Google’s Game Builder is one of the most successful tools to come out of the low- and no-code trend in the past year. Although it has been available on Steam since November 2018, it was only officially publicized by Google last June, following a huge malware attack via the Play Store the previous month.
The drag-and-drop Game Builder is exactly what it sounds like, as it lets users drag items to populate an empty sandbox world and create their own games. It’s one of the few projects to come out of Google’s secretive Area 120, which is an experimental project that the company is pursuing. Harry Mccracken’s discussion on Area 120 on Fast Company explains that the incubator-like space is a place where developers can work on their passions full-time, resulting in innovative software like the job-seekers’ Kormo and educational coding app Grasshopper. Game Builder is so far one of the most popular releases from Area 120, garnering positive reviews in and out of Steam.
How it Works
Google takes Minecraft’s UI one step further by giving users the option to make their characters and scenery interact. Making these interactions possible would usually require advanced knowledge in coding, but are conveniently translated into a card-based drag-and-drop interface on Game Builder. This means that you can choose an action on a panel and drag it to a character you’ve built, which is then instantly ‘programmed’ to perform this action.
The tool also allows for a unique co-op mode, where you can play and live-create games with friends. These games can be shared with others who can either edit or play them, even while you’re still building the game!
All in all, Game Builder is a fun tool to play around with, whether you’re already into building games or just want to try it out. To top it all off, Game Builder is absolutely free for Windows and Mac via Steam.