Google’s Game Builder Lets You Create Your Own Game With No Coding Experience

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!

Advanced Features

Game Builder features more advanced options for those with coding skills, as well. Its JavaScript editor lets you type in code that is automatically brought to life in the sandbox world — a great way to see your coding in action or to simply practice your JavaScript and HTML skills.

This is the only part of Game Builder that is exclusive to those who know how to code, and is a great addition to an already rich and exciting tool. Those who don’t have skills in this area may feel like they’re missing out, but thankfully, there’s a myriad of resources available online that you can use to get a surface understanding of coding. Case in point, Next Edge Coding’s game development course, which is just one of the many specialized courses hosted on Udemy that provide a crash course on the various components of JavaScript and HTML that are required to build games from scratch. Having just a basic understanding of these components will make it more enjoyable to use Game Builder’s more advanced features, which will allow you to experiment on a whole new level and improve your skills in the process.

The final advanced feature on Game Builder is that you can choose and manipulate 3D models from Google Poly to give your game a more professional feel. You can populate your game with characters like unicorns, spaceships, or cacti — the options are limitless. Combined with JavaScript and HTML coding, you could end up creating a realistic world filled with handpicked models that act exactly how you want them to.

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.

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