Creation toolkits have been around for a while but other than the RPG Maker series (which definitely veers more toward serious development than recreational fun) the only notably popular game creation kit that has managed to go mainstream is Super Mario Maker. Well, Stardock Entertainment wants to try their hand at the genre; putting the tools of creativity in the hands of gamers and letting their imagination run wild with The Video Game Machine.
The announcement from Stardock came recently with a smattering of screenshots showcasing the game-creation utility in action. The core of the utility will allow players to make various types of games across different genres using assets and templates to create games. Once you get done you can save your game and play or share it with others. Likewise you can also browse through a selection of games made by other gamers.
Lead designer Scott Tykoski explained that everything has been made so you can very easily pick up and play The Video Game Machine without any prior game design knowledge, saying in the press announcement…
“The game has been designed to be easy enough that anyone can create their own gameswhile still having enough power that savvy gamers can create truly unique games with it. We’ve made the art style match the 1980s/1990s golden age and included a lot ofpremade graphics sets so players can be up and making their own games in minutes.”
Aesthetically it definitely looks like something from the early 1990s for the SNES.
A true 16-bit experience is likely going to trigger that inner sense of nostalgia from those craving simpler times when there were only two genders and you didn’t have to worry about your social media account getting nuked for saying so.
In addition to creating your own selection of playable games, there’s also the option of taking part in some of the pre-fabricated templates put together by the good folks at Stardock Entertainment. This way if you find your creative juices being about as thin and as low as the testosterone count in a social media activists presiding out of San Francisco, you can check out some of premade levels to get an idea of what you can create and then get to cracking on some groundbreaking idea all your own.
Much like Super Mario Maker you’ll be able to select and place down tiles to create your own unique levels, backdrops, or scenarios.
You can modify where power-ups and enemies are placed, arrange how the platforms or obstacles are set down, and create goals and win conditions at your own leisure.
It’s a simple looking utility that seems more-so designed to help give you a small taste of what game design is like. It reminds me of Maxis’ Klick ‘n Play but even more simplified to help gamers start down the path of opening up their minds for greater creative possibilities.
Unfortunately there’s no trailer available right now but you can keep an eye on the development of The Video Game Machine by visiting the official website. Those of you who want to get in on the action early, you can join the founder’s program for $9.99 ahead of the May 29th alpha access phase.