Kodu is a visual programming environment that allows to create games for PC and for XBox, oriented to children and young people with no experience in development, because it presents a very intuitive interface and easy to use, totally conformed by icons representing various actions.
This programming language provides games-specific tools and libraries that offer the user the freedom to design and program their own applications using various scenarios, as well as conditions and actions that must be associated with the controls of the XBox or the keyboard and mouse of the computer.
The goal of Kodu is not that children learn to program since it is not even necessary to write code, but to become familiar with a visual environment where they can use their imagination and creativity to the maximum to develop models of animation that follow a certain Logic by applying basic programming concepts.
The development environment offers a set of interaction options that the player can have, whose corresponding icons must be associated with the event condition WHEN (when), and in turn offers a set of actions whose icons must be associated with the DO execution event ( do). An example could be as follows:
This statement will imply that when the user presses the space key of the keyboard it will cause the firing of a projectile. A set of statements of this type are those that give form and playability to an application. There are icons to determine the direction, frequency, speed and other parameters, in this case of a shot, but also applicable to any other action that must be performed by the protagonists of the game.
The software itself includes examples and tutorials for those who start using the tool. You can also find resources on the official site or browse Youtube videos for tutorials.
There is software similar to Kudo, called Scratch which is also highly recommended for children to start developing applications of playful type, but which in turn is an entertaining experience in which to express their creativity and enhance their ingenuity.
Microsoft Kodu Game Lab 220.127.116.11 is the latest version, updated in August 2016, available for Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7, 8 and 10.