Thousands of models from the ill-fated Project Spark are available on Microsoft's new 3D model sharing network.
At yesterday's Microsoft event in New York, Microsoft debuted an entire range of new 3D services and apps as part of the company's big push into creative technologies. Dubbed the Creators Update, the next big iteration of Windows will bring various 3D capabilities to the platform, including Paint 3D, 3D Emojis in Skype, 3D scanning apps for Windows 10 Mobile devices and much, much more.
Included in these announcements was the reveal of Remix3D.com, which is a website dedicated to sharing and cataloging 3D creations in a Pinterest-style collection network. While browsing, I noticed that Xbox has a user account on there, with over two thousand Project Spark assets available for download for Paint 3D.
Project Spark was an ambitious game development tool designed to work across both Xbox One and Windows 8.1. The app utilized controller, mouse and touch inputs, and was one of the first titles to be truly "Xbox Play Anywhere." It featured high-end 3D modeling capabilities, allowing users to program A.I. logic rules, gameplay triggers, and even shape terrain.
The powerful tool spawned hundreds of complex creations, from Flappy Bird clones all the way up to complex RPGs. Sadly, the game used a freemium model which was a huge hurdle for those without disposable income or the willingness to grind the in-app currency "Sparks." Eventually, the game went completely free to play, but the service was shut down soon after, and the game is now unavailable for download.
Given all of the 3D products unveiled at Microsoft's October 2016 event, it comes as a huge shame that Project Spark didn't live to see the likes of HoloLens or the new Windows Holographic headsets, where it could have truly come into its own. Thankfully, the thousands of whimsical assets from Project Spark's will live on for free on Remix3D.com, allowing users to export them to Paint 3D and then into other 3D modeling kits and programs.
Project Spark was clearly (and painfully) way ahead of its time, as it would have been an ideal candidate to reveal as a UWP game development solution across Xbox One, Windows Holographic and Windows 10. Still, hopefully, we'll see some unique creations from Project Spark's remnants on Remix3D.com.
To grab these assets, click on the paint icon in each 3D model's page. You need to be running the latest Windows 10 Insider Build and have Paint 3D downloaded to use them.