Over the last decade, gaming has really evolved. At one time almost all gaming took place offline, but now gamers spend most of their gaming time online, interacting with fellow players across the world in real time, and regularly competing in multinational tournaments.
In many quarters, gaming is considered to be an ‘e-sport’ and the very best gamers play at a professional level, including online gamblers for whom the high cash prizes are a great draw. In fact, the industry has developed to such an extent that the most talented gamers are taking it one step further and creating their very own unique games using platforms designed exactly for this purpose.
For example, Microsoft has recent stated that it will enable everyone to use the Xbox to develop, as well as to play games. By simply downloading an app, gamers will be able to transform the Xbox, and other consoles like it, into fun, free game creation tools. In doing so, they’ll open up exciting new avenues of gaming potential.
How about building a game based on your favourite sport, TV show or movie and inviting friends from across the globe to give it a whirl? Or, what about creating the game you and your real-world friends have always wished existed? For hobbyists who love their games, this is exciting news. It could also be the starting point for the great game designers of the future, equipping them with the building blocks to start exploring their creative potential from the comfort of their own homes.
Not to be outdone by Microsoft, Nintendo has released its own platform for games creation – Super Mario Maker. This game creation system allows players to create and play their own custom-designed levels of Super Mario Bros. classic games. It was released late in 2015. The platform has been called ‘a perfect tool to learn the basics of game design’ because of the way in which it guides users progressively through the levels of game creation. People of all ages can let their imaginations run free, building enemies, monsters, rewards and tasks, which ultimately come together to form levels other users can try out.
Over the past few years a number of ‘indie’ games have stormed the charts, proving that it’s not just the ‘big boys’ who can create big-sellers and, when they’re afforded the tools to do so, clever independent gamers can create masterpieces.
Of course, the platforms discussed above guide their users through only the most rudimentary aspects of a game’s design and build. Some types of games may prove far too challenging for the amateur game designer to build. Take, for example, online casinos, where most of the action undoubtedly takes place on the slot machines. The slot machine is one of the most complex games within an online casino and its design is often amended. As well as a games designer, mathematicians, testers, developers and other professionals are often involved in the build, adding extra layers of challenge to the task.
While it may be relatively easy to start out building your own Mario Bros. level, some types of game design are best left to the experts. However, while platforms exist for talented youngsters to flex their creative and technological muscles, we can we sure that there’ll always be people out there who are able to take our gaming experiences to the next level of pleasure.