Most of us game lovers (or fanatics) have fantasized about making our own game at one point or another. Because seriously, how awesome would that be? The truth of the matter is, however, that unless you got at least some programming skills your options are pretty limited. I wouldn’t even know where to start. So how does PLAYIR fit into this?
PLAYIR was created by a UK based start-up company of the same name whose goal is to make the game development (a notoriously complicated and time-consuming process) into something simpler and much more accessible using ‘Real Time Cloud Technology.’ Not only did they release their game engine, but they’ve actually designed it as to allow average non-technical people with little to no programming knowledge to create their very own 3D multiplayer games for mobile devices. That means that you could start making a game today. Or right now even! The tools are pretty much handed to you on a plate. It doesn’t get much better than that.
To reduce programming as much as possible, PLAYIR utilizes an intuitive drag n drop system on their online editor. What this means is that anyone can easily make their own games by dragging and dropping assets like 3D models, 3D animations, textures and other assets directly onto the online editor, which can be accessed via any web browser. You can also drag and drop files from your computer onto the online editor. As soon as you drag those assets over, whatever mobile device you’re using will update in real time. Real time updates means a significantly reduced game development time. Pretty cool right?
Another awesome feature of PLAYIR is that it’s cross platform, which means that it’ll work on your mobile device whether you’re running iOS, Android, Windows, BlackBerry or Tizen. There’s also Cross Platform Play and yes, it’s exactly what it sounds like. People who are running different Operating Systems on their mobile devices will stay be able to play against each other in real time, which is pretty awesome.
They’re also even working on integrating Live Motion Capture. For more info on that, check out this video. Another interesting feature the team has been working on is In App Purchases. This will allow people to monetize the games that they publish online. So if someone is playing your game and wants to level-up their character, for instance, they could be given the option to Like you on Facebook, follow you on Twitter or just pay you to level up. Have a look at this video for more info on In App Purchases.
Basically, PLAYIR is an open source game engine that has the potential to really change how we think about game development for mobile devices and makes it accessible to your average gamer in a way that it just wasn’t before. For more info, check out out the videos below.
At the moment, they’ve got an Indiegogo campaign going to raise $25,000. This money will go towards improving their Online Editor’s User Interface and User Experience, the creation of a user manual, the creation of Game Packs, making a mobile version of the Online Editor and expanding to worldwide servers (they currently only have a UK server). So be sure to check out their campaign here.
Like any good little blogger, I’ve asked the team behind PLAYIR a few questions. So over to Alex from PLAYIR!
1. What was your inspiration in creating PLAYIR?
The creation of PLAYIR was conceived by Ash Sammy Hegab (programmer and game developer) after working with graduate artists in his work place. He goes on by saying…
“Working with artists has always been the main driver that lead the path to PLAYIR’s creation. Importing artwork to see how it interacts inside a game requires a lot of iterations. So we set out to build a system that worked off drag n drop technology, where code and design can be thrown into the editor and updated in real-time. The work can be inspected right away and edited in real-time too, reducing game development times greatly.”
2. What do you think it is that makes PLAYIR unique?
Without a doubt its our Cloud Technology. Its ability to real-time design and code is what we feel will push this technology forward to being the standard method of game development in the future.
The other unique aspects are Cross Platform Compatibility & Cross Platform Play.
Cross Platform Compatibility
Our system is designed for making 3D games on hand held devices which is compatible with all operating systems, including Android, iOS, Windows, BlackBerry, Tizen, Firefox OS etc. This keeps the innovation compatible with the latest technology trends and opens up closed platform restrictions.
Cross Platform Play
The next challenge was to ensure that users who have created their own game through our system where able to play against others using different mobile operating systems. So an Android user could play against an iOS user, against a BlackBerry user and so on.
3. Who do you think this product will appeal to the most?
As a startup we are still testing out the market for our product. Our product’s potential has interested many sectors from all over the world. For example:
◦ In Game Advertising – Where organizations can produce their own games easily through PLAYIR and advertise their products in the game itself.
◦ ADHD, students with learning difficulties – We are currently in contact with an organization that use specially designed headsets combining our technology to improve the learning ability of students.
◦ Electronic Literature – Games produced for the educational sector to improve and increase learning of students. Eliminating the misconception that gaming is all about playing alone.
Picking which will appeal or be more successful is a tough call, we hope that it will appeal to all. We are passionate about helping others, therefore anyone / organization that can learn
or benefit from our product will mean we have succeeded with our goal.
4. How accessible will PLAYIR be for people who aren’t artists, gamers or even very computer literate?
In terms of physical access to our product, anyone can access and use it no matter what. Our Game Engine is an Online Editor that is accessed through any web browser, regardless of whether you are a gamer, artist or not. Anyone who wants to try it can do so.
5. Could you explain what having an Open Source Game Engine means? What are the practical implications?
This is the best part…. open source in effect means that our Game Engine (a.k.a Online Editor) is completely free to use. On top of this, you have the freedom to edit / hack the source code (the code that makes up the game engine) to your own requirements.
We want others to benefit from our experiences and give them the opportunity to better themselves, and what better way to do this than to provide them with a complete gaming suite for free.
In fact, we test our Game Engine using various open source software and even parts of it is made up of open source software itself…..we feel it is only fair to give something back to the open source community as a thank you for helping us.
6. You mentioned that part of the funds you raise will go towards the creation of Game Packs. Can you go into what they might include?
Yes – As previously mentioned, we know there is a market for individuals who want to make their own games but simply do not know where or how to start. They get caught up in the techno-bable of game development and programming, which makes it almost impossible to get started.
A game pack contains a certain theme for a game (for example: Street Fighting). This pack contains the bare essentials that makes up the game. The user can simply drag n drop the Game Pack file (usually zipped) into our Online Editor, which in turn updates the game on your mobile device in real-time, ready for game play.
The game packs we are currently working on include the below, but rest assured that this list will grow.
Flight Simulation (air-to-air fight combat)
World of Fighters (street fighter type game)
SkeletWar (loosely based on World of Warcraft)
Pirate Ships (Cannoning down ships)
Desert Dash (Camel Racing)
7. Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Yes – You’d be crazy not to try this out :).
Note: We do not disclose your e-mail address to anyone.
So that concludes the post! I hope you guys found the interview as informative and interesting as I did. For more info on the team behind PLAYIR and some of the awards they’re won check out their website here. And if you’re interested, don’t forget to have a look at their Indiegogo campaign and show your support!