Nintendo has announced Game Builder Garage for Nintendo Switch, an accessible game creation toolkit designed to teach players how to make games and then share them with others. Game Builder Garage will be released on 11th June 2021.
Game Builder Garage is designed as a gateway into game programming, teaching the basics with step-by-step lessons and visual programming. Nintendo has created a new cast of colourful little characters, the Nodon, who are charged with things like moving your character, pressing buttons, adding a timer, sound effects and more. Some represent the controls of the Switch, while others are part of how the game runs. As you progress through the lessons, there will also be set checkpoints that test to see if the knowledge has sunk in.
This runs both in docked and handheld modes, and you can either use button controls, touchscreen or plug in a USB mouse to interact.
It looks and sounds pretty cool, and feels like a successor to the programming and game creating elements that were introduced with Nintendo Labo. With Nintendo planning no further cardboard-based experiments, it’s great to see them taking one of the pillars from Labo and finding a new way to bring it to users. In fact, you can spot some of the same assets being used, such as with the drivable buggy/car.
However, you do have to wonder how well Nintendo will support the sharing aspect of this. The company has often lagged behind others in online features, and there’s a high bar to beat with MediaMolecule’s Dreams on PlayStation, which has comprehensive sharing and discoverability. Thankfully they can lean on the foundations of Super Mario Maker, and hopefully try to build the systems out from there. With the broader focus of the game’s creation, this could be a delightful creative hub.