Kodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone. I've been working with a group of KS2 children for the last few weeks developing games so I've put together a list of resources which I've found useful:

Getting started

To get started, download Kodu for your PC (Windows only I'm afraid as its made by Microsoft). You can comfortably program using the keyboard, but iff you want to program it using an XBox controller (the kids love this) then you can pick them up online. Next have a look at one of the tutorials below:

Video Tutorials

The video below is a tutorial showing how to create a short game on Kodu game lab where students have to collect a number of apples to finish the game.

Also, Matt Britland has put together a playlist of Kodu tutorials on Youtube

In-game Tutorials

The Kodu programming environment has lots of tutorials within the game itself. These show you how to perform lots of different programming feats such as collision detection and adding scores to your game. The children can use these to learn independently.

GameLab Resources

The GameLab website has a growing list of resources to help you get to grips with Kodu. This includes a classroom kit, challenges, a forum and 'hour of code' resources. It also includes a 'Mission to Mars' section which ties in with the Science curriculum.

Lesson Plans

This is a great scheme of work for Kodu and lasts for around 8 lessons and takes the children through game design, creation, testing and evaluation.

This lesson is differentiated to allow students to debug code and to create a medieval kodu game based on a set of instructions from a game company.

Books

Kodu for Kids: The Official Guide to Creating Your Own Video Games

This book has lots of simple to follow instructions and screenshots, and with over 500 pages guides you through how to develop your own X-Box games. There are instructions for four games (from start to finish) which include:

  • 1-Player Shooter
  • 2-Player Competition
  • Mission Quest
  • Side-Scroller Experience

The book shows you how to:

  • Learn how games really work
  • Master Kodu’s easy tools, controls, and programming
  • Imagine your quest and plan your game
  • Script a great story
  • Create your characters and make them move and talk
  • Invent and build new worlds
  • Design weapons, targets, and objects
  • Build enemies and make them fight
  • Add amazing sound, music, and special effects
  • Set up multiple players, levels, and points
  • Discover expert tips and tricks for better games
  • Make everything work together
  • Share your games with players all over the world

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Gary Hall Gary Hall is based in East Yorkshire, England, and has a background in education, marketing and technology. This site is a collection of ideas and resources on these topics.