Product: Even if your kids don’t have coding experience, they can use the Ready Maker application to make games and publish them to the iTunes, Google, and Windows app stores. You can also use Ready Maker to program robots and Arduino.
Glows: Ready is a good choice for kids who want to make something without knowing how to code. It’s available on multiple platforms, and the user interface is clear, simple, and well-designed for use on touchscreen devices. The forums and documentation are full of great information, and Ready community members happy to help out.
Grows: While it’s great the app doesn’t require any coding experience to make games, this also makes it somewhat limited as a tool for learning to code. Most of the coding logic is hidden by the simple language and icons, so users won’t necessarily walk away with an understanding of coding concepts. A platform like Scratch would be a good next step for learning to code, as coding principles are more visible to the user during the creative process. Ready could also benefit from an in-app “getting started” tutorial.
Bottom Line: Ready Maker is a kid-friendly app that allows users with zero coding experience to create fully functional interactive projects. The app is not ideal for ambitious design projects or getting deep into coding concepts, but it’s perfect for young children or students to get a taste of game development.
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5 stars)
What Is Ready Maker?
Ready Maker is a free app that kids can use to make and publish their own apps and games on Windows PC, Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Android devices. You don’t need any coding experience to start creating with Ready Maker.
Ready Maker’s graphical drag-and-drop style interface makes it easy to design games, and Ready Maker’s website has a lot of tutorials and online resources for new users.
Once your project is complete, you can upload it to the Windows or Mac app stores via Unity, a free game development tool popular among young and veteran game developers.
If you’re more into robotics than game development, you can also use Ready with Arduino to program hardware and software for robots. Please note that Arduino programming is only available in the desktop version of Ready.
How Does It Work?
Ready Maker uses a visual drag-and-drop programming system. . The creators of Ready Maker have simplified bits of code for different actions and properties, and users can attach them to objects to create relatively complex animations and games. The coding language is even more simplified than most block based programming languages like Scratch, Blockly, and App Inventor to allow for easier understanding.
To create an object in Ready Maker, like a character the player will control in the game, you simply choose an art asset to use (like a picture of an ant), then drag and drop that asset into your scene.
After that, you can can create movement controls for the ant by clicking on it to open the object’s options. You can select “behavior”, then follow the button prompts to add your controls.
You can create events, like a level changes or a game resets, in a similar fashion.
If you’d like to publish your project on a public app store (like iTunes or Google Play), just save the project and upload to Unity.
Getting Started with Unity
Getting started with Ready Maker is simple – all you need to do is download and install the application on your device, and you’ll be up and running.
After you install the application, we recommend reading the documentation by selecting the light bulb icon located at the top of the app. When you click this icon, you’ll go a web page that has detailed explanations for all the icons you can use in the app, including behaviors, events, and effects.
As you’re getting started, you can find answers to your questions and troubleshooting help in the Ready Maker forum/FAQ page. The Learn page on the website also provides some nice resources for learning how to use the app, including some starter projects.
If you’d like to edit your project further, or you’d like to publish to an app store, you can export the project into Unity3D.
Exploring Further Use of Ready
The Ready Maker app is limited to 2D projects, but your child could feasibly alter the project in 3D after exporting it to Unity. This would require a little more coding knowledge. Or you could go on to explore using Ready Maker for robotics or Arduino.