Some Serious Fun With Kodu Programming

As regular readers know I am a huge fan of Kodu, the highly graphical, easy to program game development product from Microsoft Research. It is easy enough that an 8 year old can create some great fun games with it (and some smart younger kids have done cool stuff as well) so it is easy to take this software lightly. But as I play with it more and more I find that the opportunity for complexity and serious computer science is really baked into it. One of the members of the Kodu team recently discovered a Kodu soccer (or football if you will) game written by a middle school student. The game had an artificial intelligence but one that wasn’t all that smart. It basically played like elementary school kids are likely to play. In other words everyone after the ball and no one playing position. Still pretty impressive for a middle school student. Joe, our Kodu team member, worked on a serious soccer video game in a previous life so decided to up the ante a bit. His AI is smarter but he is challenging others to beat his by writing their own AI code. You can get the Kodu Soccer Game Jam v01 here:

Kodu Soccer Game Jam v01

Can you beat this AI....? The original AI was built by middle schooler, Juan G, from Kent Technology Academy. I thought what he had done was great and I was inspired by my time working on FIFA... FIFA uses a technique that allows the AI to see the pitch in terms of threats and opportunities; I wanted to see if I could reproduce this in KODU! Once you have an AI that beats mine; share it and post a message with a link on the forums. Let's keep JAMing on making better AI!!!

Read more about this challenge and how it came about at February Game Jam: Soccer AI Challenge And think about if you can do better! If nothing else I think you can learn a lot and get some ideas from reviewing Joe’s code. Let me know if you take this challenge on and how it goes.

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