Games being around since the 1980s have seen hype ever since their inception. Every day we witness more games being developed and all of them host a significant audience. Playing games is not just a mere hobby. It is rather adapted in various disciplines. Games are a means to find solace and peace of mind in one’s busy life. Especially in this pandemic, COVID-19, people are suffering from various mental disorders such as anxiety, depression, etc. Playing a game can impact significantly help improve one’s mental health and help people lead a normal and healthy life. Many psychologists and psychiatrists recommend and use various games to assess people’s mental health conditions. In the corporate sector, the human resource (HR) departments make the recruiters play a game to assess their abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. Hence, in the world of today, games play a significantly important role in one’s life and thereby increase the demand for the development of more games. Here in this article, we discuss the leading games development software that provides the developers an environment to better and most seamlessly create amazing games. The here discussed software is free, open-source, and cross-platform compatible, thereby ensuring flexibility, reliability, and a large scale audience.
Released in January 2014, Godot Engine, since its inception, has administered a significant number of active users and fans. Godot Engine is free, open-source, and is compatible with most of the leading operating systems, such as Linux, Windows, macOS, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and FreeBSD.
The features of the software include an attractive and intuitive visual editor equipped with state-of-the-art tools for creating and developing fantastic 3D, and 2D games, a visual animator enabling frame-based or cut-out animation for rigs and sprites, run-time game debugging capabilities, C++ based API allowing developers to seamlessly extend game features or perform optimization, uncluttered UI with the context-sensitive editors, powerful profilers and debuggers, etc.
Get it now from https://godotengine.org/download
GDevelop is a C++ and Java-based game development software allowing unlimited and ensured flexibility to the developers. The software was released for the general public in 2008 and is developed under the MIT license. The efficient game development software is free, open-source, and cross-platform compatible. Furthermore, the software also offers a web browser interface enabling users to access the tool without needing to install and get the desktop version running.
The features equipped in the marvelous software are fast and intuitive environment, ability to add or integrate a game object in a scene of a video or place text with a mere one-click, a feature named Shape Painters allows the developers to draw the custom shape and integrate it in the game, enhanced and advanced sound effect engine, RPG-like maps with the Tiled map objects, efficient debugger and performance profiler are some of the most admired features of the software.
Get it now from https://gdevelop-app.com/download/
Delta Engine is another free, open-source, and cross-platform compatible software that supports numerous operating systems such as Linux, Windows, iOS, Android, etc. The tool also offers a web browser interface thereby allowing users to directly use the development environment from their browsers.
The enhanced features of the platform include the platform’s ability to support physical stimulation, interchangeable 3D and 2D source codes, ability to import 3D models, particle effect editor functionality, ability to create and integrate into the game various contents such as images, music, etc., integration with external or third-party libraries or various frameworks, and the list goes on.
Access the GitHub repository now from https://github.com/DeltaEngine
Panda3D is written in Python and Java. The tool gives commendable flexibility to its users in terms of game development and scalability. Panda3D is free, open-source, and can be used across multiple platforms as the software is a web-based tool and therefore anyone across the globe can use it through their browsers.
The features incorporated in the tool are command-line tools to process and optimize source assets, pstats, i.e., an over-the-network profiling system designed to help the users to understand the usage of their frame time supports rapid prototyping with no complicated initialization code, equipped with the out-of-the-box support for many popular third-party libraries like Bullet physics engine, OpenAL, FMOD sound libraries, Assimp model loader, and so on.
Get it now from https://www.panda3d.org/download/sdk-1-10-10/
Written in C#, and released in 2009, MonoGame is another game development environment equipped with a list of enhanced features. The platform supports a list of operating systems and paradigms such as Linux, macOS, Windows, iOS, Android, Windows Phone 8, PlayStation 4, PlayStation Vita, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, tvOS.
The features of the efficient and advanced game developing environment include its ability to implement the XNA 4 API fully, accelerometer sensor, device orientation, and a multi-touch gesture point, an excellent textual format allowing seamless editing capability, an optimized and fully compiled binary format for the runtime usage, etc.
Get it now from https://www.monogame.net/downloads/
Cocos2d is a free, open-source, and cross-platform compatible software. The product comes under the MIT license and supports many browsers and platforms. The software was initially released in 2018 and since then has released several versions such as Cocos2d-x, Cocos2d-objc, Cocos2d-XNA, and Cocos2d-html5. Though, here we highlight and discuss Cocos2d-x which we believe is the best amongst its peers in terms of game development.
The features of Cocos2d-x include its ability to support metal on macOS and iOS, utilizes CMake for all platforms, utilizes the basic primitive known as ‘sprite’, animation primitives using actions and timers, modern and fast C++ API supporting numerous external integrations, efficient GUI equipped with labels, text boxes, buttons, menus, etc., and the list goes on.
Get it now from https://www.cocos.com/en/cocos2dx/download
Starling is a Gamua-based, free, open-source, and cross-platform compatible game development software. The software offers a web-browser based interface to develop and design attractive 2D games. The platform supports both desktop and mobile-friendly games and is constantly improving its compatibility with platforms such as Flox, and Sparrow.
The features include the transition between scenes flipping playing cards realistically using the 3D magic, fast process of rendering textures with special effects is facilitated like bullet holes in the wall and footprints in the snow, supports classic Bitmap Fonts and TrueType fonts, different blend modes are promoted like dynamic highlights and glowing fire to create special effects, several filters are provided for modifying the look of your display objects.
Get it now from https://gamua.com/starling/download/
The article lists the top performing 7 best gaming development software. The here discussed software are Godot Engine, GDevelop, Delta Engine, Panda3D, MonoGame, Cocos2d-x, and Starling. All the listed software offers an intuitive and friendly environment to the game developers. Also, the developed games support both mobile and desktop versions seamlessly. Along with offering market-competitive and most attractive features, the discussed software is free, open-source, and supports development across all the leading operating systems.
Karim Buzdar holds a degree in telecommunication engineering and holds several sysadmin certifications including CCNA RS, SCP, and ACE. As an IT engineer and technical author, he writes for various websites.