posted this 21 September 2011
NEW! We are very pleased to announce Kodu v1.2 and the all-new Kodu Community Website!
What's new in Kodu 1.2?
In this release, we have added new storytelling features. One of our most frequent questions is "how can I use Kodu to tell stories?" The answer was that it was possible, but it took a lot of effort to make it work.
Now in v1.2, we have added a new tile, the [Said] tile. You use the [Said] tile in conjunction with the [Hear] filter to detect when another character has said something of interest. (No more timing responses by hand!)
Just like with other sensors, you can filter the [Hear][Said] combination not only to particular strings, but also to specific types of characters, character colors, or distances from your character. It tries to match such that listening for "Some" will match when someone says "Something", "Some thing", or even "Some! Thing!" (this is called substring matching). It will also ignore case, so that a character saying the word "some" (all lower case letters) will also match.
For even more flexibility, we've introduced a new "tag" system. For example, let's suppose you want your character to react whenever it is greeted by another character. But you don't (yet) know what all the other characters might say when they greet your character, as you haven't programmed them yet. (Or perhaps students will be programming the other characters as an exercise.)
When programming the speaking characters, it would be nice to say that "what I am about to say is a greeting", without having to worry about what the exact string is. Tags allow you to do exactly this!
Here is an example using tags:
In the character giving the greeting, type: WHEN: [Timer][5 seconds] DO: [Say <tag greeting>Bonjour!!]
(This character will say "Bonjour" every 5 seconds. And this line of text will be "tagged" as "greeting").
In the character listening for the greeting type: WHEN: [Hear][Said <tag greeting>] DO: [Score][Red][1 point]
(This will add one point to the red score every time a any "greeting" tag is heard. Note that the actual text string "Bonjour" is *not* being compared, and you can use any tag name you choose--"greeting" was an arbitrary choice).
This is a powerful system where characters can be programmed to listen for tags (which never show on-screen), independently of the precise string being displayed in a speech bubble.
What's the Kodu Community Website?
Also new in this release is the Kodu Community Website (including the discussion forum you are reading now!) This gives Kodu users the opportunity to share more easily, with a broader community, and to exchange ideas and feedback on the Web.
As before, anyone can share a game world they have made from within Kodu, or download and play game worlds others have made. If users log in, they can then comment on each other's games, and they get a true "identity" on the Community site (the site will keep track of all games uploaded by a particular user, for example, to make it easy to find other great games by an author you like, for example).
New to Kodu?
Here is a link to our brief Getting Started guide.
Give these new features a try, and we'd love to know what you think!
-The Kodu Team