Engineering Inside:

2012 Issue 3

Build Your Own Game!

July 2012

You’ve probably played lots of computer or phone based games — but would you like to trycontroller_closeup making your own game? We’ve gathered and tested lots of available software and in this activity you can build your own game.

Program Your Own Computer Game or App at Home

The easiest way to try to build a computer game is to download some of the free or shareware software designed for gaming. We recommend that you download and install the free version of YoYo Games GameMaker software. ( Note that there is a free limited version and higher level ones that charge a fee. The free one is best to start with — you can build some yoyogames_screenshotsimple games and see you how enjoy the process.

You can share your game file with friends who also have the software and they can see what you created too! You may also wish to view the tutorials first( for some guidance on how to use the software.

Step One: It’s best to start small and build a simple game like “pong” just to get used to the software. There is a nice tutorial that uses fruits instead of the original “pong” ball — that might be a good one to try.

Step Two: Think about something you enjoy doing and write down some ideas for a game that might be fun to do that relates to something you know a lot about or that you enjoy. Your characters can be anything you want them to be — and you can use clip art — you don’t have to be able to draw to make a really fun and nice looking game.

Step Three: Try using the software to create your own game. You might do a simple release to friends and then keep changing it or improving it over time. Some app designers listen to user suggestions for how they would like to see the game improved over time — this is a great way to get ideas for how users might like to expand your original idea. You can also do this activity with a friend or family member, taking turns adding features and testing.


1. Did the tutorial help you get a feel for how the software works? Software engineers often question_mark_keyboardbuild tutorials to help users learn how to use software.

2. How did your original idea of for your own game change once you tried to build it? Why?

3. How long do you think it would take to develop a new piece of word processing or graphic software? How many people do you think it might take to work on the engineering team to build this type of software? Why?

4. Did you find that it was easier or harder than you thought to program a computer game? Why?

5. What challenges did you face in building your game?

6. Do you think it would be easier or harder to develop your game as part of a team? What are the advantages of teamwork vs. working alone?


  • i love this game

  • Shame not to see Scratch mentioned in the context of easy-to-program games engines. It is free and open source, teaches real programming concepts, plus it runs on Windows, Mac and Linux!

    Cefn Hoile

    • Thanks for the suggestion. We will certainly consider adding that in future revisions.
      – IEEE Spark team


  • I made a game

  • 🙂 I love this

  • This is my best way to made game for my family

Leave a comment to Anonymous


Try Engineering by Playing Games!

There are loads of games out there to play, but just a few that can give you a chance to see what engineers do.

Read more


How IEEE Supports Gaming Pros

Did you know that IEEE has 38 different technical societies that focus on specialized fields of interest? Many gaming professionals are members of the IEEE Computer Society and the IEEE Consumer Electronics Society.

Read more

Find a University

Search for accredited engineering degree programs throughout the world. Launch