By Jason Venter | 01-04-2012 | 3:00PM

GarageGames, the independent company behind the Torque engine that already lets would-be game developers develop, package, and distribute their own games, has taken to Kickstarter to secure the funding that will allow it to release a shiny new software package known as 3 Step Studio. Over the next four weeks, the company is looking to raise $500,000 for the software’s development, which it says will allow people to create games without knowing how to code.

The proper project pitch states that “3 Step Studio will allow gamers everywhere to make their own games for the iPad, iPhone, Windows, or Mac. No programming required.” The page also notes that if it is able to surpass its funding goal, the team can add more platforms. Web, Linux, and Android are listed as possibilities, which should excite potential developers who would like to tap into those audiences (particularly that last one).

An important point in favor of the 3 Step Studio is that it will provide you with templates that you can then customize with existing artwork, audio, and logic, in the event that you don’t mind using what’s provided. You’ll be able to import your own assets, as well, and the developers promise that you can adjust elements within your work in progress “to make your game play the way you want.” The logic to edit such elements is built into the editors, and adjusting all of that could be as easy as moving sliders.

“It’s amazing to see how much you can do with the right tools,” the project page boasts. “We’ve made a Pac-Man clone with the Tower Defense template and a Pinball game using the Physics Launcher. The possibilities are endless.”

Those two templates sound like they’ll be part of the package right from the start (assuming that it is funded), but some of the other templates referenced on the project page are additions for down the road and would be stretch goal incentives. If you want to find templates for a Platformer title or an RPG, for instance, the $500,000 mark isn’t going to cut it.

Naturally, potential backers already have some questions. One potential concern was the matter of licensing fees, in the event that you create a game that you would like to turn around and sell for profit. According to GarageGames, “There are currently no plans to charge royalties on the games you make. We provide the content for you to do as you wish!”

Given the amount of experience the people at GarageGames have making game tools and their success to date (Torque was used in development of Marble Blast Ultra for Xbox Live Arcade, and that engine also powered a number of other projects), there’s reason to believe 3 Step Studio has the potential to be hugely important for budding developers… if it can secure funding. So far, with 28 days remaining, less than $1,000 of the required $500,000 has been raised. The project may have trouble reaching the minimum, let alone any stretch goals, but it’s still worth watching. Who knows? 3 Step Studio might even be the tool that finally lets you release that game you’ve always known is trapped inside of you…