Microsoft's Kodu game-development tool is now no longer restricted to the Xbox 360. Kodu's journey to the PC was not entirely a walk in the park for its developers as they had to do some serious work to make it compatible with the keyboard-mouse combo. The tool is supposed to be ridiculously easy even for kids, allowing them the opportunity to channelize their creativity in an enjoyable manner. It is available as a technical preview at this point in time. Microsoft researcher Matt MacLaurin is credited with the development of Kodu. The former Apple employee is currently part of Microsoft's Fuse Labs. He got the idea of creating Kodu in 2006, when he sensed his three-year-old daughter's interest in computers.
Microsoft’s CES keynote was, as expected, light on megaton gaming news, but a somewhat small – though undeniably interesting -- gem did manage to escape from Microsoft’s warchest. Titled Kodu, this easy-to-use game-creation tool is operated with only the Xbox 360 controller. However, based on a demonstration given during the keynote, Kodu could very well relegate games like LittleBigPlanet to the musty back corner of the toy box. Said MPC’s own Will Smith upon viewing the demo:
“The kid doing the Kodu demo (Sparrow) is hardcore with the radial menus. I forget how awesome they are if they're fast enough that you can actually use them. She was using the radial menus to adjust items in her game world. These are incredibly deep radial menus, compared to other apps. This is a pretty impressive tool, and she's controlling it entirely using the Xbox controller. There are lots of little games in the world.”
According to a Microsoft press release, Kodu’s colorful vistas are “expressed in physical action-reaction terms, using basic concepts like vision, hearing and time to control your character’s behavior.” Sounds pretty wicked.
Kodu launches this spring on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel.
See the rest of Microsoft’s game-related announcements after the break.