It seems like there are tons of people out there that want to make a game with little or no programming. So, I decided to write this, and if anyone asks the question I'll refer them to this thread.
First off, realize that not doing any coding puts some limits on what you can do. But with a little bit of scripting you can make something pretty decent. And that's what I'm trying to show you here.
DISCLAIMER: This documentation is provided "AS IS", without any expressed or implied warranty. In no event shall the author be liable for any damage arising from using or inability to use this documentation. If your computer blows up when you follow these instructions, it's not my fault . On a more serious note, feel free to express any opinions you may have. I'm not an expert at this, and I usually use C++ for my games, so some of this might be a bit off.
2D vs. 3D
2D games are easier, for obvious reasons. The added dimension in 3D games makes it a fair amount harder, and good understanding of math is a must. While 2D games can get away with using simple math, 3D games require an understanding of algebra and trig, and the more you know the better. I recommend starting off with a simple 2D game, such as a platform game. Later on, you can add a third dimension, but prepare for the headaches that go with it.
Now I'm not trying to discourage you from making a 3D game, but if this is your first game you should consider something a little simpler. And as has been said often, don't expect your first game to be a really cool game that will sell millions of copies – it just won't happen. Okay, I won't say it can't happen, but it is very unlikely. Anyway, with that said, here we go!
Because 2D games are easier, I'll start with them. One program you should definitely look into is Game Maker, from [www.yoyogames.com](www.yoyogames.com). I've made several games with it in the past, and it's very easy for beginners. It has good documentation and there are many samples on the website so you can look at how other games are made. I made a decent platform game with it in a few hours. And once you get more experience you can use the Game Maker Language to do things that you otherwise can't do. A lot of stuff can be accomplished using GML. It's also a lot similar to languages such as C++ so you'll be able to switch to other languages more easily.
If you're going to use it much I highly recommend the Pro edition, as it has more advanced features such as transformed sprites, particles, extensions, 3D support (which I'll talk about a bit later). And hey, it's only \\$20 so it won't break your bank.
To start with Game Maker I'd say first check out the documentation, under "Using Game Maker". It walks you through a bit of background information and then has an example you can go through. It's really straightforward so you'll be able to make pretty decent games after reading it. Actually, the documentation might be all you need to make good games. It's about all I used to get started. There are other places to get information from such as their website.
To do anything serious, you'll need programming, and GML is a good place to start. Once you're more experienced with Game Maker, start doing bits of programming using GML just to get your feet wet, so to speak. In this way you can use the graphical interface and stick in bits of code when you can't do something without it.
There are other programs which I've heard a lot about, but haven't had experience with, such as Torque X Builder or Flash. But I'll leave it up to you to decide what to use.
After doing 2D stuff for a while, it's time to get into 3D!
Like I've said before, 3D games are harder than 2D games, and I really recommend you don't try to do it without knowing any coding. But if you insist...
One program you can use is Blender, which looks pretty daunting at first and the interface takes a while to get used to. However, it has good documentation online and lots of support. You'll be able to get support pretty easily, so look around. Blender supports both modeling and game programming, so if you already use it for modeling (which a lot of people do btw), you'll be making games in no time. With OGRE getting integrated into Blender (or whatever is happening with OGRE), Blender will likely become a really good game builder. A good place to start is with the Blender – noob to pro book. It has a section on the game engine. Also blender.org and the Blender Wiki have a lot of useful information.
Another good program you hear about a lot is DX Studio. I've never used it, but from what I've seen and heard about it's pretty good. Maybe someone else can post something about it. Google is your friend.
If you bought the Pro version of Game Maker, you can use that to make 3D games. Game Maker wasn't designed to make 3D games, and there is minimal support for it, but using GML, you can do it. You NEED to program if you go this route though, which you should do anyway. If you want to use Game Maker, start with the documentation and the examples at their website.
Though coding is required for most things, it isn't impossible to make a pretty good game without much. So start with the programs I've suggested, then I'd suggest you get into some coding.
Those are my suggestions, and if you have anything to add, feel free to say what you like about this, or tell what you use for making games. Or post some links to good tutorials and documentation. And there's loads of information on the web if you'll just spend some time to do a search.
Anyway, I'll end here. I hope this helps somebody out.