March 16, 2020
In 2016, Frederic Descamps and Jordan Maynard formed Manticore Games to build real-time experiences, adding a tool to quickly test out ideas and insert them into a game and enabling gamers to easily customize the experience with new items. Now they’ve turned those intuitive tools into a service, dubbed Core, currently in closed alpha testing. An open alpha test is expected “in the near future.” As a game creation tool and eventual marketplace, Core is intended to democratize game development.
The Verge reports that Core, which will be free to use with free-to-play games, is “essentially split into two halves, each focused on a different part of the equation: the creators and the players.” For the former, “Core is a PC-based game creation tool built on top of Unreal Engine … [that is] both fast and easy to use.” It does so by offering “a large collection of premade assets” that can be fit together as the game developer chooses.
The Verge reporter calls the process “fairly intuitive and shockingly fast,” with no lines of code visible. The developer can also customize the assets.
So-called kitbashing is also “a major component of Core,” with developers able to “take existing pieces and tweak them in size, scale, and color, as well as fuse them with other pieces.” Those who create assets can choose to share them with the creator community, with the idea that “eventually, Core will be home to a huge library of assets, levels, and gameplay behaviors that users can tap into for their own creations.”
Unique features include “a custom avatar that moves from game to game, and the ability to link to other people’s creations via in-game portals.” Other popular tools to make game development easier include Sony’s “Dreams” and the creative mode in “Fortnite.”
With Core, “players can build entire games and then earn money from them … [although] it’s not entirely clear yet how that will work” because developers won’t be able to sell games directly in Core for now. Rather, everything on the platform will be free to play, although creators can “monetize by selling things like cosmetic items or seasonal passes in the game.”
Maynard stated that, “the creator owns the [intellectual property], and we own the assets that we’ve provided that they’ve built their IP out of.” There will also be “some form of revenue split based on this delineation.”
One potential issue Core will face is that of moderation, something that has plagued Twitch and YouTube. Descamps said, “philosophically, this is not an open service where you can do anything in a completely open fashion.” “We’re not aiming to become 4chan or 8chan for user generated content,” he said. “We’re not naive about that … we want to create a community that’s collaborative.”
Deschamps and Maynard have high hopes for Core. “I can imagine it being a revolution in the industry, in the way that YouTube was a revolution in video creation,” said Maynard.