There is a certain age of person who grew up in the 80s and was part of the D&D phenomenon and loved the magic of the worlds created. D&D was very free in terms of the storyline but the actual magic system of the game was very stratified – it had to be to work. CodeSpells is a kickstarter that tries to take this straightjacketed system and make it far more open.
Rather than provide a list of spells that the player character can cast it provides a set of building blocks that let you pre-program your own spells. Pre-program is in fact the exact right term – it was originally designed as a system to teach the basics of programming. The original educational developers have joined with game developers and Codespells is to the the result – a game and a way to teach programming.
The line they are trying to walk is a very difficult one – simplify programming too much and the concepts they are trying to teach will not be able to pass to other systems; on the other hand push the programming too hard and the game will simply not be fun and players will not come back. Thus far the in-game footage reminds me somewhat of Minecraft, with a single player creative mode to experiment, a multiplayer server sandbox system.
The project is being kickstarted and is due to finishon the 4th of October. They asked for $50,000 and at the time of writting had over $80,00 promised.