In something of a surprise reveal, Nintendo today announced Game Builder Garage, a Switch title that aims to make it easy to create your own games.
Somewhat like the PS4’s Dreams, Game Builder Garage lets you create games without having to write any code. Instead, it uses visual programming, allowing you to connect and interact with creatures calls ‘Nodons’ — a play on a ‘node‘ in the programming sense, one assumes.
Each Nodon has unique abilities, including a Person Nodon that functions as your controllable character. Other Nodons include controls for the analog stick, buttons, in-game objects, timers, background music, counters, effects, textures, and more.
The game contains interactive lessons, with Nodons offering advice along the way. There are also ‘Checkpoints’ that offer programming challenges for the player to solve.
Nintendo says you’ll be able to create a variety of game types, including side-scrolling platformers, kart racers, mazes, and space blasters. In the spirit of titles like Super Mario Maker, you’ll be able to download and share your creations with others too.
Game Builder Garage even supports a custom accessory: a good old mouse. You can connect a ‘compatible mouse’ into the Switch Dock’s USB port to make it easier to navigate the interface. Hopefully, that means any regular old USB mouse will work.
As someone who knows next to nothing about making games, I can see this being a fun and accessible way to learn some of the basics. Game Builder Garage arrives on June 11 for $29.99; you can read more over at Nintendo’s page for the game.
Did you know we have a newsletter all about consumer tech? It’s called Plugged In – and you can subscribe to it right here.