To DIY or not to DIY: An assessment of game builders

Over the past two months I’ve been devoting most of my game development time to fleshing out the story of Kore. The game has morphed into an odd textured autobiography, which I’m not sure is legal in a game — so we will see how this plays out.

Since the last post, I’ve been continuing my research including taking game design courses, reading relevant books, talking to other app builders, testing out paper prototypes, and assessing the pros/cons of online game builders.

As I move forward to create the first digital prototype, I thought more about whether or not I should hand off the project to a developer and hire someone to build the actual game, or whether, in typical You Big Talker fashion (see: building a cob house, video editing, and too many others to mention) I should just learn and do it myself.

Fortunately for me, there is a sweet middle ground between learning programming and not touching the development side at all: game builders.  I assessed nine different options:

Game Maker
Construct 2
Corona
Unreal engine
Godot Engine
Game Salad
Stencyl
Gamebuilder
Flowlab
Unity

When evaluating, I looked at their user-friendliness, sample projects, cost, functionality, and customization options.

In the end, it came down to Construct 2 or Game Maker.  Today, though more pricey, I chose Game Maker, based on their more sophisticated visuals and sample games designed with their product. The trial version is free, so if I don’t like it I can try another product. If I do like it, I’ll pay $399 for the mobile development version.

Game Maker studio interface

It can be daunting, this process of creating something from nothing. Doubt, uncertainty, possibility. But the only way to get through is to keep creating, testing, evaluating, and changing.

Interested in testing out the game? Send me an email at eleni at youbigtalker .com.


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