Nintendo’s newest Switch game will teach you how to make games of your own【Video】
Written by tokyoclub on May 6, 2021
Sure, Nintendo could make our games for us, but Game Builder Garage wants to put you in the designer’s chair.
The river of games from Nintendo used to flow in one direction. The Kyoto-based company made the games, then distributed them to fans to play.
That one-way stream has been shaken up in recent years, though, and the latest example is Game Builder Garage, a brand-new title for the Nintendo Switch that lets you design, play, and share your own games.
Using an intuitive, visual interface, Game Builder Garage makes it easy to connect control inputs with on-screen character actions. The same goes for adding environmental objects, letting you start creating a virtual world right away.
This being a Nintendo product, it’s no surprise that the very first example shown in the announcement video is of creating side-scrolling platformer-style gameplay. Game Builder Garage isn’t just a genericized Super Mario Maker, though, and actually lets you create games in a huge variety of genres.
The short video gives glimpses of shooters (both side-scrolling and overhead), fighters, driving games, puzzle games, and even what looks like a first-person dungeon-crawler. What’s especially impressive is that the system looks like it’ll let you create games in either 2-D or 3-D style (though the 2-D clips might just be thin, flat polygons with a fixed camera perspective).
A free painting mode lets you create custom texture artwork, and other feature categories include background music, effects, and timers. But don’t worry, Nintendo isn’t planning to throw you in the deep end of in-depth design, and Game Builder Garage will walk you through the basics with a series of interactive lessons, so that you can “Learn to make games from the minds at Nintendo.” Completing these lessons themselves will actually end up with you building seven different sample games, such as a side-view game of tag and a 3-D racer.
Most importantly of all, functions for sharing the fun with friends are included. Nintendo says you’ll be able to “Exchange codes with friends to download their games,” implying that you won’t necessarily have to go through the company’s server every time you want to play it, and Game Builder Garage will even allow you to swap work-in-progress data, so that you and a team of friends can collaborate on designing a game even without being in the same place/using the same Switch.
As one of the biggest publishers in the industry, Nintendo is well-versed in the modern marketing norms of breadcrumb-like updates during the lengthy development of an upcoming title. This time, though, it’s going the opposite route, and Game Builder Garage will be out in less than a month, on June 11.