Now available through Steam, App Game Kit 2 makes a series of major additions and improvements to the suite. In fact, The Game Creators owner Rick Vanner says that areas of the software have “in many cases been totally rewritten and replaced”.
The main IDE has been changed to run on both PC and Mac, with new features including auto complete and code folding. The core engine has also been bolstered with additional commands, such as shader support, enhanced 2D, Spine animation, more sound controls and support for Ouya.
“We have also improved our app broadcast feature which can transmit both code and art to multiple target devices over wi-fi instantly for hassle-free debugging,” adds Vanner.
“One notable improvement is the Export option, once your game is coded you can export it as an Android apk or an iOS ipa file. Normally making these file types requires a lot of knowledge and we’ve black boxed it for users.”
Vanner says that the community gathered by the original AGK was the most influential source for these changes.
“It’s our users in the online forums and the backers of the Kickstarter who have driven the ideas for new features and improvements,” he says. “They want an affordable and easy to use development tool so they can make great games. Unlike similar products, the upfront small payment means devs can keep all of their revenue if they create a successful game.
“It is not uncommon for the AGK community to create awesome apps and projects beyond the scope of the language, such as creating their own 3D functions before the language even supported them.”
While the changes have been inspired by established users, there’s plenty of support for newcomers as well, from detailed documentation and video tutorials to a variety of sample projects.
“Perhaps the biggest factor in the accessibility of AGK is the BASIC script that has been specifically designed to make the rapid creation of apps very easy,” Vanner continues. “Based on the original Beginners Symbolic Instruction Code, even if you have never programmed before, you will have simple programs up and running within minutes.
“The lessons you learn and the commands you use can later be carried over to the C++ part of the product, and eventually a path into professional app development. If you wanted to get into the games industry, don’t want to start with drag and drop, but do want to code and create results fast, AGK2 has been expressly designed to meet those needs.”
Vanner also recommends newcomers check out the free trial, and join the community hub on Steam, adding: “The development team are very active and will answer any questions raised”.
Going forward, The Game Creators will be working closely with said community on the App Game Kit’s roadmap, allowing users to vote on the features they most want to see implemented.
“Additional 3D commands and 3D physics are also planned for AGK2 and we’re keen to create an extensions system to allow third parties to add new features to the AGK2 BASIC,” Vanner adds. “The world of VR is also an interesting area that we want to look at once we have rounded off other features of the main engine.”