How to get started in 2D Game development? - MyTechSite


NOTE: SOME EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES LINKED TO IN THIS ARTICLE ARE NOT FREE, WE DO NOT HAVE ANY ASSOCIATION WITH THE COMPANY/S THAT PRODUCE / DISTRIBUTE THEM. THEY HAVE BEEN LISTED ONLY FOR THE INFORMATION TO THE READER

NOTE: DO NOT MISS THE GENERAL Q & A SECTION AT THE BOTTOM, THEY ARE MEANT TO ANSWER FIRST TIME GAME DEVELOPERS' QUESTIONS

 

LIST OF 2D GAME ENGINES
 
THE LIST IS NOT BASED ON ANY SORT OF RANKING / REVIEWS

GAME DEVELOP
GameDevelop is a FREE, Open-Source game creation software, allowing you to make games for the web (HTML5) or for Windows and Linux, Android and iOS (through Intel XDK). No programming or coding skill is required! It is easy to use and powerful enough for advanced users.


Events System
Game Develop also features the Events System, which is based on a simple principle: the actions of an event are executed if its conditions are filled:
Actions allow to modify an object, change a variable, change the scene...
Conditions can test the position of an object, the value of a variable, if a key is pressed...
It is also possible to use comments, links pointing to other events, or sub events. Extensions can provide their own events, like functions or loops : Events are so powerful that they can be used to reproduce any structure of a code written in an ordinary programming language.

Compile to Native code 
 
Unlike others, GameDevelop compiles your project to Machine code. GameDevelop is the only game development tool that does not add an arbitrary layer between your project and the machine. And nobody can turn back a compiled game to its original source file so as to steal your creation.

The GameDevelop IDE is available for Windows and Linux.



FEATURESEASY | CROSS PLATFORM | FREE
 
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GAME MAKER: STUDIO

GameMaker: Studio is one of the most popular 2D Game development tool, known for it's ease of use, fast learning curve and one-click export, it is one of the most cost effective solutions on the market for 2D Game development.

Simple games in GameMaker: Studio can be made without any programming knowledge. For bit complex and interactive games, the developers can use the easy-to-learn GameMaker Language (GML - GameMaker: Studio's Scripting language). There are 5 editions of GameMaker:
  1. Free Edition: Formerly the Standard Edition, removal of limited game resources limitation requires registration. Features such as Configurations, External Resource Loading, Texture Grouping, Extensions, Export Modules, Team Source Control and Developer Services Portal are not available. This Edition allows exporting to Windows Desktop (no custom splash screen).
  2. Professional Edition: This edition costs $99.99*, it is basically the Standard Edition with additional featuresTexture Management, Multiple Configurations, Team Features, Developer Service Portal and Mobile Testing. Additional Export Modules can be purchased for export to other platforms such as HTML5, Android, iOS, Ubuntu, Windows Phone 8.
  3. Master Edition: This edition costs $799.99*, it has all the features (incl. all the Export Modules) and additionally features automatic upgrade to future export modules.
* THE PRICE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FEATURESEASY | CROSS PLATFORM

Learning GameMaker?

GameMaker - Video Tutorials

Books for GameMaker:
  1. The Game Maker's Apprentice: Game Development for Beginners (Jacob Hadgood, Mark Overmars, Phil Wilson)
  2. The Game Maker's Companion (Jacob Hadgood, Nana Neilsen)
  3. HTML5 Game Development with Game Maker (Jason Lee Elliott)
  4. Getting Started with Game Maker (Jr Jerry Lee Ford)
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TORQUE 2D
Torque 2D is an extremely powerful, flexible, and fast 2D Game development tool from GarageGames, it can publish to iOS, Mac and Windows. The gameplay can be scripted fully with TorqueScript, Torque's typeless C-like Scripting language.
Torque 2D - GarageGames
Free, Open Source, MIT License

On February 5, 2013,  GarageGames announced Torque 2D MIT 2.0, the Torque 2D Game Engine features Box 2D Physics, Simple Sprite system, TexturePacker support, Multiple Collision shapes, Batched Rendering, Built-in unit testing framework, Integrated Asset System, Solid Behavior system for packing reusable game logic, and many other features.
 
UPDATE: Torque 2D now officially supports Android!
 
Along with Android support, the upcoming version of Torque 2D will bring whole new set of features: Leap Motion Controller, Physics Editor Support among other new features.

Torque 2D gives full source access, the MIT license means that there is no restriction of any kind, both Indie developers and professional game development companies can benefit from the same. Having the full source access means that one can use his programming skills to add new features as well as find and correct possible bug/s.

Join T2D Steering Committee

If you think you've got what it takes, join the Torque 2D Steering Committee and help the community in further development of the game engine.

FEATURES:  FREE |  MIT LICENSE | OPEN SOURCE | CROSS PLATFORM 

 
Learning Torque 2d?

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CONSTRUCT 2

Construct 2 is a powerful HTML5 game creator from Scirra Ltd., designed specifically for 2D games. It allows anyone to build games without any programming knowledge.
Construct 2
Publish your games on a broad selection of platforms with a single project. There’s no need to maintain multiple codebases. By using Construct 2's HTML5-based engine you can export to most major platforms.

Stunning Effects
There are over 70 WebGL-based pixel shader effects to warp, distort, blend, blur, mask, re-color and more. You can add these to objects, layers and layouts for quick special effects and also stack them up to create incredible results. 

Easily reach the web by publishing to your own website, Chrome Web Store, Facebook, Kongregate, NewGrounds, Firefox Marketplace or use our Scirra Arcade to share your creations. Export your game to desktop PC, Mac and Linux apps by using the Node-Webkit wrapper. Additionally publish to Windows 8 Store or as a native Windows Phone 8 app.
You can also reach the popular iOS and Android app stores using wrappers like CocoonJS, appMobi and PhoneGap — all three with built-in support.

With Contruct 2 release130 - on May 14, 2013,  Scirra Ltd officially announced support for BlackBerry 10 and Tizen, adding 2 more platforms for developers to publish their games on. There are 2 editions of Contruct 2:
  1. Free Edition: The Free Edition of Construct 2 has certain limitations — the Free edition only supports up to 100 events per game, maximum 4 layers.
  2. Pro Edition: The Pro Edition has no limitations, Construct 2 gives lifetime updates so you don't need to purchase it twice.
FEATURES:  EASY | CROSS PLATFORM | NO CODING
 
Learning Contruct 2?

YouTube - ConstructDude
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GAMESALAD

GameSalad is a 2D Game design tool made by GameSalad Inc. which allows non-programmers to make highly interactive 2D games. It has short learning curve and its visual, drag & drop interface and complex behavior library provide almost limitless freedom to game designers.
GameSalad
There are 2 Editions of GameSalad:
  1. Basic Edition: The Basic edition is free, it can publish to iOS, Mac and the Web, it also features Custom Splash Screen.
  2. Pro Edition: The Pro edition costs $299/yr. and has no limitations. It can publish to Android, Windows 8, iOS, Mac and the Web. It also supports iAds and iOS In-App purchase.
FEATURES:  FREE | CROSS PLATFORM | EASY | NO CODING

 
Learning GameSalad?

Books for GameSalad:
  1. The Official GameSalad Guide to Game Development (Jeannie Novak)
  2. Learn GameSalad for iOS: Game Development for iPhone, iPad and HTML5 (David Guerineau)
  3. GameSalad Beginner's Guide (Miguel DeQuardos)
  4. Making GameSalad for Teens (Michael Duggan)
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STENCYL

Stencyl is a 2D game design tool which can publish games to iOS, Web, Desktop, Flash, HTML5 and Android. Even though coding is possible, Stencyl offers a more non-programmers friendly option for game play design, it's Drag n Drop "block" based gameplay designing. There are 4 editions of Stencyl:
  1. Free: The Free version can publish to Flash, and has a compulsory Splash screen.
     
  2. Pro: It costs $79/yr.and can publish to Flash and Desktop.
  3. iOS: It costs $149/yr. and can publish to iOS.
  4. Studio: It costs $199/yr. and can publish to iOS, Flash and Desktop.
FEATURES:  EASY | CROSS PLATFORM | NO CODING
 
Learning Stencyl?

Books for Stencyl:
  1. Learning Stencyl 3.x Game Development: Beginner's Guide (Innes Borkwood)
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GAME BUILDER STUDIO
GameBuilder Studio is a visual game creation tool built to make it easier for creative professionals and aspiring game builders to create and deploy their cross-platform 2D games everywhere. It is a multi-layered tool comprised of a visual interface top layer and an optional custom codebase layer. This makes for the best hybrid approach in visually developing games today. Develop games with or without writing a line of code. No ceilings!
 
Game Builder Studio is an alternative to Stencyl.
 
Pricing Plans:
  1. Free ($0.00)
  2. Pro ($99.99/yr)
  3. Pro Plan ($199.99/yr)
No Custom Splash Screen in the Free Edition.
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COCOS 2D

Cocos2D-X is a game engine branched from Cocos2d-iPhone, which consists of expanding supported platforms, with multiple choices of programming languages that shares the same API structure. Cocos2D-HTML5 is game engine branched from Cocos2D-X which aims on HTML5-ready browsers on desktop PCs, tablets and mobile phones.

Learning Cocos 2D?

Books for Cocos 2D:
  1. iOS Game Programming with XCode and Cocos2d (Justin Dike)
    Cocos2d-X by Example Beginner's Guide (Roger Engelbert)
  2. Learn Cocos 2d 2: Game Development for iOS (Steffen Itterheim)
  3. Creating Games with Cocos 2d for iPhone 2 (Paul Nygard)
     
  4. Cocos 2D for iPhone 1 Game Development Cookbook (Nathan Burba)
     
  5. Learn Cocos 2d Game Development with iOS 5 (Steffen Itterheim)
  6. Cocos2d for iPhone 0.99 Beginner's Guide (Pablo Ruiz)
  7. Learning Cocos2D: A Hands-On Guide to Building iOS Games with Cocos2D, Box2D, and Chipmunk (Rod Strougo and Ray Wenderlich)
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HAXEPUNK

HaxePUNK is a 2d game engine written in Haxe (programming language) for cross-platform deployment.

HaxePUNK runs on Windows, Mac, Flash, iOS, and Android without the need to rewrite your entire code base. Each target is tuned for maximum performance. The Flash target uses blitted rendering similar to how FlashPunk works. Native targets, mobile and PC, use hardware accelerated tiles in OpenGL.

HaxePUNK is open source and available under the MIT license. This means there are no restrictions for developing commercial games.

FEATURES:  FREE |  MIT LICENSE | OPEN SOURCE | CROSS PLATFORM

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ETHANON
Ethanon Engine is a free and cross-platform 2D game development tool focused on the recent video cards for hardware acceleration and shader effects. Any game style is allowed, from top-down view RPGs to side scrollers and shoot'em up games. The main goal is to provide high-quality lighting, shadow and particle effects with an easy to use visual interface, simple and direct scripting environment.
Entirely based on classical 2D sprites, Ethanon Engine uses pixel shaders to perform normal map based lighting and supports many sorts of map design (e.g.: isometric, orthogonal, hexagonal) since it relies on arbitrarily positioned entities instead of fixed tiles.
Game flow is controlled by the AngelScript language, which brings familiar Java/C#/C++ syntax to gameplay scripts. The engine source-code is released under the MIT open source License. Ethanon Engine can publish games to iOS and Android.


FEATURES:  EASY | FREE | OPEN SOURCE | MIT LICENSE | CROSS PLATFORM
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GAME EDITOR
Game Editor is the open source game design software that gives you the power to create the games of your dreams, you can create games for Mac OS X, iPhone and iPad! Mac users can now create games for Windows and Linux from your Mac! Game Editor can publish games to Android, iOS, Mac, Linux and Windows.

FEATURES:  FREE | EASY | OPEN SOURCE | CROSS PLATFORM
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CORONA SDK
Corona is the Software Development Kit from Corona Labs, it can be used to make Games, eBooks, Business Apps, utilities, Educational Apps and Hybrid Apps.
Corona SDK
Write once and build to iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and NOOK at the touch of a button. There are 4 Editions of Corona SDK:
  1. Starter: The Starter Edition is free, it can publish to iOS, Android, Kindle Fire and NOOK. It also supports custom splash screen. Features such as In-App purchase, Offline Builds, native library integration, etc are not supported in the Starter edition. The revenue limit in the Starter edition is $100,000.
  2. Pro: The Pro edition is basically the Starter edition with additional features such as: Access to Pre-releases, Daily Builds, Premium Monetization services and Analytics. This edition costs $49 per developer (per month, billed annually). This edition has revenue limit of $500,000.
  3. Enterprise:  The Enterprise edition is basically the Pro edition with support for Headless Builds, Offline Builds, Daily Builds, Native APIs, Premium Analytics, Premium Support, Corona Plugins. This edition has $500,000 revenue limit, and costs $79 per developer (per month, billed annually).
  4. Enterprise (Unlimited): This edition is basically the Enterprise (Small Business edition) with additional features such as: No revenue limit, Email Support, Customized Build Server, Premium Support. This edition costs $199 per developer (per month, billed annually).
NOTE: PRICE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

FEATURES:  FREE | CROSS PLATFORM

Learning Corona SDK?
CoronaGeek



Books for Corona SDK:
  1. Corona SDK Mobile Game Development: Beginner's Guide (Michelle M. Fernandez)
  2. Learn Corona SDK Game Development (Fraznk Zammetti)
  3. Corona SDK - Starting with All The Tips, Step by Step (Tatiana Lima, Luciano Lima, Andressa Costa and Nayara Costa)
  4. Cororna SDK Hotshot (Nevin Flanagan)
  5. Cororna SDK Application Design (Daniel Williams)
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RPG MAKER
 
RPG Maker is the 2D game design tool for development of 2D Role Playing Games.

Learning RPG Maker?
 
Books for RPG Maker:
  1. RPG Maker for Teens (Michael Duggan)
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GENERAL FIRST TIME GAME DEVELOPER'S QUESTIONS ANSWERED

What is Platform? Why is it important to you?

The term "Platform" refers to the software (usually but not exclusively - an OS, may include hardware architecture) which you will be targeting to publish your game in, and reach wider audience. For eg. for Game developers (targeting desktop), Windows, Mac and Linux are common platforms, they will be targeting to publish their game in.
As you have already guessed, it's not limited to just those Operating Systems, for Mobile Game developers, Android, iOS (which runs Apple's devices) and Tizen are the platforms.

Now the big question - "Why is Platform so important to you, as a game developer?"
 
The answer is simple, more users means more interest, which means more chances of earning money. You will often find that Game popular in one platform is often also "ported" to other platforms, as a game developer, if your mobile game becomes popular, chances are, you will want to make the same available for the users to play online too and vice versa.

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How do i create Sprites?

You can use softwares like aseprite, InkScape, and others.
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How to choose the perfect Game Development tool?



Cost, features of Development Tool
The development tool must be chosen wisely, it's price, the platform/s the developer intends to target, royalty, fees etc must be properly thought about. 
Regardless of whether there is monetary gain from the app or not, pirated software copies must not be used when publishing a game to avoid legal issues.


Royalty, Hidden costs 
Hidden Costs and Royalty must be taken into consideration while choosing the development tool. In 2D Game development tools, costs such as these two are rare (almost none) though.


App Developer's License

Besides the cost of the development tool, the cost of App publishing license must be separately taken into consideration.
  1. BlackBerry App Developer's License: Free 
  2. Apple's iOS Developer's Certificate: $99/yr.
  3. Google Play App Developer Certificate: $25
The iOS App developer's license fee applies only if the developer chooses to sell his App in the App Store. Publishing an iOS App requires the Mac OS thus, this requirement should be taken as cost of development.


The Apple's App Store takes 30% of the price of the your App (ie. when someone purchases your App), you get the balance amount.

NOTE: THE COST OF THE LICENSE MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE

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What else to be concerned about for 2D Game development?

You must also note that the cost one has to bear is not limited to those listed above, to make the Game interactive and keep the players from yawning, you need beautiful Sprites, Sounds, good storyline and game play features.
  1. Sprites: 2D image to visually represent your game objects such as player, enemy, background, etc.
  2. Sounds: Depends on the Game story, type, etc. May make your Game interactive.
  3. Storyline: This needs a bit of creativity, something your brain is fit for.
  4. Icon, Text: These factors additionally polish your game. In App Store, the game icon defines the game.
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What you additionally need to worry about?


Yup, you guessed it, piracy. Apps published in App Store are pirated within couple of weeks (if not days). Apps of all price are pirated, and this is every developer's nightmare. The only way to avoid piracy is publishing the App for free, which wouldn't make any sense to those who dream to make their living and more out of the App Store. There are many many instances where the developer does not even earn the amount he actually spent in the whole development process.
The only "advantage" of piracy that developers have started to exchange among themselves to minimize their headache is that the piracy today will lead to future earnings in the future versions of the App/s.
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How can you earn money from your games?

 
Selling Games in the App Store: This needs no explanation, make a good game, join the App Store,  decide a fair price for your game and watch your pocket fill.

iAds: Your game is free on the App Store doesn't mean your game can't generate revenue, Apple's iAd system is what makes this possible.

In-App Purchase: Sell (virtual) items within your App, earn money when the player/s purchase items in the game. For eg. Magic wand to open some door (oh that cheater!), juice for the player (in game), etc. In Apple's App Store, the developer earns 70% of the In-App purchase amount.
 
Mochi Ads: Sign up for a publisher's account and use Mochi's free API to easily insert ads in your game with one line of code. After your game is reviewed and approved, release your game onto the web and rest assured that you can make money every time it is played on any site.There are 3 types of Mochi Ads:
  1. Pre-Game: Static, Flash or video ads show while the game is loading.
  2. Inter-Level: Static, Flash or video ads show during natural breaks in game play, such as between game levels.
  3. Click-Away: Static or Flash are shown in the game menu or between breaks in play. You design how it works, just provide a way for users to click to dismiss the ad.
Sponsorship

THE LIST IS NOT LIMITED TO THESE, WE HAVE SHOWN YOU THE PATH, THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO FURTHER RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN 
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Where should you publish your games online?


Game Portals: The game portals are the websites where people can play, download or even buy games. Game Portals increase earnings, most popular games are also listed which is a type of "free publicity" for your game/s. There are many game portals you must publish your games to, some of them are: Kongregate, Mochi, Bigfish, Armor Games, etc.


Facebook: If you have published your game in iOS or Android, you might also want to publish it in Facebook (as a HTML5 game). This might help increase your sales in App Store (provided your game is popular).

Chrome Store: Google's Chrome Store is another platform you must publish your games to.

 
THE LIST IS NOT LIMITED TO THESE, WE HAVE SHOWN YOU THE PATH, THIS IS WHERE YOU NEED TO FURTHER RESEARCH ON YOUR OWN
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CONCLUSION

So, there you have it, this post has touched pretty much every area of 2D Game development process, no matter how crappy the game is, the development process is costly, time consuming, and requires high dedication and effort. You have learned about the most popular 2D Game development tools, some of the most widely used all over the world. You have learned about the things that you need to consider before jumping in 2D Game development.
The game distribution process itself too is sometimes costly (depending on the case), adding to the frustration and discouraging new developers is a universal cyber monster known as "piracy".

Because of all these hurdles, many kick their dream of being a successful game developer in their initial steps itself. Having introduced you to all the problems that you will face in your future game development journey, we hope that you liked our post. If you want to thank us, please follow the steps given at the bottom of this post.

Any suggestions about the post are welcome, looking forward to playing your game ..
Thanks for reading!


You might also want to read:
  1. List of 3D Game Engines - MyTechSite
  2. List of Methods to earn Money online - MyTechSite


 
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LIST OF 2D GAME ENGINES | WHICH GAME ENGINE SHOULD I CHOOSE? | WHICH GAME ENGINE IS EASY?HOW TO BECOME A GAME DEVELOPER? HOW TO GET STARTED IN GAME DEVELOPMENT? WHAT ARE THE PROBLEMS FACED IN GAME DEVELOPMENT PROCESS? HOW TO MAKE A GAME? HOW TO MAKE A GAME?

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for adding Torque 2D to your list of considerations. It's great to see it plugged with up to date information, like our 3.0 roadmap and Android support.

    Overall, great article. I'd highly recommend this as a read for anyone looking for information on 2D game development.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My pleasure, Thanks for stopping by ..

      Delete
  2. gamesalad is easy

    ReplyDelete