The Game Creators

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The Game Creators Ltd
FormerlyDark Basic Software Limited (1999–2003)
IndustrySoftware industry
Founded24 March 1999; 22 years ago (1999-03-24) in Ince-in-Makerfield, England
  • Lee Bamber
  • Richard Vanner
Key people

The Game Creators Ltd (TGC; formerly Dark Basic Software Limited) is a British software house based in Macclesfield, Cheshire, England, which specialises in software for video game development, originally for the Microsoft Windows platform.[1] The company was established in March 1999 through a partnership between programmers Lee Bamber and Richard Vanner, who were joined by Meash Meakin in 2011 and Deborah Ascott-Jones in 2013.[2]



DarkBASIC was released in the year 2000 as a game creation programming language with accompanying IDE and development tools. The language is a structured form of BASIC, similar to AMOS on the Amiga. The purpose of the language is video game creation using Microsoft's DirectX from a BASIC programming language. It is marketed for its ability to allow a novice game developer to make playable games after following its tutorials. It can create both 2D and 3D games by providing function libraries that enable a game to be programmed with considerably less code than with a language such as C++, especially without such dedicated libraries. The software consists of an IDE, debugger and interpreter, and an engine built on DirectX 7. The compiler emits Bytecode that is appended to an interpreter to create a stand-alone executable. Star Wraith is an example game made with DarkBASIC.

In 2002, an updated version called DarkBASIC Professional was released that was able to use newer versions of DirectX. The earlier version of the software is now informally referred to as DarkBASIC Classic to distinguish the two products.[citation needed]

On 14 August 2008, the last DarkBASIC version (1.21) was released. Since the introduction of DarkBASIC Professional, The Game Creators have stated that there will be no further updates to the language, although it will still be sold.[citation needed]

In 2015, TGC lead developer Lee Bamber decided to open source DarkBASIC Professional for the community, to prevent it from becoming unsupported abandonware.[3][4] The project and its source code are hosted (since start of 2016) under the MIT license on GitHub.[5] The latest released freeware binary program was Dark Basic Pro Binary 120216 (December 2, 2016), which included the activation of many previously commercial modules.[6]

The 3D Gamemaker[edit]

The 3D Gamemaker is a computer application developed by The Game Creators, that allows users to make various genres of 3D games[7][8] for Microsoft Windows. The tool is marketed as allowing users to create 3D games without programming and art skills. Games developed with 3D Gamemaker require at least 400 MHz Pentium processor, 64 MB of RAM and DirectX 7.0b[8] to run. Alongside the full boxed release, The 3D Gamemaker was also released in a Lite edition, with fewer categories of assets available and a reduced feature set.

The software has a simple[8] point-and-click interface[9][10] which guides the user through the process of creating the game. The user chooses a scene from one of several different genres[8][9] ("shooter", "horror", "war", "space", "driving", "jungle", "cartoon", or "silly"[8]), and then chooses different characters, weapons, items, enemies and so on.[8][9] The software includes hundreds of pre-made scenes and 3D objects.[9] The software can also automatically generate a game by choosing random elements.[8][9] The resulting game can be exported as a standalone Windows executable.[8] The 3D Gamemaker has a built in placement editor that allows the user to indicate where enemies, items, and obstacles go. This is not available in beginner mode or the lite edition. There is also, among other things, a simple level creator. It also includes the ability to import your own media.[8]

Reviewing The 3D Gamemaker for GameSpy, Tricia Harris praised the software's ease-of-use, but criticised the animation and "placement editor" systems.[11]

FPS Creator Classic[edit]

In February 2016 The Game Creators decided to release "FPS Creator" as "FPS Creator Classic" source available (no defined license) with many model packs on[12][13]


AppGameKit offers a high level coding and programming tool which aims to be easy for beginners to learn.[14] In July 2016, AppGameKit Education Pack was released.[15] AppGameKit was featured in Develop-Online's top 16 game engines of 2014.[16] In December 2018 the app Driving Theory Test Kit 4in1 (built in AppGameKit by TheGameCreators) was cited by Apple as their top paid-for app in 2018.[17] The Driving Theory Test 4in1 Kit app has been named by Apple as its #1 top paid for app for the last three years (2018, 2019 and 2020).

AppGameKit Studio was launched in July 2019 as their fully featured game development tool. It has an all-in-one workspace and a re-imagining of the game and app development user interface and works cross platform. AppGameKit Studio offers the user everything needed to take an idea from initial concept right through to the finished game.


In 2013 TheGameCreators launched GameGuru, an easy to use game development tool (based on their previous products FPS Creator and FPS Creator Reloaded) available via Steam and direct from TheGameCreators. Funded by the company, their gaming community and some private investment, GameGuru continued to be refined alongside their other product AppGameKit.[citation needed] In 2019 The Game Creators launched the Alpha version of GameGuru MAX, the successor to GameGuru. MAX is in development and it's expected launch is in late 2020.

Game Creator Store

Game Creator Store is a marketplace offering affordable, high quality, game assets from creators around the world. It is available for most applications by the Game Creators such as GameGuru, AppGamekit and more.

GameGuru Max

Game Guru Max is the next generation of GameGuru with faster performance and new visuals. Featuring a fully customisable, enhanced game-making user interface ideal for rapid design and level creation.



The benefits of a new UI will be immediately apparent when you use the menus, toolbar and dockable windows - responsive and smooth – but with a familiarity which means GameGuru Classic users can dive right in

GameGuru MAX will be backwards compatible with your existing game projects, so you can load in your old levels and carry on where you left off, with the extra power of the editor

The Editor makes sure the features are easy to use for new and novice users. With integrated video tutorials and quick key shortcut help, users will get to grips with GameGuru MAX is no time!


One of the most powerful additions to GameGuru MAX is the NEW character creation and behaviour system which features:

  • Quality art and animations
  • Voice recording
  • Text to speech
  • Lip-syncing
  • Auto-gestures
  • Smooth transition animations

New characters can walk and talk with the player with a greater sense of realism, plus you can create new characters for your game as you need them


To reduce your reliance on stock assets or imported models, the Structure Editor will have a standardised panel for all your editing needs, with auto-camera adjustment to make the creation of multi-layer structures a cinch. There is also NO NEED for keyboard shortcuts as every function will be available as instant tooltip buttons from the structure editor panel!


The icing on the cake for users who prefer not to script will be the new Dynamic LUA system, which will not only offer you the choice of behaviour to apply to your object, but you’ll be able to modify the behavioural elements of the script using simple gadgets such as value sliders and text entry fields. No longer will scripts be a fixed one-case logic block, you’ll be able to adjust elements of the logic to suit your requirements. In this illustration, you can see the character properties that will allow you to edit the range at which the character detects you, and the speed at which they move


Perhaps the most fundamental enhancement over the Classic version is the implementation of a new scene lighting model and world system to bring a greater sense of realism to your creations. For this we have started from the ground up, throwing away the old shaders, terrain, grass and sky systems! In place you’ll find the powerful 'Wicked Engine' with correct light and shadows and which will also feature scalable terrain system with improved geometry and texture control, multiple grass forms for realistic ground coverage, scalable tree rendering system and new dynamic cloud and weather system. Using these improved controls, even an empty world will look realistic and ready to explore!


You will have easy access and control to every visual setting for your game levels. You’ll be able to set the sun's brightness, colour, position, shadow effect, choose a fog and weather effects and much more!

GameGuru MAX is in development and these in-game visuals are built whilst under construction.

It is anticipated that the minimum specification for this product will require an NVIDIA GTX 960 or equivalent graphic card. We have also set the minimum operating system to Windows 10 or above for compliance with the Windows Mixed Reality requirements.


  1. ^ Freeman, Will (27 February 2015). "Lessons from the GameGuru". Develop. Retrieved 8 August 2016.
  2. ^ "About the Game Creators - TheGameCreators".
  3. ^ dark-basic-pro-open-source on (2016)
  4. ^ DarkBASIC Professional Discussion / Dark Basic Pro - Out In The Open by Lee Bamber "[...] the eventual demise of DBP now that GameGuru is being ported to C++. To combat this clearly unacceptable outcome, I have decided to start the process of moving the latest version of DBP over an open source project [...]. It would be hosted on GITHUB [...] In order to ensure that DBP does not become abandon-ware, we will also be periodically compiling the latest stable version and releasing the language for free on Steam." (15 September 2015)
  5. ^ Dark-Basic-Pro on
  6. ^ Dark Basic Pro Binary 120216 by Lee Bamber "Release includes additional certificates for owners of previously purchased DBP plugins" (12 Feb 2016)
  7. ^ Walker, Trey (24 August 2001). "The 3D Gamemaker nears completion". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 19 October 2012. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cruickshank, Alex (22 January 2002). "DarkBasic - 3D GameMaker review". Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.
  9. ^ a b c d e Harris, Tricia (October 2001). " - Reviews: 3D Game Maker (PC)". GameSpy. Part 1. Archived from the original on 2 March 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  10. ^ Steinberg, Scott (6 February 2006). "Make Your Own Game". Popular Science. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  11. ^ Harris, Tricia (October 2001). " - Reviews: 3D Game Maker (PC)". GameSpy. Part 3: Scores. Archived from the original on 12 February 2008. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  12. ^ FPS Creator Classic Open Source on
  13. ^ FPS-Creator-Classic on
  14. ^ "Key Release: App Game Kit 2". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  15. ^ "AppGameKit Education Bundle helps teachers create coding classes". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  16. ^ "The top 16 game engines for 2014". Retrieved 15 December 2016.
  17. ^ "Driving Test Success app named Apple's top paid app for 2018".