Have you ever been playing a game and wished you could just hit a button and start changing it right in the middle of the game? Then you're going to love The Video Game Machine (VGM).
This is a game we've been working on for over four years. Hopefully you'll be able to see why.
VGM isn't a development tool. It's been designed so that anyone can make games with it. Easily. Here's how it works:
First, you pick a genre. We've started with popular genres from the 8-bit era (1980s and 1990s).
Picking the genre eliminates most of the complexity right off the bat. If you pick a side-scroller, you already have most of the basics down right there. It's...a...side...scroller. You can configure it further with the rule-book but the genre sets the stage for how the game is going to play.
Pick your genre
And since it's a side-scroller you have a hero right?
Pick your character
Eventually, you'll be able to import your own character, graphics, etc. But for now, we supply the basics for you.
Once you name your game you're ready to go!
You then start with a clean slate:
You can also just load an existing game and start editing that, we include an ever increasing set of games
You can also pick your look. Does the game look like it's being played on a CRT (television) or a modern monitor? What graphics set do you want to use?
We already include a ton of different tilesets so you can truly make your own world.
And again, eventually you'll be able to import new tile sets that you create. But right now, we just want to focus players on the core features.
You can even choose the music you want:
You can set the pacing of the music which remarkably enough, can really alter the feeling of the game.
Not every side scroller is the same of course. Super Mario Bros is very different from say an Endless Runner or say Commander Keen. This is where the rule book comes in:
You can further customize the game with the Rulebook
Editing my game
At any time, if you hit the TAB key you can start playing. There is no separation from making and playing. Here's me just hitting TAB:
Easy to switch from making to playing.
This makes it super easy and fun because you can constantly try out your stuff.
By this point, you're probably starting to understand where things are going. There are 3 levels of player for this game:
Player A: Just wants to play lots of cool games
Player B: Wants to make games but doesn't want to get too technical
Player C: Wants to mod games or make really sophisticated games.
For now, we're just focusing on player A and B. But you can imagine eventually people being able to script up their own rules, their own AI stuff and their own mechanics and sharing them. They then would show up in the rulebook or in the enemy list or have new tiles and new heroes and so on.
Once you have made a game, you can share it with the world.
Games made by others
Since we're just in alpha, you can already see the work we have ahead of us. For instance, we'll need some sort of rating system on public stuff so people can choose between the good stuff and the stuff I made.
For the Alpha, we only included two genres. Side-scroller and Adventure.
Like with side-scrollers, there are a ton of different graphical choices to choose from.
The path forward
We're starting the alpha with the game only costing $10. Obviously, it won't stay this way. But we want to encourage lots of people to come try it out, give feedback, tell us what they like and don't like and of course, make games.
Like I said earlier, The Video Game Machine isn't a development tool. It's meant to be fun. It's not intended to compete with Unity or Unreal or even sophisticated game making products. This is a game that is meant to make it easy and fun for people to create games in well understood genres.
We made it very easy for people to tell their own stories through their games as well.
We internally have around 7 genres in various stages of development. You can probably guess most of them.
Over time, as we advance, modders will be able to create and share their own music, tile-sets, enemies, game rules, gizmos, etc.
Starting today, May 29, 2019, you will be able to start playing it if you join the Founder's program. Join the adventure at www.TheVGM.com.