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November 21st, 2010

New version of Kodu Game Lab

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 : Categories Consolarium, games design

Those clever people at Microsoft’s Fuse Labs have released a fantastic new build of the Kodu Game Lab software which we have been using throughout Scotland.  There are many new features and fixes in the software but the main ones to draw your attention to are:

  • New tutorial systems which makes it even easier to get started using Kodu
  • New shortcuts to allow easier use of the keyboard in games
  • New “fabric” terrain (so no more blocky terrain – unless you want it)
  • Must faster rendering and performance overall


The new tutorial system makes it much easier than ever before to follow a tutorial as the instructions now appear in an overlay pane at the top of the screen.  These instructions very clearly direct the learner as he/she begins to use Kodu for the first time. The new tutorials take a learner right from adding his/her first character and programming it through to building worlds, scoring and adding filters to Kodu programs.

Kodu's new tutorial system

Kodu's new tutorial system

The new terrain system allows you to create blocky and smooth terrain in the same world. So a game which looked like this…

Previous "Blocky" terrain in Kodu

Previous "Blocky" terrain in Kodu

Now can look like this…

New smooth terrain in Kodu

New smooth terrain in Kodu

Visually, it makes quite a difference and it’s possible to mix the terrain types so you can have blocky “cubic” look and the smooth “fabric” look in the same world! It’s also easier to add keyboard controls as support for using the arrow keys and the WASD key combination are built into the new version.  This means that you can add control using these keys using one command instead of four.  Exporting your programs is easier now (in windowed mode) as you get a standard windows file dialogue and can save your exported game files where you want on your computer. So no more hunting around to see where they are! And if you want to print your program you can just press Ctrl+P in the edit mode and it will print to your default printer.  You can now also create games which shoot at the Kodu cursor (so missle command fans will be happy).  The launch command can now launch objects towards characters as well!

There are lots of great enhancements to the software and we recommend that you upgrade to it if you can.  You can download Kodu Game Lab from here and read the full list of changes on the Kodu Team Blog. Remember, you can follow the Kodu Team on twitter using the tag @koduteam for great updates and information.


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