Do you want to be a video game maker but don’t know how to code?
Today, you have options – modern game engines have made it so you can make hit games without knowing how to write a single-line code.
In this blog, we will discuss the best engines for creating great games without having to do any coding/programming. We’ll also show you the types of games that these engines have created in the past.
We’ve seen gamers from indie developer communities use these engines to create their games – with impressive levels of success.
Basics of Game Development
Before naming the actual engines, let’s discuss some game development basics. That way, you can better understand why it is possible to make games -and not just basic games- great ones without knowing how to code.
Let’s start by thinking of games as building blocks. Games are made up of building blocks or objects.
A game will have hundreds or even thousands of objects. A game engine will display these objects but also do up to three more things based on the needs of the game designer: The Engine will give life to these objects by giving them attributes and characteristics. The Engine will allow these objects to interact with one another. And The Engine will allow these objects to interact with the user.
Further Reading: 7 Common Game Design Mistakes to Avoid
Here are three engines that we recommend for making games without coding.
Make Games with Game Engines
For this list, we tried to focus on engines where you could create a game from start to finish without writing the script.
There are other significant engines that beginners should check out, like Godot and RPG Maker; however, users of those engines may benefit from a coding background. This also isn’t to say you won’t be able to use an engine that requires coding.
It’s common for engines to have add-on scripts that make it possible to script visually. For example, for Unity, there’s an extension available in the Unity asset store called Playmaker that makes visual scripting possible.
The indie title, The First Tree, was made using Playmaker. When it comes to add-ons, though, there are a lot, and some may be better than others, so it’s best to do your homework.
Now onto the list! The first on the list is Construct 3.
1. Construct 3
If you want an engine that does exactly what we mentioned above, look no further than Construct 3.
With its drag-and-drop interface and library of built-in rules, you can make a game like the Super Teal Robot example in no time! There are also great tutorials on YouTube for Construct 3.
Construct3 has a free trial available, and licenses start at $99 a year for a personal license. Some Construct games include 8Bit Fiesta, Glokar, and Klang.
GDevelop is an open-source game engine designed to be used by everyone – no programming skills are required. It has a drag & drop interface, built-in events, and many tutorials.
You can export your games to iOS, Android, Mac, Linux, and even Facebook Messenger when ready.
The best part of the Gdevelop is its price! Develop is an open-source project licensed under the MIT license, meaning you can use it for no cost. In terms of games made using Gdevelop, you can check out and even play Gdevelop-made games on their website’s showcase page (https://gdevelop-app.com/games-showcase/).
GameMaker has been around for years and has developed a great community. You can find endless tutorials on YouTube, and you even buy books on GameMaker!
Its drag & drop interface does exactly what we mentioned in the example. If you choose to, you can do a few more things using their scripting language.
The latest version, GameMaker Studio 2, starts at $39 for a basic license and goes up to $1500 for its “ultimate” edition. A free trial is also available. There are tons of GameMaker games – way too many hits to name. Still, recent and upcoming GameMaker-made games include Nidhogg II, Way of the Passive Fist, and Wandersong.
And there are three engines where you can drag and drop your way to a hit game!
Beginner Guide for Making Games
If you are a complete beginner and have yet to learn about Hello and Bye World in Coding, I will suggest Unity. The user interface of Unity is very beginner-friendly.
In Unity, you can make 2D and 3D Games, which is lovely! Because it will affect the rest Engines.
If you are lazier than me And don’t want to do Coding, Then you can choose Unreal Engine. But yeah, you can make only 3D Games with this because their 2D Engine could be better.
But I recommend Unity and Godot if you want to make only 2D Games because both Engines are good at this.
The system requirements for Unity and system requirements for Unreal are also the minimum requirements for 8GB RAM. The more, the better, and you can run both the software in 4GB RAM. But the chances of crashes are more.
Don’t even try in 2GB RAM. Operating System Windows 7 and + will run. Make sure that the threads of your CPU are more than 6. GPU VRAM should be at least 6GB.
The System Requirements for Godot are very low. Here, you can make games even with 4GB RAM! The rest of its requirements almost match Unity and Unreal.
Visual Scripting Game Engines for No-Code Development
Visual scripting is creating programs, software, or games using graphics instead of text. Now the idea is that moving around these colorful boxes or shapes and graphically seeing yourself program is much easier to understand than just long lines of code.
Now visual scripting varies depending on your Engine. You have node-based systems with all these little nodes that connect, or you have columns. It’s a row of columns, and you change things in the boxes, or you can even have cubes with different icons.
The visuals aren’t necessary. They make it easier for you to start creating games and focus on the logic instead of typing and remembering all this code.
Scratch is the best visual scripting number one, the ultimate learning tool.
First publicly launched in 2007. Scratch is a visual programming website focusing more on educational purposes, and MIT developed it.
One cool thing about it is you can export games for websites, android, and even a Windows exe. It’s solid now because of its highly simplistic interface. And visual scripting, which makes it easier to learn, makes it a lot harder to work on larger projects, so it’s great for absolute beginners.
The most flexible tool to create fun, polished 2d games. It makes it much easier to organize and work on larger projects, which is much better.
The major takeaways with Construct are the annual price of 99 now. There is a free trial.
It’s free and open source and has a great community behind it.
4. Game Maker
Gamemaker’s visual scripting system called drag and drop the system is the most unique out of all. It features a bunch of colorful icons.
The significant advantage to the game maker is that you can do both coding and drag and drop together, making it a lot easier to transition from visual scripting to coding.
Another cool thing is that game maker studio is now free. So you might as well jump in, give it a shot and see.
Is visual scripting Cool for Game Development?
Now that we know a little more about visual scripting, which engines should you use? How? And why should you eventually switch to coding? Visual scripting is slow, and that seems strange. Well, it’s blocked. It’s simpler. It’s easier for me to understand.
But dragging these shapes for these objects is way more time-consuming than just typing a code. Visual scripting can also become very messy and overwhelming, which is why I only finished a few of my construct games.
Honestly, Suppose you’re on the fence about visual scripting. In that case, I think the only reason you should be using it is if you’re a beginner, you’re younger, or if you prefer to make more miniature games and don’t like coding that much, but if you do find yourself enjoying game development, you should eventually transfer those skills to coding, It’s a lot easier than you might think. The trick is you need to find the game engine you will switch.
In conclusion, game development is no longer limited to professional programmers or those with coding knowledge. With the rise of game engines and game-making tools, anyone can create games with little to no coding experience. While many options are available, considering your skills, goals, and budget is essential before choosing a tool or Engine.
Whether you prefer a more user-friendly drag-and-drop interface or a more robust engine with advanced programming options, there is likely a solution that will work for you. You can bring your game ideas to life and share them with the world with dedication, practice, and creativity.
So keep a lack of coding experience from holding you back – get started on your game-making journey today!
Alby Abraham is an technology enthusiast, published blogger, and a content marketer who spends his time on building a career in the digital marketing industry. He also writes a blog on The Last Words for tech lovers.