Sheldon Pacotti, indie developer and writer of the original "Deus Ex" games, created Game Blocks for a course at the University of Texas' Radio-Television-Film program entitled "Writing and Narrative Design for Video Games". The open-source toolkit is designed to help novice developers create stories, animations and physics effects with a simple interface, and you can download it now for free.
The free software, based on Scratch, is able to put together adventure games, platformers, simulations and arcade-style shooters for PC and Mac, while making it easy for new creators to organize dialogue and story details. The best part is, anyone interested in trying it out can download it right now from Pacotti's New Life Interactive website.
Here's the feature list from New Life Interactive:
- simple blocks for common game functions: movement, inventory, dialogue, cut scenes, cartoon animation, level transitions, physics.
- example programs for common game types: platformer, 2D adventure, point-and-click adventure, arcade shooter, and simulation.
- Over four hours of online video tutorials, covering the entire system of blocks and game-specific applications.
You can see an introduction to Game Blocks in the video below.