From a tiny spark may burst a mighty flame – or not, in the case of Project Spark. Microsoft’s sandbox game creation game never caught on in the same way as its various inspirations and so it’s now been pulled from download effective immediately.
Project Spark [official site] is Microsoft’s latest free 3D create-o-play doodad for making your own games and playing other people’s, but it launched with two irritants: it was exclusive to Windows 8, an OS many people skipped; and it had a fair amount of annoying DLC for its gamepieces and gameprops. Well, now we have Windows 10, which is nicer than 8 at least, and soon all of Project Spark’s DLC will be set free.
I didn’t believe Conker was real, you know. I’d assumed a poo-obsessed platformer series about a boozy squirrel with guns was a hoax conjured up by the jokey final page of a games magazine to parody the rude ‘tude of ’90s excess. No, Conker was real, and now he’s coming to PC. In a way.
Conker’s Big Reunion is an episodic series made in Project Spark, Microsoft’s game make-o-share-a-play thing. It’s being made by Spark devs Team Dakota rather than creators Rare, though original Conker lead and designer Chris Seavor has returned to voice the squirrel again.
Microsoft’s PC gaming track record has become turgidly tarnished in recent years, but I must admit that Project Spark looks and sounds extremely enticing. It’s a game and world creation and exploration tool – an infernal imagination engine to dive into whether you want to craft games of multiple genres, play other people’s whimsical wonderments/abominations, or something in between. Basically, think PS3 sidescrollamabob LittleBigPlanet but much more versatile, or Garry’s Mod without all of G-Man’s notoriously, er, charming faces. But of course, the soon-to-enter-beta experiment is a Microsoft product, so it’s Windows-8-only. Siiiiiiiiiiiiiiigh.
A quick eye prod at the Steam Hardware Survey shows me that the stupid, hateful, and barely useable Windows 8 is the second most popular OS on there. 13.34% of those that responded to the survey use it. For you precious few (actually a healthy chunk), I have arranged a treat: a look at Project Spark. Microsoft’s really rather charming attempt to do a Little Big Planet-esque and Gameglobeish build your own game thing, is the only thing I’ve ever seen that made me want to have access to Windows 8. As Adam showed earlier on, the community has already cloned plenty of games and genres to show the platform’s capabilities, and now it’s the developer’s turn. Thirty Imperial Minutes of tools and tips are below.
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Good morning. I’ve just returned from the humble pie and hat emporium with a couple of items I picked up for lunch. You may recall that in between all the XBone exclusives and cars, Microsoft announced a game called Project Spark, which is coming to Windows 8 as well as the Kinected console. It’s a flexible game creation suite, similar to Gameglobe, Little Big Planet and my personal favourite in the genre, Klik & Play. The game will rely heavily on community contributions, making it possible to download anything from entire worlds to individual AI routines, but I queried the apparent use of community downloads during the onstage presentation and in the video below. I was wrong!
E3 is full of whoops and hollers. Watching a livestream of Microsoft’s announcements last night, I swear I heard somebody chanting ‘XBOX XBOX‘ as if they were at a cup final cheering on their favourite team rather than witnesses to a madly expensive and deranged corporate sales pitch*. The presentation of Project Spark generated some laughter and enthusiasm as well. It’s a game that’s also a game construction set, although with a far greater similarity to Gameglobe than Little Big Planet. It’s coming to next generation user interfaces (Windows 8) as well as the XBone. There are three videos below, one of which shows ‘community creations’. What community? How many people are playing this thing already?