The introductory programming environment Scratch has rightly become quite popular globally as a fun way to introduce children to programming concepts and software development. BYOB is a UC Berkeley derivative that adds the ability to create reusable ‘blocks’ (functions), a feature missing in Scratch.
Now building on top of that, Sheldon Pacotti has released Game Blocks, a tool intended to support a class in writing and narrative design for games.
Intended for game writers, rather than programmers, this is still not intended as a professional tool for professional products – but looks like it will provide more features for budding developers and complete novices wanting to turn their ideas into games:
The library allows novice game designers to experiment with storytelling, animation, physics, interaction and standard game types like adventure games, platformers, and arcade shooters. Projects can be compiled into executables for Mac, PC, and Windows. The library itself, running within BYOB, is cross-platform as well.
The site also includes links to an extensive set of tutorial videos.