Hi Philip,
That has been my concern as well. What seams perfectly easy to a
skilled programmer may not necessarily be that simple and straight
forward to someone who has no programming skills at all. The only
thing I can compare BGT to is the Audio Game Maker tool that was
released a couple of years ago which flopped.
In design the Audio Game Maker was really simple to use, or at least
was to me. You started the AGM up, created a new project, and were
placed on a 100 by 100 grid. You then could drag and drop objects on
the grid such as enemy objects, the player object, walls, etc. You
could point to a certain object and bring up a properties menu that
would allow you to configure the objects properties. For the more
advanced developer you could ignore the GUI tool altogether and modify
the xml scripts directly. However, one thing that became imediately
apparent is a lot of people had troubles using the Audio Game Maker.
For one thing it wasn't well documented for some users, and they
couldn't understand some of the key concepts involved from the get go.
For another the team who developed it were college students and pretty
much blew the project off after creating it. Which meant no official
technical support for the project which was really bad. However, those
problems aside I did manage to create a couple of simple games with it
and was able to figure out most things on my own without docs or
technical support just by experimenting with things. Although, I know
a lot of people couldn't.
I know with you BGT will be well documented and well supported so
those two problems won't be an issue here. However, the question of
how fast or quick people will learn how to use it remains to be seen.
We've had this situation before with Audio Game Maker and the GMA
Engine where people are eager to try the new game development tool
only to quickly get frustrated with it and give up on it. My personal
conclusion is, and has been, programming games isn't necessarily
something for the masses. It is difficult to take a very complex
subject like game programming, wich covers many different areas of
programming, and package it in a nice little tool that everyone can
easily understand and use. You either end up with the totally keep it
simple stupid design which lacks a lot of advanced features for
simplicity sake, or has every feature you can think of but is too
complex for the average user. I'll be interested to see how BGT is
recieved in our little community.


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