Microsoft Studio’s Project Spark game making software is now on the PC, albeit only for Windows 8.1 at this point. The app allows users to design and build games without having to learn too much back end coding. It is similar to Gamemaker Studio, with better graphics and is completely free for download.
Project Spark has been in beta testing for the last six months, and users have already populated the community servers with homebrewed games and adventures. The tools allow anyone to build just about any sort of game they can imagine, providing budding game designers a place to hone their skills and explore game elements without having to plow through a lot of back end coding.
Some may point out that this is similar to Garry’s Mod on Steam, which has been used for a large amount of Machinima animations and other wacky projects. Microsoft is undoubtedly attempting to leverage on building a community around its gaming ecosystem, especially considering that Project Spark is also arriving on the Xbox One at the same time. There is no word on cross platform ports of Project Spark creations, although it appears that this cannot be done as of yet.
Rock band Linkin Park used the creation tools to shoot a music video back in March, while Project Spark was still in the beta test.
Those interested in trying out the tool set can download it for free on the Windows 8.1 Store or the Xbox One. Microsoft is also offering a physical disk for sale with additional content for US$39.99. The additional content can also be unlocked in the free version of Project Spark by earning in-game credits or purchasing DLC individually.