At its Professional Developers Conference in Los Angeles this week, Microsoft Research unveiled its project Boku, a PC and Xbox 360-based icon-driven tool designed to let users create their own games and using only an Xbox 360 controller.
The tool, which was itself created using XNA, appears to bridge the gulf between Microsoft’s more complex XNA Game Studio language and the user-created content of games like Media Molecule’s LittleBigPlanet for PlayStation 3, which is governed by the game’s stricter parameters.
Microsoft Research’s page for the project says, “It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.” The programming language is completely icon-driven, with programs saved as logical lists of instructions — in a manner that is vaguely reminiscent of Final Fantasy XII‘s Gambit system, which allowed for simple character A.I. programming.
However, Boku’s rules will govern entire, original games, as it allows for more complex sets of rules — for example, Boku has icons which cover concepts such as character movement and collision, item pick up, and control pad input.
A video presentation of Boku can be seen above.
Although it lacks the charm of LBP I do like the lego-like environments and I’m sure once we get more details on the tool we will have a better idea of the scope of what we will be able create.
Last Updated: November 3, 2008