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Review of Manticore: making video games UGC publishing

Reviewing Manticore Game’s CORE Engine: Sandbox platform for making video games UGC and video game publishing

Manticore making video games screenshot
Manticore making video games screenshot

More and more young gamers dream about following their passion and working in the video game industry.

The traditional path to making video games? Extremely hard. It is a career with unclear, complex career paths. Convoluted at best.  Manticore realizes the difficulty of making video games.  Its response?  A sandbox environment that makes making video games and publishing video games intuitive and user-friendly.  Like others, it has designed a game engine that simplifies the creation process.   More importantly Manticore provides a digital playground where you can publish your own games made on the CORE engine.   Your concept, your user-generated content or UGC, published when YOU are ready to get player feedback.  Think of it as UGC and content creation plus video game publishing in ONE platform.

Core is a game engine built on top of the Unreal Engine.

The premise is to make an all-in-one platform where one can create, publish, and play their games and UGC in the simplest way possible.

Manticore wants to take away the intricacies of game development and let everyone focus on the design elements of the development, rather than having to deal with complex configuration problems.

Engine design and Game creation: Core offers a simple drag-and-drop interface, and also richer coding via Lua.

On top of being built on the Unreal Engine Core also uses Lua for scripting. Lua lets users dig deep and manipulate the source code of their games. Other than that, the creation process is quite straightforward.

Users can just drag and drop objects from Core’s stock library or design their own unique world on top of the frameworks provided by Manticore in the game engine.  Like Roblox, this strategy of letting players create UGC to test and engage other gamers is not new.  But to revolutionize video game creation and publishing as a category?  Ambitious.  And amazing.

There DO exist some limitations. For example you can’t import your models or customized materials that you made somewhere else to CORE.  Rather you are stuck with the building blocks Manticore gives you in the game engine.  Not to despair however.  To counter limitations of this self-contained environment, CORE gives you many tools out of the box.  These include a huge selection of in-game content that creators can easily take advantage of.

The end results?  One can start his or her journey making video games, minus a steep learning curve.

The Core here provides the users with all the barebones stuff with more than just a few gimmicks.

Anything and everything that you can do in a game engine can easily be done here visually

The creation process is intuitive.  And provides a positive experience especially for the newbie game developer.What about documentation?  Or help getting started? Manticore has provided a comprehensive manual. You can easily access the documentation on Manticore’s website through the Core engine. They have covered everything from Basic Tutorials to the Core API in detail.

 

They literally give you anything that you need to know about—especially if this is someone’s first time making a game. Consider it an easy transition.  One can be a working Joe by day.   And a game creator by night. On CORE.

 

Publishing Games: Built-in Discovery and Publishing in the CORE Engine

 

You can publish the games created in Core on their platform.  Here other players on the engine can hop on in your game and try it out. Think of it as simple quick-and-dirty beta.  Including multiplayer on their platform.

Automatic Multiplayer Support

Out of the box, any game published on Core is multiplayer compatible. Why does this matter?  A LOT if you are making a battle royale stage or just an FPS shootout Arena. Even without the technical knowledge about backend mechanics, having multiplayer support shortcuts design and testing.

Any player can just easily enter that game.  Or you can just invite your friends for a private Showdown.  Think built-in discoverability.  And limited closed beta.  Rather than investing time and energy in traditional market research and consumer insights, Core lets creators TEST the concept for fun, playability and gather feedback with real players.  The only question is how many, how broadly, based on the readiness of the game.

 

Manticore making video games multiplayer
Manticore making video games multiplayer

 

 

Like Game Central Station in Wreck It Ralph, Core lets you play your characters in different games on the Engine

What happens if you get bored with one game? Take a deep breath. The portal devices in the published games lets you play your character from one game and keep playing inside another game. It’s like your own personal avatar and character.  One that you can continue playing through different creations with your friends or teammates.

Think of it as an interconnected multiverse of video games. You can just hop into different worlds through these portals and just have a fun gaming experience.  JUST like Game Central Station in Wreck It Ralph!

 

Solo game design:

 

Or, if you just want to make a narrative-driven game experience, you can also make that on Core.

Manticore has added a whole lot of diversity to its game engine and even more so to its publishing platform. You basically have everything that you might ever want as a game developer. Even after you have designed and published a game, there is replay and repurpose value. In short you can make any design changes that you want quickly and without destroying the game balance.

Learning a new game engine usually takes weeks or months. With its simple drag and drop, Core gives you an Express ticket.  To make the game development experience simpler and a whole lot less painful.  Not to mention quickly beta testing and monetizing an entire game of your own creation. Your UGC, developed and published your way.

 

Manticore making video games solo
Manticore making video games solo

Final Thoughts: Great promise and potential, even in Alpha

Core is a great game engine for video game development and making and publishing UGC.  It does have a few drawbacks. Video games developed on Core, for now, can only be published in the Core’s own game library. You cannot take them out, or publish them on any game store for now.

 

Manticore did said on their website that they are working on making these games available on mobile and steam. But right now, you are committing to developing and publishing exclusively on CORE.

The other big limitation is that, you can’t import any foreign object in the engine that you made somewhere else. So, you are basically stuck within their toolbox and only limited by the tools they provide you with. But overall, for an Alpha version, Manticore has really outdone themselves.  And delivered on making a great engine with a surprisingly huge selection of built-in content.

Even the programming model is extremely polished. Some people may be challenged getting used to the built-in code editor.  For now, Core is an excellent platform for first-tie game developers.  Especially those who just want to create a good game and have fun later on playing on it with their friends.

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