Nintendo’s ‘Game Builder Garage’ teaches game design using the Switch
Nintendo just announced an exciting new Switch title that puts game design in the hands of the masses. game builder garage is to learn how to program simple video games from the bottom up, with cute mascots and tutorials for beginners.
At the heart of game builder garage is a visual programming language that uses cute mascots to teach game design. Each character – they’re called “Nodon”, apparently – can be assigned a game programming property, such as jumping or left-to-right movement. There are Button Nodons and Person Nodons and dozens of other Nodons too, apparently.
Much like its DIY predecessors, game builder garage will make it easy to switch between programming and playtesting, making experimentation super easy. And – as if we weren’t already sold – the title is only half the price of a standard Switch game.
The latest in a great range of DIY – Nintendo has been toying with the DIY game design space for a long time. Of WarioWare DIY to Creator of Super Mario series, Nintendo always brings its whimsical aesthetic sensibility to these titles, creating fun titles that also have the distinct potential to be genuinely educational.
game builder garage looks set to teach even more than previous Nintendo DIY titles; about half of the game is dedicated to actual lessons. Each tutorial takes players step-by-step through one of seven predefined games. These lessons are definitely beginner-friendly, with early tutorials walking you through the most basic basics like character movement. Players can bypass these and switch to the game’s sandbox mode if they are too eager to complete all the lessons.
Nintendo with the perfect timing — Summer is getting closer with every passing day, which means younger players will soon be bored at home without having to worry about Zoom School. Mid-June really is the perfect time for Nintendo to release game builder garage – it’s just educational enough that parents want to buy it for their kids. At just $30, it’s also a much easier investment than going all out for something like Nintendo’s Labo.
The game is not only educational, however; a good portion of the time spent in the game will be in this free play mode. Players can even send their creations via a unique code to Switch friends so they can play each other’s games and even see the process behind them.
game builder garage is available for pre-order now and will be released on June 11 for $29.99 in the United States. With its blend of fantasy and education, it’s likely to be a hit among older kids and budding game designers.