An Ottawa-based startup Citrify Inc, brings us SpriteDeck, an application for Windows and Mac that unleashes your inner-game developer and enables you to create 2D mobile games or comic book apps with or without coding knowledge.
SpriteDeck works by dragging and dropping photo assets (backgrounds, objects, characters) into its development interface. The layout of the imported graphics can be added into layers, grouped into scenes or stacked into animation sequences. And by exporting the layout, it will generate code that will be used to create iOS and Android applications.
The desktop software supports png, jpeg and gif image formats however depending on what device the game is being designed for, the resolution of the images will need to correspond. The inspector settings do however let users choose the device; iPhone, Nexus One, iPad, etc.
In order to utilize the full functionality of the software you will need to know a bit of code unless you’re using a target bundle.
What if I don’t know any code?
For those of us with no coding experience, SpriteDeck can currently be used to design comic book style apps that utilize a feature called target bundles, basically a template that makes it easy to design without code as Citrify Inc highlights in the video below.
Earlier today we had a chance to speak with Zee Yang one of the founders of Citrify Inc and he told us that the idea for SpriteDeck was born because he couldn’t seem to find a 2-D gaming development tool that worked for both coders and non-coders.
Yang, a software engineer that once worked for Adobe, tells us that Game Salad came pretty close to doing what he wanted but, because it’s aimed at non-coder folk, it doesn’t enable you to replace/build code to optimize games. Yang went on to explain that by using a tool such as Game Salad, you wouldn’t be able to create a game such as Angry Birds because “there are too may levels and sets of game rules, it’s just to complex” he said.
Yang said he wanted to develop a tool that didn’t replace code so developers still had the ability to optimize the games.
Users with no coding experience are limited to using the target bundles or game templates although as Yang pointed out, someone experienced in code could create a more complicated 2D game like Angry Birds and offer it up as a target bundle. The option to create a game on that level without knowing code sounds intriguing but as we’d mentioned, the comic book style apps are where it ends now for the non-coder users.
SpriteDeck generates code for the Corona SDK, a free mobile development platform (similar to Torque 2D) that supports iOS and Android. The SpriteDeck app is available for download at the SpriteDeck site for $49 where there is also a free trial.