Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007, Part 3 - Games

FPS Creator

By Travis Meacham

Maybe the gamer on your Christmas list is more of the creative type, and you'd like to get a gift that encourages their creative side and their love of games. If that's the case, the FPS Creator from Enteractive and The Game Creators could fit that bill perfectly. The FPS Creator is a program for PCs that allows users to create complete first-person shooter games without writing a single line of code. It uses a simple drag-and-drop interface consisting of a set of pre-fab objects - weapons, furniture and enemies - and a design space where game levels may be constructed. It takes a little getting used to, but with some patience and the manual's step-by-step instructions, your gamer will be off and creating in no time.

FPS Creator is packed with potential, and tools to help you realize same.

FPS Creator reminded me of the Neverwinter Nights Toolset that came with both NWN games. The interface is pretty similar, and both use an object-oriented, scripting-supported graphical interface. FPS Creator can only take a game-builder so far without doing some coding, though. While it can design levels, drop in pre-made enemies, configure some simple A.I. routines, and populate each level with weapons, objects and ammo, those who really want to get into the finer workings of game design, will have to learn some scripting. Thankfully, FPS Creator has an active forum attached to its website. It offers a multitude of tutorials on using this tool, scripting basics, and even entire scripts gamers can copy and paste to suit their needs.

Bear in mind that these sorts of game-creation tools deliver only what builders put into them. Novices won't build something to rival Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, but they might learn the basics of videogame design and level construction. Also, for anyone who's ever considered a career in game design, FPS Creator will give them a real taste of the work involved.

This isn't a game unto itself, but it is an easy-to-use tool that introduces people to level design for first-person shooters. FPS Creator takes a little work, but creative types will find the results rewarding, and just might end up getting involved in a mod community when all is said and done.

  • GamingBob
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