This post is part of 3 week series giving current and aspiring game devs the tools, resources, and advice they need to get started building for Windows. There is even a plugin that allows you to debug Unity applications from within Visual Studio. Bob Familiar recently wrote a 3 part blog series on MonoGame that takes you step by step through the process from getting your development environment setup to getting your game Windows 8 Store Ready. Similar to MonoGame, SunBurn is an abstraction of XNA 4, which allows developers to easily target multiple platforms. At the moment SunBurn supports Windows, Win8, Win Phone 8, Xbox 360, OSX, and Android, although more platforms are in the works.
A free version is available, but you’ll need to pony up a few bucks for additional platforms.
It can be overwhelming when you are starting off, because there are so many options available to you.
Fresh off of the Game Developers Conference, Epic revealed that their newest engine would be made available to everyone immediately, for free. Similar to Java, UnrealScript is object-oriented without multiple inheritance (classes all inherit from a common Object class), and classes are defined in individual files named for the class they define. WebGL allows your web browser to talk to the GPU on your device, whether it is a desktop machine or a phone. You can easily write JavaScript to create high-powered experiences inside of the browser, or wrap it with a third party tool like Cordova or the Windows 10 UWP to allow it to run as though it were a native application on your device and sell it in the app store of your choice. A bevvy of new features recently announced include Physically Based Shading, Geometry Cache and Image Based Lighting.
This application used to generate 3D assets for use in film, television, game development and architecture. One large benefit in Maya’s corner however, is the fact that it works on both PCs and Macs. At Unite 2013, Unity’s annual gaming conference, Maya announced that they are now releasing a lighter version of Maya for indies called MayaLT, which can be purchased using a variety of subscription models. 3DS Max is perhaps slightly more popular in the gaming industry, but you shouldn’t have a problem finding a job if you know Maya either.
Many game engines feature workflows for easy exporting from MAX to the particular engine, so look carefully before making your decision about what to purchase, and gauge the value of the tool from there. Alternatively, Blender is an open source and free 3D modeling tool, but not nearly as featured as either of Autodesks offerings. Even if you weren’t using this for soundtracks or sound effects for games, it makes for an excellent tool for creating and editing podcasts, which are invaluable when it comes to promoting your work. At its core Unity is a AAA quality 3D game engine that includes a comprehensive IDE (Integrated Development Environment). With Microsoft’s co-operation Unity will expand to include new XBox One features such as multi-player matchmaking, SmartGlass support, Kinect gesture recognition and access to cloud storage and processing all in the pipeline.
There are a multitude of licenses available but only two to consider initially for the new game developer. Taking multi-platform development to new levels the Unity environment is optimized for the four major platform groups; Mobile, Desktop, Web and Console. Off course nothing is ever as simple as advertised; the complex licensing requirements to develop for each platform would require a license from Sony, Google, Apple and Microsoft.
Another major highlight of Unity is its vibrant community that not only provides a valuable knowledge base but also makes many talented artist available.
One of the most important decisions facing any aspiring game developer is the question of environment, which game development tool to use.

Here at Highpants we are immersed in this very decision, as a collective of small time game developers we will have limited resources, both financial and man hours available.
It turns out these fairly loose requirements yield a very long list of potential dev tools. Those with a sizable budget have a fairly simple choice between Unreal Engine or CryEngine, the best 3D game engines available. The world of totally free development environments is dominated by Eclipse, XNA Game Studio, MonoGame and the brand new Android Studio. In recent days XNA has been removed as an option for potential game developers starting out. This seemingly baffling decision left many wondering if Microsoft had a plan, was there a method to this madness. While many dev tools highlight their ease of use the reality is that producing a AAA quality game is always going to be a lot of work, no matter which dev environment is chosen. For us Unity looks to be the perfect choice, providing and easy to use set of tools and with an 3D engine capable of producing the type and quality of game we hope to create.
Met GameMaker: Studio kun je zelf een spel maken zonder eerst een programmeertaal te leren.
Met de gratis versie van GameMaker: Studio kun je zonder beperkingen games maken voor Windows pc's. De betaalde versie biedt nog extra functies en exporteer mogelijkheden naar andere platforms.
Go behind the scenes to watch the making of the extremely successful HBO Original Series Game Of Thrones. Visual Studio Community edition is FREE from Microsoft, and allows you to use a multitude of languages. The biggest selling point for Unity is the fact that it works across virtually all modern platforms. A free version is available, but if you want to use the editor to do things like drag-and-drop 3D models onto a scene, then you’ll need to pay for the premium versions, which are priced well. GameMaker proves that you can still make commercially viable games, without needing to use AAA engines and knowing how the ins-and-outs of memory management in the latest programming language.
I mean just look at plethora of game making tools at  Pixel Prospetor, and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  If you have zero programming experience, then I’d suggest starting with Construct2. Everything is handled in the IDE (Integrated Development Environment) which has a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that anyone could use. There are premium versions available, but if you’re just starting off, then the free version offers more than enough to get you going. Gone are the days of UnrealScript as well, as of the engine’s programming is now done in C++. Writing low level code to allow for this interaction can be a bit of a barrier to some, so several engineers from Microsoft have created the free and open source framework, BabylonJS. This engine has powered some of the most beautiful games on the market, including the Crysis series, and Ryse: Son of Rome on Xbox One. There are a number of new licensing terms as of late, and a perpetual student license can be purchased for Maya.
The hotkeys are very different and the viewports may throw users off when coming from one tool to the other, but they largely perform the same tasks. Considering that most professionals use the two tools listed above, I’d suggest skipping over Blender completely. You can now purchase it as part of Adobe’s Creative Cloud suite, which include Photoshop, Illustrator, and other image editing tools.

There is a third option of course, for those willing to write their own engine there is always Microsoft’s Visual Studio, the software used to write many game engines. With the use of plug-ins and libraries all three can be very powerful environments in their own right.
Via a leaked internal email news has emerged that Microsoft would be dropping support for XNA on April 1st 2014. While nothing has been made official yet it seems Microsoft is working with third parties through partnerships in order to keep the grass roots developers happy, and working away.
Game creators now have more options than ever before, depending on your requirements there are generally a number of options to choose from.
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Often seen as a prototyping tool, GameMaker is responsible for some big hits in recent years, and more on the way, including: Hot Line Miami, Nighogg, and Death Ray Manta. You simply drag-and-drop objects into your scene, and can make changes to the objects properties by right clicking.
Many of last generation’s most popular titles used this engine, including Gears of War, Mass Effect, and Bioshock.
It also supports Oculus Rift, the gamepad API, and you can easily export 3D assets from tools like Blender to have them work in your browser! This license does not expire and the student version can be upgraded to the commercial version at a significant discount.
A number of other device specific licenses are also available, required to develop for those platforms, the Wii license costs $30,000 per title, ouch. Such behind the scene technology as render to texture, occasion culling, global lighting and global effects.
All of the objects or assets within game must be created, wire models drawn, textures applied and movements applied. While some of us have been called cheap in the past, we are willing to pay for quality software, free is not essential.
The list reads like a game studio who’s who including big names such as Unreal Engine 4, CryEngine 3, Unity 4, Infernal Engine, Havok Vision Engine, Hero Engine and Blitztech. GameMaker, GameBryo, App Game Kit by The Game Creators and Big World can all churn out games in a single night but it is very rare that these games earn money. Although none of them claim to make the game developers life very easy, at times feeling reminiscent of working with HAL, the 2001: Space Odyssey computer. Those currently using the tool will still be able to develop games, but alas there will be no further developments or upgrades for XNA.
Make your choice carefully though, the games you create can only be as good as the tools they are built with. Which is where the community and Unity’s store can help, making available many assets for download and talent for hire.
Each built around a fast 3D game engine these dev tools require good programming skills and many man hours to complete a game.
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