Kodu- Programming as a Creative Medium
Kodu game development software allows kids to create games on the PC and Xbox via a simple visual programming language that is completely icon-based. Kodu can be used to teach creativity, problem solving, storytelling, as well as programming regardless of one's design or programming skills. It is not, unfortunately, screenreader accessible.
Kodu is completely free to use and requires no product keys. It is available on the Kodu website.
Kodu is designed for children but can be enjoyable for anyone. Kodu is compatible with Windows versions Vista and higher, Windows 10 is suggested. It is not compatible with Macs. The programming environment can run on an xbox.
The core of the Kodu project is the programming user interface. The language is simple, entirely icon-based, and is designed specifically for game development. Programs are composed of pages, which are composed using rules, and then are further divided into conditions and actions.
Tutorials are provided so that a even raw beginner can use and understand Kodu to advance rapidly into building games with numerous features and complexities. I have found that students will tend to become engrossed with the software and accomplish remarkable results in a short time.
Compatible Xbox 360 Game Controller for input — no keyboard required
Runs on XBox 360 and PC (MS Vista or later)
Interactive terrain editor
Bridge and path builder
Terrain editor – create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
20 different characters with different abilities and conditions
The Kodu Game Lab website has numerous resources including curriculum and lesson plans, step by step projects, a teacher forum and much more.
Carnegie Mellon University has many Kodu materials. From my own experience, Kodu can facilitate an understanding of logical sequences and algorithms even in elementary students. However, given that experience, it is suggested to use Kodu with upper elementary through high school students.