Joined: 19 Aug 2005
Location: Not Finland
|Posted: Wed Jan 13, 2010 7:13 am Post subject: Microsoft Kodu (Beta) now available for PC
|Ars Technica explains :
Microsoft has released Kodu, a game developed by Microsoft Research that lets users create their own worlds while teaching them the basics of game development, as a public beta for the PC. To get started, you'll need a Windows Live ID to apply for the beta on Microsoft Connect, where you'll be asked to fill out a 14-question "Kodu Academic Program Questionnaire."
Originally designed as a learning tool for youngsters using Xbox 360, Kodu was released a year ago as service with a powerful programming language that quickly became a hit in academic circles. Since its release, Kodu has been downloaded more than 200,000 times and is used in more than 60 educational institutions across the globe, according to Microsoft. Redmond thinks Kodu's biggest hurdle so far, however, has been that schools needed to purchase Xbox 360s, controllers, and so on to get started. Thus, the software giant has ported the tool to Windows as most educational institutes already have PCs with mice and keyboards.
Compared to the current Xbox 360 version, the PC version has a few changes: deep enhancements to the 'move' verb (for example, a character can follow a path while watching another object), nested logic allows more powerful combinations of sensors and actions, streamlined terrain editing tools, and the ability for characters to respond to mouse and keyboard events. Since this is a beta (technical preview) though, there are some known issues: the in-game help still references the game controller in some places, some low-end PCs may have a problem running Kodu (try using lower-quality graphics settings), most of the built-in content is designed for controller play, and the new export function isn't very clear (the exported .kodu file is placed in your documents folder under SavedGames/Boku/Player1/Exports).
According to the Microsoft, developers aged from seven to 70 can use Kodu to string together simple cartoon icons that define the rules of their game world, rather than using a complex programming language. Microsoft hopes Kodu will continue to be used to introduce children to programming, help them advance their design, math, and problem-solving skills, as well as encourage students to truly engage with computers, instead of experiencing them passively. While Microsoft wouldn't give a release date for the PC version of Kodu, the company said it plans to release updates to the beta every two weeks or so.
I remember reading about this a while back, and dismissed it since it was locked to the 360 platform. Now that there is a PC version available it might be worthwhile for people who want to mess around with it for simple simulations or prototyping.
NoOP / Reyn Time -- The $ is screwing everyone these days. (0xDB)