Google Area 120 creates a Game Builder that feels like a game itself

JC Torres - Jun 14, 2019, 5:39 am CDT
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Google Area 120 creates a Game Builder that feels like a game itself

Anyone who has played a video game may have had one or both of two thoughts. Either they think they can do one better or they get inspired to create their own. Unfortunately, many of those ideas remain just that, ideas, because of the high entry to barrier in game development. Even game engines like Unity have a steep learning curve, especially for those starting completely from scratch. Google’s skunkworks arm Area 120 is rising to the challenge with Game Builder, a prototype “multiplayer” game maker that requires no previous knowledge at all.

Truth be told, there have been other game builders that make the same promises. The legendary Game Maker that almost, but not completely, requires no programming. They even made a new Buildbox platform that makes the entire process play out like a game, exactly like what Area 120’s Game Builder offers. What makes it different, however, is that you can collaborate with others in real-time.

The developers of Area 120 compare it a bit to something like Minecraft. If you’ve been able to craft structures in 3D games like that, you can make your own 3D levels in Game Builder as well. Like a multiplayer game, others can be there with you in real-time and help you build or play the game. They can even play the game while you build it, making for the fastest quality testing process in game development.

Games are interactive media so, sooner or later, you will have to deal with figuring out how to move things or make things react to player action. Game Builder’s card-based visual programming systems only requires dragging and dropping cards to answer basic questions. More advanced users, however, can drop to Javascript to build their own cards. All of it happens live, no compiling or wait times required.

3D games need 3D content, of course, and good thing Google itself has long had the Google Poly library of models available. Given it’s a prototype, there’s no assurance Game Builder will be around long-term but, for now, you can grab it for free on Steam for PCs and Macs.


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