updated 06:15 pm EDT, Wed July 9, 2014
Game creation tool exits beta and earns physical, digital versions for October release
Team Dakota and Microsoft Studios announced today that the game creation tool Project Spark would see a release later this year. Coming out on October 7 in the Americas, October 9 in Asia-Pacific territories and October 10 in Europe, the software is being offered in downloadable and retail versions for $40.
The creation software allows users to create a large array of content, ranging from video games, films or other larger worlds. User-generated content is then shared with the community, giving gamers a chance to play inside the creations of others. Starting with an existing level or from scratch, would-be developers can design the world using free or premium pieces down to the behavior level of objects.
In the retail version of Project Spark, which is being referred to as the "Project Spark Starter Pack," players gain access to the first science-fiction pack for the software called "Galaxies: First Contact." With the sci-fi pack comes a playable warrior champion called Sir Haakon "Hawk" the Knight. It also includes the first episode of an adventure campaign called "Champions Quest: Void Storm."
Additionally, those already creating inside the Project Spark beta received welcome news that their content won't be removed when the title moves out of beta. Instead, the game will be updated, leaving credits, unlocked content and favorite levels as they are, without putting the software through a beta wipe.
Project Spark entered open beta in December 2013 for Windows users, with Xbox One owners given the chance to play with the tool in March. During the testing phase, some of the elements that were seen as limiting for Project Spark were removed. "Spark Time," a 40-minute block of free time to sample paid tools and view content above the player level, was removed in March.
During E3, Microsoft announced that Conker, the squirrel from the Rare game franchise, would make an appearance in Project Spark. The company announced support for an Xbox 360 version at the show, but no mention of the software coming out on the older console was mentioned. Both Xbox One and Windows 8.1 versions of Project Spark are available on the October release dates.