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The 3D Game Maker review

Simplifying more advanced creation content into a single package is not a new phenomenon, after the success of music creation software such as eJay, program creation was sure to get a revival after the failed attempts of the earlier 90s. Actualize has introduced a game creation package from Dark Basic that promises over 8 billion different game combinations. Today at 3D Spotlight we will be looking at the 3D Game Maker (T3DGM).

Premise

Accessibility is the main point of T3DGM. Absolutely no programming knowledge is required. Creation is mainly icon based, with plain English prompts. TGM3D is marketed with the phrase “Just click to create”, which to an extent is quite accurate. However this accessibility comes with a price; namely limited functionality. The 3D Game Maker can only produce one level within a game, and game patterns are essentially all the same, albeit with different scenarios, and the ability to integrate multi-player.

It is actually possible to sell/distribute your user-created games, but according to Dark Basic there are so many legal considerations it would not be recommended. Dark Basic would own most of the material that would be published.

Requirements:

  • Microsoft Windows 95 / 98 / 2000 / ME

  • 400 Mhz Pentium II (600Mhz P!!! recommended)

  • 64MB RAM (128Mb Recommended)

  • 4x speed CD-ROM (16x Recommended)

  • Minimum 600 MB of hard disk space (1400Mb for standard installation)

  • Direct X compatible Sound Card

  • 8MB DirectX compatible 3D Accelerator (16MB recommended)

Installation

After the lengthy install process, trying to play the game on my Windows 2000 installation resulted in instant reboots. Restarting in Windows 98, reinstalling & trying to play resulted in slightly better results, the program did open but gameplay was impossible as none of the textures loaded. Attempting to run T3DGM on other computers was more successful, and it had no problem running on my Celeron laptop (Windows 2000). It occasionally crashed on my K6-2 system (Windows 98).

As far as I can tell the problems are due to incompatible drivers. Consulting the FAQ revealed some compatibility issues with the DirectX 7.0A implementation T3DGM uses & some Graphics Card drivers (DirectX 8 certified drivers more than likely). Upgrading or downgrading the Graphics Card Drivers should fix this however. To be honest T3DGM should have really been DirectX 8 based anyway given how long ago that was released. Thomas also pointed out that with his Vivid! XS in Windows 2000 the Application ran without any of the graphical issues mentioned above.

First impressions

Apon loading up T3DGM (which took a long time on my test systems) you are presented with options for beginner or standard modes. Beginner seems fairly pointless, and after attempting to use it once I switched straight back to standard. There are less options to change the type of game in the “global game settings” (more on this later).

After selecting beginner or standard, you are taken to the main menu, from where you can create, load a game or edit a game. There is also an option to create a random game. There are some preinstalled games, none of which are really up to much.  

The User interface is easy enough for a young child to use, with icons or large text captions representing options. There is a clear movie inspiration, with images taken from the Matrix, Star Wars and Back to the future.

 



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