Create a playable game in 5 minutes
No ability to upload your own graphics

Make an Angry Birds Style Game on Sploder

What is Sploder?

Sploder is a great website that allows you to design five different of styles of game with their premade tools. The website requires no coding whatsoever $6. It is for someone that has never created a game before. Everything you need is pre-loaded into the application. Other types of video game editors online use blocks to create pseudo code for sprites that move around on your screen. Sploder is completely different. You work directly with elements that are incorporated into your games and controlling their movements and actions is very easy and intuitive.

The builder does not require a download. You have to be online to use this builder and it can only be used on their website. Once your game is created, you can play it on their website or embed the code into your own website for your visitors to play your game.

To make this game designer perfect for beginners, there is a level system within this game builder. When a new profile is started only tools available are the tools labeled for Level 1. The idea is to play games, build games, comment on others games, and make friends so that you can learn more about the platform. These actions allow you to unlock other levels. I have not interacted with this community extensively so I do not know it's makeup. It seems geared towards children but you do not have to be a child to register. Using the tools does not require you to sign up but if you want to save and share your games, a user name has to be created. They also have lots of moderators. Users under thirteen have to use their parents email address to sign up.

Any user can choose from game types such as classic arcade and scrolling platformer to create their masterpiece. Graphics are limited though. I used their classic creator to make a free flying space game. I really liked how objectives where built into the game creator. Games without an objection are pointless so the fact that this included into the editor is definitely a plus.

Flowlab Beta

This is where you program your game,  Flowlab beta uses a visualized wiring system to create the dynamics and physics in your game.
This is where you program your game, Flowlab beta uses a visualized wiring system to create the dynamics and physics in your game. | Source

Make a Simple Game with Flowlab Beta

The Good and the Bad

Pros
Cons
Jump right in and start creating
To create unlimited games you have to subscribe to the pro version
Complete and total creative control
No included sprites, you have to make all your own which can be time consuming and requires a little knowledge on graphics editing
Ability to add additional levels to games
Some glitches during creation

What is Flowlab Beta?

This game programmer is very unique. It completely runs online and there is no way to download the game editor for offline use. This editor also features a drag and drop interface. The creator places sprites on a screen block by block. These sprites have to come directly from the creator because there are no sprites build directly into the program. This means that characters and backdrops have to be manually painted or uploaded

The user works with pseudo code to program the different game elements. I really liked how these scripts where built. It was almost like putting together a circuit board. This helps with learning the principal of abstraction

The only type of game I see really being able to be made with Flowlab is a scrolling platformer. I could completely be wrong but that was my interpretation of the software. There are also pre-made elements for running and jumping and your hazard sprites. The scroll function is also super easy to get going. It took me about two hours to come up with a short and basic game. The physics are built in to the platform creator for the most part. Adding physics to games in other creators can be a tedious process that requires lots of tweaking.

Now here is where this video game creator is different than the other two I have reviewed so far. If you want to subscribe to the pro version, you can port your game into the Apple App Store. For just $59 a year, you can host your game. I don't know if you are then given full access to your code to add advertising to it. They do not specify. Take note though that these prices will only be available during their Beta testing phase.

Scratch

Scratch Programming Platform
Scratch Programming Platform | Source

The Good and the Bad

Pros
Cons
Created by MIT
Large Learning Curve
Extremely smooth, almost gitch free platform
The program can do more than any other game creator out there I have come across which can make it confusing
The perfect tool to introduce code
Uses variables
Endless possibilities
Game development time

How To Make A Mario Style Game with Scratch

What is Scratch

Scratch is made possible through MIT and it is being used in many schools at different grade levels to introduce basic programming to younger generations. I used this video game creator in my own computer science class. It can be used for than just games though. The user interface is limited only to your imagination.

The user used building blocks to create scripts that control the sprites on a stage. These controls can be used to make anything from short animated movies to long, in depth games with multiple attributes and levels. It may be complicated to achieve more complex games with this interface in the beginning but with time, tutorials, and lots of practice, a completely unique gaming experience can be achieved.

The community at Scratch is also very huge. It is filled with teachers, students, and parents that love to to create. The site is also moderated VERY well. I have been a member for months and not once have I seen any harassment. If it is happening, it gets reported and taken care of immediately.

No download is required but another great thing about Scratch is that the user can download the editor onto their computer for offline use. If you are worried about the large community at Scratch and you are the parent of a young child, this could be perfect for you..

Scratch is the best place to create games in my opinion. The resources and tutorials available for users of this platform is like no other. If the game exists in real life, chances are someone has made a version of the game on Scratch. A unique quality of this game builder not seen in others is the ability to see the code of someone else's game. The platform is one of learning so almost every almost every game shared by users can be remixed and the codes can be built upon.

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    • DrBillSmithWriter profile image

      William Leverne Smith 2 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Boy, this looks like fun. I'd love to create a game based on my collection of stories in one setting. Scratch may be the way to go. I've bookmarked this remarkable (to me) hub. Thanks for sharing! ;-)

    • Cheeky Kid profile image

      Cheeky Kid 2 years ago from Milky Way

      You know, I'm also considering of making/creating games, and so, this hub is start for that. I didn't there we're softwares like these. :D

    • CassandraCae profile image
      Author

      Cassandra Kuthy 2 years ago from Ohio

      Thanks!!!! I am experimenting with other platforms and I hope to grow this list as I discover more of these awesome games. I have found a couple platforms similar to these that allow you to actually port your games into windows as a download. The possibilities for software design, even as a beginner that can't read scripts, are endless.

    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 2 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      I'm really liking how you included pros and cons of each platform. I had no idea these existed. How cool especially for kids that are into gaming, might as well learn too! Awesome.