Tool Reviews and Overviews

General overviews

I wrote a double overview in January 2011: Game-making tools part one and Game-making tools part two. It took until 2017 to write two more: a brief guide to Pygame, and an intro to making simple games in sdlBasic. And while looking through old newsletters I found one for Nightmod.

A very comprehensive list, but with shorter presentations, is at the Games in Education wiki. And here’s a newer, growing list of content generators. Speaking of content, it turns out there’s a list of voxel editors, including my own VoxelDesc. (The Polycount wiki has a more generic list of 3D modeling tools.) And TVTropes, of all places, has a rich catalog of game-making tools, with short descriptions. Some of them are very obscure, too.

Last but not least, there’s a collaborative database called the Game Creation Tools Classification. And as of 2017 there is also the Game Making Tools Wiki. And then there's Free Stuff for Game Programmers.


An article from March 2012 lists several HTML5 games, along with tutorials, libraries and game-making apps. It also points to this huge list of HTML5 game engines and frameworks. Another such list is at Game From Scratch. And speaking of that, here’s an article on How to Make A Simple HTML5 Game With Enchant.js.

In May 2017 I finally got around to writing a two-part guide to the HTML5 canvas and other HTML5 programming interfaces.

Interactive fiction authoring systems

I wrote brief accounts of test-driving Inform 7, TADS 3 and Alan 3. Markers and highlighters, my comparative study of CYOA systems, fits here as well along with Easy as blogging, Games anyone can make, and Three faces of Twine.

More recently, in early 2018, I wrote a few thoughts about Bitsy and Texture, also missing tools and the making of parser-less text adventures.

CRPG authoring systems

Our first newsletter from March 2015 included a mini-review of Adventure Creation Kit.

Visual novel engines

PCGamer wrote about the best engines for making your own visual novel in February 2018. And as of June 2019 there's a new list on the Lemma Soft Forums.

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