Thinking of making an Android game? Well, you are fortunately on the right place and this is the right time to start even if you don’t know how to code. There are many Android game development tools that do not require any prior knowledge of programming. So if you are not a video game programmer or designer, don’t worry you don’t have to. The best part is many of the best game making software tools for Android have a free version or are totally free. And as I mentioned before that this is the right time to become a mobile game developer, for it is estimated that only the mobile gaming industry will likely be worth more than 63 billion in next two years. Like smart phones and tablets have almost taken the place of hand-held consoles, it’s highly likely that Android game development industry will have another boom in near future. So you have enough time to learn about game making before the right opportunity knocks at your door, even if you are just doing it just as a hobby let me tell you that the biggest breakthrough ideas come during the time of leisure activities, have no specific motive.
If you are wondering, how good it would be if you could have also perform iOS game development along with Android in a single game development tool then there is another good news looking forward to you. The Android game making software tools mentioned below all also support iOS too, which means your game could be played on Apple devices too. However, although the tools mentioned are best but obviously you have to choice a single one to start with. Therefore frankly speaking, you have to decide yourself what is best for you according to your priorities and needs; however we have mentioned the traits of all tools and engines lie in the category of top-notch.
FOR : Amateur to professional level
VERSION: Free and Paid
GAME: Assassin’s Creed: Identity, Temple Run Trilogy and Kerbal Space Program
Unity is one of the prime level mobile game development software, for both 2D and 3D games. Therefore it’s usually consider for the game developers of amateur and professional level, as the expertise needed for this tool depends upon whether you want a 2d or 3d game. Although it is not completely free but we can put it under the heading of “free game making software tool”, for you are only obligated to pay if your game makes more than US $100,000 per annum which is great. It means you can earn money by making free games on Unity. You can publish the game you have created on the free version of this game creator and as I have told you before, you only have to pay if the turnover exceeds US$100,000 in your last fiscal year.
This provides great opportunity to the beginners want to learn from hit and trail method but can’t afford to pay for a game building tool. However the basic plan costs $35. It should simply be called a game making software instead of Android or iOS or Windows phone game making software, because games developed on this tool can run on all three of these platforms. Apart from Android, Windows and iOS, it also supports Blackberry phones too. Unity support major 3D application assets which may include 3ds Max, CINEMA 4D, Maya etc. It may take a bit long to make your first mobile game on Unity if you are a complete newbie but it would help you a lot in the long run for you don’t have to switch on another tool if making a 3D or another advance level game.
FOR: Beginner level
VERSION: Free & Paid
GAMES: Mortar Melon, Airscape: The Fall of Gravity, Yokai and CoinOp Story
Construct 2 is one of those game makers that best suit the needs of indie game developer, for it requires no prior knowledge of coding. Another reason it is best tool for beginner level game makers is, Construct 2 has a free version but can’t be used commercially. Although the free version can’t use by mobile game development companies but what difference it makes to you, for you can learn making games without paying games. Even with drag & drop functionality Construct 2 has been used in the making of one of the finest video games on Smart phones. Along with Android you would be able to use it on the iOS, Windows Phone and Blackberry. And not just mobile phones it’s games can be exported to PCs too. Whereas as far as the online gaming is concerned it also can be published on websites too. However if it is about the competence of Construct 2 it’s usage isn’t just limited to newbies but can also be used for advance game making.
But here is the most important thing, on free version your game wouldn’t run on most of the platforms mentioned above which include smart phones too. Because free version has designed for educational purposes only. Whereas Personal license can come handy if you want to earn some money after learning from the free version and it’s for $65. But you have to buy Business license for $255 if your games have made you earn close to $5000. This is quite fair because if one earns $5000 then buying a $255 license wouldn’t be a problem for such a developer.
FOR: Beginner level
VERSION: paid & free
GAMES: Tanooky Tracks, Mibibli’s Quest, Making monkeys and Impossible Pixel and Zuki’s Quest
Stencyl is a “no coding required” video game development tool that can provide games of diverse platforms from Pc to tablets and smartphones. It’s drag and drop feature allows any newbie to have his or her first game in no time and beginners can do so, for free if not want to monetize your game. Not a problem if you have accidently created a master piece. If after making it from the free version want to publish it for monetization than you can do so by paying $199 annually. Stencyl supports windows, iOS, Android, Mac, web etc. Although this software program provides Lego blocks like code blocks for newbies to make games, yet also allows expert level developers to write their own code.
The educational free plan can be useful to learn the tool itself, while the Indie plan comes for $99/year, however using it you can only publish to web & desktop. Whereas the Studio plan has the price tag of $199/year, as it allows you to publish your game not just on Google play store for Android but also to iOS, web and desktop platforms.
FOR: Beginner and Amateur level
VERSION: Paid with only free trail
GAMES: Spelunky (PC), Tiamat X, Hotline Miami
Apart from 3D games it can be a newbie paradise if one really wants to learn about mobile game development (especially Android). Like most of the game making tools it also support other platforms along with Android but has much bigger range unlike most game creator software. It supports Android, iOS, PC, Windows Phone, Tizen, Amazon Fire, PS Vita and mobile with HTML5. A perfect 2D game creator for beginners due to its super easy drag and drop game making. Not just for mobile games, GameMaker is also one of the pioneers among PC game creators. But as here we are discussing tools best for Android games, let me tell you the software only support Android version that are GINGERBREAD or further versions.
There are many price options for different platforms including Playstaion 4 and xBox One, but for Mobiles you have to pay $399 and $130 for educational license. However the $399 professional license would be permanent and the $130 educational license is for 12-months only.
FOR: Amateurs and beginner level
VERSION: Almost free
GAMES: Mandora, Designer City, FUN RUN 2 and Draw Rider Plus
Corona SDK is known for its popularity among mobile game developers, although it is only known as 2D game development software tool due to it’s very limited competence for 3D, yet quite perfect for what it does right. We have mentioned it for developers with amateur or beginner level skill set because Corona requires coding, a coding language of it’s own called Lua. But the good news is that any newbie can learn it in no time for it’s way too easy. The tool allows you to build an amazing 2D game that will not just run on Android, but also on iOS, Kindle, Windows Phone 8, windows & Mac desktop, Amazon Fire, Mac Desktop and Android/Apple TV. However this isn’t the best part, the best part is it’s community forum of more than 300,000 developers which eliminates the chances you being struggling with minor problems. This cross-platform tool comes with 1000 APIs for wide variety of functionalities.
There were three versions of Corona SDK for pricing, but now you can enjoy almost all the functions previous were under Enterprise & Pro Plan. In short either you are an indie developer want to earn from your games or a pro runs a mobile game development company, you both can have the tool for almost free. It said almost free because you have to pay for things like removing the Corona logo but things like that would be an obstacle in your game functionality.
Unreal Engine 4
FOR: professional level
VERSION: Almost free
GAMES: Injustice 2, Dungeon Defenders, I Hate My Job and Heroes of Incredible Tales
How can’t we name the game making tool in this list that has been awarded as “the most successful video game engine” by Guinness World Records. All titles aside Unreal Engine 4 is really an ultimate game making software tool for one can use it not just for mobile (Android, iOS) & Pc but also for consoles like Xbox One and PlayStation 4. So advance among all it’s contender that possess tools for virtual reality and augmented reality technologies of mobile games. Therefore if you are planning to go a long way with a single tool then Unreal Engine 4 can be your epic game creator to provide you the breakthrough you need. Although you gotta work on it a bit hard as not for beginners and demands good knowledge of C++ but by doing some toil once & for all you can completely understanding an game engine that can provide you the career break you aim for. Not just as Android game developer but you can open doors for yourself as an console & other platform game developer in future.
Unreal Engine 4 is the current and latest version of Unreal Engine Kit thus has the most sophisticated 3D tool set of all. The engine has open source code and so advance that can control nearly million particles simultaneously. It has instant preview function and customized artificial intelligence and many other features you only find in a professional level game engine.
It’s pricing has the same exception as it’s features have. The most incredible thing about this one of the best game making tool is, you only have to pay if your game earns $3,000 per quarter and the fee is a royalty of 5%. Whereas if making lesser than that all the money you make will go into your pocket. So we can say it a free game creator because it doesn’t charges you for using the tool or even if you are making money from the game. It only charges you when you make reasonable amount of money which is fair because even then you pay royalty, 95% of this reasonable amount still goes into your bank account.
Which tool you should choice will depend upon two things, your current skills and your long term future goal. Let’s say if you are complete beginner and doing it as a hobby, you can go for tools like Stencyl and Corona SDK. But if you are doing it for making a career in game development, go for a bit advance tool like Unreal Engine 4, Unity. Because although it will take a bit longer to build your first game yet it would be quite beneficial in the long term, for your would learn more as developer this way. In short it all depends upon your personal preferences like the time, money, energy you want to give in and the reason for which you are doing it.