Games are in a unique historic place: there’s a grey area between developers and players, and it’s a space that hasn’t yet developed a hard and fast set of rules, or even easily-identifiable boundaries. What do you even call a game that’s literally about making games?
E-Line Media are calling their crack at this The Endless Mission. It’s a “sandbox-style creation game,” but might be better understood as a toolbox full of game creation blocks. The idea, E-Line says, is to “empower players to express themselves by giving them the ability to play, mashup, modify, create, and share their own games and experiences.”
The Endless Mission has a beta kicking off on Steam this September, but the studio is also planning on a unique showcase event at PAX West next weekend. Visitors to the E-Line booth will have the chance to contribute to a community-built game created in The Endless Mission, either adding to or completely subverting what others have already done.
Once the beta starts up next month, we’ll have the chance to try building something that will be, likely, a bit more focused. Right now, The Endless Mission can be used to create platformers, racing games, and real-time strategy games, all using Unity Engine-based tools.
Here’s a look at what it can do, in trailer format:
There’s undoubtedly value in an accessible platform for learning game development skills, such as using Unity and the basics of programming logic. And The Endless Legend isn’t the first to try putting these tools into the hands of players – Roblox has been at this for a while now, after all. The Endless Mission, like Roblox, will likely have to wrestle with the question of compensation for popular creators on the platform.
This seems like a slightly more sophisticated set of tools, although still a ‘starter set’ for players interested in exploring the practicalities of games development. In light of E-Line’s last published game, the hand-crafted and heartwarming Never Alone, The Endless Mission seems like a radical departure. But in both cases, the company seems to want to teach players something. And if you’re in the mood for something new, we’ve rounded up a list of the most exciting upcoming PC games.
Time will tell what we learn from The Endless Mission.