Gamelodge, an app where users can play user-made VR and desktop games, and build games with others in real time, launched on Kickstarter last week.
The app offers a smooth and optimized development process by utilizing the simple coding language Miniscript and eliminating some of the typical game development roadblocks.
The team, consisting of Brendan Lockhart and Ela Darling, hopes Gamelodge will be a stepping stone for aspiring developers and a fun environment to play games made by others.
One challenge that Gamelodge resolves is the tedious process of coding, compiling, and building an executable to test new features in a game. Instead, code written within the app can be immediately applied during gameplay with other users.
“I’ve been making VR games for around 6 years, and I’ve personally felt how byzantine small changes can be, especially for multiplayer games,” said Lockhart. “Every time a developer wants to change how something behaves they have to write the code, then compile, then build, and then send the final executable to their friend. With Gamelodge, we want to remove all that overhead by unifying the building and playing process. You can write code and apply it instantly, potentially while someone is playing.”
Another barrier in game development that Gamelodge resolves is the process of identifying and fixing bugs. With the app’s in-game recording system, users can record the entire state of the game and replay that recording with edited scripts. When a user finds a bug in a game, they can send a recording of the issue to the developer. The developer can then replay that recording with edited scripts so that they know that they’ve properly addressed the issue.
“One of the ways I evaluate a game before I buy it is watching videos of people playing it, but capturing fun moments in a game can be cumbersome. You either have to run OBS the whole time or hope you can recreate what happened,” noted Darling. “One of the unexpected benefits of the auto-recording feature is that you can make a video of whatever cool thing just happened. You can even change the camera angle, framing, and add new scripts to that recording afterwards. We used this to capture all of the in-game footage for our Kickstarter video.”
Even if a user doesn’t plan to ever create their own game, the app will launch with three ready to play games built in Gamelodge, including a zombie survival FPS, a classic RPG experience, and a PVP food fight melee game.
If the Kickstarter campaign is successful, Gamelodge will be released to beta users in late 2020 and launch on Steam in early 2021.
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