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Make Your Own Game

Popsci: Developing PC and video games is a crapshoot at best. My own self-published Heavyweight Thunder took a year to build, cost a small fortune, and ultimately tanked with critics. But if Microsoft has its way, literally anyone, regardless of technical know-how, will soon have the opportunity to create jaw-dropping digital diversions.

Meet Kodu, a user-friendly approach to programming games that's so simple even adults can comprehend it. Recently unveiled at the Consumer Electronics Show, the system's icon-driven interface lets you quickly build entire 3D universes from scratch. Starting with an empty world, players can resculpt terrain or add objects, characters, and buildings of varying size, shape, and color just by pressing a button. Commands are represented by pictures of each item or individual, easing newcomers into the process. Once populated, everything inhabiting your universe can then be assigned simple behaviors.

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