Gaming App Construction Kit is a game development tool and is released by Dream Design Entertainment.
“G.A.C.K. (gaming app construction kit) is an App where you create games without any programming knowledge. Ranging from shoot-em up games to jump&run games – it’s all possible. And all this is done with an easy to use touch-user interface. This is where developing is the real fun. The dream of your own game has come into reach.”
Having used Codify on the iPad a few weeks ago I have to make immediate comparison between the two. They both create games, but if different ways. Gaming App Construction Kit (G.A.C.K.) can create games without a know of programming, unlike Codify, but the games made by G.A.C.K. are more limited in that way.
The application basically allows you to create you own “shoot ’em up” or “run and jump” game.
I am old enough to remember S.E.U.C.K. (Shoot ‘Em Up Construction Kit) for the early days of computing. This application follows the same lines and works in much the same way. I even remembered outlaws from the original title, that has a good conversion built in.
G.A.C.K. is not really a true Touchpad application, it is more of an Emulator within a Touchpad app, in this way you will not be using the Touchpad keyboard or making use of the power of the Touchpad.
There are three examples built into the application that will help you explore the games and learn how to edit the games and with this become aware of how the write your own.
The game gives the following options to set up your game.
- Sprites – The graphics to be used in game.
- Backround – The graphics that will be used in the level design.
- Animations – Setting up the animations, explosions and bullets of the characters in the game.
- Sounds – Sounds made by the characters.
- Levels – Setting the graphics, layout and size of the level, including the attack waves.
- Hello Message – The wording for the start screen.
- Players – Set up the player character including movement speed, live and power ups.
Once the game is set up you can test the game and see how it works, you can use a virtual joystick, tilt or iCade. I have never been able to get the tilt control to work. The virtual joysticks are poor and the fire button in underneath the joystick making shooting a little more difficult.
Unlike Codify you do not need to know how to program to use this game, but you must have the patience to set up all the graphics and the waves in the game.
Once the game is designed G.A.C.K. comes up a bit short. You are only able to test the game within the application, once you are happy it is complete there is nothing you can do with it. The files are on the touchpad and can be copied out using a file management tool, but you do not have a good user interface to test and play the game within.
The games that you can build will probably not not of saleable quality, really being the same as Commodore 64 titles of old. Maybe if you wanted to build a C64 emulator multipack?
The user interface is basic, but usable. Sprite design is good, but the UI falls down on the pop up keyboards that appear which are small and like more like phone side.
On the upside:
- You really can build a game on the Touchpad.
- Nice example to learn from.
On the downside:
- No clear way to export or share the program.
- Level design is hard on new levels as it does not resize correctly.
- Small keyboard is tough to use.
- Does not even remember your language selection when you reopen the app.
Overall, if you have any interesting is designing your own game then this application could be a good starting point. With no knowledge of programming needed it will give you an idea on how to design and game, including the number of graphics needed and wave designs. Do not go into buying this thinking you are going to make the next Halo or Tomb Raider, it is much more basic. As the developer suggests, this is like building a game with Lego, you can learn and then move on (just expect to be drawing your own bricks.)
Size: 4.0 MB
Price (at time of review): £3.98
Link: Gaming App Construction Kit – Dream Design Entertainment