I've worked with so many game developing programs which work and don't work. Some have limitations, some worked all until once, some can't export to some platforms, some cost too much, …

So far, I've been using these:

  • Game Maker: outdated and detected by Norton

  • Game Maker Studio: too expensive for cross-platform! I bought the standard version, but then realized I need Professional and then Export Modules on top of that

  • Multimedia Fusion series: same

  • ENIGMA/LateralGM: awesome and promising, but some functions don't work, no enough tutorials, missing documentation on some functions, instance control functions not fully implemented, admin privileges required to compile

  • GameDevelop: can't export to Android and as much as I remember, it requires admin too as well.

  • XNA: requires Visual Studio which can't be portable, no Android or Linux.

  • Allegro: no Android, just coding

  • SFML: no Android, just coding, didn't get it to work on Visual Studio (and yes, I followed everything about the getting started tutorial thing)

  • Unreal Engine: I'm not good at modelling.

  • Unity: too difficult. Android apps allocate 100MB.

I mostly like Game Maker Studio because it's graphical, has Intellisense in coding, full offline documentation, always some updates. The only problem about it is that it costs $500!

So what I need to know is if there is a program with these specifications:

  1. If it's about coding, it must be C++. If it's scripting, it must be C++ish. Example is Game Maker Studio.

  2. Must have instance control, instance pointers, instance choice iteration, object inheritance

  3. Collision detection from up, down, left, right, must be specific!
    This situation is hardly solvable in MMF2 series. Game Maker Studio can do it.

  4. Must have a detailed user-friendly documentation.

  5. Must have a good community so I can ask a question or search for solutions.
    Game Maker Studio's community is a great example.

  6. Must be portable! No admin rights should be required!
    This means that I can put it on my USB stick and plug it into any school or library computer without administrator rights required for the compiler to work.

  7. If shareware, it must not be over $80 and must have trial version with full export features so I can see if it works for me.

  8. Must not be detected as virus or trojan by Norton.
    Because some of my friends have Norton, they couldn't run my Game Maker games. This can be a big problem if I would sell my games.

  9. Must be graphical and toolchained.
    I don't want to make games by only typing code and nothing else. I need an IDE with a level/room editor. A click on the compile button should compile the game.

  10. Must be runnable on Windows 7 Home Premium, and ideally also on Slacko Puppy Linux and Raspberry Pi (if possible).

  11. Must export for these platforms:

    • Windows 7
    • Puppy Linux
    • Ubuntu
    • Android 4.x
    • Raspberry Pi (if possible)
    • Mac and iOS (if possible)
  12. Game's EXE must be able to load and save INI and binary files. Simple file I/O, file and folder management.
    SDL is a perfect example on Android and Windows.

  13. Game's EXE must be able to load sprites (images) from external files while not losing the initial sprites or the previously loaded ones.
    This is a problem in MMF2 and therefore it's impossible to make online avatar-customizing game.

  14. Game's EXE must be able to load WAV sounds.

  15. Game's EXE must be able to recolor sprites.

  16. Must compile one EXE with all its elements.
    Can have DLLs in the same folder, but mustn't require anything from the system.
    Every portable game is an example.

  17. Game's EXE must be able to remap keys/buttons and/or recognize the inputs.
    All games have the feature where you can change your controls.

  18. Executable should be able to host/join a game for online play on a specific IP address and port (like Minecraft does in server.properties).

I might be nitpicking, but take a look at games like Super Mario Bros X or Super Mario War.
They're both portable, they both load everything externally while their code is compiled inside the EXE. Both games can remap keys and use joypads.

Is there a program that fits my needs?

  • 1
    I found SDL2, but there's no other IDE besides Visual Studio.
    – Foxcat385
    Jul 17, 2014 at 11:46
  • 1
    Actually, I could use compiler or Code Blocks. So no other IDE. But I'm happy with this so far
    – Foxcat385
    Jul 17, 2014 at 11:47
  • 1
    I changed my mind when I realized I'm too requiring. Windows 7 is a must. I don't have a rpi, but I'm thinking of getting it if it will be my game developing portable device
    – Foxcat385
    Aug 9, 2014 at 22:41
  • 1
    It's very difficult to cross-compile a program to both a desktop platform and a mobile platform because they use different frameworks. You would need to create your own wrapper if you wanted to develop for Android, and even then, Apple may not allow you to do this for iOS. If anything, you should cover one platform first, then port your game to the other platform. Also, Ubuntu and Puppy Linux are not different platforms. You are compiling essentially to the same target (x86 ELF). For Raspberry Pi, you compile to ARM. In this case, your project is too complicated to be created automagically.
    – oldmud0
    Aug 10, 2014 at 16:05
  • 1
    And also. I found SDL2. SuperTux has a version for Android, Windows and Linux because it's made using SDL. However, there's no graphical IDE
    – Foxcat385
    Aug 11, 2014 at 17:53

1 Answer 1


I would suggest taking a look at pyGame, the major points it doesn't satisfy is it isn't C++ it is python and it doesn't compile to exe. You can use it portably, (windows via portable python - includes pygame as one of the libraries), running from source on other platforms - most Android machines have python installed, ditto OS-X and it is the default language for RaspberryPi.

There is an Adroid port of a subset of the functionality and depending on the type of games you are developing you will often find frameworks with graphical editors, e.g. fabula for adventure, role-playing & strategy games.

Loading configurations, sprites, images, etc. are all handled by the python libraries.

All the above is Free, (Gratis), and Open Source, (FOSS).

Python is possibly one of the easier programming languages to learn and there are a lot of resources available, many free.

  • If it is GPL and requiring me to release source code, then no. Can it somehow bundle its default executable with an emulator into one exe?
    – Foxcat385
    Nov 6, 2014 at 10:29
  • It is LGPL so no it is not - you can bundle your application libraries into a zip file, possibly with some encryption, and just have a launcher as a .py file. Nov 6, 2014 at 20:13
  • Aren't stuff compiled, but just interpreted in that archive?
    – Foxcat385
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:28
  • Byte compiled, (.pyo), or source files, (.py), can be in there - usually .pyo Nov 6, 2014 at 20:30
  • Excellent! But before I approve this answer, I have to test the tool.
    – Foxcat385
    Nov 6, 2014 at 20:31

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