For some reason this story was missed, in the first news update this month, but it's worth mentioning. Jon Pittock, aka SKN3 has been developing a development tool called Objecty, which was launched on KickStarter at the end of October.
Objecty allows the user to create graphics with ease, and animate them, without any difficulty whatsoever. The animation is created by manipulating various parts of a created character while utilising a "timeline" - a feature used in most video editors such as Final Cut or Adobe Premiere.
Levels can be designed this way too, although actually programming them still falls in the hands of whatever development tool you're using Objecty with - after all, this product is used for 2D graphics.
Click here to visit the Kickstarter page