CraftStudio Alpha to be released on May 31th!

Edit: Hurrah, CraftStudio Alpha has been released. Start your launcher or head over to craftstud.io to get it!

There hasn’t been a new CraftStudio release in more than a month, as I’ve been busy working on a big update: CraftStudio Alpha!

After 47 pre-alpha versions and a very successful crowdfunding campaign (thanks all!), we’re finally stepping into Alpha-land. Here’s a rundown of the major changes:

  • Game export: A one-button export to test your project. CraftStudio can finally make actual games!

  • Initial Scripting support: It’s based on Lua and there’s already quite a bit of documentation on the wiki. Later versions will improve on it to provide a friendlier interface that should allow making scripts without typing any code.

Lua Scripting! (yes, it's a *very basic* editor for now)

  • Game controls setup panel: A great interface to set up your game’s controls for use in scripts

Game controls setup panel

  • Bundled server: The server software is now downloaded from the launcher and can be launched with a single click.
  • New update system: A reworked, more reliable update system that can independently update the client, server and runtime
  • Better tab sizing: Tabs now have a consistent size and shrink when too many are displayed instead of just overflowing to the right.

Tabs shrink and you can hover for a tooltip!

  • Map preview: Maps are now displayed in the preview area with a single-click, just like models
  • Network improvements: Big projects like the Public Test Project will now load more reliably.
  • Improvements for animation key frames: It’s now possible to add a keyframe on the last moment of an animation, which makes one-shot (non-looping) animations much easier.
  • New orientation gizmo: No more confusing gimbal, the new gizmo is easy to use and consistent.
  • Support for left-handed mouse: Automatically detected from your operating system settings!
  • Moderator-only chat: A place for project administrators and moderators to chat in private.
  • Countless bugfixes (yay!)

There’s plenty more features and improvements ahead of course, and I’m thrilled to get back to more regular releases after the big one on Thursday!

CraftStudioKart

I’ve taken CraftStudio Alpha for a test-drive with a bunch of friends a couple weeks ago and we built a little game called CraftStudioKart in less than 24 hours! (You can download it)

It’s been so awesome seeing the game shape up as we worked on it together! It really made me proud of the work I’ve done and I’m very excited to see what you guys will do with CraftStudio Alpha and beyond.

Setting the price

The main goal I set for CraftStudio early on was to make game-making accessible to the masses, because I believe you guys have so much potential and it’s been held back by crappy, complicated or expensive tools. I’ve decided on the following price points:

  • 15 € during alpha (that’s $ 18.80 as of today)
  • 30 € when hitting the “stable” milestone
  • (probably some intermediary price for beta!)

Feedback from the community has been broadly positive so that’s cool :). I’ll be experimenting a bit by allowing people to contribute more if they want to, we’ll see how that goes!

The CraftStudio Premium account purchase popup

What’s next?

Well, there’s plenty to be done! Thomas and I should be able to get started on Project Waffle (our hack’n'slash from the crowdfunding campaign) pretty soon so I’ll work on improving pretty much every part of CraftStudio to make it more “production-ready” and make Thomas’ work on assets easier, which will have a positive impact for everyone :)

Some of the planned features for the future include (in no particular order, some are longer-term goals, some should happen soon!):

  • import / export of individual assets
  • more map block shapes (forum thread)
  • integrating a 3d physics engine
  • an easy way to publish your game (bundled with the CraftStudio runtime) for distribution
  • implementing the store for sharing your creations with others
  • visual scripting system
  • native Mac and Linux support (@Matthtz will join me this summer to tackle this!)
  • a lighting system of some sort
  • an easy way to share links to assets and projects
  • command-line support for creating projects (non-interactive mode)

There’s much work ahead but every improvement translates into so many possibilities for you guys to build stuff with… CraftStudio is truly an incredible project to work on!

See you on Thursday for the release… I can’t wait!