So this is a cleaned up and hopefully expanded version of what I posted previously in the discord previously and I thought I’d add it here (and people can add to it with their knowledge and experience).
Basically this is a list of Engines with Pros and Cons for absolute beginners because plenty of people might want to make a game but like me you can barely code if at all. Also people who like me suck at drawing and art.
So this is based on my experiences with the Engines listed, if it’s not listed I don’t feel I have the experience to talk about it having not messed with it much or not felt I got to grips with it
RAGS - I think it’s Rapid Adventure Game System,
- it’s one the easiest and most complete game creation tools for interactive fiction and stuff.
- Paid for
– Not just paid for but subscription not lifetime license or pay once.
- The interface looks awful and it’s hard to change it if at all
- Online hosting for anything you make to easily share it
- Online has a save function for players
- can be somewhat fiddly to learn and more complex to do certain things than other engines here
- Requires coding knowledge for more complex stuff
- You can make a choose your own adventure style system without coding knowledge
- Can fairly easily be exported to be hosted on web pages etc
- Requires coding to do anything really complex
- Some of the very complex stuff made in it suffers from slowdown issues even on machines that aren’t potatoes.
SUDS Single User Dungeon System
- No programming knowledge required basically at all to make something half decent
- Interface can be easily customized without needing to know CSS
- Has features close to that of RAGs
- Buttons on the UI so most of the default commands are also macros, this means it’s easier for players to play the game one handed… you know why
- has context menu options like Quest allows.
- Officially abandoned due to the likes of Inform7 and TADS
- Hard to acquire (you have to go through archives to find it as the site is gone)
- The creator can be a bit unstable on modern systems and a little slow, though the player is fine. It seems most stable in compatibility XP 3 mode
- Is limited to 9 map levels (28 rooms / areas per level so 252 areas total)
- Limited to 30 global variable stats, so anything that requires updated a lot so health weight time of day etc and needs referencing is limited to 30, you can use other stuff like states which don’t use global variable slots for say locking and unlocking doors etc.
-Limited to 10 different descriptions per NPC.
- Requires you to export and players to download the file to play the game
- Still being developed
- Allows a huge amount of descriptions and states etc
- No map or global variable limits
- Allows version updates for games so you can put out a new version of a title and in theory have the saves carry over from older versions
- collection of already built easy to import libraries of functions E.G. a system for having time and date progression in game. This means if someone ever did build a weight gain system in it they could in theory share just that system with other people without having to open up their entire game.
- Can cause a false positive with some virus scanner software due to the wrapper used (this is being worked on and is meant to be getting solved in the next update)
- conversation system is a bit iffy
- almost all text based input no button macros (slightly less pleasant user experience to play)
- Very simple to use and set stuff up including story flow and branching dialogue paths.
- Paid for (though you can get it pretty cheap if you keep your eyes open for deals on it)
- NOT an engine in it’s own right however (and I’ve not done this myself) it allows you to export your work into a format that Unity can import and in it’s almost default state said export put into unity can create a basic playable text based game.
Other engines that I know of but can’t say much about.
Game Maker studio
Illusion Software Creator
For people literally starting out try and get a copy of SUDS (I’ll link to where to get it if people want). Suds will let you make something basic to get going then either try and put that into Quest to put online.
Progress to building something bigger in Adrift