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Project Spark

We just discovered an awesome little game/tool called Project Spark.  I remember back at E3 they showed off this new tool that would allow players to create their own games, build their own worlds, and (hyperbole) revolutionize the way games are played.  Well, it’s now available for people to try on Xbox One and Windows 8.

I was skeptical, but after playing around for a few hours I am totally loving what this thing can do.  I’ll try and explain a very broad overview of Project Spark, but you really need to watch the video I made to truly understand.  It’s a long one, so use the times below to jump to different parts that may interest you:

  • Creative mode (01:30-12:25)
  • Someone made the Original Fable RPG (12:31)
  • Pinball (17:47)

Project Spark Create ModeCreate Mode

The possibilities in Create Mode aren’t endless, but they are closer than anything else I’ve experienced.  Creating any kind of game from a platformer to a fully realized RPG is as simple as hand-crafting the terran, adding props, and “scripting” (Koding, as Project Spark likes to call it) the gameplay.  Utilize Kode is simple because everything is built with intuitive ‘when’ and ‘do’ statements.  When X occurs, do Y.  The interface offers visual cues to follow, and if you have any experience playing games you will know what to look for when trying to make the game play how you would expect.

Add, subtract, expand, erode, smooth, blockify — it’s all there.  After playing EverQuest Landmark for so long, I felt like Project Spark was almost too easy.  Not that Landmark makes things difficult, but Project Spark’s terrain tools are so natural feeling that I really sort of with Landmark could be this easy.  Project Spark’s limitations are really only in what props can be placed.

Project Spark Zombie GamePlay Mode

Play everything from a fully realized RPG, 3D platformers like Mario 64, or side-scrollers like Donkey Kong.  All of these can be made in the create mode then be shared and played.  I get a huge Warcraft 3 custom game vibe from Play Mode.  Looking at all the Tower Defense, Defend the point, and mini-RPGs out there it’s like the perfect ‘game’ to play when you are itching for that custom map experience.

Marketplace

Project Spark is free to play, so the developers are making their money via a marketplace.  You can buy tokens or earn credits.  Both will let you buy assets to use in-game when building.  You can buy individual props (everything from barrels to characters like a Knight) or new textures.  You can buy entire packages to make castles, new spell effects, new abilities, sounds, etc.  If you are serious about making games and love to get feedback from people who vote on them, etc., then you will love Project Spark’s marketplace.  I’m unsure as to whether or not there will be monetization for people to be able to sell their creations or not.

Check out the video above for a more in-depth look at Project Spark.

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Comments

  1. Gankatron says:

    I’ll look into it, but how robust is the scripting? Specifically could one recreate a Magic: The Gathering CCG type of game?

  2. There are several videos from the developers on youtube about their scripting “Kode” language. I’d be shocked if you could make MtG, but you can do quite a bit.

  3. Its a windows 8 app? oh man

  4. It is a Windows 8.1 application to be specific. I got a beta invite some months ago and passed because I didn’t want to upgrade to 8.1 and risk mouse problems in the various games I play.

  5. Windows 8.1 and Xbox One. Works great in both.

  6. Neat but sadly I’m too lazy to design my own game to play it…I love mmorpgs all I play and ushly one at a time cause there so time consuming.

    Any ways This games look fun but I Wont ever play or try it one I hate window 8.1 and don’t like or own a Console.

    But I think its a amazing consept besides the cash shop that’s going to be pricy for those interested in this DG2P(Design game two play) consept.

    But yet again think its would be really time consuming and a lot to learn before u can ackshely injoy the game thing….

    Any ways wanted to say Keen new to your post your TESO and Wildstar one is first I read and now kinda fan of some of your stuff…not your windows 8.1 post tho but your TESO and Wildstar one was good and this one is too.

    Also Would love to see you make one about Kingdom underfire 2 I never played first one but I bin reading a lot about the 2nd one and how its going a mmorpg route looks fun and I would love to see what you think about it on there site they have a lot of info and explain a lot about the game content and videos on it but it isn’t out yet they are releasing it this year tho. =)

    Sorry for bad spelling dyslexic so its hard spell and type or wright what im thinking or placing it in the order in witch it is in my head…

    oh well again great post hon and love how you keep up with your bloggers.

  7. solarbear says:

    WOW. I see a lot of potential in something like this. My fondest online memories are playing Neverwinter Nights on Persistent Worlds people had made. What I think made them so great was the variety and the ability of the creators to modify the rules to suit their players. With some effort people could make their own worlds and play by the rules and in the mode they enjoy. Something a MMO does not really allow. This could be very exciting.

  8. Yeah there’s a huge amount of potential for amateur and veteran game creators to make enjoyable games. If you’re not into making games, you can absolutely just play the creations of others. I think of it like Warcraft 3′s custom maps. You could make your own in the map creation tools, or just play other’s games.

  9. Gankatron says:

    It is a shame they designed it for only Win8 or XBOX One.

    I would have picked it up otherwise, but as it stands I hate Win8 (which feels like a grab at the tablet market retaining traditional PC functionality as an afterthought), and moreover even if I didn’t I wouldn’t pay $100+ to pick it up when my OS is suitable just just to run an entertainment program.

    It seems odd to me that they can design a program that is cross-platform, and yet not have a version compatible with their own previous OS.

  10. Great find , I will have to check this out. Between this and the great announcements in regards to affordable access to the Unreal and Cryengine development kits things are looking up for Indie game devs.

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