Building a video game from scratch takes a lot of resources. But just like anything creative, technology is making this category more accessible to those of us who have ideas, but not necessarily the technical knowledge. Now there is GameSalad - "Game creation for the rest of us." Currently being exhibited at MacWorld by a developer with long blond dreads and a few other guys, this stand-alone application makes game design something most anyone can do. With an interface that gives resolution for Apple iPhone, GameSalad.com, and some larger options, the program has a building block component feel. As attendants define rules for objects and preview animations, the GameSalad team shows the basic principles for design. The program includes quick start genres, but customizability seems extensive enough that there is not a "GameSalad look" to the games that have used the software.
Some iPhone games are already on the iTunes store, such as "Kill the King," "Danger Cats!" and "V is for Vortex." But even more are available on the company site, including those that are competing in the MacWorld Challenge.
The MacWorld Challenge concludes on the last day of the Expo, Saturday the 13th, and currently is made up of five finalists including Kill the King. An interview with Kyle Sanderson, creator, mentions that GameSalad is very easy to learn, at least for someone who has already been using Yoyo Games' Game Maker for some time.
Sanderson explains that while using the software, he came up with the idea of the game. "I discovered that it has a great built in physics engine, so I knew that I wanted to utilize it," he says in the interview. The game took about a month to make.
While GameSalad may make the process easier to learn for a novice, there is still coding involved. Fortunately, the support of video tutorials and a healthy forum make it easy to get quick help.