Teacher Resource Pack
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Table of Contents
About Kodu Game Lab _______________________________________________________________2
About Project Spark __________________________________________________________________3
About the Competition _______________________________________________________________4
What Should be Submitted? ____________________________________________________________________________ 4
The Deadline____________________________________________________________________________________________ 4
About the Games _______________________________________________________________________________________ 4
Prizes ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ 4
Promoting the Competition _____________________________________________________________________________ 5
Judging Criteria _________________________________________________________________________________________ 6
Competition Guidance _______________________________________________________________7
Game Creation Process _________________________________________________________________________________ 7
Downloading and Installing Kodu Game Lab ____________________________________________________________ 8
Built-in Tutorials_________________________________________________________________________________________ 8
Some Basic Instructions _________________________________________________________________________________ 8
Scheme of Work ________________________________________________________________________________________ 9
Using the Kodu Game Lab Community Site _____________________________________________________________10
Using the Game Documentation Template ______________________________________________________________ 11
Exporting the Games from Kodu Game Lab _____________________________________________________________12
Sharing Project Spark Games____________________________________________________________________________12
How to Submit your Entries _____________________________________________________________________________13
Quick Reference Guide ______________________________________________________________15
Useful Online Resources _____________________________________________________________16
Appendix ___________________________________________________________________________ 17
About Kodu Game Lab
Kodu Game Lab is a visual programming language for creating games, it is accessible for children as young
as Key Stage 2 and enjoyable for anyone.
Kodu can be controlled using an Xbox controller or a mouse and keyboard. No matter what device is being
used, help relevant to the given device is displayed at all times in the top left-hand corner of the screen:
Here the help corresponds to the buttons on the Xbox controller as this is what is being used.
The Kodu Game Lab environment is very user-friendly; once the world has been created new items can be
added from a circular menu as shown below:
Programming instructions are put together to form graphical scripts, by selecting conditions and actions
from graphical circular menus. The following example would cause the character to eat an apple when he
bumps into it:
About Project Spark
Project Spark is a soon-to-be-released open-world digital canvas than enables anyone to build, play and
share whatever they can imagine. As a pilot this year we have included this in our competition
to enable children to stretch their skills a little bit further. It will only be available for
Windows 8.1 and Xbox One.
Project Spark is developed by the same team as Kodu Game Lab and is aimed at a slightly
older audience; it contains a sophisticated world development system with a range of characters
and objects. Like Kodu Game Lab it can be used with the mouse and keyboard or Xbox controller.
Programming instructions are set out in a similar way to Kodu Game Lab:
You can find out more about Project Spark and sign-up at projectspark.com.
About the Competition
The Kodu Kup is open to any child enrolled as attending a UK school and who is aged between seven to
fourteen years of age at the date of entry. Children are entered by their appropriate school teacher and
must be entered for the competition as a team of three people. Please note, children cannot enter
themselves and must, therefore, be entered by their teacher as both the Kodu Game Lab and PiL Network
details). Follow @KoduKup on Twitter or ‘Like’ us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/KoduKup) to receive
regular updates, including dates of free training sessions!
What Should be Submitted?
Teachers should enter their pupils’ work using the Microsoft Partners in Learning website, two files will need
to be submitted per team, these include the game itself along with corresponding game documentation
created using the template provided.
particular, acknowledge that by posting a game idea, the entrant is agreeing to share the idea with other
The closing date for all entries is Friday 30th
About the Games
There is no specific theme or audience for the game but it must have a clear storyline, and well thought out
characters with a detailed playing environment. Schools may wish to link this to current literacy projects
already taking place.
There will be three winning teams in each of the following categories:
The top three teams in each category will receive an invitation to present their games to a panel of judges
from the games industry at Microsoft Headquarters in Reading. At the end of the day the winners of each
category will receive a Surface RT tablet and the overall winning team will take home the Kodu Kup.
The entry must be the team’s own work.
There should be three members in each team.
All team members must be enrolled at the same school.
All individuals or team members must be within the 7 to 14 age group.
All entry materials must be submitted in the English language.
All entrants and their teachers acknowledge and agree to adhere to the Kodu Game Lab, Project
Promoting the Competition
A sample poster is available in the Appendix to be displayed in school. The poster contains blank boxes, as
shown below for the teacher to complete, indicating how pupils can participate in the competition.
Examples are given below.
Different delivery methods
Example if competition is running as a lunchtime club. Example, if competition is being run during lessons.
Where? Room 30 Where? Room 30
The following mark-scheme will be used to judge each submission. Each area will be graded on a scale of 1-
3 (3 = Exceeds expectations, 2 = Meets expectations, 1 = Fails to meet expectations)
Design Aspect Grade
Suitable logo and team name are given.
Description of the game includes a clear storyline, characters and setting.
Consideration of the competition and unique selling points.
TOTAL (Game Documentation)
Clear and helpful instructions are used at the beginning and throughout the game.
The theme and storyline for the game are clear.
Helpful feedback is provided when the player advances or fails to advance through the
Navigation is simple and the game is intuitive to use.
TOTAL (Game Play Experience)
Game includes at least 3 objects that have received Kode.
World settings are configured properly to make sure the game functions correctly.
Game has an objective with “win” and “lose” conditions.
Game Kode functions correctly in all areas with all sprites.
TOTAL (Game Complexity)
Visual design of the world is creative and reflects the concept of the game.
Sound effects/music have been used to enhance gameplay.
TOTAL(Design of the Environment)
Mark-scheme created in reference to Studio K (www.gameslearningsociety.org/studiok)
Game Creation Process
The process of creating a game should follow the systems lifecycle:
It is important to know what is to be included in the game, how it will look, the storyline and how it can be
won or lost. Planning out the content should be encouraged before pupils begin to create their games. As a
teacher it also makes it easier to provide help as you can use these designs to get a clearer idea of what the
pupils are aiming towards.
Most of the pupils’ time should be spent on creating their game by following their designs, although they
may wish to make amendments along the way. It may be advantageous for pupils to work through the
built-in tutorials before they begin creating their own games.
Before submitting the game for the competition it is a good idea for pupils to test their game to ensure it
functions in the way they expect. They should also test this on their peers by uploading their games to the
Kodu Game Lab or Project Spark community websites, they will then be able to easily share their game with
others and view ratings and comments about their game.
Once testing is complete pupils should be encouraged to think about ways in which their game could be
improved, some of these points may relate to those raised at the testing stage. If there is time they should
then embed some of these improvements into their final game.
Downloading and Installing Kodu Game Lab
Kodu Game Lab is free and can be downloaded from www.kodugamelab.com. The system requirements are
Supported operating systems: Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, Windows XP
A graphics card that supports DirectX 9.0c and Shader Model 2.0 or higher is required. .NET
Framework 3.5 or higher is required. XNA Framework 3.1 Redistributable is required.
If you are using a Windows 8 device, Kodu Game Lab can also be installed from the Windows Store.
There are many built-in tutorials found in Kodu Game Lab. It would be advisable for both the teacher and
pupils involved in the competition to work through these before they start. This will give them a greater
understanding of the functionality of the software.
A range of tutorials can be found In the ‘Lessons’ Section after selecting ‘Load World’ from the menu.
Some Basic Instructions
As a reference guide, some basic, commonly used instructions found within Kodu Game Lab, have been
Controlling a Character
These scripts can be used to control the movement
of the characters:
1. Allows the player to be controlled using
the Xbox controller.
2. Allows the player to be controlled with the
This script will cause the character to eat apples
when they are bumped into.
This character will always follow a set path around
This script will cause the enemy to shoot blips at
the Kodu character.
This script will enable the player to shoot by using
the A button on the gamepad.
This script will cause the score to increase by one
when a player bumps into a coin.
Health and Damage
This script will cause the player to receive damage
to their health every time they bump into the Cycle
Scheme of Work
A full scheme of work and resources for teaching with Kodu Game Lab (from a Computing context) can be
downloaded from the following address:
A series of video tutorials, developed by the ‘Queen of Kodu’ can be found on YouTube. Typing “Queen of
Kodu” into a search on YouTube will bring up the full range of tutorials. There is also a range of condensed
tutorial videos, also on Youtube called “Video Kodelets”.
Using the Kodu Game Lab Community Site
To encourage the marketing of their games in school children should upload their game onto the Kodu
Game Lab Community site (www.kodugamelab.com). Other people will then be able to play and ‘like’ their
games and also give feedback; this will enable any peer assessment to be carried out and will also mean the
pupils can show their parents at home. Ideally pupils will upload their games to this site prior to submitting
their competition entry to enable them to respond to any feedback received and make improvements to
their games. Before uploading add the keyword “KoduKupUK” to the game title so they will be easy to find
To upload a game to the Kodu Game Lab Community Site follow the steps below (alternatively you can view
a tutorial video demonstrating this here: bit.ly/KoduUpload)
1. Once the game has been saved select ‘Load world’ from the menu and find the game you wish to
2. Select the game and a menu will appear, as shown below; select the ‘Share’ option.
3. You will then be prompted to sign-in. This site uses a Microsoft ID to login, you are not required to
login to upload a game but it is advisable. This may be dependent on the restrictions on the school
4. You will receive the following confirmation when the world has been uploaded:
There are two ways to access games that have been saved to the
community site. You can either select ‘Community’ from the home screen
of Kodu Game Lab (shown on the right) or go to the ‘Worlds’ section on
the Kodu Game Lab Community website (www.kodugamelab.com). All
games that have been tagged correctly will be found at the following link:
Using the Game Documentation Template
A template has been provided for the pupils to create accompanying documentation for their games. This is
available in Microsoft Word format:
It would be good to include some concept artwork in this document which could be hand-drawn then
scanned. It is advisable to save this as a .pdf file before uploading to preserve any formatting or fonts used
and the positions of any images. Please do not remove any sections from this template but you may wish to
add sections if required.
Each team should
come up with a name
and logo for their
“game studio”. The
logo may be hand-
drawn and scanned
or created digitally.Throughout the template
there are placeholders for
text giving help on what
should be added. All text
in grey is a placeholder
and can be typed over as
Exporting the Games from Kodu Game Lab
Before you can submit the games they will need to be exported from Kodu Game Lab, this is a very simple
process, the steps to follow are given below (alternatively you can watch a tutorial video here:
1. Once the game has been saved select ‘Load’ world from the menu and find the game you wish to
2. Select the game and a menu will appear, as shown below; select the ‘Export’ option.
3. You will then be prompted to select a location in which to save the game; this could be in the
pupils individual work area or could be saved to a memory stick, enabling you to collect all games
in the same place ready to submit the entries.
Sharing Project Spark Games
It is not possible to export games from Project Spark; if you are making a Project Spark submission first
share the game then submit the link from the Project Spark website, as shown below:
How to Submit your Entries
To submit a pupil’s work you must first become a member of the Microsoft Partners in Learning website:
www.pil-network.com. Once you have signed up you will be able to submit your entries. You will also now
have access to a global network of teachers sharing good practice. Follow the step-by-step guide below to
submit your pupils’ entries (a video demonstrating this process can be found on the Partners in Learning
YouTube channel (www.youtube.com/innovativeteach):
1. Add a new ‘Learning Activity’ by clicking ‘Resources’ in the menu and selecting ‘add learning
activity’, as shown here:
2. You will then be required to add some basic information about your entry as shown below. It is
very important these instructions are followed accurately otherwise your entry may not be found
by the judges.
Enter the title of the
Very Important: Add the
title ‘Kodu Kup’ for the
first learning objective.
In your description
ensure you state the
Theme and the Pupil(s)
Names who worked on
3. When you are prompted to select the tool used just select the box titled ‘Kodu’:
4. In the remaining sections, simply click any boxes you feel are relevant to the entry in question then
move onto the section to upload the files.
5. You are not required to submit pictures or videos so you can advance to the section on
The supporting resources you
should add are ‘examples of
student work’. Select the ‘File’
option shown here.
The box shown here will then
appear giving you the options
to add files and start uploading.
You should be submitting the
Kodu Game and Game
No ‘File’ option appears when I attempt to add supporting resources. I only get ‘Link to a website or
- You will see a link that indicates you need to install Microsoft Silverlight. Follow the link and
install the plugin.
When I try to upload the work I can’t see my files.
- Make sure you select the correct file type from the drop-down menu next to the File name, as
Quick Reference Guide
What do I need to do and when? Follow the guide below to help plan your time. This has been colour-
coded with teacher actions in orange and pupil actions in green.
Like and follow KoduKup on Twitter and
Facebook for regular updates.
• January 2014
Familiarise yourself with Kodu Game Lab or
Project Spark and begin to introduce this in
• February 2014
Promote the Kodu Kup competition in school.
• February 2014
Pupils design and create game documentation
for their game.
• March 2014
Pupils develop and test their games.
• March - May 2014
Pupils upload games to Kodu Game Lab or
Project Spark community and promote their
game in school.
• April - May 2014
Upload completed games and covers to the
Partners in Learning Network.
• By 31st May 2014
Winners invited to Microsoft HQ in Reading to
receive their prizes and attend workshops.
• July 2014
Useful Online Resources
A list of useful websites has been compiled below giving Kodu-related resources to help you and your
pupils get started:
digitalstudieswiki.pbworks.com (features various collections of resources, search “kodu” in
the search box)
WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT?
Design and create your own game using Kodu Game Lab or Project
Spark as part of a national competition.
Enter as a team of three people.
The creators of the top three games in each category will receive an
invitation to showcase their game at Microsoft Headquarters in
Reading and may win a Microsoft Surface RT tablet!
What do I have to do? Win a Microsoft Surface RT!
Create a game in either:
Your game must have a clear storyline, and well
thought out characters with a detailed playing