SpindleyQ's picture

Hey, let's have a thread listing all of the rapid game development tools we know about! I'll keep the list updated.

  1. Klik N' Play (free, terribly buggy, doesn't work on 64-bit, beloved by all)
  2. Twine (free / open-source, creates web-based text games with a nice no-programming GUI interface)
  3. Scratch (free, multiplatform, designed as an educational tool)
  4. Construct Classic (free, open-source, Windows, not really updated)
  5. Stencyl (free lite version, multiplatform, produces Flash games)
  6. Game Maker (free lite version, Windows)
  7. Ren'Py (free / open-source, crossplatform everything, great for visual novels, questionable for anything else)
  8. Inform 7 (free, creates multiplatform interactive fiction)
  9. Knytt Stories (free, Windows, flexible platforming level editor)
  10. Adventure Game Studio (free, games vaguely crossplatform, editor Windows-only)
  11. Multimedia Fusion / The Games Factory
  12. Construct (HTML5 output, free lite version)
  13. Processing (free, multiplatform, simple Java-ish programming environment)
  14. Unity (free, multiplatform, 3D, requires programming)
  16. BYOND (free, networked)
  17. VERGE (free, RPG-oriented, crossplatform)
  18. MegaZeux (free, textish, platforms?)
  19. ZZT (DOS, even more textish)
  20. Scrolling Game Development Kit (free, Windows)
  21. Scrolling Game Development Kit 2 (free, Windows)
  22. Ray Game Designer 2 (free, 3D)
  23. ZGameEditor (free, 3D, crossplatform, procedural)
  24. Novashell (free, crossplatform)
  25. DS Game Maker (Nintendo DS)
  26. AMOS / STOS (Amiga / Atari ST)
  27. Garry Kitchen's GameMaker (C64)

Anything else worth looking at?


Novashell ( (cross platform)

snapman's picture


ExtenDS ( has been touted as a way to "Make DS Games in the style of kilk and play." (Quote from

No wonder I never found this in my searches before. They misspelled Klik!

.KKliker's picture

XtenDS has been replaced... DS Game Maker. The link should really be updated.

SpindleyQ's picture

I have done so! Thanks for

I have done so! Thanks for the heads-up.

SpindleyQ's picture

Welcome! Novashell looks


Novashell looks pretty cool, actually. I like how the game source isn't just one giant binary blob, so that there might be some hope of actually using it collaboratively.

.KKliker's picture

Deep Creator

Deep Creator Is pretty good, and can generate games with a very light HD footprint, but it's just too expensive for it's own good ($1995.). The absoulte maximum price of any software program, under any licence, should be $200. And that's even the full price of some cheapo Linux desktops. :P

.KKliker's picture

Ray Game Designer 2

Ray Game Designer 2 is another good one. The only problem is that it hasn't been updated in forever, and unless you speak french, you won't get much help with it.

kirkjerk's picture

oops moved

oops moved

kirkjerk's picture


Does count?

I guess "rapid" is in the eye of the beholder ;-)

Pizza Time's picture


ZGameEditor, for making games that are 64kb in size.

SpindleyQ's picture

Can't believe I forgot about

Can't believe I forgot about MegaZeux.

SpindleyQ's picture

So I picked up a box

So I picked up a box labelled "Independant Games" the other day, and inside was a little program called The Scrolling Game Development Kit that looks pretty interesting. Also interesting-looking is the sequel.

SpindleyQ's picture

Microsoft just released an

Microsoft just released an Alpha of a clipart-tastic browser-based Popfly. The clipart is ENORMOUS and the user-created games are atrocious. Trying to edit the graphics crashed my browser.

popfly is dead.

popfly is dead.

.KKliker's picture

Just FYI, Gary Kitchen's

Just FYI, Gary Kitchen's Game Maker is available for more platforms than just the C64. I know an Apple II version was released, and I've heard mentions of it being available for DOS, Amiga and Atari ST.

.KKliker's picture

Just FYI, Gary Kitchen's

Just FYI, Gary Kitchen's Game Maker is available for more platforms than just the C64. I know an Apple II version was released, and I've heard mentions of it being available for DOS, Amiga and Atari ST.

SpindleyQ's picture

Just discovered Game Editor,

Just discovered Game Editor, which looks vaguely interesting / nauseating. It's interesting in that it's got a Klik & Play-style map editor, and can build games for Windows, Linux, and a bunch of mobile platforms. There's certainly no shortage of trainwrecks being offered up by the community.

It's nauseating in that it uses C as its scripting language. Apparently if you don't pay for a license, your game is automatically GPLv3, so I'm guessing it bundles gcc and generates a bunch of C code.

Now, I could imagine a scenario where using C as a user-facing scripting language might not be an awful idea. For example, if you had the philosophy of building useful abstractions to minimize the opportunity for the user to shoot themselves in the foot. Instead, the philosophy seems to be that the user should write a bunch of repetitive code until their game works. They actually advocate cut-and-pasting giant functions full of nested switch statements which contain the entire logic of how the player moves just so that your character can wear different costumes!

It's apparently the choice of sixty-year-old women, though.

qrleon's picture


They actually advocate cut-and-pasting giant functions full of nested switch statements which contain the entire logic of how the player moves just so that your character can wear different costumes!

this is breaking my brain

SpindleyQ's picture

I mean I understand not

I mean I understand not wanting to explain sprintf to people, but then perhaps you should consider supporting the concept of groups of animations.

If you want more pain check out their documentation on 8-way movement and moonwalking. Glurrggh.

.KKliker's picture

The Shoot-em-up Construction Kit remake?

I saw this mentioned in Trainspotting, but no one replied or put it here.

LFF's picture

Scratch EXEs

Scratch owns and is great for making trainwrecks, except for that you have to upload and play your creations to their buggy website.
Luckily I found a tool on the forums that will convert them to EXE's, for unawful distribution.
Works with any version of scratch, and the projects I tested it with work fine. Might be handy to add it next to the Scratch link up there.

.KKliker's picture

Being a Mac OS user kind of sucks now...

...more than it used to, anyway.

Do the EXEs made rely on an external .sb file, or are they just standalone?

If their standalone, do you think you could include the .sb file in the archive for non-Windows users like me? It just feels weird and kind of unfair to shut out some owners of Scratch just because you put your game into an EXE.

I'm probably the only person here who doesn't have Windows, aren't I? :P

LFF's picture

Sure, that'll be no problem.

Sure, that'll be no problem. I'm just putting my games into exe's because I don't want to upload it to their site, and I don't want people to have to download scratch itself to play the games.

kirkjerk's picture

I cant vouch for this yet

I cant vouch for this yet but "Small BASIC":

If you want to make a

If you want to make a Pinball, VISUAL PINBALL is the way to go. Scriptable in Visual Basic.

Apparently there is a new version called FUTURE PINBALL, too:

sir_mud's picture

I like FreeBASIC, similar to

I like FreeBASIC, similar to the old qbasic included with ms-dos but modernized. Interfaces with C libraries and includes a qbasic style graphics library that can be used to make trainwrecks or masterpieces.

leilei's picture

Game Maker should be added.

Game Maker should be added. That's a name for another entirely different one for DOS, by RSD. Its existence is responsible for many DOS platformer trainwrecks (much like the other Game Maker is for Win32 platformer trainwrecks!)

I think the company for it totally folded, but there's a free-ish version out there. It's apparently hard to find when the other one of the same name completely buries this one.

If you know what "New Age Warrior" and "DIE BLARNEY!" is like, then this is what made that.

juhis815's picture

Wii Game Studio

I just discovered Wii Game Studio which enables you to make your own homebrew Wii games!

And here's the link:

daphaknee's picture

can you make some kind of *

can you make some kind of * or footnote highlighting games that you DONT have to know some weird programming language for

for the simple folk


SpindleyQ's picture

Not quite sure what you mean

Not quite sure what you mean by "weird programming language"; like, are you bummed at how Unity really kind of requires a working knowledge of Javascript or C#? Does ZZT count? 'Cause, that shit's super-weird, but people seem to understand it OK anyhow.

I mean I'm assuming you want a star beside Scratch and no star beside the Scrolling Game Development Kit but I just want to make sure I know how to draw that distinction.

I didn't read through all

I didn't read through all the comments here, so this may have already been mentioned.

Clickteam has a free version of The Games Factory here:

What's the catch? Well, apparently it only exports .swf files that can be played on Newgrounds. So, you'll have to have a Newgrounds account and upload your creations there. Clickteam gets paid for those ads. (If you need to test an .swf, but don't want to formally submit the game to Newgrounds, simply upload it in the "Dumping Grounds" section in your account.)

I thought this would be interesting to those folks who are familiar with Klik stuff, but don't have the flash exporter.

I haven't actually used the software yet, but as far as I know, that's the only difference between this and the retail version of TGF2. I'll install it on Virtualbox later and check it out.

I'm new here, but I'm

I'm new here, but I'm thinking about starting to make games properly.

I've started using this: to make one or two small games. It seems pretty good. it's even simpler than Game Maker, and it's all web-based. It outputs flash games. They're hoping to add collaboration on projects soon, apparently. Wanna add it to this list?

and now I've moved to

and now I've moved to construct 2, which is much better. But omygame might make better trainwrecks ;)

ExciteMike's picture

I had a really nice chat

I had a really nice chat with a guy who worked on at GDC. I STILL haven't tried it myself, though.

Here's some more from my game-making-tools-I-still-need-to-check-out list:
* Kodu (has a PC version now!)
* Game Salad

Also possibly
* DarkBASIC is what got me into this making-games thing back in the day:
* The mission-creator in Spore's "Galactic Adventures" expansion should probably count? (Bonus: also makes the space stage of Spore enjoyable! (assuming their servers are still up and serving user-created missions))

Flowlab Game Builder

Flowlab game maker is a browser based game creator that lets you create complete games from scratch, in your browser. It uses a visual logic builder to create the game logic, so no programming is required, and games can be played on the web or exported to iOS.

Johny L.'s picture


Ren'py would require you to script with Python, so i suggest Novelty for easy visual novel creativity!

Both 3 characters shown on my avatar are copyright Black Squirrel, Jonny Smeby and Nintendo.

Blueberry Soft's picture

Here's another site that

Here's another site that seems to have a good database of game making things:

I also keep a bit of a list going here: I should mention my wiki I guess :3

megamegamega's picture


Check out GDevelop

The UI and programming is a bit like Construct and MMF. Can do mobile, native or HTML5 games and is currently in active development.

Thank you, very good tools

Thank you, very good tools

scarbo's picture


Godot is good 3d/2d game engine. It's also completely free(registered under the mit license) and open source.