Creating your own 3D game, it's the things that dreams are made of really, isn't it? But most of us simply don't get any further than the dream after realising that we lack the knowledge or time to create the games we've always wanted.
Luckily The 3D Gamemaker has arrived, and finally everyone can make great games at the click of a mouse. Using an easy to use point and click system, you can create 3D games such as first person shooters, third person adventures, driving games, or let your imagination get the better of you with wacky games like apples running through a jelly world.
Customisation makes up a large chunk of T3DGM, but a basic game includes you picking a scene from one of the genres, then choosing a character - be it a car, a person, a mouse, or any of the character objects included, along with your weapon. Next you select the enemies and their weapons, the obstacles and power-ups, and then the end of level boss. You don't need to have enemies and an end of level boss on all games though if you don't want them - for instance, you could make a driving game where the only thing you need to do is complete a set number of laps.
When you load up The 3D Gamemaker, you're given a choice between beginner and standard mode - the beginner mode provides an easy route to creating your first 3D games with the program, and provides a few less options, so that you'll be playing a unique game in a matter of moments, whilst learning the basics of what everything does. Switching to the full-on standard mode, you get more options and control over how your game appears and functions.
Game styles available are shooter, horror, war, space, driving, jungle, cartoon, and silly. Each category, or genre of game, has a selection of pre-made scenes which can be used, with locations such as a rally stage, towns with shops and buildings, GoldenEye style corridors and labs, outer-space with asteroids and spacejunk, forest, tomb, caverns, moonscape, kitchen floor - the list goes on.
To make the creation quick, objects and enemies are pre-positioned in the level, but you make use of the placement editor to position all of the objects exactly where you want them. What's more, when you want to have a totally new scene, that's possible too, just select the "user" category from the genre list, and create your own scene on a grid by placing tiles where you want them.
Graphically T3DGM is good but doesn't reach the same standards of recent PC titles, as there's not some of the more advanced graphical features such as lens flare, lighting, etc. However the graphics are still perfectly acceptable for The 3D Gamemaker's purposes.
Over 1gb of models are included, plus a selection of .mp3 and .wav files for use in your creations. You can of course also include your own sound effects and music, plus your own textures, and even your own models, to make a completely unique and personalised game.
Inside T3DGM you can record your own sounds, and also grab sections from photos and instantly add the grabbed section to a texture - this means you can put your own face on to the player character.
Once you've made the dream game, it's a matter of clicking of the 'Save as Standalone' button, which packs all of the files from your creation in to a single executable version of the game, which you can then put on to a zip disk or CD and send to your friends, or upload to the internet for others to download - they don't even need T3DGM installed on their PC to run the game.
An impressive boast of 12 billion possible options is made, and although this might seem like a bit of an unrealistic claim, on further investigation it's probably more than 12 billion, especially with the extra downloads which will become available from the official website, which will further extend the content of T3DGM games.
T3DGM won't make you the next Quake or Half-Life beater, and simply isn't suitable for someone wanting to develop professional titles - it's not a replacement for a true programming language. If you've ever wanted to make your own games, and have loads of great ideas, but lacking in either the knowledge of how to program or the time in which to do so, then The 3D Gamemaker is an amazing tool which provides instantly enjoyable games for everyone. Overall score: 8 out of 10
Publisher: Focus Multimedia
Recommended Price: £29.99
Available: October 18th 2001Buy The 3D Gamemaker from the official website