Wiering Software
Information about creating games

How do you make a game?

    Many people want to create their own games and ask how to do that and where to get a program to make games with. This page is meant to help you get started.

    First of all, there are many different ways to create games, varying from using an easy game creation program to coding your entire game from scratch in a programming language.

    • Game Creation Programs
    • There are lots of programs that let you create games without having to be able to actually program it.

        Probably the most well known and most used example is Game Maker by Mark Overmars. You can easily create simple games without any programming (although Game Maker does include a programming language for more advanced users). If you don't have any experience with programming and want to get started, it's probably a good idea to play around with Game Maker for a while. The avarage quality of the example games is very low, but Game Maker has improved over the years and there are people who use it for commercial game development.

        Here is a page with a huge list of game creation programs: Ambrosine's Games Page - Game Creation Resources.

    • Programming Languages
    • Most people use a programming language to create games. There are lots of different languages and most of them can be used for games. Here are a few:

        If you want an easy to learn language, specially designed for games, and you have a little money to spend, your best choice is probably Blitz Basic (either Blitz3D or BlitzMax). Many shareware developers use Blitz Basic, Wiering Software used Blitz3D for Olaf & Elmar.

        Most games by Wiering Software were written in Pascal / Delphi, which is a very nice language to work with. Borland has released the old Turbo Pascal 5.5 for free (requires registration). Here is an example of a DOS game that you can compile with it: Super Mario clone with complete Turbo Pascal source code. Borland recently released Turbo Delphi, but the free version can't easily be used for games, since you can't include 3rd party components. An alternative is Free Pascal which is like a Turbo Pascal remake, available for many platforms (also take a look at Lazarus, a Delphi remake).

        Probably the most commonly used programming language for games is C / C++. This language might be a bit harder to learn than Basic or Pascal. Dev-C++ is a good (and completely free) environment to write C/C++ programs in. There are several game libraries you can use with Dev-C++. Microsoft has also released a free version of their Visual C++ compiler: Visual C++ 2005 Express and special software for creating games: XNA Game Studio.

        The language used to write Sint Nicolaas & Zwarte Piet was Clean, a functional programming language. Using the Clean Game Library, it's possible to write a similar game without too much work (see the source code of these games). Unfortunately, nobody uses this, since the language is very hard to learn.

        Finally, you can also make Flash games that run directly from a webpage. That can be done using Adobe Flash, but there are also free alternatives, such as haXe (try this small Mario demo written in haXe).

    • Graphics
    • In addition to writing code for your game, you will usually also want to include graphics:

        Tile Studio (by Wiering Software) is a program for creating graphics and maps for games and exporting them so you can easily include them in your games.

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