"Anyone can be a game programmer." That's the mantra at the heart of Game Builder Garage, a new educational title from Nintendo that wants to help aspiring game developers take their first steps on the road to creative fulfillment.
Game Builder Garage uses a visual programming language built around creatures called 'Nodon' -- each of which serve functions such as moving characters, pressing buttons, or manipulating objects -- in combination with step-by-step lessons created by Nintendo to make programming fun and accessible.
By utilizing Nodon and following Nintendo's guided lessons, players will learn how to build seven basic games including a physics-based puzzler, a single-player racer, and a multiplayer morsel called 'Tag Showdown.'
After learning the ropes, a 'Free Programming' mode will allow would-be developers to really flex their creative muscles and start working on their magnum opus. The trailer spotlights numerous inventive and downright barmy ideas ranging from vibrant 2D shooters and brawlers to what appears to be a Cooking Mama-esque puzzler and old school platformers.
It'll also be possible to exchange games, work on projects together, and see the programming behind them using shareable codes, letting players learn from each other and hone their skills.
At this point, Game Builder Garage feels like an intoxicating mix between Dreams and WarioWare, and if it can deliver on that initial promise then Nintendo might just succeed in powering up the next generation of developers -- while perhaps also inspiring a few older ones. Game Builder Garage will launch on June 11.