Microsoft’s Project Spark beta goes live, lets you make your own games

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Think all modern games are boring and repetitive? Well, with Microsoft’s Project Spark you can now have your own hand – quite literally – at making games. Users can sign up for the Windows 8 beta of Project Spark from today, over at the official website. An Xbox One version will become available later this year.

Announced at E3 last year, Project Spark (which we’re hoping goes for a better name when it releases) uses a visual programming interface to let users craft their own interactive adventures and virtual worlds. The result is that whatever you create in Project Spark can be turned into a game, and then shared with millions of other users.

Playing much like a god game, each project spark, err, project starts as a blank canvas of the world, to which environmental assets can be added. These include terrain, hills, mountains, trees, rivers, oceans, and houses. The control for this is simply your mouse, touch screen (on a tablet), or the Xbox controller.

Once the game world has been created, player objectives can be added. In an entry on the Microsoft blog a developer walks through the process of creating a level where players get to collect coins. Part of the joy of creation in Project Spark is being able to share your creations and then letting other users “remix” them. Anybody who wants to a component of another game in theirs is able to do so.

Some examples of the creativity possible with the project include a users who’ve recreated elements of other Xbox and PC games, including Fable and Minecraft. In the latter case it’s a completely playable game, replete with blocky graphics – though not a total clone of the popular indie game.


Christo van Gemert

Christo van Gemert

Eleven years ago Christo started writing about technology for one of South Africa's (then) leading computer magazines. His first review? A Samsung LCD monitor. Hey, it was hot news, back then. Nowadays he gets more excited about photography, cars, game consoles, and faster internet connections. He's sort of an Apple fan, but will take any opportunity to remind you about his Windows-powered home theatre PC and desire to own a vanilla Android tablet.   Currently uses: Apple 13-inch Macbook Pro with Retina Display, Apple iPhone 5, Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000, Audiofly AF78 Earphones, Xbox 360, Nikon D50.



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