Microsoft’s Project Spark DIY Game Creation Software Beta Begins Today

Microsoft has recognized that people appreciate the chance to make their own stuff, possibly due to the success of PlayStation exclusive LittleBigPlanet, and that’s why it createdProject Spark, previewed back in June at E3. Spark is an even more free-form game creation engine with a focus on simultaneous game playing and building, which also encourages sharing among friends and family.

The beta for Project Spark kicks off today on Windows 8.1, which means if you’re one of the still quite small crowd on that latest desktop OS, you can take part – so long as you’ve also signed up for the beta over at the Project Spark website. The closed beta will extend to Xbox One users beginning in the new year, however, and that’s where I expect the software to really start to shine, given Microsoft’s sizeable user pool based on early sales numbers of the next-gen console. Microsoft also says cross-platform support is coming eventually, too.

Microsoft is touting Spark as a way to create collaborative, effectively unending games with your friends and connections, which is an interesting take on gaming as a social medium. Games have always had social aspects, to be sure: alternating turns or watching your friend who was lucky enough to own a PS1 play through Final Fantasy is no doubt an experience common to many of my particular vintage. Then of course came split-screen gaming, culminating the pure joy that was Goldeneye 007 for the N64, and the modern era of shooting and tea-bagging that is the Call of Duty series. Read More

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