Yesterday the flash game development utility 'Stencyl' was officially released.
This is targeted at inexperienced users and at those who aren't capable of doing their own graphics/sound/animations. It's all drag and drop, with ultra simplified logic. At the same time my first glance through it suggests that it's powerful enough to create a fascimile of just about any 2D game design. For example the first tutorial is clearly a step toward Super Mario. I completed the tutorial and it resulted in a simple 'goomba-stomp'.
It's one screen, 3 copies of the same motionless enemy, a lazy protagonist, and there is no mechanism for scoring or losing the game. In other words it's not much of a game - but considering it took me less than 20 minutes to complete this it's pretty damn impressive, and it shouldn't take much extra effort to flesh this out with the missing features.
But the most impressive feature of the program is easily the online marketplace. Animating actions for a character is (for most of us) time consuming and boring. Most of us also lack the expertise to create music and sound effects.
The Stencyl developers have positioned this program as the open-source solution. Members of the community are encouraged to create animations/sound/music and share them with the entire community. In this way each user has the resources of the entire population to draw from.
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