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Stuck at Home? Start Making Games

May 2, 2020

As we move into month three of at-home quarantining, it’s safe to say jigsaw puzzles have begun to lose their luster. And despite some plans to reopen the state’s economy, a large number of us will still be stuck at home for the foreseeable future.

It might be time for a new hobby.

On this at-home edition of [Indi]android, we spoke to four Bloomington-based independent game developers to get their thoughts on how to get started making our own games at home.

One of the biggest starting points is to find an engine that works for you. Sortingh.at is a website that walks you through the kind of game you want to make and then recommends a program for creating it. Or, you can head to the big two of indie development: Unity and Unreal Engine.

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If you want to make something more specific, GameMaker Studio 2 is a popular engine for 2-D games that doesn’t require much prerequisite knowledge of coding. PuzzleScript is an open-source engine for making rough versions of puzzle games. And Twine comes highly recommended for story-focused games.

The best part? Most of these engines are free-to-use for personal projects.

For more tips, check out the video above. Thanks to the local devs who helped us out: Nathan Mishler from Studio Cypher, Ian Sundstrom from Herringbone Games, Devlin McClure, Vice President of the Gamedev@IU group, and Cole Swany, an Indiana University Game Design student focusing on game music.