Irish software startup Zoodazzle unveiled GameCarver, a new 2D and 3D cross-platform, visually driven game development software.
Created for individual game developers, as well as collaborative game making teams, GameCarver is touted to help make game creation easier, faster and more fun. This is made possible by drawing a clear line between the roles of visual creatives and game programmers, empowering each to focus on their specialist areas, and collaborate without having to learn the others skills.
“Games creators, particularly artists, know that ‘easy to use’ games engines are seldom that easy to use (unless you’re an experienced programmer), “said Ciaran Davies, CEO, Zoodazzle, and experienced game developer. “ If you’re a games artist and you find yourself studying ‘C++ for Dummies’, you know what I’m talking about.
The fact is that many talented games artists simply don’t have time to become good programmers, and the creative side of their work suffers as they struggle with code, and have to constantly switch between creative and technical roles. Even those working with engineers, often need to explore complex code in order to get game play mechanics ‘just right’. It’s not fun, and at Zoodazzle, we believe making games should be as much fun as playing them.
This set-up is not ideal for engineers either, who know how frustrating it is to spend countless hours writing tools to support artists. Or worse, having to wear the ‘artist hat’, and try to create the visual impact artist want. The blending of both roles drains energy from the development process, and often the game suffers for it.
When I started to play around with the idea of GameCarver, almost 5 years ago, it was because I wanted to build a game tool that let both artist and engineers do what they do best, without having to learn the others discipline; allowing game developers to get to the fun fast.”
GameCarver ships with a toolset called Gadgets. Gadgets are like game building blocks, each with its own properties, and set of parameters that are available through a graphical user interface. Artists can ‘tweak’ the object’s properties in the interface by simply changing values. C++ knowledge not required.
Gadgets can be combined to create more complex functionality in the form of Inventions. Coders can create generic Inventions, and the artist can ‘skin’ them by importing resources such as sprites sheets, meshes and materials, audio and sequences of animation.
So that’s good news for engineers too. They won’t have to write tools to support artists, instead they can dedicate their time to creating Inventions with exposed parameters and leave the fine-tuning of game mechanics to the artist/designer.
GameCarver installs with several 2D and 3D game templates, so both artists and coders can quickly familiarise themselves with the software, and start making games immediately. A number of game demos and tutorials are also available from their website, as well as forums to further support game developers.
“We’d encourage people to get in touch via the forums on Zoodazzle.com. We’ve received really useful feedback via email during the beta-release in 2013, and that feedback helped shape this release and previous versions of GameCarver. We’d like to make that an open conversation in the forums now. We want suggestions, feedback, questions, anything that will help us provide support and a platform for developers to share advice and encourage each other.”
With the growing trend in mobile gaming, the timing couldn’t be better for GameCarver. It’s cross-platform publishing capabilities makes it easy for developers to build for popular smartphone and tablet devices; and it’s growing library of Inventions and pre-coded game templates promise to make that process increasingly simple.