Print 15 comment(s) - last by troysavary.. on Dec 5 at 11:33 AM

New Xbox One title is available in beta, allows a wide variety of user created scenarios

User generated worlds and games aren't exactly a new idea.  Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758) PlayStation saw Enterbrain's cult hit RPG Maker from Enterbrain (a game which had a Japan-only release on Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) Super Famicom).  This tradition was continued with the 2008 release of LittleBigPlanet, a Sony-published PlayStation 3 title from Media Molecule.  And most recently Swedish programmer Markus "Notch" Persson and his company Mojang gave the world Minecraft in 2009.

Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) is looking to channel all of these stars of the make-your-own-game genre with a brand new Xbox One app called "Project Spark".  Just released in beta form, Project Spark puts you in charge of developing your own game which can shape up to be a platformer, a first person shooter, or even a tower defense game.

Winning over existing indie developers -- and creating new ones -- has been a key focus of Microsoft's with the launch of the Xbox One, headlined by the ID@Xbox program, which gave some lucky indie devs early access to dev-kit hardware.  Another key focus of Microsoft's is unifying its Windows and Xbox ecosystems, into a single cloud in which most of the apps are cross-platform.

Project Spark embodies both of those trends.  While it is initially only available on Windows 8.1 in beta, it will soon be rolled out to the Xbox One.  There's no word on a Windows RT release.  Given the poor sales of Windows on ARM and the rumor that Microsoft is leaning towards replacing Windows RT (8.1) with Windows Phone 8.1 early next year, this isn't terribly surprising.

The game-cum-dev-kit offers customizable characters and playscapes, with a base style reminds of adventure titles like Legend of Zelda or Ratchet & Clank.  Users can customize the game to their taste making it grittier (think war or survival horror) or more light-hearted (cartoonish platformers or adventure games).  The game also features a relatively deep-looking scripting system, which allows users to create unique interactions for every character and object in the environment.

Project Spark

You can offer a variety of control schemes for your creations, including Kinect motion control, keyboard/mouse, SmartGlass (using your Windows Phone as a controller), and, of course, the stock Xbox One controller.

The game is region-restricted and at first glance doesn't appear to be currently available via Windows Store in North America.  However, The Verge reports that developers and interested gamers can visit the Project Spark homepage to cast their hat in the ring.  If Microsoft accepts you, you should get a code which you can use to unlock the beta in the Windows Store, scoring early access.

Sources: Microsoft [Project Spark homepage], [Project Spark YouTube channel], The Verge

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CHooo Chooooo
By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Digimonkey on 12/4/2013 11:02:14 AM , Rating: 2
Do you remember the exact moment you became such a Google fanboy that you have to be negative about everything Microsoft releases?

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/13, Rating: -1
RE: CHooo Chooooo
By ClownPuncher on 12/4/2013 11:09:10 AM , Rating: 3
PC gaming called ... these consoles useless.

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Labotomizer on 12/4/2013 11:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
It's available for PC and Xbox... Just sayin.

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By ClownPuncher on 12/4/2013 11:21:58 AM , Rating: 2
Don't rain on my PC gaming master race parade.

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Labotomizer on 12/4/2013 11:24:07 AM , Rating: 3
I believe it was golden rain at that!

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Spuke on 12/4/2013 1:49:08 PM , Rating: 2

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/2013 11:40:28 PM , Rating: 2
This escalated quickly lol

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By troysavary on 12/5/2013 11:33:01 AM , Rating: 1
You are not seriously trying to tell me that Spark is just like Minecraft?

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Labotomizer on 12/4/2013 11:11:11 AM , Rating: 2

Project Spark does seem to be pretty awesome. It's quite a bit more advanced than Minecraft or LBP.

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By troysavary on 12/4/2013 9:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
Then you really should hate Google. Internet search, free e-mail, social networks, and smartphone OSes were all done by someone else before Google. I guess they are riding the same railway.

RE: CHooo Chooooo
By Reclaimer77 on 12/4/13, Rating: 0
RE: CHooo Chooooo
By troysavary on 12/5/2013 11:31:42 AM , Rating: 2
How is it lame? Your attempt at claiming MS is a copycat because of Project Spark is lame. I am merely pointing out the extent of your hypocrisy. Everything MS bad, everything Google good. You are so predictable.

BTW, lets add browser security another area where Google is playing me-too. You can see all the stored passwords in Chrome by simply typing chrome://settings/passwords. Chrome users have been asking for master password protection in Chrome for a couple years, but Google said it wasn't necessary. Now, they are FINALLY adding it to next release of Chrome. Firefox has had that feature forever. Who is the me-too company again?

awesome post
By rechiel7890 on 12/4/13, Rating: -1
"Can anyone tell me what MobileMe is supposed to do?... So why the f*** doesn't it do that?" -- Steve Jobs

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