Best tools for C++ game development

In today's world, people don't use computers and smart devices just to perform intelligent actions and satisfy personal needs, they also use these to get entertained. One of the pleasant distractions for them is to play games. Because of incessant interest in games, the process of game development has become an industry niche in the digital market. Game development is not an easy process and it’s really important to choose the right tools for the developer to work with. The game industry has evolved rapidly because of many sophisticated game development tools. Any concept of the game comes to life on the screen of devices because of these intelligent game creation tools. To get the success of your game development you need suitable tools for your game. Here, we enlist the best game development tools which give you numerous options to explore and choose from, as per your requirements. So, let's check out the tools -

Unity

Unity is an intuitive game development engine that offers a vast array of features for both 2D and 3D game development. It is one of the best engines for cross-platform mobile game development. You can quickly and easily port games onto Android, iOS, Windows Phone 8, and BlackBerry platforms. Unity supports assets from major 3D applications like 3ds Max, Maya, Softimage, CINEMA 4D, Blender etc. With the recent release of Unity 4.3, native 2D capabilities, supporting sprites and 2D physics are also added to its design capabilities.

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Corona SDK

Corona SDK is the toolset for making 2D games faster than other platforms. Corona gives you an opportunity to see the results of your work immediately after codding. Corona uses language Lua for the codding, it’s easy and comfortable to work with.

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Gamemaker Studio

GameMaker Studio is the leading all-inclusive 2D game development environment available. Its drag-and-drop interface makes it possible to make a video game without any coding -- simply set your scene and actors with a few clicks. You also have the option of programming in its own scripting language, Game Maker Language. GameMaker Studio is strictly concerned with 2D game development. Popular iOS games such as Cook, Serve, Delicious, Simply Solitaire and Deadbolt were all made with GameMaker Studio.

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Stencyl

With this toolset, you can make Flash games faster than with any other program out there. The interface features a drag-and-drop system along with blocks of code for you to utilize. While you can make great games with Stencyl, it’s often tool by developers to make quick prototypes of their game ideas.

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GDevelop

GDevelop is an open source, cross-platform game creator platform designed for novices. There is no requirement for any sort of programming skills. GDevelop is a great platform to develop all sorts of 2D and 3D games. It consists of several editors on which games can be created.

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Godot Engine

Godot Engine supports 2D and 3D. Like Unity, Godot supports the creation of both 2D and 3D games. Unlike Unity, however, Godot’s support is far better. The 2D aspect of the engine was carefully designed from the start, which means better performance, fewer bugs, and a cleaner overall workflow. Godot’s approach to game architecture is unique in that everything is divided into scenes - but not the kind of scene you’re thinking of. A scene is a collection of elements like sprites, sounds, and/or scripts. You can then combine multiple scenes into a bigger scene, and then those scenes into even bigger scenes. This hierarchical design approach makes it very easy to stay organized and modify individual elements whenever you want. Custom scripting language. Godot uses a drag-and-drop system for maintaining scene elements, but each of those elements can be extended through the built-in scripting system, which uses a custom Python-like language called GDScript. It’s easy to learn and fun to use, so you should give it a try even if you have no coding experience.

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GameSalad

GameSalad lets developers create games effortlessly, thanks to its visual drag-and-drop interface, a large behavior library, fully integrated physics engine and other cool features that make game development easy. The software’s behavior library provides freedom to game developers to create actions of their choice from a list of basic and advanced game behaviors. Once game creation is complete, developers can test their game using the app’s amazing previewer. While the free version gives you the freedom to create games, preview them, and publish them to the web and iOS platform, the pro version lets you monetize your games and publish them to the Google Play Store and Windows 8. There are other additional benefits in the pro version, but trying out the free version first and then upgrading to the pro version if you are satisfied with the interface, preview and behavior sets.

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Sploder

Sploder is an online-only app for PC that lets newbie game developers create web games using a variety of toolsets. Developers can create their own arcade games, platformers, space adventures or shooters. Each genre has its own set of tools. There’s also a separate physics game creator for creating physics-based games and a graphics editor to create your own pixelated characters. While Sploder is a great platform to create a game of your choice, it does not support app monetization. Also, you cannot publish your game in a mobile market. You can, however, publish your games to the website and get your games rated by other members.

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Construct 2

Construct 2 is a gaming tool which helps users to create specifically 2D games. HTML5 based tool allows beginners to create the game without any knowledge of programming as well as it doesn’t require any coding. Construct 2 Gaming Tool, has been used by the professional developers to create games for Android and iOS platforms. Construct 2, has been loaded with features like movements, fade, platforms, path- findings and many other facilities which guide beginners in creating gaming tool. Through this, you can view your game on the internet but before the compilation and it saves time. Likewise, other gaming tools, construct 2 comes up with the simple visual interface which helps beginners in creating games easily.

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Lumberyard

Amazon’s Lumberyard is a free game engine which can be used for Android, iOS, PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4. It is based on CryEngine, a game development kit developed by Crytek. With cross-platform functionality, Lumberyard provides a lot of tools to create AAA quality games. Some of its best features include full C++ source code, networking, Audiokinetic feature-rich sound engine, seamless integration with AWS Cloud and Twitch API. Its graphics are accelerated with a range of terrain, character, rendering and authoring tools which help to create photo-quality 3D environments at scale.

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Unreal Engine

This tool is designed for both huge teams and small business. You can develop any kind of game using Unreal Engine. All helpful information is on their YouTube-channel and on special websites. Their platform supports C++ scripting. Unreal has pretty much everything you need to build a game is built into the engine, including 3D modeling tools, landscape systems, and more. Because it's packed with so much stuff, Unreal Engine tends to have a higher learning curve than other tools, so even if you're well versed in C++, expect to run into some walls as you're learning. You'll be able to build incredibly professional looking games with Unreal. You can also reverse engineer Unreal's nodes to learn more about how it works.

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Monogame

Monogame is an open-source video game framework. It utilizes .NET to make its code manageable and reliable when it comes to cross-platform development. No need to worry about exporting your code to different machines and operating systems. Since Monogame is a framework and not a full-blown engine, building a game upon it is not for the faint of heart.

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Cocos2d-x

Cocos2d-x is an open source game development platform available under the MIT License. It allows developers to build games, apps and various interactive programs. It enables developers to make use of C++, Lua and JavaScript for cross-platform deployment on iOS, Android, Windows Phone, OS X, Windows and Linux devices. The cocos2d-x render engine is highly optimised for 2D graphics with OpenGL support. It is packed with tons of features like skeletal animation, sprite sheet animation, coordinate systems, visual effects, textures, tile maps, multi-resolution devices, etc. It is maintained by developers at Chukong Technologies, which is also developing Coco studio, a WYSIWYG editor.

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Panda3D

Panda3D an open source framework for rendering and developing 3D games. It uses C++ and Python programs for its creations. Thus, making the entire gaming engine to be written in C++ and Python interface as its automatic wrapper generator to expose the complete functionality of the engine. Moreover, it also supports OpenGL and DirectX. This open source engine includes various tools including but not limited to the scene graph browsing and performance monitoring, animation optimizers. Its features include a hassle-free installation and supports Windows, OS X and Linux, full Python integration and highly optimized via C++, it comes with various OpenGL and DirectX features like GLSL, includes shadier generation, 3D pipeline and support for Penal Audio Engine, FMOD Audio Engine and Miles Audio Engine.

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Fusion

Fusion provides features you need to build an event-based game. Fusion is really not difficult to start right now, while it doesn’t require any programming language knowledge. Use conditions and actions. No need to spend hours looking for some option. The interface is intuitive and provides native fillings.

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AppGameKit

AppGameKit is a solution for multiplatform game projects. The platform was mentioned in top 15 game frameworks of 2014. It is suitable for both new and experienced game developers. Its own programming language is similar to C++ is AGK BASIC. So it enables developers to start developing games without much time for learning it. The main feature is cross-platform support and the capability to have one project for all platforms: Windows Phone, iOS, Android, Blackberry.

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Marmalade

This powerful tool lets you make anything from single player 2D games to multiplayer 3D titles. While it does require C++ knowledge, Marmalade SDK is the quickest way to create cross-platform C++ games for a number of platforms. Successful titles like Plants vs Zombies and Godus were made with Marmalade. Marmalade Quick, is designed for app development using Lua, and Marmalade Web supports the creation of hybrid apps, using HTML5, CSS, and JavaScript.

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PowerVR Graphics SDK

Imagination’s PowerVR Graphics SDK offers a framework made up of PVRSHell, which helps streamline the process of writing cross-platform graphics applications, and PVRTools, a tools library containing the most commonly used functionality in a 3D graphics application. The tool can be used to render simple shapes to complex scenes that feature numerous objects, animations and shader effects. To help devs get to grips with the tool, the SDK contains various manuals, white papers, and training materials.

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PhyreEngine

PhyreEngine is a free to use game engine released in January 2012 by Sony Interactive Entertainment. This is compatible with more than just the PlayStation platforms (PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, PlayStation VR, PlayStation Vita, PlayStation Portable) but also with Microsoft Windows (for OpenGL and DirectX 11), Nintendo Switch, Google Android and Apple iOS thus making it successful and adopted by several game studios and now,  it has been used in over 200 published titles.

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FMOD

This is another effective sound tool for the video game. FMOD has an organised library of audio effects for any game. So, developers have access to stunning effects for their the game via Unity and Unreal Engine plugins. Finally, it’s possible to create the audio on your own using intuitive visual environment without any coding. It is a multiplatform engine with more than 15 years of successful work. FMOD offers team collaboration and familiar simple, intuitive interface. FMOD includes four services with some unique functions for every one of them, like mixing option, digital audio workstation. It can be integrated with Unity, Unreal Engine, CryEngine, Source, BigWorld Technology.

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With these tools, you should be well on your way to making games at the cheap. Obviously, you'll still need to invest time, blood, sweat, and tears, but at least your pocketbook doesn't have to take a hit as well. Test out the tools mentioned above, familiarize yourself with them, and see what works for you and your team. If you know about any other amazing tools, then, share with us in the comments section. Thank you!