It’s that time of year. Yes, time to find something to take one’s mind off of the day’s repetitive tasks so they/we can kick back and relax. Normally, this means heading out somewhere, watching some TV, or even playing a good game.

Well, I have a variety of games that I play, but figured it might be fun to find one that both myself and my nephew could enjoy – each from our homes across town. After some searching it turns out that a game called ThinkTanks was just what I was looking for. Definitely OK for a 9 year old to enjoy, this game has provided me with hours of fun and managed to keep my attention for a lengthy period of time. While some adults might very well grow weary of the repetitiveness of it, I felt that it was just enough going on to keep a kid entertained while not being overly complicated.

The game itself comes as a demo or you can just buy the full version. Why bother to buy it? Well, with a purchased copy you can join game servers created by others rather than just bot-run in addition to creating your own server for others to join as well. There is a chat ability by typing the letter U if you’d like to speak to other players, but for kids I recommend turning on the child filter, first.

Another game that takes the do-it-yourself concept and runs with it has to be SuperTux. Modeled after Super Mario Bros, SuperTux allows you to take the bull by the horns and create your own single player levels. That is correct, roll your own levels easily with the level editor with near ease. Now I realize that I said ‘near ease’. Truth be known, I am still learning how to make things work right so that my Tux-fella does not fall to his death each time I start my newly minted level. It’s my fault, I am still learning the software.

But perhaps none of these titles meet with your needs? Maybe, you’d rather create a game that better suites your likes and dislikes? If you have ever dreamed of becoming a 3D adventure, third -person, or RPG game creator, then here is your chance. Thanks to GarageGames, those of you looking to venture out into game design can do so and even create a business around it if you think that you have what it takes. The games can be as simple of as near perfection as you can possibly imagine them to be. The tools being sold to create them are for anyone wanting to learn and thusly, the cost is reflective of this.

Yes folks, this is may or may not be something to consider for a hobby. However, if you are looking at taking a career path change and want to design games that you feel counteract stuff out there that you disapprove of, then this is a great place to start. GarageGames will not only help you with tools, but they can also act as a your sales agent as you venture into the world of game creation.

Understand that while it is certainly possible to create the next mega-hit as Unreal Tournament or World of Warcraft, the success or failure is ultimately up to you. Something else that I really dig is the licensing costs for software. As a matter of fact, if you are just looking to create a really cool hobby, it can be done for less than the cost of going to school and then hoping you get all of the skills and tools that you need upon completion. Parents, how about getting the teens off of the game-play and have them learning to do something that is a little more mentally stimulating?

To be frank, once I get a few other projects off of the ground here soon, I am looking into this for myself. I have a cartoonist buddy of mine that I have thought about asking to help and it might make for something truly spectacular. Imagine a multiplayer game called Gnomie’s Quest for ______? It could happen. And thanks to tools and agent assistance from people like GarageGames, the possibility of making a living at it can happen. The proof is in the success of games like ThinkTanks and DH: Lore Invasion. Here are the tools; do you have what it takes to become the next gaming success story?

[tags]games,gaming,gamer,thinktank,garage games,supertux[/tags]