Today i was fooling around with the Platinum Arts Sandbox Game Maker.
With that fine piece of 100% free software you can create complete Game levels including landscapes, objects, characters, animations… just everything you need to create a computer game.
To be honest, i don’t know too much about “Sandbox” yet. I’ve heard about it a few weeks ago but didn’t touch it…
Today i finally found some free hours in a hidden corner of my studio and so i started the editor.
I only scratched on the surface so far. But what i could create in those 2 hours and the advanced options i noticed during my first try is stunning…
Not really Mainstream!
The Sandbox Game Maker comes with a cool built-in help and there are also some good tutorial on video and text via the official website.
But still it’s not made for a mainstream audience. It sounds stupid but i often didn’t know if an option was active or not – due to the strange color labeling. Why not simply green and red all over the place? Or checkmarks?
In fact, Sandbox was designed for kids. It was meant to be a tool to teach kids about programming and game designing. So i thought all the time, when kids can understand, i should as well.
There are more examples than only the strange color labeling. OK, it’s a matter of time and practicing… but it could be so much easier for a noob like me.
A green Temple!
This is no tutorial but i can show you my first creation. I must say that the first hour was pure experimentation. I needed to learn the most important key-shortcuts and get comfortable with the navigation.
Well, i’m still not comfortable with the navigation/camera movement in the editor, really not, but that’s another story.
I know it’s hard to see too much details but the picture should give you an idea about the possibilities of Sandbox. Creating the walls and putting the textures on them is very easy but how a set looks in the end depends on the lighting.
Without lighting a virtual room has absolute no shadows. And where are no shadows there is no contrast, everything looks flat and simulated.
With the Platinum Arts Sandbox you can add, colorize and position lighting where ever you need it. Not only lighting: Water, Smoke, Fog and even Lava as well!
And your own 3D-Objects, Textures and Music. Yeees, i will figure out how you can do that. I think it’s only a “move-everything-in-the-right-folder” thing, like in The Sims.
There are tons of 3D-Objects on board, you can even plant grass that slightly moves.
So if you are interested in virtual worlds and you like to spend time in creating textures, 3D-meshes and virtual landscapes, maybe the Platinum Arts Sandbox Game Maker is the right toy for you.
For now i’m only interested in the landscape editor but for what i know so far it is possible to create complete 3D-Games, from Adventures to Ego-Shooters. It’s your turn.