I don’t think there’s anyone un-impressed by Little Big Planet for the Playstation 3. It’s genre defining in a throw-a-million-cycles-at-physics-and-build-anything sort of way. Alas, I’m not a PS3 owner as I rarely game at all, but I’m glad to see something similar coming to Xbox, this one perhaps leaning towards Boom Blox. This used to be known as Boku, now Kodu.
I think this game is aimed at kids, not quite as grown up as LBP, but it seems to have a lot of potential, with a built in “building block” programming element. You have access to particle emitters, collision detection, spawning of objects, scripted movement and counting, the basics required for remaking almost any 8-bit gaming classic 😉
Here’s a YouTube video showing some of the features:
There’s also a video showing a 12 year old girl rapidly running through how she made her little 2 player game. I must admit this second video from CES 2009 makes it look a little less impressive, and emphasizes the kid game aspect. But with XBox Live the possibility for downloads and expansion adds some interest.
Interestingly this appears to be a labelled a “community” title, that’s akin to homebrew, developed by someone with a $99 XNA Game Studio (which also provides you access to everyone elses projects), but selected community titles such as this are accessible to everyone one via XBox Live Arcade for a small price. However the Microsoft Research branding on the first video belies this moniker.
The popularity of user generated content online is manifesting itself in all areas of life where technology can either make things easier directly, or bring people together to stand on eachothers shoulders in order to do the same. It’s a pretty positive shift in computing and seemingly a great way to squeeze maximum value out of a product which makes it a win-win in my eyes. There’s no signs of a social aspect to this game bar local multiplayer but I would hope there is an XBL element to it.