How to Make a Video Game for Free from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide

Ever dreamt of creating your own video game? In today’s digital age with a lot of AI advancement, it’s not as daunting as it seems. With some cool gaming idea and the right tools, you can craft your very own video game. In this article, we’ll explore some free tools that can help you get started on your game development journey.

How to Make a Video Game for Free from Scratch: A Beginner’s Guide
Image credit: Bing (DALLE 3)

Choose Your Tool

There are several free game development tools available that cater to different skill levels and game types. Here are a few options:

Core: Core is a game creation platform that allows you to make a video game without any coding knowledge. It provides a variety of gameplay frameworks that you can modify to create your unique game.

  • Pros: Core allows you to create 3D games in numerous genres without any coding knowledge. You can earn revenue as people play your games and it has robust community support.
  • Cons: The creations are locked to Core’s PC ecosystem
  • Premium Plans: Core is free to use

GDevelop: GDevelop is a free, open-source game engine that’s user-friendly and fast. It allows you to build games from anywhere, even on your phone, and publish them on various platforms.

  • Pros: GDevelop is designed for ease of use, even with zero game development experience. It’s a versatile engine with many possible ways to make games that look amazing. It optimizes the size of mobile games.
  • Cons: GDevelop has limitations if you want to develop 3D games. Its debugging system is not intuitive.
  • Premium Plans: GDevelop offers premium plans for different usages. The Silver plan costs €4.99/month and the Gold plan costs €9.99/month.

GameMaker: GameMaker makes designing games easy, regardless of your background or skill level. It allows you to export your games to various platforms.

  • Pros: GameMaker supports 2D and 3D game development. It offers visual and text-based programming languages and lets you export to the web, mobile, PC, and consoles.
  • Cons: It can be expensive to publish on consoles.
  • Premium Plans: GameMaker offers a free version for non-commercial use. For commercial use, it requires a one-time fee of $99.99.

Buildbox: Buildbox provides a 10-part video course on how to make your first game from scratch. It supplies you with all the art, sound, and tutorials you need, and there’s no programming required.

  • Pros: Buildbox is one of the best Android Game makers which can be used without a single coding knowledge. You can develop high-quality 3D as well as 2D games.
  • Cons: It has many limitations if you want to develop 3D games.
  • Premium Plans: Buildbox offers three pricing plans. The Plus plan is $48.99/year, the Pro plan is $148.99/year, and the Ultimate Bundle is $447.99/year.

Learn the Basics

Once you’ve chosen your tool, spend some time learning how to use it. Most of these platforms have tutorials and community forums where you can ask questions and learn from other users. Start Creating

Now that you’re familiar with your chosen tool, it’s time to start creating. Begin by sketching out your game idea. What kind of game do you want to create? Gameplay be like? What will the characters look like?

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to create, you can start building your game using your chosen tool. Remember, creating a video game is a process of trial and error. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and learn from them.

Test and Refine

After you’ve created your game, it’s important to test it and refine it based on feedback. Ask friends or family members to play your game and provide feedback. Use their input to make improvements and adjustments.

Publish and Share

Once you’re happy with your game, it’s time to publish and share it. Each of the tools mentioned above has its own process for publishing games. Follow the instructions provided by the tool to publish your game and share it with others.

How Long Does It Take to Make a Video Game?

The time it takes to develop a video game can vary greatly depending on several factors such as the type of game, the size of the development team, and the resources available. Here are some general time frames:

  • Indie Games: Creating an indie game can take anywhere between a few days and several years. For example, “Stardew Valley” took Eric “ConcernedApe” Barone four years to create by himself.
  • Mobile Games: Mobile games can be developed in a few months.
  • AAA Games: Big budget games or AAA games, backed by multi-million-dollar development budgets, can take up to five (5) years or more to make.

Remember, these are just estimates and the actual time can vary based on many factors. The key is to start with a clear plan, stay organized, and be prepared for the process to take time. Game development is a complex process that involves a lot of creativity, technical skills, and patience.

Creating a video game from scratch can be a rewarding experience. It allows you to express your creativity and learn valuable skills in the process. So why wait? Start creating your own video game today!

Remember, the journey of game development is just as important as the end product. Enjoy the process and happy gaming!


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