Apr 082009

I have spent a great deal of time lately assessing different tool chains for prototyping games in my classes. There are of course a great many options for this, but I wanted to start documenting some of what I’ve been playing with. All of these efforts will eventually be incorporated into a project that I am doing for the IGDA Tools Sig, which I guess I am supposed to be bloggin for now, but have yet to start.

  • Game Salad – This seems to be an actual release of something similar to the long promised Stencyl application. I have been looking for system like these GameMaker that allow you to quickly mock up 2D game prototypes. Of course one of the major sticking points with all of these applications is that they are not cross platform in many cases.
  • Lost Garden (Danke’s Numerous Artistic Contributions) – The numerous freely available graphics that Danke has shared with the independent community are awesome, and I can’t really thank him enough for doing this sort of thing. My students have made some use of these tile sets. I on the other hand, use them all the time to mock up designs.
  • IndieLib and Pieced Image Map Editor – IndieLib is a new find for me. I’ve spent a significant amount of time as the OS X lead on G3D, a cross-platform game tech/engine. Lately I’ve had more need for something like G3D, but 2D. IndieLib seems to have found a kind of critical mass of independent game developers interested in working on the library, so I’ve begun looking at what it will take to bring it to OS X. To this end, I’ve been focused on making it as friendly as possible with Quartz Extreme, which would give a 2D library the biggest spread of support from graphics cards on OS X (including those integrated Intel cards).
  • FlashDevelop – Flash Develop is a kind of sideline interest. Open Source Flash development seems to be a growing interest for many. I am no exception. I have no love for proprietary software like the Adobe Creative Suites, but Flash certainly is a growth area, so figuring out how to support developers interested in Action Script and Flash is something I have spent a great deal of time with lately.
  • Löve – Löve is also a love/hate/hate-love thing I have going. I’ve been using a great deal lately to prototype my own game concepts. So I love it. At the same time, I’ve encountered several strange things related to the underlying Lua language, which I hate. At the same time, some of the things I hate are actually kind of growing on me. Hmmm…

I wined a few weeks back about being unable to register on the PopCap Developer Forum so that I could download the PopCap Framework. Post GDC this announcement came out, which seems to indicate that the project is being scrapped by PopCap, but released into the wild at some future point as an Open Source Software project. This is partially why I decided to throw my hat into the IndieLib ring.

All in all I’m only now beginning to put this list of resources into a more readable format. Yes, there are numerous libraries, tools, etc not listed here, but that is part of the ongoing project. Given that my development resources and prototyping tools bookmarks have nearly 100 items in it means I have only scratched the surface.

  4 Responses to “Prototyping and Tools”

  1. In the meanwhile, the Popcap framework is literally nowhere to be found for download. It amazes me that even the shadier parts of the internet do not host this. I’m particularly looking for the documentation, but no luck yet.

    Oh well, let’s just wait for the open source version; if it ever arrives.

  2. I did manage to snag it from an unsavory corner of the Internet at some point, including the documentation. I’ll happily switch to the legitimate version once it is available, but I’m evaluation and developing tools for my courses and I simply didn’t want to twiddle my fingers while waiting for Pop Cap to decide what to do.

  3. Hi!

    How it is going that development using IndieLib?

  4. IndieLib is going well. I got distracted with Angel, AngelXNA, and the newly released 2D Boy library “BoyLib.”

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