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Introduction to Game-Making Tools

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These are the slides from Dames Making Games' "Introduction to Game-Making Tools" workshop. If you want to make a game, there are lots of tools available to help you -- even if you've never made one …

These are the slides from Dames Making Games' "Introduction to Game-Making Tools" workshop. If you want to make a game, there are lots of tools available to help you -- even if you've never made one before, and even if you don't know how to code! This presentation provides an overview of the tools that are most popular with DMG members.

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Transcript

  • 1. So You Want to Make a Game A Short Introduction to Game-Making Tools
  • 2. You can make a game Even if you’ve never made one before Even if you don’t know how to code Even if you can’t draw
  • 3. What to ask yourself What kind of games am I interested in? What technical resources are available to me? What are my existing skills? Writing, illustration, music, 3D modelling, programming, design? What skills do I want to learn?
  • 4. A note on coding It’s not the only skill that matters. Games need artists, writers, designers, composers, and musicians too. Best benefit/time ratio will come from understanding logic flow concepts rather than “coding”
  • 5. Tools that do one thing Twine (interactive fiction) iV (interactive art and video) RPG Maker (RPGs) Adventure Game Studio, Ren’Py (visual novels) Inform 7 (text adventures)
  • 6. Tools that do many things Stencyl GameMaker GameSalad Unity Construct 2
  • 7. THE ESSENTIAL TRADEOFF: Fast and easy vs. flexible and powerful
  • 8. A note on “free” tools You can probably do this for free: Building your game and exporting to a single platform This will probably cost money: Multiple platforms Putting your game on a mobile device (especially iOS) Monetization
  • 9. Twine
  • 10. Twine in a nutshell A free, very beginner-friendly text-oriented tool for writing interactive stories with branching paths.
  • 11. Twine Questions Is it free? Yep. Mac or PC? Both. Coding needed? Nope, although you can make more complex games with a basic knowledge of variables, “if” statements, and HTML/CSS/javascript. Where to get it? twinery.org What does it export to? HTML.
  • 12. Some games by our members Penalties, Soha El-Sabaawi Even Cowgirls Bleed, Christine Love Phone Home, Jen Costa, Noreen Rana, Kaitlin Smith I’m Fine, by Royel Edwards There are Monsters Under Your B , by Kaitlin Tremblay
  • 13. Twine is worth trying if You mostly want to write You’re an absolute beginner You’re short on time You’re interested in nonlinear narratives You’re savvy with HTML and CSS
  • 14. Avoid Twine if You’re making a game with avatars/movement/action You hate writing
  • 15. iV
  • 16. iV in a nutshell “Twine with video.” Create branching narratives/experiences with images and video as well as text. Developed by DMG as a fork from ScreenPerfect!
  • 17. An important note iV is a fork from ScreenPerfect. ScreenPerfect concept and development by Alex Leitch with the kind support of the OCADu game::play lab. Engine produced to drive Hannah Epstein's synchronous multiscreen/device installation game PsXXYborg and completed in concert with Alex's thesis "ScreenPerfect: Accessible web tools for contemporary art."
  • 18. iV Questions Is it free? Yes. Mac or PC? Both. Coding needed? Nope. Where to get it? bentobx.github.io/iV/ What does it export to? Web.
  • 19. Games to check out PsXXYborg, Hannah Epstein, Alex Leitch, Sagan Yee
  • 20. iV is worth a try if You want to focus on making art/video/story instead of the tech You’re interested in nonlinear narratives You want to help us out
  • 21. Avoid iV if You don’t like new things (‘cause they’re still rough around the edges) You want a game with action, physics, puzzles, etc.
  • 22. RPG Maker
  • 23. RPG Maker in a nutshell A tool for making RPGs in the style of early Final Fantasy games. With some creativity, adaptable to the “adventure” genre.
  • 24. RPG Maker Questions Is it free? No. But there’s a free, limited “lite” version you can try out. Mac or PC? PC only. Coding needed? Nope. But you can if you want to. Where to get it? rpgmakerweb.com What does it export to? PC executable.
  • 25. Some games From the community Restless, Natalie Zed The Doctor is Ready, Megan Patterson, Kara Stone, Cecily Carver Actual Sunlight, Will O’Neill
  • 26. RPG Maker is worth a try if... You want to make an RPG You want to make a game that’s dialogue/story-heavy You like world-building You’re feeling nostalgic
  • 27. Avoid RPG Maker if You’re on a Mac You don’t like the early 90’s RPG “style” You want to make something that’s not an RPG or an adventure game
  • 28. Stencyl
  • 29. Stencyl in a nutshell A free tool for making Flash games using Scratch (codelearning tool for beginners) and ActionScript
  • 30. Stencyl Questions Is it free? Yep (mostly). Mac or PC? Both (and Linux!) Coding needed? Depends. You can get pretty far with no code, and even complex/unusual games can be made mostly with the built-in Scratch interface, which is a simplified learn-to-code tool for children and beginners. Where to get it? stencyl.com What does it export to? Flash.
  • 31. Some games by our members Icarus, Sagan Yee Having it All, Miriam Verburg Unicorn Justice Fighter/Unicorn R , Una Lee
  • 32. Stencyl is worth trying if... You want to make a 2D platformer, action, or physics game You want to learn to code, or you’re a beginner coder who wants to improve You want to eventually publish to mobile platforms
  • 33. Avoid Stencyl if... You want to display a lot of text on the screen (i.e. a point-and-click adventure) You have no interest in coding and are easily frustrated by it
  • 34. GameMaker
  • 35. GameMaker in a nutshell A widely-used, well-respected beginner-friendly PC tool with some powerful advanced features.
  • 36. GameMaker Questions Is it free? Not really. There’s a free version, but it’s limited. Mac or PC? PC (mostly) There’s a Mac version, but it’s limited. Coding needed? Nope. There’s a drag-and-drop interface that covers most simple actions. But you can code if you want using GML. Where to get it? yoyogames.com What does it export to? .exe
  • 37. Some games by our members Cuddlegeddon, Gillian Blekkenhorst Seven Sins, Leisha-Marie Riddel Girl Sprout Camp, Carly Beath Golden Fall, Yuliya Boublikova
  • 38. GameMaker is worth trying if You want to make a 2D platformer, action, or physics game You like lots of tutorials and online support You’re on a PC
  • 39. Avoid GameMaker if You’re on a Mac You want your games to be playable in-browser Story is your main focus You hate ugly interfaces
  • 40. GameSalad
  • 41. GameSalad in a nutshell A beginner-oriented tool for 2D games with absolutely no coding. Exports to iOS out-ofthe-box.
  • 42. GameSalad Questions Is it free? Yes. There’s a free version, but it’s limited. Mac or PC? Mac (mostly). There’s a PC version, but it’s not very good. Coding needed? Nope. Everything is drag-and-drop. Even if you want to code, you can’t! Where to get it? gamesalad.com What does it export to? Mac executable, web (in the GameSalad arcade), iOS.
  • 43. Some games by our members MedicationMeditation, Kara Stone So You’ve Been Fridged, Izzie Colpitts-Campbell, Kat Verhoeven, Natalie Zed
  • 44. GameSalad is worth a try if You want to make a 2D action, platformer, or physics game You don’t want to code You’re on a Mac You want to make an iPhone/iPad game
  • 45. Avoid GameSalad if You’re on a PC You want to learn to code You want to focus on story
  • 46. Unity in a nutshell A free, widely used, very powerful engine for creating 3D games.
  • 47. Unity Questions Is it free? Yes. Mac or PC? Both. Coding needed? Yes. Where to get it? unity3d.com What does it export to? Pretty much everything
  • 48. Some games by our members Countenance, Carly Beath, Yuliya Boublikova, LeishaMarie Riddel, Pina Visconti, and Alex Wong Spy Jammer, Daniele Hopkins
  • 49. Unity is worth a try if You want to make a 3D game You want a professionalgrade tool You’re comfortable with coding or want to learn how to code You’re interested in the Oculus Rift, EEG headsets, etc.
  • 50. Avoid Unity if You don’t want a steep learning curve You don’t want to code
  • 51. Unsolicited Advice
  • 52. Cecily Sez Your first game is not your magnum opus Keep it as simple as possible Try lots of things Work in a spiral, not a straight line Back up your games
  • 53. Programming Concepts to learn (If you want) Variables If/else statements Boolean logic Loops