At GDC 2009 we had chance to sit down with Engineous Games and have a look at their in-development iPhone game construction set, Sketch Nation Shooter. The system was in a very early stage back then and has evolved notably, since. We posted a demo video the developers released back in December.
Sketch Nation Shooter, as Engineous describes it,
...allows users to create their own games by drawing a player, enemies and a level on a piece of paper and taking a picture of the drawing with their iPhone camera. Users can then share their creations with their friends and other users. Our unique image recognition technology automatically detects the objects drawn and calculates collision boundaries. Sketch Nation Shooter is the only game to incorporate the iPhone camera in such a way. iPod Touch users can import their drawings through the Photo Library. After the drawings are imported into the game, users will be able to place enemies and powerups as well as set their properties in our easy to use in-game editor and then play with their unique creations.
Here at GDC 2010 a year later we had a chance to meet up with the developer once again and were shown a rather impressive demo of the app in its current state, in which he created a simple game in under two minutes and took us through the paces of several more complex games. Once created, users can share their games with other players online through their Facebook login and compare global high scores.
Have a look at the video we captured that demonstrates the system in action.
It's an impressive piece of work and we're anxious to see how much gaming goodness iPhone gamers can create with the system. Sketch Nation Shooter for the iPhone is expected to arrive in the App Store in early April. The developer indicates that an iPad-specific version down the road is likely.