Microsoft Kodu ‘Game Lab’ Launches

Game creation made easy?

Gordon made precious little mention of Kodu at CES, through no fault of his own I am sure, but the game cum games creation environment is now available on Xbox Live and you might just want to take a look.

Kodu is, in Microsoft’s words, a “visual programming language made specifically for creating games.” The premise is simple: using just an Xbox 360 controller children and adults alike should be able to use the toolset Kodu provides to create their own games. Okay, so you’re not going to be making Crysis, but there should be scope for anyone with even a little imagination to make something fun.

Harking back to the “programming” side, part of Microsoft’s intention with Kodu is to introduce a young audience to the principles of coding, without the abstraction that less-visual programming languages can be hindered by. I guess you could think of it as Visual Basic, but even more visual and basic.

Let’s be clear; whatever you may have heard Kodu isn’t Microsoft’s attempt to take on LittleBigPlanet (LBP) in the same way as LBP wasn’t MediaMolecule’s attempt to take on The Sims. There are similarities, yes so too are there between Pride and Prejudice and Marie Clare – and you wouldn’t claim the latter was mimicking the former there I hope.

What Kodu does look to be is full of the potential. Unsurprisingly co-operative play (and creation) is featured, enabling players to team up to both create and play their Kodu-based games.

I must confess to being preeety tempted by its low, low 400 MS Points asking price.


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