GameSalad is a graphical game-programming tool available for Windows now as well as the Mac (though I had to install something called the Microsoft XNA Framework which doesn’t sound horrible at all), and supports HTML5 for deploying games on the web but also iOS and Android for tablet/phone games (in the pay version). It seems like the pay version focuses on integrating tools for monetization, ads, in-game sales, and social gaming. The core of the free version is very full-featured though. The built-in behaviors and attributes are broad. It’s nicely object-oriented, which I liked about GameMaker when I used it in a course because it sets up well for transitioning to Java.
Unfortunately, for all that I wanted to decide to use it in a course next spring, I just can’t. The interface could be more intuitive/explanatory (for example, it took distressingly long to figure out that you can delete an actor from a scene by clicking it and then pressing the delete key on the keyboard, since everything else gets deleted by clicking it and then clicking a button with a minus sign in the interface). Couple that with the fact that I’m finding most of the documentation is either for an older version of the system, or perhaps for the Mac version. Working through the tutorials, I finally had to stop because some of the features referenced aren’t just in different places, they don’t even exist in the version I’m running (and yes, I checked I had the most updated version).
I could have worked around those things, given how much I was liking the tool, but the killer is that it doesn’t look like you can actually get the HTML5 code out of the tool to view and use as you like. Rather, they publish it to their site and you can embed it from there. Perhaps there’s an undocumented way around it, but currently, the site is also failing to actually produce a published HTML5 version of the game for me (I keep being instructed to wait a few minutes). I can’t find documentation that the pay version would solve this problem either.
So, if you want to play around with producing games, and are willing to have them hosted by GameSalad or pay a bit to deploy to Android or iOS, this is a nice tool, worth checking out, and the Mac version is probably smoother to use. I’m disappointed it won’t work for my course.