Here's where jam participants can discuss game engines and development tools. Below is a brief list of free ones that I would recommend, some introductory resources to check out, and a list of well known games made with each in order to get an idea what the tools are capable of. I really only have recent experience with Unity, GameMaker, and Twine, so feel free to contribute any tutorials or info I might have missed, and ask questions if anything was unclear.
- Unity: The most popular game development tool, which is capable of creating both 2D and 3D games. Some C# scripting will likely be required, but a lot can be accomplished in the level editor alone, and with the help of the asset store.
Notable Games: Gone Home, Hearthstone, Cities Skylines, Ori and the Blind Forest, Cuphead
Resources: Unity Beginner Documentation; Sebastian Lague Intro Playlist;
- GameMaker: A relatively beginner friendly tool specializing in 2D games. GameMaker features a drag and drop interface but can also be programmed entirely with it's own unique scripting language.
Notable Games: Spelunky, Hotline Miami, Hyper Light Drifter, Undertale
Resources: Making A Game With No Experience; Shaun Spalding Tutorials;
Notable Games: Depression Quest
Resources: Twine Wiki; (Twine is really easy to pick up and shouldn't require much reading to get started)
- Unreal Engine: Noted for its visual quality, and used in AAA and indie games alike, especially for first person shooters. While a lot of effort has been put into making the engine more accessible, it will still require some research and knowledge of C++.
Notable Games: Bioshock, Unreal Tournament, Mass Effect Trilogy, Life is Strange, Rocket League, Fortnite
Resources: Unreal Engine Official Documentation; (I have zero experience with Unreal, so I'll let someone who does fill in the gaps here)
- RPG Maker: While very focused in its capabilities, specializing in JRPG style games, RPG Maker is also pretty straight-forward and easy to use. It requires no coding, but additional functionality can be added with custom scripts using the Ruby language. There are multiple versions, each with a free trial, but RPG Maker VX Ace Lite is a completely free version, which should serve the needs of this jam.
Notable Games: To the Moon, Lisa
Resources: RPG Maker VX Official Documentation; (I haven't used RPG Maker for several versions so hopefully there's someone familiar with its more recent iterations.)