Something Old, Something New

Something Old, Something New

So, I’m going to take a break for today from talking about old game creation systems in order to talk about new game creation systems. So new, in fact, that they don’t even exist yet.

A couple of days ago, I got an e-mail about a link a friend had shared on Twitter to a Kickstarter campaign for a game called Super Tony Land.  A game that boasted a level editor as one of its key features.

Well, naturally, since I’m doing a blog about game creation systems, I felt pretty much obligated to pledge.  So it looks like I’ll be getting early beta access when the Kickstarter ends, as well as designing (or helping design) a custom block.  I kind of wish I could pledge at a higher level and get the create-a-monster or custom character rewards, but unfortunately my current finances preclude that.  Even the pledge I made is a bit of a strain, but, again, I’m doing a blog on game creation systems; I figured I have to support something like this.   Anyway, maybe if I get an unexpected windfall in the next month I’ll up my pledge level, if those rewards haven’t all been claimed by then.  Which they almost certainly will be.  Oh well.

Anyway, though, when I was there at Kickstarter site I ran across another project related to game creation.

This one is NESmaker, a software suite that allows the user to “[m]ake new cartridge based, hardware playable games for the NES [with n]o programming required.”  So, obviously, I felt obligated to pledge to that one too.  I found out about it just in time, too, because the campaign ends Monday.  Unfortunately, for this one I’m not going to be in the beta; beta access doesn’t come till the $256 level, which is way more than I can afford at the moment, so I’m going to have to wait till August to get this like all the other schlubs.  I’d say that, again, I’ll raise my backer level if I get an unexpected windfall before the campaign ends—but in this case the campaign ends Monday, and the chances of my having an extra $256 before then are pretty much nil.  (As it is, money’s tight enough I had to go for the minimum backer level that would get the software; I’m not even getting the blank cartridge and the cart flasher.  Which I guess wouldn’t do me much good anyway, given that I don’t own an NES.  I figure by the time the software ships in August hopefully I’ll be in a better financial position and I’ll be able to get all the necessary hardware, but we’ll see.)

This naturally got me wondering what other game creation systems might be in the process of being Kickstarted; I hadn’t really kept an active eye on Kickstarter looking for them, and I only ran across these because of a random tweet.  So I did a search and… didn’t actually find any other current projects.  I did find some past projects, though, and I was going to write about some of them here, too, but… maybe I should save that for a later post.

There is one other question this brought to mind, though.  So, the main point of this blog is to explore game creation systems.  And I’m taking them chronologically, from oldest to newest.  But… should I just go chronologically?  Okay, I know, I’ve been over this ground before.  In the short-lived original incarnation of this blog, I didn’t just go chronologically, but went in parallel with one old game and one newer game, but I said this time I was going to stick to straight chronological order.  But I think maybe it may be worth it to mix it up a bit.  Not exactly the way I did it in the original version of the blog; then I just picked another system pretty much arbitrarily.  But what if I covered both the oldest game creation systems, and the newest?  I don’t mean I’m going to try to cover every new game creation system when it comes out, but maybe it’ll be worth it to devote a bit of coverage to some brand new game systems as well.

If nothing else, it’ll let improve the visual look of this blog with some graphics.  I know all my posts up until now have been very text-heavy, because Wander, the game system I’m currently covering, doesn’t have graphics.  And neither do the next couple of systems on my list.  So putting in a few posts about a modern game creation system will prevent this blog from being All Text, All The Time.

And besides, it might be a little more interesting—both for me and for readers—to mix things up a little, rather than focus on just one system for too long.  Especially when we get to the point where I’ve discussed the system and now all I have to post about is the updates on the game I’m creating for it, which is where I am now with Wander.  I’d already been considering doing a few game systems in parallel; that doesn’t help right now, because of the two game systems for the next year for which I have anything on my list, one is a level editor that I expect is only going to take up a post or two, and the other is another text adventure language like Wander, so it wouldn’t really help break things up.  But tossing a new game creation into the mix could make things more entertaining for everyone involved.

So… unless any good reasons come to mind not to, I think that’s what I’m going to do.  I’m still going to continue going over old game creation systems chronologically, but I’m going to start tossing some posts on new game creation systems into the mix, too.  Not starting right away, but starting… well, let’s say starting when the Super Tony Land kickstarter ends and the beta period begins.  We’ll see how it goes.

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