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Kodu Game Lab Available on XBLA

Company: Microsoft
Product: Kodu Game Lab

I've yet to meet someone who hasn't said they have a great idea for a game. Unfortunately, few people who have an idea for a game have the patience to learn how to code or create the needed art assets. Sony took a big step towards giving would-be designers a creative outlet with LittleBigPlanet and now Microsoft is doing the same with Kodu Game Lab.

Available under Community Games Channel on XBLA (400 MP, about $5), Kodu Game Lab is an XNA-based toolset that allows players to create levels and games using a graphic programming interface. The image-based creator menu allows for nearly 200 different programming features. The system is reminiscent of GameMaker, but streamlined for use with the 360 Controller.

While I am still in the process of figuring out the system's nuances, it is fairly easy to jump into the "game" and get to work on a simple game. Kodu comes with a path and terrain editor, 20 different characters and the ability to implement 4-player co-op gameplay. Though not currently available, Kodu will eventually allow players to share their creations with friends.

Though geared towards younger players, Kodu is accessible to anyone willing to learn. The included tutorials leave something to be desired, but the toolset is easy to understand and is a great introduction to logic and problem solving. Coming from someone who has been running game camps for five years, I've found systems like this are a great introduction to what programming entails.

Check out the following video for an idea of what Kodu can do.

-Starscream, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ricky Tucker

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