S. Somasegar is the corporate vice president of the Developer Division at Microsoft. Learn more about Somasegar.
Watching Microsoft Popfly evolve has been incredibly exciting for me. With its Silverlight-based drag-and-drop capabilities, Popfly has been a fun and easy way to build and share mashups, gadgets, Web pages, and applications. Popfly has won the hearts and minds of many, many people as evidenced by a lot of favorable press coverage and awards.
Today, I am excited to announce the alpha of the Popfly Game Creator.
The Silverlight-based Game Creator is a very rich and yet very simple way to create all sorts of casual games without having to write a single line of code. Whether it is a space shooting game, a racing game or a maze, the extremely friendly and interactive UI guides you, the user, to express your creativity.
You can start with a known collection of game templates that are already built in and customize and share them, or start with a fresh idea and a clean canvas and build your own game. You can add actors, scenes, background scores, behaviors, movement, etc, from a large library and bring your games to life in a matter of minutes. And, over time, we will be allowing you to add to the library, similar to the concept of blocks with the mashup creator. And like the block editor and mashup creator, for those that feel that they need more functionality, they can easily step into source code, editing and previewing as they make changes. Casual games created using the Game Creator will have all the same attributes that Mashups and webpages built with Popfly have – they can be rated, shared and embedded as Windows Vista sidebar gadgets and on Facebook.
The intent and the concept behind the mashup creator and the game creator are the same. Software creation, so far, has been restricted to those that can code. We are trying to “democratize development” such that anyone with a neat idea and a little bit of time can express themselves. The mashup creator was one step in that direction, and we will continue to innovate and expand the features to enrich the mashup experience. We are now adding another dimension that people enjoy doing – game creation.
Give it a try. It is on the usual Microsoft Popfly site. Click on “Create Stuff” and pick “Game”. You will see a lot of samples and Help to get you started like this video which is a “how to” for building a space shooter game.