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)
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.
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.
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.