Develop your own 2D games, retro or otherwise

TGB editor screenshot
Tired of the boring rut of 3D computer games are stuck in? Got ideas of your own?

I’m probably preaching to the choir when I say that it seems computer games are in a serious rut. With the constant focus on ultimate-reality graphics and physics, it seems that there is little focus on creativity and gameplay (or possibly, no money left for it).

Because of this, the independant (indie) game developer is making a comeback as more and more people get comfortable with computers and form their own ideas of what’d be fun to play. Of course, having ideas isn’t that useful unless you have a way to implement them!

In the past, writing a game has usually meant that you had to learn a language (probably C or C++), figure-out how to create graphic images, do collision detection, play sounds, and everything else that is required for a game. Even for someone like myself, who is a complete full-time computer jockey, that is a daunting task.

Enter the Torque Game Builder (formerly Torque 2D).

This set of tools is built upon the Torque 3D game engine that powered games like Tribes and Tribes2. However, it has been modified to make working on two dimensional games very easy. TGB provides various editors for particle effects, tiles/levels, and all of that good stuff. It works on Mac, Linux and Windows and comes at a very reasonable pricetage as the creator, Garage Games, is wanting to encourage indie game development.

You still will need to do some coding, but the language is very much easier to learn and use than something like C where you must juggle pointers, malloc, and other inane details. I’d say that if you know VB or C#, you’ll be able to find your way around in TGB pretty easily. There is also a thriving forum and community who are eager to help.

Check it out, download the demo, and see if you can finally implement that Jousteroids combo you’ve been dreaming of. If you do, make sure to share it!

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