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Microsoft has made the release date official for Team Dakota's Project Spark. The game design and creation tool has received quite a bit of positive press up to this point; and Microsoft has finally set a release date for the toolset. Gamers and game-designers-in-training can look to grab the retail starter pack of Project Spark beginning October 7th.
The news came from a recent post on Major Nelson's blog where it was detailed that the game would be exciting its beta and would be available as a full release this fall, joining many other big-name titles from first and third-party studios.
As noted on Nelson's blog...
“...we’ll also be making an Xbox One disc edition of Project Spark available at retail for $39.99 USD. The “Project Spark Starter Pack” is loaded with great content, including starter packs filled with sounds, effects, animations, and props, plus advanced creator features, offline content, and experience boosts which allow players to unlock new content that much faster.”
Project Spark is a game creation software tool. It allows players to engage in simple and advanced forms of game creation. The basic editor allows players to select from a number of different preset materials, animations, characters and settings, and then build upon those themes a wide variety of different interactive games.
It's possible to make platformers, fighting games, role-playing games or point-and-click adventure titles. Even more than that, it's possible to actually design interactive movies or cinematics, similar to the specially made interactive experience featuring Linkin Park, which was pretty impressive.
Even in my own initial impressions of the beta, there was a lot of power being put right there at the fingertips of gamers. It's a lot more intuitive than other game creation toolsets out there because it also doubles-down as a hub for enabling some gamers to simply browse through and experience creations made by other players. In this way, you could technically pick up a physical or digital copy of Project Spark and never have to worry about content-creation at all; you can just play stuff that everyone else already made.
It was also pretty smart of Microsoft to hold off on the release of the game well after it first entered into its beta phase. Why? Because by the time the game lands on store shelves there will be enough half-made, fully-made and mostly-playable games available for the average consumer to dabble into.
Releasing Project Spark too soon probably would have been pretty detrimental for the casual gamer who picked up a copy and found very little there in terms of finished content. That's not to mention that a lot of people may not instantly get into Spark and want to build an entirely new game from the ground up.
Nevertheless, the game is scheduled to release for Windows 8 systems and the Xbox One on October 7th, both at physical retail outlets and digitally on the respective storefronts for both platforms. For more info, feel free to visit the official website.