Core PAX Online Impression
Seeing some of the creations — particularly those involved in the dungeon design contest — quickly opens one’s eyes to the potential available in Core.
Manticore Games’ Core is a game creation suite currently in free open alpha, giving players the opportunity to create and play all sorts of potential titles. As part of the build-up to PAX, the developer partnered with Wizards of the Coast for a Dungeons & Dragons dungeon design contest, as well as a panel featuring creations based on celebrity D&D players Jerry Holkins, Deborah Ann Woll, Sam Riegel, Reggie Watts, and Xavier Woods’ favourite D&D memories, which can be viewed below. RPGamer also got the opportunity during the event to check out and briefly discuss some of the possibilities the suite offers.
Core combines its creation kit, content exchange, and actual game playing into a single platform. Though the immediate media and templates available point it towards more action-oriented multiplayer games, seeing some of the creations — particularly those involved in the dungeon design contest — quickly opens one’s eyes to the potential available in Core. All sorts of RPG staples, including turn-based and grid-based tactical combat, leveling systems, puzzles, and quests have been successfully done by creators. Though the platform gives players their own avatars and mount to use, creators are free to overwrite these, and there are cases of single-player RPGs already available complete with controlled party members.
Core is an online platform, but this allows it to do some neat things. By placing portals, players are given the opportunity to move immediately from one game to the next. This permits creators to set up things like hub worlds, with Manticore Games creating one to showcase its contest winners, in addition to creating something akin to a theme park. The 3D painting tools and visual effects available are very powerful and flexible. Some of the creations, particularly the contest winners and those in the D&D showcase, look incredible. Some of the main things Core has most going for it are the systems and templates in place that make it very easy to set up and test out their first titles right away. The one thing that remains to be seen is if creators will be able to stamp their own art style onto things.
Though Manticore Games retains ownership of the specific assets it provides players, the company states that it plans for creators to retain ownership of their IP creations, and let them monetise them. There are multiple Founders packs to purchase, which give creators access to a lot more themed assets, with additional cosmetic items like emotes and mounts also providing additional monetisation on Manticore Games’ side.
The good impression I’ve gotten from Core is largely down to how much variety its creators have already put out, as well as how easy it is to just dive in and play them. There is absolutely still a hefty learning curve to the creation process, like there is with any such suite, but Core does a great job showing off what it can do and letting creators see something that works right out of the gate. Even if players don’t have creative aspirations themselves, just checking out some of the creations already freely on offer already makes for an enjoyable time.