GameSpark has launched a new online program which lets video game fans make their own games easily at home. The program features easy-to-follow video tutorials and game-ready resources so that anyone can quickly become the creator of professional-looking games.
GameSpark’s creators have been teaching game design to students, ages 9-18, at their San Francisco Bay Area summer camps for the past 10 years. They’ve seen how much students enjoy being able to quickly develop games, tweak them, customize the storyline and characters, and share them with friends. “It’s exciting to see a student’s confidence in their game-making skills grow over the course of a week-long class,” says Bob Mancini, President of GameSpark. “With GameSpark, we want students around the world to experience the thrill of creating their own games, in a way that is fun and affordable.”
Indeed, GameSpark courses are very affordable. Courses cost just $9.95, which includes access to the tutorials for a full year, plus a set of game graphics, sounds, and music. The software is free to use for the beginning courses. A software upgrade is necessary for the advanced courses to get the 3D features, but is a very reasonable $25, and is a one-time charge. GameSpark also has special packages for educators teaching game design as part of their school curriculum.
GameSpark currently offers six courses. Each course teaches students how to make a particular type of 2D or 3D game. Games range from platform games (think Mario) to first-person 3D games and 2-player racing games. The online video tutorials are an innovative combination of both audio and visual instructions, which are very easy to follow.
Students work at their own pace and can access a course anytime – 24 hours a day. Once a game is completed, users can go to the game customization area or try out programming by writing code that adds features into the game. There is even an interactive quiz to review what one has learned. The software used in the program is the highly-regarded Game Maker from YoYo Games, which has been successfully used in beginning and intermediate game design classes for over 10 years.
The fun and easy-to-use tutorials, and the program’s affordability seem a perfect combination to transform young people from just game players into game creators. As a high school user of GameSpark put it, "It has inspired me to continue creating games."
A free, five-lesson trial of GameSpark is available here.