Sploder is the place to start. Like Scratch, this enables you to create games that can be played online. But it has much more advanced features. The best games are 2D platformers (built with Sploder's Platform Game Creator), but there are also tools for building retro games, puzzle games, and classic shooters. Check out Quest Zone IIfor an example of what's possible with Sploder.
GameSalad is a more sophisticated tool than either Scratch or Sploder, and this will enable you to start making games for iOS and Android devices. It's still a drag-and-drop tool, though, so you don't need any coding.
You can download GameSalad Creator for the Mac, and there's a free trial. But to create games that you can share with friends and family requires a $19 per month subscription account (a slightly more expensive account enables you to add in-app purchases). But you can create quite complex games that you can take all the way to the App Store. Take a look at Booger Boing on the App Stores to see the sort of thing that's possible with GameSalad.
Tools like Scratch, Sploder and GameSalad, are the places to start if you're completely new to gaming. But once you've got the hang of making games, you'll want to move onto even more specific tools.
Creating games on your Mac: getting professional
There are many professional, and powerful, tools for developing games on the Mac. These are the tools used to create many of the games you buy on the App Store (for either iOS or OS X)
- Godot 2.0. Godot is a fully featured, open source, MIT licensed game engine. It focuses on having great tools, and a visual oriented workflow. Godot is free, which gives it the edge over other tools here. All of Okam's games are made in Godot, and this Godot YouTube channel has examples of the types of games made with Godot.
- Gdevelop is another open-source system that can be used to create games. Games can be exported to HTML 5 (and played online) or pushes to iOS or Android. There are some great Gdevelop tutorials available too.
- Torque2D and Torque3D. GarageGames has two engines used to create great games. Both are open source, although add-ons can be purchased to improve games. The documentation is pretty good, and there's a vibrant community to join.
- Unity is where you're going to end up if you're serious about making games. Unity is used to create all kinds of games, and you've almost certainly played a game made in Unity. Lara Croft: Relic Run, Monument Valley, and Kerbel Space Program are just some big-name games made with the tool.
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