Kodu Game Lab
Kodu Game Lab is a visual programming language designed to allow people to play, make and edit games. Kodu for the PC is free to download from Kodu Game Lab. The latest version of Kodu now supports the use of the micro:bit as an input device. This means that you can use the micro:bit as a game controller or connect components to the pins on the micro:bit to make for more interesting interactions with the games that you can create in Kodu. In order to use the micro:bit, you also need to download a driver. You can find a hyperlink to this on this page.
If you run Kodu with the micro:bit plugged in, it flashes a program to the micro:bit in order to let you interact with it. You should notice the micro:bit connect and reconnect in the same way it does when you flash a program in the normal way.
Kodu In Brief
You start in Kodu with a world. The world is the 3D environment where the game or story takes place. You can change the size and shape of the world and edit the terrain to make hills, valleys, water and other landscape features.
You add characters and objects to the world to create your game or story. You position the characters where you want in the world and program them to respond to input from the user or events in the game or story.
All programming statements in Kodu start with a when condition. They are followed by a section called do, listing the things that should happen in the world when the condition is met. You program these things by selecting tiles using the mouse or an Xbox controller.
What Can The micro:bit Do For You In Kodu
- You can access the A & B buttons on the micro:bit.
- You can get readings from the accelerometer and make characters move or turn when the micro:bit is tilted.
- You can detect when the micro:bit is being shaken.
- You can 'say' things on the LED matrix like the score or some other message.
- You can read and write digital and analogue signals to the GPIO pins on the micro:bit. This means that you could use electronic components on a breadboard or with crocodile/alligator clips.
There are a large number of tutorials built into Kodu and you can watch a video of someone designing the world to help you learn the basics of Kodu. You can also download the worlds that other people have made. You can edit worlds that you download or make following a tutorial and then edit them to look and play the way you want them to. You don't have to do lots of in depth programming to make things happen in Kodu. You can get good results with a small amount of experimentation.
The few pages here are not going to go into lots of detail about Kodu, just the basics of using the features of the micro:bit with it. To go further, you will find yourself spending more time developing your knowledge of Kodu than the micro:bit and will find the best help through the built-in tutorials and the information on the Kodu site.