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Frank Taylor

A New Genre: Tool Games

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[b]I wanted to make games not editors![/b]

But, then I had an epiphany. Why not re-skin these applications and use them in-game for user customization? Why not add game mechanics to these applications to make editing more animated and entertaining? Why not create Tools that are fun to play! That day changed how I viewed Editors. Creation is fun, and even more so when you have to blast on AI controlled Aliens out to abduct your work-of-art!

With my new found vision, I elected to develop S3GEd concurrently-on-top of the S3GE. To support this concept, I concluded a custom GUI system would be required that consolidates all User and CPU Interactivity 2D/3D GUI Widgets, 3D Event Triggers, Player Controller. My original intention was to consolidate and save development time thru reuse of Applications and processes. After all, whats the difference between moving your character in a 3D world and activating a Trigger verses moving a mouse pointer over a 2D screen and activating a Widget?

So in the process of developing event handling, messaging, and process optimizations for the GUI system, I discovered that I was developing framework for a Entity/Component Model (which apparently has been adopted by some commercial development houses [url="http://cowboyprogramming.com/2007/01/05/evolve-your-heirachy/"]1[/url],[url="http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/MeganFox/20101208/6590/Game_Engines_101_The_EntityComponent_Model.php"]2[/url],[url="http://garage.gaspowered.com/?q=su_301"]3[/url]). I impressed myself with that one.

I realized today that I'm not developing Game Tools, I'm developing Tool Games (TOGs), possibly a new game genre. I wanted to make games not editors! I found a way that I enjoy doing both. Its about presentation and delivery. Nothing written in stone commanding Tools to only be serious. I'm simply blurring the lines a little, is it a Toolbox full of Toys or a Toy-box full of Tools?

Sometimes we indie game developers have to think outside-the-(tool)box, LOL.

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