Use visual, game-making-like programming to reprogram the very fabric of the world.
When people unfamiliar with programming think about it, many picture a tech wiz typing furiously as numbers rain down the screen, while more imaginative folks might even remember green letters in black screens.
Truth is, we live in an era where, with the right tools, programming can be as simple as drag-n-dropping boxes on screen. Indeed, visual programming (as it is called) is the main focus of Glitchspace, Space Budgie’s innovative puzzle game.
In Glitchspace, you can alter the “code” behind the blocks that forms this geometric world, specifically, the “glitched” blocks that this world’s creator has left unchecked.
Glitched blocks allow you to “hack” into them, and see their inner workings as a grid you can use to place “programming boxes”, so you can, for example:
- Check a wall to see if “Is Solid” is inside its code. Now you can use a “False” Box to make “Is Solid” false. The wall is no longer solid and you stroll through it.
- Check the floor for actions like “Apply Force”, and then manually set an “ImpactForce” Box so it sends you flying.
- Have a platform “Stop” moving “If” its “Colliding” to create stairs out of movable platforms.
- Combine these and many more boxes. How about setting a platform’s “Is Solid” to “False”, only while it “Collides” with a wall, so it can pass through them?
Don’t worry if this sounds too complicated, the game aims to teach the basics of programming in an intuitive, visual way.
Also, the game offers a very unique approach to game making learning, teaching you to think in terms of psychics – concepts like collisions, gravity, solidity (?) and more are all too familiar with game programmers, and with games like Mario Maker taking care of the design aspect, it’s refreshing to see games trying to give ease players into the more complicated building blocks.
While we still don’t quite reach the point where you can create complicated systems (like games) just by drawing or putting block together, we are getting close. Even then, where such a tool to be created tomorrow, a tool is only as good as the person using it.
You can learn programming languages and tools all you want, but in the end, the thinking is what separates the good from the best, and also the most valuable lesson you get from programming – languages and tools change in a span of months, but your problem-solving skills stay with you forever.
Glitchspace takes the very hard task of transforming the concepts, not the tools, into something anyone can learn and enjoy, and while we are yet to see if it succeeds, the premise is already admirable.
Glitchspace is available for $12.99 on Windows and Mac OS X via Steam, Humble Store, and IndieGameStand, Itch.io and more.