Project Spark is an evolution of Kodu's programming language

Project Spark is the evolution of Kodu's programming language

Microsoft Studios manager Michael Saxs Persson tells Joystiq that Project Spark is a natural evolution of the programming language found in Kodu Game Lab, the game building software released on Xbox 360 and PC in 2009. "The project architect from Kodu is working on the language for this game," Persson added.

Persson says that Project Spark isn't the same in terms of the game designing elements, but the language used to aid players program how objects in Spark is the natural progression of the same features found in Kodu. Programming in Spark takes the "If This, Then That" approach, telling objects when and how to react to different situations. In a demo presentation behind closed doors, Persson showcased how layered those decisions could be.

Spark has a host of other features, including a decision tree-type system that allows creators to answer a handful of questions to build quests and missions. Once their "story" has been developed, it can be shared to other players who can play through the created experience or edit it for their own tales.

Spark also allows players to create a variety of different kinds of games, much in the same way that players could use the tools available in LittleBigPlanet 2 to develop shooters. Examples shown were a Pilotwings-style game created by the developers, as well as a working synthesizer with on/off switches, programmed background beats and a record and playback option. Though not shown, one gametype that sounded especially devious was a "Bad Advice Blackjack" game, where a Goblin would troll the player during card games, offering bad advice and telling them how bad they were.

Project Spark is a launch window game for the Xbox One. A beta is planned for later this year on Windows 8.