What Software is used for Game Development?
There are many software that are used for a variety of applications in game development. The most important piece of software for game development is a game engine.
Other software are used for 2D graphics, 3D graphics, digital audio workstations (DAWs), APIs, and more. The selection of software to use depends on the type and size of the game project you are working on.
Other games can be made from start to finish using only a game engine without any other software, while others will require a combination of software to accomplish the desired outcomes.
Whichever case you find yourself in, I have curated the best game development software that you need to make any type of game. These are software that you can download and start learning.
BEST GAME DEVELOPMENT SOFTWARE
Here are all the best software you need to make games of any kind. Most of these software are free to download and use.
A game engine is the most important piece of software for game development, it is a software framework or development environment primarily designed for the development of games.
Game engines generally include relevant libraries and support programs to make game development easy and quick.
Game Engines help to build games by doing a lot of the heavy lifting and complex calculations for game developers. Some of the most popular game engines include
Unity is one of the most popular platforms for developing 2D and 3D games. Unity uses the C# programming languages for game logic, there are also other features that can be implemented with drag and drop.
Unity has a marketplace called Asset store, where you can download free and paid game assets to quicken your development process. Unity is regarded as a beginner-friendly platform, it is used by big companies as well as indie developers.
Some of the popular games made with Unity include Pokemon Go, Monument Valley 2, Tempo Run, Robocraft, Angry Birds, Sonic Dash, Marvel Strike Force, Iron Man VR, Lara Croft Go, Super Mario Run, and many others.
Unity supports many platforms, once you are done developing your game, you can deploy it to different platforms such as Android, iOS, tvOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, Stadia, WebGL, Oculus VR, PSVR, ARCore, Magic Leap, etc.
- UNREAL ENGINE
Unreal Engine is one of the most advanced, powerful, and popular platforms for making 2D and 3D games, it uses the C++ programming language for programming the game logic.
Unreal Engine has also a marketplace that has a lot of resources ranging from art assets to models, sounds, environments, code snippets, and more. Some of them are free while others can be paid for.
Some of the popular games made with Unreal Engine include Fortnite, Brothers in Arms, Golden Eye: Rogue Agent, Medal of Honor, Shadow Ops, Shrek 2, Star Wars, Spider-man 2, Batman Arkham City, DC Universe Online, Mortal Kombat, Transformers, Crash Bandicoot, and many others.
Unreal supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Android, iOS, tvOS, macOS, Windows, Linux, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, Stadia, WebGL, Oculus VR, PSVR, ARCore, etc.
Godot provides a huge set of common tools, so you can just focus on making your game without reinventing the wheel. It is free and open-source. Godot uses the GDScript, C++, or C# for programming the game logic.
Some of the popular games made with Godot include Carol Reed Mysteries, Commander Keen in Keen Dreams, Cruelty Squad, Deponia, Hardcoded, The Interactive Adventures of Dog Mendonça & Pizzaboy, Kingdoms of the Dump, Sonic Colors: Ultimate, Rings of Saturn, Human Diaspora, Primal Light, Until Then, Rogue State Revolution, The Garden Path, and many others.
Godot supports many platforms. You can deploy your game to Windows, macOS, Linus, UWP, iOS, Android, Nintendo Switch, Playstation 4, Xbox One, HTML, and WebAssembly
- GAMEMAKER STUDIO
GameMaker Studio has also a marketplace that has a lot of resources ranging from animations to sounds, backgrounds, fonts, objects, paths, sprites, scripts, shaders, and more. Some of them are free while others can be paid for.
Some of the popular games made with GameMaker Studio include Undertale, Forager, Hyper Light Drifter, Samurai Gunn 2, Webbed, The Tarnishing of Juxtia, Destructivator 2, Fields of Mistria, Flynn: Son of Crimson, Katana Zero, Battleships Forever, Tower of Heaven, and many others.
GameMaker Studio supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Android, iOS, macOS, Windows, Tizen, Playstations, Xbox, Nintendo, WebGL, Amazon Fire TV, etc.
CryEngine is one of the most popular game engines that have been used to make many popular titles. CryEngine C++ or C# for programming the game logic.
Some of the popular games made with CryEngine include Far Cry, Crysis, Sonic Boom: Rise of Lyric, Blue Mars, Enemy Front, Shadow of the Eternals, Star Citizen, Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2, Battle Cry, Homefront: The Revolution, Kingdom Come: Deliverance, ArcheAge, Aporia: Beyond the Valley, Evolve, Hunt: Showdown, Ryse: Son of Rome, Prey, Miscreated, The Alien Cube, and many others.
CryEngine supports many platforms, once you are done developing your games, you can deploy to different platforms such as Windows, Linux, macOS, PlayStation, Wii U, Xbox, Android, iOS, etc.
Defold lets you publish your game to a multitude of platforms such as Nintendo Switch, Android, iOS, macOS, Linux, Windows, Steam, HTML5, and Facebook.
- OPEN 3D ENGINE
- LEADWERKS ENGINE
- PANDA 3D
- 4A ENGINE
- SOLAR 2D
And many others.
You can use 2D graphics tools to create game backgrounds, textures, sprites, and many other 2D elements necessary for your game. Some of the popular software for achieving this include
- ADOBE PHOTOSHOP
- ADOBE ILLUSTRATOR
- CLIP STUDIO PAINT
And many others.
3D assets are important to add more functionality to your game. There are many 3D software that can be used to make 3D assets for your game. Many of these software will also allow you to rig models.
Rigging allows you to create a bone structure for a 3D model, this process helps you to create models that can have more functionality, like closing and opening of windows or doors of a house or car. Some of the popular 3D software for making 3D game models include
- AUTODESK MAYA
- AUTODESK 3DS MAX
- WINGS 3D
- CINEMA 4D
- DUST 3D
- ARMORY 3D
- CROCOTILE 3D
And many others.
DIGITAL AUDIO WORKSTATIONS (DAWs)
Digital audio workstations are software used for creating, editing, and mixing audio. You can use these software to create game dialogs, soundtrack, and sound effects. Some of the popular software in this category include
- LOGIC PRO
- BOSCA CEOIL
- STUDIO ONE
- FL STUDIO
And many others.
It can be seen that there are many software used for game development. A game engine is the most cardinal software for game development. You also need 2D and 3D graphics software to create 2D and 3D environments, models, sprites, and more.
You can also use the power of digital audio workstations to create rich sound effects, audio dialogs, and soundtracks for your games.
Some complex games will require using a combination of these software while some simple games may need just a game engine. Your choice of software depends on the functionality and features of your game.