I was already bang up for a piece of Project Spark, Microsoft's world-building sim for Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC - it's a gorgeously upholstered, easy-to-use toolset modelled on the existing Kodu Gamelab, which gave us the hysterical Bowser's Duel. That was before Microsoft Studios manager Michael Saxs Persson revealed that you can create space combat sims using it. Must not cry. Must not cry. Somebody hold my hand, please.
"We often challenge ourselves to reconstruct popular games. One of our guys did X-Wing vs TIE Fighter - every power up was included and the X-Wing was fully functioning," Saxs Persson told OXM as part of a 10-part Project Spark write-up in our current issue, on sale now. "Somebody else did Force Unleashed, just to see if it could be done."
Talk is cheap, of course - I'd like to see the reality in motion before I commit too many emotions. But the merest thought of, say, a Colony Wars-style experience surfacing care of Spark leaves me short of breath. Yes, I'm aware that Colony Wars is Sony's baby - that's why my take on the idea would be self-referentially called "Felony Wars". Safe as houses!
"I think the fun for me is to see genres come alive that are not doing particularly well, but they should," Saxs continued. "Like 90s-style RPGs, where they are full of adventure and wonder and you're just hanging out talking to townspeople.
"One of the engineers, she made, like, this 40-minute epic quest," he added. "I can't remember the last time I saw something like that. Perhaps Final Fantasy back in the '90s?"
More of this sort of thing, please. Which particular genre would you like to revive using Project Spark? This video may be instructive. The toolset will be freely available via download later this year.