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How do game makers/engines like Buildbox, GameSalad, Construct, GameMaker, etc work? What technologies (programming languages, APIs, etc) are used to build the and how does the program convert the user's interactions into exportable code?

I realize this is a very broad question. What I'm looking for is how the software creates code/source files from the user interactions with the software. While details would be awesome, a high level overview would be great too.

I'm a second year CS major and have some experience with Java/C/C++ as well as some web languages and framework. It's hard to find information on how a game creation software works because there's more content on how to make games in general.

If there is a more appropriate forum/site to ask this, please point me in that direction!

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You can (and you should) create scripts while using these engines (except maybe buildbox). They usually work by having a literal engine usually written in c++ running under them, and they take your scripts and interpret them (again, except buildbox) (this is why you don't see c++ or c in these, because they would be too hard to run at runtime).

They also store what you put on the screen with data files. From there, they just work as regular engines.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the answer! Do you happen to know what makes buildbox different? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sean Nam
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:45
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeanNam I don't think it has a scripting language, I may be wrong though, for obvious reasons I never used it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:49
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    \$\begingroup\$ Yes, that is correct. I didn't realize all the others had scripting languages. I was more focused on the drag-and-drop part. Thanks anyways! \$\endgroup\$
    – Sean Nam
    Commented Dec 5, 2016 at 7:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Sean Could you mark this as the correct answer? \$\endgroup\$
    – Bálint
    Commented Dec 7, 2016 at 7:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can I wait for some more answers first? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sean Nam
    Commented Dec 10, 2016 at 1:50

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