Tom Hall launches game creation tool on Kickstarter

Tom Hall launches game creation tool on Kickstarter
Craig Chapple

By Craig Chapple

February 4th 2013 at 5:26PM

Pieces of Fun looking for $400,000 to fund 'easy-to-use' development tool Worlds of Wander

Former Loot Drop and ID Software developer Tom Hall has launched a new game creation tool on Kickstarter.

Hall is looking $400,000 to fund the project, called Worlds of Wander, which is designed as a simple development tool specifically for platforming titles.

Developed by his new studio Pieces of Fun, users will be able to share their levels and worlds with others, and will also be able to access Secret Spaceship Club, a platformer created by Tom Hall using the tool.

Worlds of Wander is also being developed for use on iOS and Android tablets, PC, Mac and Ubuntu Linux, with users able to continue creation of the same game from multiple devices.

Speaking to Develop, Hall said the Worlds of Wander differed from other development tools by providing a simple drag, tweak and play scheme.

“It takes the approach of ‘here's a full-pledged, finished game, have fun messing with it,’” he said.

“All the other tools are great, but I think there is a huge barrier to entry. It's still an arcane process for folks. Here, you don't leave the game, you just drag, tweak and play. Some games come with built-in level editors, but you can't change the actual nature of the game. So I want that easy-to-use, simple built-in editor, but later, when I've messed around awhile, I want to be able to enter a different mode to substantively change how the game plays.

“By having simple and advanced modes, people can play with the editor at their own comfort level. This is about democratising game-making, the same way MP3s let everyone make and share music, and digital cameras let everyone make and share photos easily.”

Tom Hall has previous experience of crowdfunding on Kickstarter during Loot Drop’s failed $1 million campaign for a ‘old-school’ RPG, which was launched last October.

The industry veteran said the studio had gone into that project working too much in tandem with the community, rather than giving potential backers a clear product to make a pledge for, a mistake he said he isn’t going to repeat.

“We started the previous one thinking of it as sort of a collaborative process with the community, but we went too far that way - people want to know exactly what they are getting,” said Hall.

“So this time, I've definitely have done that better. Also on that one, we got lots of endorsements from friends in the industry, which is nice and all, but either you want to back this or you don't. Hope people do.”

Hall also said that the $400,000 was required so that his new studio would be able to own the IP, rather than having to relinquish control of the title to a publisher. He added that Kickstarter would be the only source of funding, although the studio would likely look for cross-platform contracts whether the title fails or not.

“I want to own this IP, unlike the various ones I've left behind,” he said.

“Going through a publisher or investor usually means relinquishing that. It really hurts not to own Keen, which is basically me as a kid - but embellished, I don't have a 314 IQ - and Anachronox. I really don't want to go through that again.”

On what will happen if the project fails to meet its Kickstarter goal, he added: “I'll just look for cross-platform contracts - likely even if we do meet our goal – but I do hope it works out. Because I think our ‘Play. Create. Share. Everywhere.’ slogan is an important statement. I want to play my games on whatever platform is convenient to me. So if it can work on a platform, it really should.”

Visit the offical Worlds of Wander Kickstarter page for more information.