Team Dakota 2014 Wrap-up Blog Post

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Team Dakota 2014 Wrap-up Blog Post

Post#1 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:56 am

moved over from forums

Dear Community,

As 2014 comes to a close, Project Spark and Team Dakota have a lot to reflect on. One year ago, we were just releasing our first beta keys. We were starting to open up the hood to our game-changing platform. We remember the excitement amongst the community and across our entire team. It was a happy-nervous-surreal time for us as we waited to see what you’d make and play.

It turns out, a lot of creators made a lot of things. The community changed us, our approach and our ultimate Project Spark experience in so many ways. We knew Project Spark would be a boon to creators and players. But we never could have guessed how many different kinds of experiences the community would make with our tools. There are games, movies, sculptures, fan art, assemblies, homages, experiments, tutorials, starter kits, modular kits, prop kits… and that only covers half of the creations! These creations were consumed with gusto by our amazing player community with more than 8 million downloads of UGC levels.

2015 is going to continue to be exciting for Project Spark. We launched this October knowing that was only the beginning of our journey. That journey continues in new and exciting ways in 2015. Conker, Champion’s Quest Episode 2, new user experiences and some of our best Content Packs and Platform updates, this is only a taste of what we’ll deliver on in 2015.

There is a lot we’re proud of in 2014. We want to talk about what we’ve been up to and what our community has been doing. I hope you enjoy this end of year wrap up from our team.

Happy Holidays and Season’s Greetings,
Rahul Sandil
Gamertag: rahulsan

On December 19 Project Spark just ended its first ever official GameJam, in collaboration with Ford. More than 400 levels were submitted. Team Dakota is currently in the judging process for all entries. It’s going to be tough picking between such amazing entries.

To our community that might not have tried any #GameJam entries yet, there are plenty of fantastic UGC to check out. We have separate feeds for each GameJam category as well as a feed for all submissions. Take a look at all of them for some inspiring games and experiences.

We’re excitedly looking forward to announcing the final winners of this first GameJam in January. The reception has been amazing, which means you can expect future GameJams for our global community.

We have finished our first run of crazy frequent Content Packs. Over the past 12 weeks we have added 12 new packs for our players and creators. You now have more choices for your creations then you can imagine, with new Content Packs continuing to come frequently in 2015.

Our next content for creators is the Epic Artist World Builder Pack. This pack, to be released on December 30, unlocks the ability to tint your terrain, make your terrain textures move and scale, set physics on your terrain and turn on and off terrain rendering properties. This pack will also increase your ability to record custom animations with Kinect from 1 to 10 minutes. We want to put more creation tools in the hands of our community and this is one of those packs that does just that.

Nearly 100,000 worlds have been shared in Project Spark. We had a lot to play throughout the year. Getting from 100k to 25 was very tough. Also note that GameJam entries aren’t included in the list due to the fact judging will be taking place on those. With that, here’s what made our list!

25. Home Alone – Short Dark Stories (by nelsonjav)
The first entry on our list is a scary level taking place in the middle of the night. Can you survive the twists and turns nelsonjav throws at you?

24. Project Project Spark (by DavidJCobb)
Sometimes we’re wowed by the tech of what can be made in Project Spark. The tech that has most wowed us is DavidJCobb’s recreation of the create mode in Project Spark. This meta experience expertly hits on everything you can do while you create.

D3L3T3D spent time on this level pushing the limits of character design. That paired with great 3rd person view shooter mechanics makes it to our list.

22. The Necromagical Pumpkin Patrol (by charlotti)
This was the first cool example of bringing in champions to user worlds. It was a fun Halloween level with custom pumpkin-fied enemies.

21. Take the Blue One (by Ralme)
It’s not often that we get to play around with a brand new puzzle game. Take the Blue One seems simple at first, but it’s a puzzler with so many different layers. Great job by Ralme.

20. Super Spark 64 (by Rodrigo Bezzi)
This level stirs up so much nostalgia in our team. Jumping into the world one painting and having it bring us to a very familiar platform was a joyful moment. And great use of level linking, by the way.

19. Prologue - Escape from Vilkas (by II Loomis II)
The atmosphere, story and setting of Escape from Vilkas drew us in. We were so drawn to where we could go next that we were sad when we got to the end. We can’t wait to see more of that world.

18. Stuff and Things – A Game (by NieNieChu)
Half platformer, half experience, Stuff and Things inspired our team, showing us the beauty you can accomplish with just primitives. It’s a game that makes us watch and wonder.

17. Murder is Random v1.1 (by LadyLexUK)
There is such unique and also quirky gameplay in here. It’s a murder mystery with intrigue and minigames! The setting, design and mechanics made this a no-brainer for our top 25 list.

16. Eve’s Story (by Holy LightRider)
The story, level design and progression in this game are what set it above many others. We sunk our teeth right into the narrative of the game and kept playing through to the end.

15. Gradius Fox (by Paradoxmoomoose)
This is a 2D space shooter done well in both the design and mechanics front. It’s a deserving challenge that we’ve enjoyed playing over and over again.

14. Godzilla v3.0 (by Rust Plague)
This is a game that has improved vastly with each iteration. Godzilla 3.0 is enjoyable and very replayable, with plenty to do and plenty of new characters to try out. We hear Rust Plague is working on a next version and we can’t wait to see it.

13. Ultimate Frisbee (by Ianlrod)
Who would have thought arena-style ultimate Frisbee could be so fun. The polish and mechanics of Ianlrod’s game makes it something enjoyable for all ages and skillsets. And that arc of that Frisbee, so perfect!

12. Soundodger (by MindcraftMax)
It’s a simple concept that gets zany really fast. Soundodger includes custom music created with Project Spark synths that reacts to the game and the teeth-gritting challenge of avoiding all things in a small little circle.

11. #ARM Kingdom in Peril (by ST Aabra)
We could just say climbing and ducking mechanics and leave it at that, but Kingdom in Peril offers a lot more in gameplay. It’s hard, but it’s rewarding.

10. Stallion (by ValTrust)
If you can understand English is not ValTrust’s first language, you can see the polish and pure enjoyment they packed into this arena-style RPG game. We keep coming back and playing more.

9. Super 16+ (by Defco 7T)
The first time we saw Super 16+ we didn’t know we were looking at Project Spark. The amount of detail Defco 7T put in this level is amazing to behold. And it includes interesting gameplay mechanics that bring this arcade-style game to a new level.

8. Treys Adventure (by AnteRehn)
AnteRehn is one of our most prolific creators and they are showing us time and time again that they make great experiences. Their newest adventure pushes the boundaries even further on what you can do with a 3D action game, including saving states.

7. Pixel Run (by Chrisco)
It’s Pixel Art in Project Spark and it looks and runs well. At first we were drawn in by the art of Chrisco’s level. Then we stayed for the gameplay and realized how fun this could be.

6. Short Film in Space (by x4ormulA1Rac3rx)
Nothing in Project Spark has had us laughing and grinning as much as Short Film in Space. A hilarious 7 minute film that shows the power of camera controls and pacing with our toolset.

5. Little Big Plan It (by Mr Xbob)
How much charm can you fit into your level? Mr Xbob showed us that it can be a lot. Also the ending, we still don’t know how he set that up. A great, light experience.

4. Orbit 32 – Void Origins (by Wertandrew2)
Not only is this a cool look at an alternative to how the Void might have come into existence, but includes thrilling gameplay. This is a level you will want to experience from a creator that consistently makes great experiences.

3. #ARM The Cynbal Wars (by xx1MAN1RIOTxx)
The polish, precision and gameplay with The Cynbal Wars are top notch. With great shooting mechanics, cool character designs, a selection wheel and a full marketplace, xx1MAN1RIOTxx shows how polished you can go.

2. R.T. (by Spawn N8NE)
Absolutely terrifying and very fun to watch co-workers play and freak out. Spawn N8NE effectively made what he set out to do. Something that would haunt us in our dreams.

1. Dark Mines (by GrzesiekBialek)
This is a game that has lived and grown with Project Spark. First uploaded very early in beta, GrzesiekBialek has never stopped updating it to make Dark Mines a fully playable experience. Their dedication is commendable (their last update was just a week ago) and they have transformed Dark Mines into what we think is the best playable experience in Project Spark.
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