Popfly: DIY Casual, MS-style

I can enlarge stuff, because I am very clever

The race to establish the Youtube of gaming continues. Kongregate – which we really should visit more often – is by far the most likely bet at the moment, with its 4000+ free games, but predictably Bigger Boys are trying to snatch a piece of pie. Enter Microsoft with its Popfly project, which combines a gallery of user-made games with simple tools to create and share your own.

It’s mainly show-offery for Silverlight, Microsoft’s proprietary Flash rival, and doesn’t seem yet capable of going much beyond basic casual games and retro remakes. Its main requirement, though, is simple patience, allegedly not any sort of coding experience, so a suitably inventive mind could churn out some gems. I’ve not had time to try devising my own game yet, but it took me mere minutes to modify a pre-generated Missile Command clone into spawning such a bewildering deluge of giant-size rocket ‘splodes that my quad-core processor wept (not a good sign of Popfly’s worth , quite frankly). I am so creative.

It’s all very interesting, though yet to demonstrate greatness – if, however, anyone here fancies delving deeper and establishing what this thing’s actually capable of, please do link to your creations below. We won’t laugh, promise.


  1. RobotLiberationArmy says:

    That is one of the more phallic things I have seen.

  2. Zonderic says:


    Also, I’m not sure I understand what those red-ish orange ovals are.

  3. PleasingFungus says:

    I think they’re supposed to be rocket-cannon.

  4. Mike says:

    I tried PopFly this morning, and a few things struck me. First of all, claims of not needing to code are a bit misleading, because the customisation options it offers you generally need you to have a kind of programmer’s mindset about you. It’s more like not needing to type rather than not needing to code.
    Second, it’s pigging slow. I’ve got a pretty laggy machine here, but Popfly chugs along like Crysis being played on a 486.

    In general though, these things are really great. I’m glad people are making more of them, because getting people interested in the idea of games creation is a great thing. As you say, it’s the YouTube of gaming – it should be as easy as possible, even if the easiest results are actually quite poor.

  5. Hobbes says:

    hmm, rather randomly, I found this whilst checking out Kongregate. Interesting way of lecturing about games, with a game, and prehaps slightly relevant to the idea of community created games.

    link to kongregate.com

  6. spd from Russia says:

    utoob of gaming? no thanx. utoob is full of crap and finding something good is pretty hard there

  7. Zeno says:

    Anyone have any success getting Silverlight to work with Firefox 3 Beta 5?

    ‘Cuz I can’t.

  8. Riotpoll says:

    The slowness of even a simple (very) version of frogger has put me off this already. Give me flash games any day of the week.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I think what everyone’s forgetting is that the vast vast majority of original stuff on you tube is utterly appalling.

    I can’t think the gaming equivalent will vary overly in that regard.

  10. Andrew Simpson says:

    Huh. Last time I checked, Popfly was a tool for making Web 2.0 style mashups. Guess their remit has expanded somewhat. It’s still hard to see exactly what the heck the point is, though.