How to make a good computer game for free

How to make a good computer game for free

Almost anyone who has little computer experience can easily create a simple video game from scratch. However, if you're looking to design a complex game, then this article won't be of much help. The elements of a good game can be decided on after you complete these steps: choose a genre, write a plot, create a character, and define the main aim of the game. A great plot, nice graphics, and animations are always the best features of a good game.

There are countless game genres, from shooters and strategy games to life simulation and racing. Genres aren't defined by the game's plot or content. Instead, they are related to the actual type of challenges. So, as soon as you're able to establish a challenge category (for example, finish a race or eliminate a character from the game), you will be able to select the proper genre for your game. Your next step is deciding which type of graphics you want in your game. Your game could have 2D or 3D visual effects, the animations could be cartoon-like or have real-life style, and so on.

When it comes to creating your characters, the options are almost endless. They can either be humans, creatures or even machines, such as cars or robots.

The plot of your new game will be constructed based on the type of challenges you want. For example, if you want to create a single player shooter game, your story will begin with an introduction based on the character's backstory, such as the motive behind his actions (shooting the enemies or certain targets).

Then, all that's left to make your mind on is which is the best application for creating your new game. Choosing the proper program should depend on your budget and the type of game you need to design and launch for others to play.

Having a little programming experience might prove to be of good use and give you access to more options to work with.

Tutorial assets

You will need to download one of the following software to follow along with this tutorial.

Time to choose a gaming engine

The main components of a good video game are the plot and gameplay (elements which can make a video game addictive), some impressive graphics and animations, a challenge (it should be difficult enough that the game can't be completed with ease), and an interesting conclusion (if possible or needed, to leave the impression there will be a subsequent edition).

Whether you wish to make a 3D game or design a 2D project, choosing the proper gaming engine represents an important aspect. Programs like CryEngine 5Unreal Engine 4 or Unity 5 are some of the best free game engines for building games from scratch. Their developers provide you with membership plans which come with price tags and offer you extra advantages. But you can use the application without paying any money if you don't need additional features.

Unity 5

Unity is one of the most popular game engines in the world. This app provides you with a wide variety of tools which help designers tell their visual stories, gives you access to multiple collaboration features for improving team work on projects, and many others. You can use this program without paying a buck only if you're an inexperienced user or a student who wants to get started with Unity. Otherwise, you will need to choose one of the registering solutions from the homepage of the developer and use the application without dealing with any limitations.

Using this program will require some programming knowledge (languages like Javascript and C# are well supported). You can find a wide range of tutorials and hints on the homepage of the developer. Some of the most popular games created with Unity include Battlestar Galactica Online, King's Bounty: Legions, Shadowgun, Temple Run, Deus Ex: The Fall, and many others.

Pokémon Go Created With UnityPokémon Go Created With Unity

One of the greatest aspects of working with this utility is the fact that it can target games to a wide variety of platforms, such as Android, iOS, macOS, Gear VR, Linux, PlayStation 4, and many others.

CryEngine 5

This application was created by the Crytek company which is best known for the making of Far Cry game (most of their games include a segment from their company name). Its latest software development kit (SDK), which is actually a level editor for CryEngine, features various utilities that simplify the creation of animations, scripting, and the design of your game objects. This editor is also vastly used for modding functions.

Unlike many other game engines on the market, CryEngine 5 doesn't bring you limitations when it comes to commercializing your new game. You will be able to distribute the game you created in CryEngine 5 without dealing with middleware services. Furthermore, the developer gives you access to the the app's source code for free.

Sniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Created With CryengineSniper: Ghost Warrior 2 Created With CryEngine

This program also provides you with all the assistance you could possibly require as a beginner game engine user. CryEngine 5 comes with a wide range of video tutorials and a comprehensive help manual which might prove to be of good use when learning about creating a game on your Windows PC. A little practice and you will be able to create stunning visuals and lifelike characters for your new game.

Unreal Engine 4

Unreal Engine 4 has been used for creating some of the most popular and acclaimed games, such as Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Lineage II, Batman: Arkham City, Borderlands, and many others. Initially, the game engine was created for first-person shooters. Nowadays, the program is used for developing various types of games, like RPG, MMORPG or stealth. Unreal engine 4 enables you to create games for PCs, iOS and Android devices, Oculus, macOS, and multiple types of consoles.

The application is packed with a considerable amount of useful features and you don't need to install/buy extra plugins. Unreal engine 4 gives you access to a flexible renderer, a complete C++ source code of the game engine, VR development solutions, multiplayer framework, an animation toolset, and many others. On the homepage of the developer, you will be able to find everything you need to get started with this app. You will have access to a wide range of videos tutorials, a complete help guide, etc.

Batman: Arkham City Created With Unreal EngineBatman: Arkham City Created With Unreal Engine

Conclusion

Once you decide which type of game you wish to create and choose one of the aforementioned game engines, you can start your work. No matter which application you choose to use, you will get access to all information you may possibly need from the homepage of the developer. Be creative, smart budget-wise, and create something that will impress your audience.

Alternative downloads

  • Blender Blender is a free and open source 3D animation suite. It supports the entirety... FREE DOWNLOAD
  • CryENGINE SDK CryENGINE® technology is world famous for its award winning rendering and... FREE DOWNLOAD
  • Unity Unity is a platform offering everything you need to create successful games and... $35 DOWNLOAD
  • Unreal Engine Unreal Engine is a complete suite of game development tools made by game... FREE DOWNLOAD

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