×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Endless Mission’ Wants to Teach You How to Program Video Games

There have been a lot of games that give players the tools to create their own experience, but none like E-Line Media’s “The Endless Mission.”

The extremely unique game, announced last week, not only blends together genres, it literally puts the tools of game creation on the player’s screen.

“The Endless Mission’s” conceit seems simple enough. Creative Director Brenden Sewell wants to gradually introduce players to the elements in video game creation all the way down to the C# code in Unity that he used to make the game.

“You’re going to go behind the scene in game development and explore multiple different game genres and use powerful tools to create your own experiences,” Sewell said. “And through that lens be able to  understand how code works and how software shapes the experience.”

While that may sound like a lot, “The Endless Mission” eases you  into it. In my hands-on demo, I was first introduced to two game play styles, a platformer and a kart racer. I chose the kart racer and was off in a fairly generic version of the genre. Sewell explained that these scars are merely to introduce players to the elements that will be available to them as the creation tools open up. Eventually, he said, everything in that kart racing section would be available to “add to the tool box” when creating your own game.

The next layer of creation down in “The Endless Mission’s” creation is to shuffle up three main components: an avatar, gameplay style, and a scene.

Through this, I was able to put the platforming avatar in a kart racing game on an active volcano. Though the platformer couldn’t keep up with the carts, she could jump her way to the checkpoint at the top of the volcano.

“By making those three choices, you’re able to make these game mash ups that feels like I have a real authorial voice in the things I’m creating. But for people who are ready to go deeper, we have modding and scripting tools.”

Then Sewell showed me the modding tools, which include many sliders that allow players to adjust everything form the locations gravity to the avatar’s dimensions. I used that to make an extra tall avatar float her way to the top in a foggy location.

Below that, is an inspection tool that highlights every element in the game that you’re playing and show how it is represented in coding groups. It gives you a free camera to explore everything in the scene, learn about how everything interacts, and add or subtract whatever elements you’d like.

And finally, the game has an actual terminal containing the C# code that players can tweak and adjust in whatever way they see fit. Sewell did say that the game’s proper code has been “bounded” off in a way that brave players wading into the deep coding waters won’t be able to break “The Endless Mission” or accidentally turn it into a virus.

If that progression still sounds too steep, “The Endless Mission” will also have a story mode that will serve as a tutorial to guide the player into the creation tools

Sewell plans for “The Endless Mission” to be intimately involved with the community. In a portion of the game called the Hall of Celebration, there will be a weekly celebration of some of the best, most unique assets, avatars, or full games that the community creates. Think of it like an E-Line curated Mario Maker community section.

“The Endless Mission” has plenty in common with games like “Little Big Planet” or “Garry’s Mod,” but Sewell intends for this game to go deeper.

“That’s where we feel like this game really fits in,” Sewell said. “Someone who says ‘I’m ready to graduate beyond ‘Minecraft’ or beyond road blocks and really cut my teeth on something that’s ultimately going to give me the skills to become a game developer myself.'”

Sewell said they plan to release “The Endless Mission” on Steam Early Access in late fall at a price point less than $30. That initial version will only come with three game play styles, platformer, kart racing, and real time strategy, but his plan is to update the game regularly.

Popular on Variety

More Gaming

  • The Game Awards

    The Game Awards 2019 Nominees: 'Death Stranding,' 'Control' Lead the Field (Full List)

    The Game Awards 2019 unveiled nominations for this year’s event, led by Hideo Kojima’s epic “Death Stranding” with nine nods and Remedy/505 Games’ “Control” with eight nominations. This year’s Game of the Year nominees, in addition to “Control” and “Death Stranding,” are “Super Smash Bros. Ultimate,” “Resident Evil 2,” “Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice” and “The [...]

  • Google Stadia

    Google Stadia Reviews: Game-Streaming Service Not Ready for Primetime

    The first takes on Google Stadia, the internet giant’s new game-streaming service that debuts Nov. 19, are out. And the consensus is that Stadia is needed more time in the oven before it was served up to the gaming crowd. Google’s big promise with Stadia is that players can access top-tier game titles without a [...]

  • Game Awards OrchestraThe Game Awards, Show,

    Game Awards 2019 to Play on 53 Cinemark Screens Alongside 'Jumanji: The Next Level'

    This year’s Game Awards, recognizing the top video games, creators and esports of 2019, is coming to the silver screen. In a three-way partnership, the Game Awards, Cinemark Theatres and Sony Pictures are teaming on a superticket program pairing the Dec. 12 live simulcast of the 2019 Game Awards in 53 Cinemark locations with a [...]

  • John Carmack John Carmack, Chief Technical

    Oculus CTO John Carmack to Step Down

    One of the driving forces behind Facebook’s virtual reality efforts is leaving his post: Oculus CTO John Carmack announced Wednesday afternoon that he was transitioning to a “consulting CTO” role this week, and devote most of his time to new challenges outside of the company. “I will still have a voice in the development work, [...]

  • Magic Leap Raising Another Funding Round

    Magic Leap Is Raising Another Big Funding Round

    Augmented reality startup Magic Leap is raising even more money. The company is currently in the process of raising its Series E round of funding, a spokesperson told Variety on Monday. Magic Leap previously raised around $2.6 billion, including $280 million from NTT Docomo in April. “Magic Leap is in the midst of a significant [...]

  • terminator vr

    VRstudios Launches 'Terminator' VR Experience at Dave & Buster's (EXCLUSIVE)

    Just in time for the launch of the new “Terminator: Dark Fate” movie, Dave & Buster’s is getting a “Terminator: Guardian of Fate” virtual reality experience, courtesy of VRstudios. The experience, which features the voice of Linda Hamilton as Sarah Connor, is launching at 130 Dave & Buster’s locations across the U.S. Just like previous [...]

  • Death Stranding

    'Death Stranding': How PlayStation Tackled the Unique, Mysterious Marketing Campaign

    There are a few reasons why “Death Stranding” might seem like a marketing slam dunk. It’s the first game from Hideo Kojima, the video game legend behind the “Metal Gear” series, since 2015, and also the first since he reformed his Kojima Productions into an independent studio, partnered with Sony Interactive Entertainment. It boasts Hollywood [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content