For the selection of game development tools, please scroll down the page…
Microsoft Developer Tools
If you require a database engine for your applications you can’t go wrong with one of the freely available selections from the list below.
For developers who are expected to deploy their applications in SQL Server enterprise settings, it is recommended then that you use SQL Server Developer Edition where all of the features of the enterprise server are available. For those who need large-scale database engines that are Open-Source you should use either Firebird Server, MySQL, or PostgreSQL.
SQL Server Developer Edition Download Page
SQL Server Express Edition Download Page
SQLite Download Page
Firebird Database (embedded & server) Download Page
MySQL (Community Edition) Download Page
PostgreSQL Download Page
For developing with Microsoft C# or VB.NET, Visual Studio Community Editionis still the best freely available IDE and has been re-engineered to be a complete package similar to the professional edition but in Community Edition form.
Visual Studio Community Edition Download Page
Software for Beginning Game Developers
If you are brand new to game development and do not want to attempt learning a complex development language such as C/C++, C#, or Java, you may want to consider one of the easiest set of game development environments available; development packages from The Game Creators
This group has been around for quite a long time and now offer modern development packages for any type of game development interest…
AppGame Kit – for coding your games in the easy to learn Dark Basic language
Game Guru – for developing first/third person shooters with/without coding
Software Development Environments for Game Developers
The current top game development environment available with tons of resources and learning tools.
The current top game development environment for powerful 3D applications without the tool overhead that is available with Unity3D. Not for beginning game developers.
A Unity3d-like development environment with a growing set of resources. This is a mature engine.
This is a mature engine that is oriented towards C# development. Like CryEngine, the Wave Engine site provides its own set of resources plus learning tools.
An up and coming contender to Unity3d; still in its infancy but appears to be maturing quickly. Not for new game developers.
Game Engines for Game Developers Who Want to Code
This game engine is the continuation of the highly popular XNA engine, which Microsoft decided to discontinue but in Open Source format. This engine is now completely separate from the original XNA implementation, though it retains all of the characteristics of coding for XNA. This engine supports both DirectX as well as OpneGL and as a result can be used to develop game applications on Windows (Visual Studio), Linux (MonoDevelop), and the Mac (MonoDevelop). This engine is oriented towards C# developers, though VB.NET developers can also use the engine. However, currently there are no VB.NET templates. It should be noted that the last major release of this engine was in 2020.
This is a sophisticated game development engine similar in style to MONOGAME but is specifically for Java Developers. Like MONOGAME, LIBGDX can be used to develop cross-platform gaming applications.