Google Area 120 Releases Game Builder
Friday, 21 June 2019

Google's workshop for experimental products has created Game Builder, a way of creating multiplayer games without the need to know how to program games.

Area 120 describes itself as a workshop for Google's experimental products,

where Googlers spend 100% of their time on their 20% projects.

Launched three years ago, it accepts pitches only from Google employees who get to work full time on their projects if accepted. A handful of apps have already been released from Area 120 including Advr, an advertising format for VR, personal stylist Tailor, an emoji messenger Supersonic and the YouTube co-watching app UpTime.

area120

The developers say that the idea of  Game Builder is to make building a game feel like playing a game:

"If you’ve crafted a fort or dug a mine in a game, you already know how to build a 3D level in Game Builder".

What makes this different from other attempts at creating game builders is that multiple users can build (or play) simultaneously.

googlegame

Decisions about how and where things move, how player actions are handled, and so on, are added using Game Builder’s card-based visual programming system. Developers drag and drop cards to answer questions such as, “How do I move?” There are cards for creating moving platforms, scoreboards, healing potions, and drivable cars. More interestingly, you can also build your own cards with JavaScript. Game Builder comes with an API that can be used to script almost everything in the game, and the code is all live with no compiling required.

Of course, creating an entire 3D environment is a lot of work, but Game Builder works with Google Poly, Google's collection of 3D objects and scenes that is free to use. This library contains models "from pugs to rocket ships", and there are thousands of options available to set up characters.

The prototype is available free on Steam for PC and Mac.

area120

More Information

Game Builder on Steam

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Last Updated ( Friday, 21 June 2019 )