A recently successful project over at indiegogo could be a sleeper hit poised to take the gaming world by storm. CraftStudio has a blocky look similar to Minecraft, but with a few major differences: it lets you create your own games and interactive movies, and lets you build, color, and animate just about anything.
It also lets you do that with a group of friends in its multiplayer mode. “It’s all real-time, you can collaborate with friends or strangers over the Internet. You can set up your own server or join an existing project,” states Elisée Maurer, the France-based developer of CraftStudio, on the indiegogo page.
Now, I made a comparison to Minecraft earlier, but I should clarify that the creative tools it gives users can do much more than stack blocks or power redstone. At the object and character level you can build just about anything from small blocks (including movable joints), you can create infinite maps and paint your own blocks, and you maintain all rights to your creations—meaning you could build a full game and sell it on your own website.
It also has an advanced scripting system built in, which is easy enough to use for beginners and advanced enough for experienced users. This lets you animate movement and script events.
So what does this change? A lot.
What CraftStudio is doing is giving everyone the ability to create their own games, and it is doing so in an environment most gamers are familiar with (comparable to Minecraft’s creative mode).
Yes, there have been games that let players create films and games (like Little Big Planet and RPG Maker), but CraftStudio doesn’t keep the rights to your creations. What you make here is yours to keep.
“Instead of closed teams, games could be made by random people joining forces over the Internet, learning from one another and tapping into their previously under-used creativity. Through a simple, cohesive and affordable platform, I want to foster cooperation and exchange,” he states.
CraftStudio plays off concepts made famous by Minecraft and Little Big Plane. Little Big Planet lets players make simple games. Minecraft lets players construct worlds. But CraftStudio lets players design things on a very small, precise scale (just check out the videos at the bottom of this post).
Maurer states, “User-made maps are great, but we can do better! Introducing… Real-time collaborative game-making, for the masses.” he adds, “It’s about empowering gamers and blurring the line between playing and creating.”
The game makes a few trade-offs to keep things simple—particularly with the graphics (hence the blocky look). But this sacrifice lets players create and paint their own 3D models, build their maps (which is closer to what you do in Minecraft), and then use the visual scripting system to bring it all to life.
The game is currently free to download and play, but its still in the pre-alpha state. Once the full game is released there will be a paid premium version.
The game will have a built-in store where users can sell or give away their creations, but you won’t be forced to use it. Maurer notes “Everything you’ll make with CraftStudio is yours.” He clarifies this further, noting that users will have several export options, and they can publish their creations on their own without having to pay a licensing fee.
“If you decide to use the built-in store (which has yet to be designed), I’ll take a cut for hosting and to be able to keep improving CraftStudio. But if you don’t want to use the store, you can sell your games on your own website or whatever and you owe me nothing. Also, there won’t be any mandatory watermarking or anything,” he states.