Project Spark in 2017

RIP Project Spark 12 August 2016. Live servers taken down – no more Community levels. Project Spark website with their Community Forum taken down. Project Spark. org follows soon after. Game is finished.

But wait….you can still play it.

I dont have it
You can still buy it on disk for Xbox One from second hand sources (try ebay). You can still download it to Win 8 PC (Win 10 PC may or may not work, will depend on your system) from a link on SparkShare. (This link may or may not be still available depending on how thorough Microsoft have been on removing the download – let me know if it does or does not work for you).

I have a copy of it, but it doesnt work right
For those of you who already have it you may find on the Xbox One that it doesnt play correctly. It pauses every 3 seconds. This was my experience and I abandoned Project Spark because of it (and also because it would not work on my newly updated Win 10 PC). However, there is a simple trick that solves the problem. Just quit and reload it. It will work fine the second time. Why? No idea, but I’m not knocking it.

Of course, all the community levels are inaccessible. You can only play levels you made and had saved, or other people’s levels that you saved as remixes.

PC users have reported the loss of some biomes and packs. The Noxious Bog biome is missing for all in the gallery as it was not correctly implemented by Team Dakota before the shutdown. Other biomes should be fine but if you believe you are losing other items, apparently reinstalling can solve the problem, but as an unsupported game, updates to Windows may stop you from playing Project Spark completely in time.

Multiplayer does not work anymore.This has been confirmed by numerous players. It was only for Xbox One users anyway, but with the servers down you cannot create a multiplayer session to play or build. You are not missing much it was pretty flawed when it was available.

But, what is the point of making anything if no one is going to see it?
PC users: you can sign up to SparkShare and share your game levels, props, brains etc with others and download too.
Xbox users: you can share with videos of your games and creations on YouTube and in Xbox Clubs. Consider joining Project Spark Team or Project Spark Creators groups.

If you make a video of your creation let me know and I will add it to this archive. I am going to create a special section for post Aug 2016 game creations.
You can still play locally. Invite your friend to your home so they can see your game creation.

What has gone?

Access to the Microsoft server that housed all the Community levels. You cannot see, download or save to the server. Lineage is now broken, so you cannot see who originally created anything you saved as a remix. You cannot see your profile information, your download stats or any information on games you shared, or what you shared.

Noxious bog pack. Some other later additions. Sorry to be vague but I am not sure what they were exactly (rats?).

The Community forum run by Team Dakota was pulled at the same time as the game. Unfortunately we lost a lot of useful information that was housed there, as well as a way to communicate with each other.

Project-Spark .org (fansite) also went at shutdown. I guess the owners could not see the point of continuing. (Not be confused with projectspark.org which is a charity for disadvantaged children).

Kodeshare ( a website for creating kode examples using the tile pictures) is no longer available and the domain is available.

School of Kode/ Project Spark Reviews got hacked just before the shutdown and I chose to abandon it, rather than try to fix the problem. It was also costing me a lot of money to keep going, and the amount of visitors just didn’t warrant it. I lost all data between Feb and July which is a shame. I have a local copy and I am transferring relevant info from it to this website. I no longer own the domain.

Wikipedia is still available but no one has been active on it since Oct 2016. Since it relied on kodeshare links to show the kode examples, many pages are rendered unhelpful.

Is there still a community?
The Xbox clubs are pretty active. Post your questions, nostalgia, screenshots and videos for club members. SparkShare has a forum you can post on too. You can also comment and request things on The School of Kode and The Project Spark Archive. Let me know what you would like to see on these websites.

What about the future?
Well, it is up to you. We can forget Project Spark as a failed experiment that was fun while it lasted, or we can try to keep the game alive through clubs, videos and websites. If we get enough interest going maybe Microsoft will consider resurrecting the project, and maybe develop a better version of it. Project Spark Team Club on Xbox One has a goal of getting 1,000 members to show that there is interest in this title. Maybe Microsoft will be interested in doing something if there is a visible and active community.

Keep sparking!

 

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