Minecraft's influence on games has been rather impressive. Block by block, new games are emerging, willing to look like the creations of an over-eager child with Lego. But this is the first time I've seen an engine that's pulling the same trick. Craftstudio should feel like a soulless rip-off, but it's a genuinely cute, well made game-making tool. It's actually a game for making games, where the multiplayer is a collaborative editing suite for players to build levels, animate and paint monsters, and probably insult penis sizes and mothers. It's currently in development, but there's an alpha that you can try out. It has a Kickstarter-esque funding model over at, er, Kickstarter-esque Indiegogo. Impossibly engaging and annoyingly well made video from the game's 22 year-old creator (!) Elisée Maureris below. Hearthat, Notch? He's got ten years on you.
Levels and models can be plucked from pre-made shared worlds, or built up from the ground. I hopped into one of the shared scenes, a blockily built market and looked around at the chunky buildings. I was joined by the creator and a few randoms. The wireframe cameras toured the levels and I watched as blocks popped into being. A wall started to form, and the ground beneath it was being dropped into place. It was clear the other players were new: randomly selected blocks kept appearing and then disappearing as they erased their curious mistakes. I looked away from the monitor for a moment and when I looked back the a house had been 60% built. One player decided the grass needed a stronger green and all the blocks started flipping through his selections. When Elisée mentioned the roof was as bit disappointing, the players swarmed over it, bumping up the height. It was fun to watch.
A lot of the blocks are still being slotted into place in the project, though: actually compiling a game has still to be implemented, which is another 2-3 months off, as it'll take roughly that time to implement the in-game scripting. When that arrives, you'll only be limited by your ability: it'll support racing, RTS, platform, whatever you choose. Ultimately the developers will use them to make a dungeon crawler.
Here's another video of what can be made if you're not as awfully cack-handed as I am. I'd say what he makes, but it's worth watching to see it come together.