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Best Game Design Software in 2024 — Top 9 Picks (July)

Best Game Design Software in 2024 — Top 9 Picks (July)

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Game design has made significant leaps in the past decade due to the development of multiple platforms and consoles. Aside from that, the graphics of games have been steadily improving through the years.

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As the industry continues to grow, people start understanding better that game design isn’t easy compared to playing the game. When you’re playing, all you have to do is worry about the game mechanics and how you’re going to move forward. But when you’re developing a game, you have to think about the characters, user interface, world crafting, and a lot more.

In the background, video game design also includes technical aspects like game mechanics, gameplay, storyline, sound, and a lot more. That’s why people use various software to make these processes easier and create high-quality game content. Overall, these tools have simplified the process of creating a game. 

Let’s look at what this video game designing software can do in more detail.  

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What is Game Designing Software?

Basically, video game design software is an application that helps in developing games. It is a tool to create characters and game concepts with technical aspects in mind. It also helps create a framework for game design. It acts as a bridge between ideas turning them into actual games. 


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Game design programs help in these technical processes:

  • Gameplay physics
  • Sound effects
  • User interface design
  • Game mechanics
  • Links to online stores, etc. 

The process of designing a game becomes easier for video game designers through these tools. The software packages of video game development may vary based on different categories. 

  • 2D packages: Games working on pixel coordinates.
  • 3D packages: Games which 3D scenes. 

Some of the software included in this list also comes in multiple languages. Aside from that, some also don’t require users to have coding knowledge, programming skills, or experience. These things make it easier for more users to get into game design because it’s inclusive and easy to operate.

10+ Best Software for Video Game Design

  1. UnityBest game design software overall
  2. Adobe After Effects – Best motion graphic software (Get 65% Off Here)
  3. Stencyl – Best performing game design software
  4. Autodesk – Best animation gaming software
  5. TwineText-based gaming software
  6. Game salad – Best software for learning game development
  7. Blender – Best free animation software for games
  8. Construct 2 – Best beginner-friendly software for game design
  9. GDevelop – Best 2D game development software

 

9 Best Video Game Designing Software

1. UnityUnity - best video game designing software

The best overall game design software

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Unity is a game designing software that supports cross-platform, meaning, it is accessible on different platforms. It is developed by Unity Technologies and it’s used to develop games with 2D or 3D graphics. It does scripting through C# and has a drag-and-drop functionality so it’s easier to place elements and make processes faster. 

This gaming tool is a great choice for VR development. It has improved its position on various platforms such as PS4, PC, and many other mobile markets. It also doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or a professional game developer. This software has something to offer to users no matter their skill level.

Overall, it helps create high-quality gameplay. It provides all the technical support to design games.

Pros

Cons

➕Easy to use ➖Lacks an advanced material editor
➕Many features to designing games

 

2. Adobe After Effects

Adobe After Effects

The best motion graphic software

Adobe After Effects is one of the best software which can be used for VFX and motion graphics. It allows for post-production processes such as film-making, television productions, etc. Inception and Now you see me are movies made with the help of After Effects.  

Adobe After Effects has a key role in designing video games due to some specific functions.  Some of those functions are audio-editing, non-linear editing, tracking, and animating. It has excellent tools which suit beginners to professionals. So it is one of the best tools to create quality 2D and 3D materials. 

As the best motion graphic software, it also allows the creation of a virtual reality environment. These features of After Effects set an impression on visual artists, animators, and video editors of the software. 

If you want to know more about the tool, visit our articles on Adobe After Effects  Vs Adobe Premiere Pro and After Effects alternatives.

Pros

Cons

➕ Easy to use ➖ Limited 3D abilities
➕ Advanced Editing tools ➖ Slow rendering on some devices

 

3. Stencyl

Stencyl

The best performing game design software

Initially, the software was named Stencylworks but later, the name was changed to ‘Stencyl’. This is a game development tool that helps develop 2D video games. After creating your game, it allows you to publish on different platforms like mobile, Windows, Mac, Linux, and HTML5. It even allows you to export your games to Adobe Flash Player. 

Stencyl allows users to design games even if they don’t know how to code. It features a drag and drop feature so there’s no need to have experience with coding. To make things even easier for users, the game physics and collisions of Stencyl are handled by Box2D. 

If you do have knowledge and experience in coding, you can further customize your game to the tiniest of details. You can augment the existing creation of program capabilities by  your own code and coding it properly. It’s one of the highlights of this software.

Pros

Cons

➕ Allows publishing iOS, Android, Flash, and Windows games ➖ Stencyl is mostly best for small games.
➕ Experienced users can extend the engine by Haxe scripting ➖ Sometimes, it doesn’t work for Android.
➕ The performance level of the same game engine and platform increases as games are exported to native code.

 

4. Autodesk

Autodesk

The best animation gaming software

Autodesk is a great software if you want to focus on graphics and animation. If you’re a student, you can get a completely free full  version of it on their website, otherwise, you’ll need to avail of a subscription to be able to use it.

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This software has a set of tools that make it an efficient game design software. For example, Maya is one of the best tools of Autodesk which is known for 3D models. 

It helps in creating amazing visuals and brilliant environments easily. It includes character creation, editing, and animation. It is a user-friendly software because it allows customization of the scripts through the MEL language.

It is noteworthy though that despite its awesome features, Autodesk is only limited to Windows.

You can also read our blogs on  Best Graphic designing software

Pros

Cons

➕ Easy to use ➖ Time-consuming in rendering
➕ 3D package ➖ Restricted to other platforms
➕ Allows adding plugins and scripts

 

5. Twine

Twine

The text-based gaming software

Twine is a free desktop application for game development. It is a user-friendly software that does not require any coding experience. It is best known for creating text-based games like visual novels where your choices can influence the outcome of the story.

This application is perfect for users who want to start learning game development. It helps developers bring their ideas to life through the tools available in the software. As for publishing content, your output can be published directly to HTML so you can post your work anywhere. 

Pros

Cons

➕ Flexible software and game mechanics ➖ Lacks improvement in polls
➕ A great role in creating complex stories ➖ Only accessible for text-based games
➕ Not necessary tohave coding programming language skills.

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6. GameSalad

Game salad

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The best software for learning game development

GameSalad is a game software that promotes and guides users in learning game content. It allows users to build games effortlessly through a drag and drop interface. 

The software also enables users to engage with STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) through game design project. That’s why it is also considered an educational tool to teach game development to students. This makes learning both fun and interactive.

It’s also noteworthy that this software doesn’t require coding knowledge or experience for users to fully utilize its potential. That said, GameSalad is mostly preferred for 2D game creation. It’s much simpler and easier to learn, perfect for users who are just getting started. 

It supports publishing the games on most platforms like desktop, mobile, mobile gaming console etc.

Pros

Cons

➕ User-friendly ➖ Limited features which allow only basic game development
➕ Great technical support ➖ Lacks advanced control over gameplay customization
➕ Cross-platform software

 

7. Blender

Blender

Best  free animation software for games

Blender is open-source and free software for game design and graphic design. It has tons of tools that will help you create amazing cutscenes for your games. Your creations can be customized easily as per your needs. 

For example, Blender has high-quality rigging and animation tools that allow you to create beautiful cut scenes. Can’t decide if you’ll make a cutscene in 2D or 3D? Don’t worry! Blender can take care of both!

For 2D animation, Blender supports artists through multiple tools like Onion Skinning and allows users to use layers for artworks. As for 3D animation, it has graphics software that has the following features: 

  • UV unwrapping
  • 3D modeling
  • Rigging and skinning

Blender is mostly used by the gaming industry for motion graphics, visual effects, and animated films.

Pros

Cons

➕ Helps users learn animation ➖ Lacks industry-standard gaming
➕ Good support of customized plugins, extensions, and scripts ➖ Lacks specialized software

If you’re working with videos, you’ll likely need to transcribe your audio into text for captions and beyond. We use and recommend Rev.com for their transcription services that feature same-day delivery and 99% accuracy.

 

8. Construct 2

Construct

Best beginner-friendly software for game design

Construct 2 is one of the best game software used by game designers. It is a beginner-friendly application with a brilliant supporting community. Whenever you feel lost or need help with a process you’re not familiar with, you can always go to Construct 2’s community. It has forums, tutorials, and blogs to help you figure out what’s troubling you. 

Users can easily create games due to the smooth-running workflow of the software. Aside from that, creating 2D HTML5 games is one of the highlights of Construct 2. 

Construct 2 has a great user-friendly interface. This is why it’s a good software to use for beginners who are curious about game development. They can find multiple tutorials and guides to help them navigate their way through the software.

Finally, it’s worth noting that Construct 2 allows publishing games freely on the web. You can easily share your creations and masterpieces online to get reviews and feedback from people. 

Pros

Cons

➕ Eligible for free updates through a one-time payment ➖ Poor performance in mobile
➕ Helps in time management during the process ➖ Depends on Javascript
➕ Beginner-friendly application ➖ Limited features in the free version

 

9. GDevelop

GDevelop

Best 2D game development software

When it comes to developing 2D games, GDevelop is one of the best software to use. It’s a comfortable open-source software that lets beginners discover game development without overwhelming them. This is because GDevelop does not require users to have knowledge or experience in other programming languages.

GDevelop uses tools such as a physics engine to control an object’s behavior. Some of the features of GDevelop are: 

  • Draggable objects – It’s similar to a drag and drop feature
  • Platformer engine – These features allow players to control characters to climb between the platforms.
  • Tweens – It helps in animating projects of the objects such as their position, size, etc.

GDevelop is also considered an education tool for creating learning resources or games. It can create HTML5 games which can be published on iOS and Android.

Pros

Cons

➕ Easy to use ➖ Generalized object behavior
➕ Enables physic simulation and rapid prototyping and prototype creation ➖ Lacks the ability to create 3D games and advanced tutorial aspects. 

 

Examples of Some Games

To help you fully appreciate the potential of the software we’ve included in the list, we would like to show you some examples. The games we will be discussing were developed with the few software above. 

Pokemon Go

Pokemon Go

It is a mobile game that is created for iOS and Android mobile devices only. It is developed by Niantic with the collaboration of the Pokemon Company and Nintendo. The game equally attracted the old and new generations. Pokemon Go uses Unity game engine software to create real-world maps and enormous multiplayer games.

 

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End

Uncharted 4

Uncharted 4 is an action-adventure game that was announced in 2013. It was highly promoted during the time and people around the world were hyped for it. The game was best known for its art design and sound production. It was inspired by the Indiana Jones Franchise.

The game was created using the software Maya (Autodesk). It provides a variety of tools for 3D modeling and game development which had an impact on the game.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is Twine different from other software?

Twine is one of the best game development software when it comes to creating games through texts. It’s great if you’re planning on making a visual novel game.

Why is there a need for software in designing video games?

Game designing software helps the designers work on their ideas for game design. It helps convert the storyline into visuals. It includes features such as 3D modeling, video editing, visual effects, motion graphics, and other game mechanics.

 

Best Game Design Software Summary

Game development is an awesome field to discover, study, and ultimately master. It’s exciting to learn and you get to create a whole new world for other players to explore and enjoy. 

The software we’ve discussed all helps both beginners and experienced game developers make their ideas come to life. There’s something for everyone. There’s software for beginners who have zero knowledge in  pixel art or coding and there’s software for professionals looking to perfect their craft.

It may be overwhelming to choose one out of all the software on the list. Remember, the best software for you is the one that fits your needs. So take your time to read more about what interests you before trying it out.

Good luck!


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