Kodu, a game to be released on an Xbox Live Community Games channel in the spring, helps youngsters learn to program and lets them create their own video games to play and share.
For children, learning to program at an early age can open up a lifetime of creativity and opportunity. And with Kodu, a new game unveiled by Microsoft at the recent 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES), they can learn the skill of programming while having fun creating and playing their own games.
Kodu will be released this spring on the Xbox Live Community Games channel and will help people of all ages program their own games in addition to exercising their logic and problem-solving skills, says Robbie Bach, president of Microsoft’s Entertainment and Devices Division. “It started as a way to help kids learn how to program, but what it’s turned into is a way to not only learn how to program, but to create your own games,” he says.
Kodu is built around a game-friendly programming language that is simple and icon-based. Players can choose from 20 different game characters – including flying saucers, submarines, and a Pac Man-like Kodu main character – then use an interactive terrain editor, a bridge and path builder, and other tools to create their own game world. Players also have the option of using pre-loaded worlds.
Kodu is a product of Microsoft Research, where it was developed over the past two years by principal program manger designer Matt MacLaurin. His goal: Create a game his four-year-old daughter could use to both have fun and learn something about programming.
Watch Kodu in Action:
Marc Liron – Microsoft MVP