So you want to make a game! The first thing you need to decide is what format your game should be in. Newgrounds was traditionally 100% Flash, so all the games were in SWF format. Then iPhones decided not to support Flash and everything went nuts. HTML5 has a very bright future, with browser support improving more and more with time. There's also Unity, which is being used by a growing number of console / Steam / mobile devs and can also play in a web browser. I still have a hard time making a recommendation because I really enjoy working with Flash but I've also had a lot of fun with Unity and I like the growing upside of HTML5. Take a look at the options below and see what feels best for you!
Official Flash IDE (Integrated Development Environment)
- The original software to produce Flash content, created by Macromedia and later bought by Adobe. This is recommended if you are a "visual" type who likes to move graphics all around your work space or if you are a fan of vector graphics
Alternative SWF Development Frameworks
Instead of the Flash IDE, the following frameworks work in tandem with the free Flash Develop
IDE. They all have tutorials that will walk you through it.
- Developed by AdamAtomic
, the Flixel framework allows you to make amazing 2D games in less time than with Flash. Check out these examples
and these tutorials by Schulles:
Follow this tutorial to learn how to setup flixel and create your own 8bit-platformer!
- 4.15 / 5.00
- 51,780 Views
The second part of the famous flixel-tutorial exclusively on Newgrounds!
- 4.19 / 5.00
- 18,643 Views
- Developed by ChevyRay, FlashPunk is an alternative to Flixel. It all comes down to personal preference. Check out these examples.
- Allows you to develop 3D games and take advantage of the new hardware acceleration abilities of Flash 11. Check out this demo game
for an example!
HTML5 Development Frameworks
- Developed by PhotonStorm
, Phaser is an HTML5 game framework that is quickly gaining attention. If you are ready to move from SWF to HTML5, this is a good way to go!
Visual (No Programming Required) Development Tools
- A 2D game development tool built on top of Flixel, so you can make amazing 2D games without any prior programming knowledge! Programmers can still access code mode, so everyone wins. Games are output as SWF. Check out these examples.
- A 2D game development tool that develops games in HTML5 format, so they can work on platforms that don't support SWF! Like Stencyl it has a visual environment so non-programmers can get in the game. Check out these examples.
NG API Plugins for Construct 2.
For a fee, you can export your Game Maker projects as HTML5! Game Maker will provide an html file and a folder of resources. Rename your html file to "index.html", then drag that and your resource folder into a ZIP file and upload to NG!
- A great tool for developing both 3D and 2D games but has traditionally required its own plugin for browsers, although that is changing with HTML5 export options. Here are the tutorials
that got The-Swain
moving with Madness: Project Nexus 2.
The Miner is a multi-purpose profiler designed to help improve productivity and stability during development by exposing "under the hood" representation of any Flash scene. The main goal is to help expose and diagnose problems before they get too big. Squize
made use of this while developing Outpost:Haven
and raved about it.
DAME Editor is a general-purpose 2D visual level editor, making it easier to construct tile-based levels and spit out XML output for your games. Recommended by Flixel devs. Used in the development of Cat Astro Phi
, for example.
- Free (Donations welcome)
Like DAME, Ogmo is a level editor. It's now open source and gaining momentum! Could be the new favorite.