There are three things that you can count on in life: death, taxes, and that your kids will love playing games. No matter whether they enjoy Baseball, Monopoly, Super Mario Bros, or just rolling in the mud, children love playing games. And most of them love to make up their own games. If your child is a huge fan of video games like I was as a kid, you might want to let them know that they can actually make their own video games. You might be thinking that it takes a college degree, thousands of dollars, and a hard-earned job in a company to work on making games. That may have been true twenty years ago, but today things are drastically different. There are programs and tools out there now that offer people of all ages the chance to learn everything from programming in multiple languages, creating graphic and audio assets, and designing everything in order to create the next big hit, all for under $100 (or if you’re resourceful enough and you’re child is a quick enough learner, you could even do it for free).
Here, I’m going to outline a couple of the more popular programs used for video game creation to get you and your child started on a fun and exciting hobby. Both of the programs I’m going to talk about will either be available completely for free or have a free or “lite” option.
For each program I will provide a difficulty rating for each piece of software from 1 to 10, 1 being something anyone could pick up and learn at any time in their life and 10 being something only a professional with extensive education in the program could use effectively.
Now you may be wondering “Who is this person, and what do they know about making video games?” Well, I’m no pro, but I have taught myself to code, create music, and make graphics all for free. I’ve since used all those skills to make eight of my own games. My latest development even won a competition (click here to play it!). I’ve also worked with several mobile game developers in creating assets for their games, and I run a website on game design tools and tips for kids. So I hope you can find something useful out of this, and if you have any thoughts or suggestions, or even if you’d just like to talk about video games, please feel free to message me or leave a comment at the bottom of this page :)
Two Programs You Can Use to Make Games
There are a ton of options floating around out there on the internet for people to use to start making their own video games, but there are two programs in particular that were made with young developers in mind: GameMaker and Stencyl . These programs excel at making it incredibly easy to jump in and start making games. With massive communities built around each, there are plenty or resources online if you get stuck. Now lets go over the main features of each and see why they’re so reputable, powerful, and perfect for kids to use to learn the art of making games.
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