Video games are usually made using a programming language, such as C++, Java or Flash. There are some tools that reduce or even eliminate the need to learn a programming language.

One popular tool is GameMaker, a game creation system by YoYo Games. GameMaker uses a combination of a "drag and drop" system that requires no knowledge of programming and a direct scripting system that is similar in some ways to C++ and JavaScript.

Designers who wish to make role-playing games (RPGs) might also consider RPG Maker. This series of programs is used to create RPGs similar in style to the tile-based games of the 16-bit era of gaming such as "Final Fantasy" and "Dragon Quest." No knowledge of programming languages is needed.

Experienced programmers can also save time when porting games to multiple platforms by using a cross-platform game creation engine such as Unity.

Instead of creating a new game from scratch, some designers modify an existing game's engine to add a new storyline or encounters. Some commercial games are released with open architecture and their publishers may even provide documentation to aid in modding. Some popular modding and game creation engines of this nature include CryENGINE, Unreal Engine, Valve's Source engine, RAGE and Quake Engine.