The Game Creators

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The Game Creators, Ltd.
Private
Industry Software development
Founded Lancashire, United Kingdom (1999)
Founder Lee Bamber, Richard Vanner
Headquarters Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom
Key people
Lee Bamber (Managing Director)
Richard Vanner (Financial Director)[1]
Products Video game development software, modelling software
Website TheGameCreators.com

The Game Creators, Ltd. (often stylised "tgc") is a British game development software company[2] formed through a partnership between programmer Lee Bamber and Rick Vanner in 1999,[3] located in Macclesfield, Cheshire, United Kingdom. The company was formerly known as Dark Basic Software Limited. The company primarily develops and markets game development tools for Windows. Among others, it has developed DarkBASIC Professional, its predecessor DarkBASIC, App Game Kit, FPS Creator (and its successors FPS Creator X10 and GameGuru) and The 3D Gamemaker.[citation needed]

The company also electronically publishes a number of other game development tools and utilities made by other parties, such as 3d modeling tools and media. In the past, they published a small number of computer games.[citation needed]

Products[edit]

DarkBASIC[edit]

DarkBASIC was released in 2000 as a game creation programming language. The language is a structured form of BASIC and is similar to AMOS on the Amiga. The purpose of the language is game creation using Microsoft's DirectX from a BASIC programming language. It is marketed on its ability to allow a total novice to make playable games after following its tutorials. It can create both 2D and 3D games, providing function libraries that enable a game to be programmed with considerably less code than with a language such as C++ without such dedicated libraries. DarkBASIC 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 for a game made with it.

In 2002 an updated version called DarkBASIC Professional able to use newer versions of DirectX was released. The pre-Professional version is informally referred to as DarkBASIC Classic to distinguish between the products.

The last DarkBASIC version 1.21 was released on 14 August 2008. 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.

In 2015 the TGC lead developer Lee Bamber decided to open up DarkBASIC professional for the community to prevent that it become unsupported abandonware.[4][5] The project and its source code is hosted since start of 2016 under the MIT license on github.com.[6] Latest as freeware released binary program was Dark Basic Pro Binary 120216 which included the activation of many previously commercial modules.[7]

Game Guru[edit]

In November 2012, the company launched a campaign aiming to raise funds for the development of a new version of FPS Creator called "Reloaded", using crowd funding site Kickstarter. Despite the eventual failure to secure funding, a private investor agreed to fund development and The Game Creators began to accept funding using an internal system. As of October 2013, a beta version was in development with a limited release scheduled for 31 October 2013.[citation needed] It was later renamed Game Guru and widened its focus beyond the first-person shooter genre. Since 27 February 2015 it is available as a Steam early access title. The company hopes the engine can make game creation more accessible.[2]

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[8][9] 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[9] to run. Alongside the full boxed release, The 3D Gamemaker was also released in a Lite edition, with less categories of assets available and a reduced feature set.

The software has a simple[9] point-and-click interface[10][11] which guides the user through the process of creating the game. The user chooses a scene from one of several different genres[9][10] ("shooter", "horror", "war", "space", "driving", "jungle", "cartoon", or "silly"[9]), and then chooses different characters, weapons, items, enemies and so on.[9][10] The software includes hundreds of pre-made scenes and 3D objects.[10] The software can also automatically generate a game by choosing random elements.[9][10] The resulting game can be exported as a standalone Windows executable.[9] 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, amongst other things, a simple level creator. It also includes the ability to import your own media.[9]

Reviewing The 3D Gamemaker for GameSpy, Tricia Harris praised the software's ease-of-use, but criticised the animation and "placement editor" systems.[12]

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 github.com.[13][14]

App Game Kit[edit]

App Game Kit offers a high level programming language called AGK BASIC, which aims to be easy for beginners to learn.[15] In July 2016, AppGameKit Education Pack was released.[16] App Game Kit was featured in Develop-Online's top 16 game engines of 2014.[17]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Game Creators Newsletter issue 82
  2. ^ a b Freeman, Will (2015-02-27). "Lessons from the GameGuru". Develop. Retrieved 2016-08-08. 
  3. ^ Ltd., The Game Creators. "About The Game Creators - TheGameCreators". Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  4. ^ dark-basic-pro-open-source on thegamecreators.com (2016)
  5. ^ 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." (September 15, 2015)
  6. ^ Dark-Basic-Pro on github.com/LeeBamberTGC
  7. ^ Dark Basic Pro Binary 120216 by Lee Bamber "Release includes additional certificates for owners of previously purchased DBP plugins" (12 Feb 2016)
  8. ^ Walker, Trey (2001-08-24). "The 3D Gamemaker nears completion". GameSpot. Archived from the original on 2012-10-19. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Cruickshank, Alex (2002-01-22). "DarkBasic - 3D GameMaker review". itreviews.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-22. 
  10. ^ a b c d e Harris, Tricia (October 2001). "GameSpy.com - Reviews: 3D Game Maker (PC)". GameSpy. Part 1. Archived from the original on 2008-03-02. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  11. ^ Steinberg, Scott (2006-02-06). "Make Your Own Game". Popular Science. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  12. ^ Harris, Tricia (October 2001). "GameSpy.com - Reviews: 3D Game Maker (PC)". GameSpy. Part 3: Scores. Archived from the original on 2008-02-12. Retrieved 2016-08-14. 
  13. ^ FPS Creator Classic Open Source on thegamecreators.com
  14. ^ FPS-Creator-Classic on github.com/LeeBamberTGC
  15. ^ "Key Release: App Game Kit 2". Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  16. ^ "AppGameKit Education Bundle helps teachers create coding classes". Retrieved 15 December 2016. 
  17. ^ "The top 16 game engines for 2014". Retrieved 15 December 2016. 

Further reading[edit]