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I have been a game design/programming student for two years now, and made some little games using HTML5, most of them from scratch.

I've come to a point where I am frustrated by the coding part : Each time I make a game I have to code a lot of things, which sometimes feel redundant. I am looking for the best way to focus on the game creation and not on the code behind it. In my question I use exemples from web game because this is what I know, but it applies to any kind of platform.

Now I have heard of people creating great games using softwares like Construct 2 or Game Maker. The thing is that when I see these "makers" I feel really limited. I don't have the hand on small implementation details, on special optimisation if I need and more generally on tweaking real code.

Then, there are engines. Like cocos2D for exemple. I haven't really used them yet, but they seem to be really great engines for creating games. But I am still worried about the limitations. Will I, at some point, need something that can't be done with the engine ? Is the workflow (for integrating content, developing modules, features...) good enough and appealing ?

Here I am now, with these three big alternatives : Developing from scratch (big control at every level of the creation but lot of time to spend on low-level implementation), game makers software (ultra high-level speedy creativity, but seems limited when getting out of the box) and game engines which seem to be somewhere inbetween.

I'm looking for some feedback from people who have tried and made great games using any of these three options : What do you prefer using and why ? What would be your advice on starting with a new engine or game maker ?

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closed as not constructive by Byte56, Josh Petrie, John McDonald, bummzack, Anko May 7 '13 at 17:02

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

"Getting started" questions are considered off-topic for the site, and broad discussion-oriented ones aren't constructive. Your question is a bit of both. Please see the faq for more details and other locations where it would be better for you to ask them. – Josh Petrie May 7 '13 at 14:58
This really depends on the requirement of your game and you choosing the correct technology. Most games engines tend to be taylored toward specific types of games. Example, cocos2D contains Box2D wrapper for 2D physics (which games like Angry Birds take advantage of), but it may not be suitable some games like Mario in which realistic-ish physics is not desired (such as jumping in traditional Mario platformer games). – XiaoChuan Yu May 7 '13 at 15:13
Ok, sorry to be off topic. I thought more open questions as on, say, stackoverflow, were authorized here. – Malharhak May 7 '13 at 15:25
  1. Generate the requirements for your game. That includes technology, features, time requirements, etc.
  2. Self assess your own skills and availability. Coding, artistic, time available, time/desire to learn new tech, etc.
  3. Compare the above to the capabilities/limitations of your different options.
  4. Make a choice.
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making us do all the work lol – GameDev-er May 7 '13 at 18:33
Since the requirements/skills/availability will be different for everyone and every project, this has to be done on a individual basis. – Byte56 May 7 '13 at 18:43

DISCLAIMER: I haven't made any "great" games :P

I have used Game-Maker Studio for a little bit and occasionally make little 2D mini-games(in my opinion Game-Maker is not well suited for 3D games) in it from time to time. I think Game-Maker is a great way to get you started in Game Development however I do not think that it is in your best interest to stick with Game-Maker if you plan on making a career out of Game-Dev.

If you plan on making an engine then I recommend something like SDL + OpenGL or even MonoGame. Even though it might seem like a long time to learn the API's it will eventually pay off in the end.

Anyway since you are looking for the best way to focus on Game Creation then I would recommend Game Maker(or even Unity).

No great game has ever been made with Drag n Drop features(at least to my knowledge). You really can't get around scripting/coding if you want to make a great game.

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