Friday, March 19, 2010

Kodu Game Development

I have been introduced to a neat new project - Kodu! No, I am not congratulating you - that is the name of the program you use to develop this amazing new world!

What is Kodu?
Kodu (originally named Boku) is a visual programming environment tool designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.
Kodu is available to download as an Xbox 360 Indie Game. There is also a PC version in an open beta which is available to anyone at their website.Kodu is different from other projects in several key ways:
•It avoids typing code by having a user construct programs using visual elements with a game controller
•Rather than a bitmapped or 2D display, programs are executed in a 3D simulation environment, similar to Alice (another program you can use)

Information borrowed from

It is downloadable to your PC and it allows you to create Kodu characters and your own Kodu world! You are given a blank world, and you choose your terrain, landscape, objects, etc. to create games, simulations, and many other possible things. It is like a virtual world - you give your Kodu character an action, and when you run it, the Kodu does the action. Basically it is a program where your students can create games - which can be uploaded to their XBox 360!

I have found (with the help of my learning technologist) where to download it (we already have gotten approval and have it installed in our school), a bunch of resources and tutorials both in print and video format for students to teach themselves or you to teach yourself, and have put them all on my wikispace. I developed a page on my wikispace for Kodu Game Development, and have created a 18 class period mini-unit, complete with assignments for a CPT 30 student. I would not recommend giving this project to a student in a lower skill level, or a lower class stage because it takes some real ingenuity, creativity, and computer smarts to figure out some of the stuff. Of course some younger students could do this as a modified project yes, but what I have developed will be aimed expectation-wise for a student in grade 12.

Check it out - and please comment on my blog because I want to hear your thoughts!