In recent years, games in which you MAKE games have been a thing. You have Roblox on PC, Little Big Planet and Dreams on Playstation, and the Super Mario Maker series on Nintendo devices — all have the goal of simplifying the game-making process to drag-and-drop mechanics that anyone can figure out.
Now Nintendo is taking it one step further with Game Builder Garage, announced out of nowhere today for release in one month. Through maniuplation and placement of googly-eyed characters called Nodons, users will be instructed on game logic and how to piece together playable levels. The games this software is capable of making look rather simplistic, but they do a good job of teaching the basics of programming. Plus, like Super Mario Maker, you’ll have the power to upload your games and play the games of others.
Nodon are creatures with big personalities that are used to help build your games from the ground up. There are dozens of Nodon in Game Builder Garage, each with a unique function, and you can learn how to build games just by connecting them in various ways. For example, you can create and move a human-like character with an analog stick just by connecting Stick Nodon with Person Nodon! Thus, you will get to learn the basics of game programming in a fun and intuitive way. You’ll be able to create a wide variety of different types of video games too – from side-scrolling platformers, to kart racers, to space blasters!
Making an actual video game for commercial consumption can be a difficult process, requiring miles of handwritten code and endless, tedious bug testing. It’s not a career for everyone, but software titles like Game Builder Garage have the potential to inspire the game creators of tomorrow to pursue the harder stuff. Maybe, someday, they’ll even make their own games about making games.
Game Builder Garage will be released for Switch on June 11 for $30.