Microsoft Research FUSE Labs - Kodu Game Lab
Programming application that KS3 pupils can use from Microsoft Research FUSE Labs.
Realistic visual programming which creates games. Free.
Kodu Game Lab is a highly stimulating child friendly visual programming application suitable for KS3. It allows pupils to create games which can be played at school or at home, on a PC or XBOX.
This software perfectly fits Michael Gove’s 2012 plans to introduce programming into secondary education. A visual programming environment allows pupils to create any game based application. This might include storytelling, interactive presentations, problem solving, quizzes, whodunits as well as more complex programming tasks.
The application offers excellent potential for differentiation. Tutorials are available online and there are many lesson guides and examples on the website. There is a facility to showcase the finished games online, via the Microsoft Fuse Labs website. Pupils can also evaluate and appraise each other’s programs online. For the more able, there are international competitions run by Microsoft and other partners.
Hardware requirements, network
• Supported operating systems: Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
• A graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher is required.
• NET Framework 3.5 or higher is required. XNA Framework 3.1 Redistributable is required.
This software needs to run on individual workstations. However, there are no issues saving to shared fileservers. Programs can also be saved to the cloud.
ICT curriculum uses and referencing• Perfect for the 2012 programming initiative announced by Michael Gove.
• KS3 POS: 1.3 (a and b) 2.2 (b and c), 2.4 (a,b,and c)
Possible teaching activities and cross curricular use
• Create animated story books.
• Create 3D racing games.
• Create 3D adventure games.
• Create interactive presentations or IWB programs.
• Create 2D side-scrolling action games.