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Lotus and The J Person from the board are part of a neat group called Stencyl which is working on creating a free and easy to use game making program which specializes in making tile-based games like the ones you know and love from the good old days of the SNES. The program will come with 10 initial “kits” for you to use to make different genres of games. The kits to be released with the program range from Mario to Shoot ’em Ups to Secret of Mana, and more will be available for download as time goes on.
Not a coder? No problem. From the start you can just click your way to a complete game, everything works right from the get-go. If you’d like to mix things up you can create triggers and even make your own sprites to make your game work the way you want. The kits can even be mixed together so you could create some sort of crazy shoot-em up RPG platformer of doom.
The program is still in the works, but you can read about it and watch for updates at their site. You can even run around on their forums and see what’s going on or even offer some help.