The latest version of the Big List of game creation systems I’ll be working with is now available as a Google spreadsheet:
This list is not finalized (and probably never will be), and is still very likely to change.
A few notes:
- No, I don’t really expect to get through three thousand game creation systems. By the time I get to the mid nineties or so when the systems really start to proliferate, I’m definitely going to have to adopt some stricter criteria for inclusion. But I don’t need to worry about that right now.
- Some of the dates may be incorrect; it was difficult to find out when many of these systems were released, especially with the number of systems I had to look through.
- The categories are somewhat arbitrary, and may later be altered. Here’s more or less what I had in mind for each category, though I don’t know that I was really consistent, or that some of these are really good definitions:
- A construction set is a program that allows you to create games, without requiring any programming or external utilities.
- A developer’s kit is a set of libraries and utilities for use in programming a game. (Though I think this category in particular I wasn’t very clear about.)
- A game engine is a codebase for games that allows programmers to make a game without worrying about a lot of the lower-level matters.
- A level editor allows the user to create levels or scenarios for an existing game.
- A programming language is, in this case, a special programming language optimized for use to create games.
- A toolkit is a set of libraries, utilities, or other resources that does not stand alone, but must be used in conjunction with an existing game engine or construction set.
If you have any additional games to bring to my attention for the list, suggestions about the categorization, or other comments about the Big List, please comment on the latest post about the list, which is currently here.