What is FPS Creator Reloaded? It is a middleware program designed for users with little to no scripting knowledge. Comparatively speaking it would not be insane to say this is somewhat like RPG Maker, except for the obvious difference being for FPS games. Keep in mind this is only a preview. The final build for this product is not out yet and this is in no way shape or form a review this just a hands-on preview.
The first thing I noticed when opening FPS Creator is its simple design. Which by no means is a fault as an avid user of CryEngine 3 and UDK it is actually very refreshing to see that a company understands this. While CryEngine 3 and UDK are for more advanced people this seems to be targeting the average gamers who want to dive in with little to no knowledge. A good example of the difference is making mountains in FPS Creator. What you do is select Shape Mode, left click elevates and right click to sink the terrain. As you do this it adds textures to it with right click it turns the grass in to a mountain and with left it turns it in to water. For something like CryEngine 3 on the hand it is much more of a pain to do as you have to create a layer to a brush, assign a material, and then either paint it yourself or set the slope/altitude you want that specific material to occur at. Did I lose you? If you are new to engines I probably did with my explanation of CryEngine’s process, but I need to get the point across. FPS Creator is simple in a great way. There are perks to CryEngine and the more advanced engines as well though.
Another thing to note is the way you can test your level. Which is only a bit easier on this than more advanced engines. The game drops you in at full screen and you are dropped wherever you were in edit mode. The picture above shows the UI in order to test your level you press the rocket ship icon. I made my first mistake by doing this on a quickly (poorly) constructed mountain and gazed at the world (which is surprisingly giant) I couldn’t help but feel somewhat in awe. Another major difference is that in other engine upon starting a level the World is empty. In FPS Creator however, that is not the case. While some may look out and see a vast wasteland I see time saved. Base terrain Is already there, textures exist, and the map already has a sense of progress. The one complaint I have to take away is that the movement is somewhat clunky and the sounds while walking feel dated. The final version is not available and this is beta so hopefully the developers fix that, but even with these issues it is hard to not be able to see the possibilities this has to offer.
Yet another thing to note is the simplicity of placing objects, characters, lights, check points, character start, and other entities. One fault to this may be perhaps the lack of certain details such as fog, water entities(To create water falls), and other details that can change a bland level in to an amazing one. However let me note yet again that this is not the final version and there is still time for developers to add these more advanced features in, but it could also defeat their goal which seems to be a simplistic, yet eloquent way for beginners or casual game designers to make a game and get their name out there. Another suggestion I would throw out is the fencing system needs a drag Vs. a set down. Meaning that when you have the fence object selected the creator should be able to drag and create a larger fence to eventually get it to the length where they want it vs. the monotonous way of setting them down one object at a time and hoping they line up because as of now the only way to edit is from a top-down perspective instead of a full 360 degree view of your map which would make the monotonous procedure a little easier and gives you a completely different perspective of your map. The game is still in beta and these features could be well underway, but during my hands-on preview they were not.
While other advanced engines require tutorials, experience, and hard work to get the hang of them. FPS Creator on the other hand does not. It is simple, eloquent, and a joy. Even though this is only in beta it shows promise and the possibilities for the average gamer are seemingly endless. There are areas that need improvement, but as I stated before this is not the even build 1.0.
It may also seem as if I am ragging on the more advanced engines, but I am not. These engines have their perks and their place in the World as does an engine like this. The more advanced engines have more advanced features that may deter the casual designer. The developers still have enough time to add these more advanced features though, but in this current build they are not available. What this engine seems to be directed at is the more casual side of the creation community. Which is absolutely fantastic as people have these desires, but they are not able to pour the 100’s of hours in to the more advanced engines.
What FPS Creator Reloaded is targeting is a noble cause. It is giving a section of the creation a community their long awaited voice through its simplistic design. Where other engines are complex this seems to water down the complexity, but with that comes a watering down of the capabilities as well. The World of creation will co-exist with an engine like this and the more advanced engines due to the fact that this engine knows its targets and as of right now it targets them well. While I have time to pour in to the more advanced engines I can easily see myself coming back during other builds of the beta as well as post launch to sculpt based off of the improvements implemented.
Preview Copy Info: A digital copy of this software was provided to RealGamerNewz for the purpose of this hands-on preview.
Editor’s Note: RealGamerNewZ has moved web servers, some older posts can no longer be commented on and have been preserved without their images. Thank you for your understanding in this matter. This article was written by Christopher Stahler on 20140317 and was last modified on 20140407 .