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#1 2009-01-08 20:46:26

xot
Administrator
Registered: 2007-08-18
Posts: 1,201

Microsoft Kodu and Democracy in Game Design

Microsoft is at it again, trying to trap entice people into Microsoft-based game development. XNA is pretty sweet forbidden fruit if you are a hobbyist programmer. Kodu (previously Doku) aims to appeal to n00bz non-programmers. And again, like XNA, they're using the popularity and accessibility of the Xbox 360 to sway any fence-sitters; Kodu work on both PCs and Xboxen.

nTtrNXu.jpg
http://research.microsoft.com/en-us/projects/kodu/

It's a sort of a Game-Maker-style icon-based development engine. I'm curious to see if it can accomplish anything interesting. EA's similarly dumbed-down Flash-based Sims Carnival game creation system is sucktacular, at least it was when I was a beta tester. Kodu appears to be much more sophisticated, and interestingly, the interface has been highly optimized for game controllers. I commend Microsoft on the attempt, but I'm not convinced that nested menus four or more levels deep are a good idea.

You can watch Microsoft's CES 2009 keynote for some more info and a ten minute demonstration. Check around the one hour mark. I didn't actually watch it (or more precisely, I couldn't hear it). I skipped ahead, so I'm not sure if Steve Ballmer throws any chairs.

CES 2009 - Steve Ballmer Keynote (750kbps)


For a more practical, interesting, and somewhat cautionary tale of C#/XNA development on the Xbox 360, see this postmortem of Weapon of Choice:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/feature/3 … games_.php


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