There's never been a better time for free and open source game engines than right now. But availability is not the same as "the right tool for the job". So, today we'll look at GDevelop Vs. Scratch, and see which engine you should use, depending on your needs.
GDevelop's Event System
Before we get to which one you should choose, we should talk about what each one of them are. GDevelop is a free, no-code and open source 2D and 3D game engine. It has been used in schools and universities, as well as in commercially-successful video games, marketing agency projects, museum exhibits and more.
GDevelop uses an Event System to program the game's logic, and has a built-in Asset Store, export options for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android and web.
Scratch is a 2D game engine created by MIT. It is widely used in schools to teach young children the basics of programming and making a game. It works with color-coordinated code blocks, and has a big community of learners and educators behind it.
Scratch is probably the easiest way for young children to get started with making video games. The color-coordinated logic blocks makes it easy for educators and parents to help young children understand the basic principles of programming.
Scratch also has a big community creating content, tutorials and more, so there's no shortage of materials to get started.
With great accessibility, comes some limitations. It's a bit difficult to make complex games with Scratch, so if you're hoping to evolve your game-making skills into something that might be commercially viable, Scratch may not be the best tool for the job.
There are also performance issues as the games scale up, and you can only export Scratch games to a very limited number of formats.
GDevelop is still very accessible, but you can scope games up to make very complex video games. People have been making games for Steam and the Google Play Store with GDevelop for years. Performance also scales very nicely, as long as you follow best practices for optimization.
GDevelop also has a built-in Asset Store with thousands of free assets to get you started, so you don't need to source your character or background art. Finally, GDevelop is able to export games to many platforms, including Android, Mac, Linux, Windows, iOS and more.
Finally, you can use GDevelop to make games on Windows, Mac, Linux, Chromebooks and even Android and iOS devices.
While GDevelop's Event System is extremely easy to use, having been used in classrooms with children as young as 7 years old, it could be argued that Scratch has the edge with its logic blocks.
Both GDevelop and Scratch are amazing tools. So it really depends on what you need out of them, to figure out which one is best for you.
If you're working with very young children (say, under 7 years old), Scratch has a slight advantage on approachability, as well as a plethora of learning resources.
For children 7 and up, as well as aspiring commercial video game developers, high school & university students, and marketing agencies, GDevelop might be the better choice. The ability to scale up without losing performance, a variety of export options and the built-in asset store would make even a beginner's journey from idea to finished product very short indeed.
Teachers have also mentioned that GDevelop is the perfect "next step" for young people who have outgrown Scratch, but do not wish to learn to code or program games in engines like Unity.