Microsoft’s Project Spark is going away. I am royally bummed. If you are not familiar with PS you have missed out. It is the coolest 3-D game authoring software you can imagine. It is definitely written for kids and hobbyists but it is still really cool. I can see why Microsoft is ending it. It looks support intensive and it is free. No money involved and MS already has a lot of no money involved products out there. I was planning to center a game course around PS but maybe it is for the best. I now have to learn Unity well enough to more than dabble in it. It is just that PS allowed the user to make such cool terrain and had interesting characters. A kid could whip a half way decent simple game in an hour and then share it with others. The programming language really was not a language and was a bit restricted but it was still good enough to get a kid started with some fundamental thinking with programming.
The loss of PS is going to leave a pretty big gap between Kodu and whatever else someone want to use after Kodu. I do not see Kodu or PS as great programming environments, but more as entry level drugs. Play with them for a while then get the kids interested in big kid languages where they can do more. PS was just such a great combination of building and programming. I can hope that MS comes out with something new and cool in this direction again.