Learn more about game design with Game Builder Garage for the Switch

Use your Switch to bring the game of your dreams to reality

One of the biggest surprise announcements for the Nintendo Switch is Game Builder Garage, a DIY-style game that teaches the basics of visual programming and game design, straight from the creative minds of Nintendo themselves. Games like Super Mario Maker 2 and the Nintendo Labo dabbled in this type of game before, but neither game gave players the option to build every aspect of the game from the ground up.

Game Builder Garage is a game with endless possibilities, and has the potential to be one of the best games for younger gamers who are interested in programming. So prepare to flex your creative muscles — here's everything you need to know about Game Builder Garage for the Nintendo Switch.

What is Game Builder Garage?

Game Builder Garage is a game that teaches the basics of visual programming and game design to would-be game designers. By connecting nodes to one another, players can implement movement, button commands, and other actions to their avatar, and then create full, working games complete with objects, background music, effects, textures, and a host of other options you'll need to build the game of your dreams.

The game features detailed tutorials that walk players through every aspect of building a game with the use of the Nodons.

What kind of games can I make?

There's a large variety of games that can be made in Game Builder Garage. To get your creative juices flowing, the game features seven guided lessons that teach you how to build seven fun little games. Three of the games we know of are: Tag Showdown, a two-player game of tag; On a Roll, a maze game controlled with motion controls; and Thrill Racer, a fast-paced race to the finish line. The other four games are called Risky Run, Mystery Room, Alien Blaster, and My Game.

The trailer also gave us a peek at some of the other games possible, including shooters, fighting games, puzzle games, and games from both 3D and 2D perspectives. Using the Free Programming mode, you can develop almost anything you can think of!

What are the Nodons? and why are the Nodons different colors?

The Nodon are colorful creatures in charge of everything happening behind the scenes. We don't have an exact number confirmed by Nintendo yet, but the Japanese store page provides a little more insight on the 84 nodes that will be found in the game. Each color handles a different aspect of the game's backend.

  • Red Nodons represent inputs from physical peripherals or values, like joystick movements or button presses.
  • Green Nodons handle mathematical and logic operations.
  • Blue Nodons handle outputs to peripherals and gameplay, like sound and background music.
  • Orange Nodons handle the physical object in the game world, like objects.

Can I use a keyboard and mouse?

Yes, you can! You can use both a keyboard and mouse to program while the Nintendo Switch is docked, in addition to a controller. While undocked, you can make use of touch screen controls.

Is there Labo support?

While Game Garage Builder shares some similarities with Nintendo Labo, there seems to be no compatibility at this time.

Is there multiplayer?

You can exchange codes directly with your friends (as long as you have a Nintendo Switch Online account) or anyone online by exchanging codes. You can even take a look at the programming behind the games and use take advantage of the feature to work with your friends. There doesn't seem to be a way to browse creations in-game.

When does it release?

Game Builder Garage will release on the Nintendo Switch on June 11 for $30. It'll be available digitally and physically from most traditional retailers.

Build it yourself

Game Builder Garage

$30 at Best Buy $30 at Amazon

Why don't you try making it yourself?

Game Builder Garage is an educational tool that teaches the basics of visual programming and game design.