Game creation system
- For more information, see Category:Video game development software
A Game Creation System (GCS) is a consumer-targeted integrated development environment such as Novashell or Pie in the Sky, consisting of a set of specialized design tools (and sometimes a light scripting language), engineered for the rapid iteration of user-derived videogames.
Game creation systems promise an easy entry point for novice game designers, with often little to no coding required for simple behaviors. Although initially stigmatized, all-in-one game creation systems have gained some legitimacy with the central role of GameMaker in the growth of the indie game development community. Currently the Independent Games Festival recognizes games produced with Game Maker and similar platforms.
Early game creation systems such as Pinball Construction Set (1983), ASCII's War Game Construction Kit (1983), Thunder Force Construction (1984), Adventure Construction Set (1984), Garry Kitchen's GameMaker (1985), Wargame Construction Set (1986), Shoot'Em-Up Construction Kit (1987), Mamirin / Dungeon Manjirou (1988), and Arcade Game Construction Kit (1988) appeared in the 1980s on home computers, including the Apple II, NEC PC-88, MSX, and especially hobbyist-friendly platforms such as the FM-7 and Commodore 64. 3D Construction Kit was released on the ZX Spectrum in 1991, and contained a full polygon-based world creation tool. Most of these early design frameworks are specific to one or another genre. A few reached fairly wide acceptance; users like Ray Larabie made a name for themselves through SEUCK-originated games.
As the IBM-based PC gained dominance in the 1990s, game creation systems shifted both to the more general and the more specific. Whereas frameworks like RSD Game-Maker and Klik & Play attempted to accommodate any genre, communities grew around games like ZZT (later, MegaZeux) that permitted such extensive user modification that they essentially became de facto game creation systems.
Later in the mid-2000s, with the growth of the World Wide Web and social networking, programs like BlitzBasic and Multimedia Fusion headlined an explosion of interest both in indie games and in canned game design software. Whereas earlier game creation systems tend to err on the side of user friendly interfaces, 21st-century systems are often distinguished by extensive scripting languages that attempt to account for every possible user variable.
Several game creation systems include some of the following tools.
- Integrated Development Environment: for managing projects and resources
- Command Line Interface: for compiling and debugging games
- Sprite Editor: for the editing of animated images commonly refereed to as sprites
- Model Editor: for 3D modeling purposes
- Map/Scene Editor: generally used for object and tile placement
While most of the mainstream and popular game creation systems may be general purpose, several exist solely for specific genres.
- Role-playing games: RPG Maker
- Real-time strategy: Spring Engine
- 3D graphics: The 3D Gamemaker
- Visual Novels: Ren'Py
- Seth A. Robinson and Robinson Technologies, "Novashell Game Creation System"
- Pie in the Sky Software, "About Pie in the Sky Software"
- insert credit, "From Shooter to Shooter: The Rise of cly5m"
- "War Game Construction Kit". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012. Retrieved 3 September 2012.
- "Thunder Force Construction". Oh!FM. Archived from the original on 1 September 2012. Retrieved 1 September 2012.
- SourceForge.net, "MegaZeux"
- Gamasutra, "The Making and Unmaking of a Game-Maker Maker"
- Game Creation Systems (DOSGames.com)
- Game Creation Systems (SavvyFrog.com)
- Game Creation Tools Classification (creatools.gameclassification.com)