Project Spark beta opens up to all Xbox One and Windows 8 users

Project Spark is Microsoft’s innovative combination of both a game and game creation software for Xbox One, Windows 8, and eventually Xbox 360. Players can choose their own adventures as they play the Crossroads mode, create deeper games, and even play games created by others. Even if you don’t want to build your own games, Project Spark still gives you plenty to do. There’s really nothing like it on other platforms.

The closed beta of Project Spark went live on Xbox One at the beginning of March, trailing the Windows 8 version by a few months. The closed beta must have done really well, because Project Spark is now in open beta. That means you can get it right now on Xbox One and Windows 8 without having to sign up for anything! The open beta coincides with an update that revamps Project Spark’s In-App Purchase system. More details and our exclusive screenshots and hands-on video after the break!

Choosing your path to adventure

Crossroads is the first mode you’ll play when starting Project Spark. Before you set foot on the ground with a character, the game will ask you to choose what environment you’ll be playing in, the time of day, and more. Each question offers three choices, and players can “re-roll” to find new choices. You can also adjust the sea level, angle of the sun, and a few other fiddly variables – but it’s not necessary.

Having answered these questions three, you’ll choose a character and set up his or her home town. Is the town built around a well, an ancient tree, or another monument? Just answer the question within the game to decide. You’ll then be able to walk around the town, talk to automatically-generated NPCs, and look for stuff to do.

Completing the main adventure you selected is the ultimate goal during each game of Crossroads, but not the only one. Throughout your town and the surrounding wilderness, you’ll find floating question marks. Interact with one and the game will let you select from a variety of buildings and events to create. These will activate RPG-like quests and/or provide you with coins, weapons, and items.

Your actions during Crossroads mode will contribute experience and money to your overall Project Spark profile. These in turn will unlock new items for both Crossroads and the full Create mode. As for the adventures you create in Crossroads, those can be shared online with others - if you’re particularly proud of them.

Note that Project Spark does not have Xbox live Achievements… Yet. Those will surely come as the beta progresses over time.

In-App Purchases made simpler

The Project Spark Marketplace prior to this week's update

Before the latest update, Project Spark placed a few bothersome restrictions on playing games created by other users. If you didn’t own any piece of content used in the creation of a game, then you’d only be able to play that game for a limited time each day. After that, players would have to buy “Spark Time” in order to receive unfettered access to created games. This limitation did not apply to you when playing games created with items you already owned, at least.

Post-update, players can play anything created in Project Spark without time limits or having to own DLC. That’s a great change, as it allows everyone to fully enjoy all games shared by others. You can already find a wealth of impressive user-created content such as a recreation of the starting area in Fable, a fairly accurate Zelda adventure, a platformer based on Sonic the Hedgehog, and several Flappy Bird clones.

That Flappy Bird gets around!

Speaking of user-created games, the Project Spark team has dropped the number of free sharing slots that new players get down from five to three. Naturally they will offer extra slots for paying users. By purchasing “Spark Premium” subscriptions, players will receive a 200% XP and Credit bonus as well as unlocking additional permanent upload slots. And anyone who participated in the closed beta gets to retain their five upload slots instead of dropping down to three.

Project Spark is a free to play game, so In-App Purchases like Spark Premium time are necessary. Non-paying users can simply enjoy the game, play games shared by others, and dabble in creation mode. Dedicated users can choose to buy Spark Premium in order to speed up the process of unlocking items and gain more freedom to share via extra upload slots.

Every Xbox One gamer (and game-loving Windows 8 users) should give the Project Spark Beta a try. You’ll be amazed at your fellow players’ creations and maybe even how much fun it is to make your own games.

  • Project Spark Beta – Xbox One – 1.48 GB – Free – Link (opens in new tab)
  • Project Spark Beta – Windows 8 – 595 MB – Free – Store Link (opens in new tab)

Source for update details: iDigitalTimes

Paul Acevedo

Paul Acevedo is the Games Editor at Windows Central. A lifelong gamer, he has written about videogames for over 15 years and reviewed over 350 games for our site. Follow him on Twitter @PaulRAcevedo. Don’t hate. Appreciate!

  • I wanna try this
  • You should. It is an amazing game with a ton of potential. It is definitely still in beta, with quite a few bugs, but I'm enjoying it and really looking forward to the final product. I wish they would employ an X1 Killer Instinct-style or a WP FIFA 14-style pricing structure where there is both a freemium, restricted version and a full-priced, unrestricted version. But I doubt that will happen.
  • Can you get it for windows RT?
  • Unfortunately, you cannot get it for Windows RT, which is  unfortunate as I'd have liked playing it on my Surface RT :( It is a pretty graphically intensive game. It needs to horsepower of a Windows 8 PC. It'll also be on Xbox One and Xbox 360, though.
  • ohwell...downloading on my dell venue 8 pro ;)
  • I haven't been able to get my laptop back from my kids after installing this.
  • Project spark seems like Chevy new models
  • lol "the newest, sportiest egg with wheels ever conceived!"
  • It kind of reminds me of LBP with game creation from players but with way more in depth and scale
  • What about Xbox 360?
  • No details on that version yet.
  • So I have greats hope for this game. I played the indie game Kudos: Game lab. Which Project spark was based off of. Loved that indie game on the xbox 360. But I have some concerns with Project Spark. It appears to be very intensive program for a PC. My brother's Surface Pro struggled with it. So he wasn't able to get much done without lag. I recently played the beta on the xbox one. I don't find the controls for creating worlds very intuitive as others have said. Switching between tools appears to be a pain. I tried clicking "B" out of a tool. Then going to another tool but ended up on the same tool still. Maybe i'm doing something wrong. Maybe I just need to look at it again. Anyway my other 2 concerns. I hope they will make it easier to procisely attach objects together and changing angles and etc with the controller. And does anyone no how to link things items together easily? I can't seem to find a tutorial for that. On to my last concern. My favorite part about project spark is the visual programming. Love it. But I find it difficult to find some things. For example camera views? Where is that? Some commands are just buried and buried under other things making it difficult to find. The visual commands need to be easy to find and not buried. If I can't find a command it just makes me want to write out the code myself ha. This game for creating worlds at the current state appears to be more PC oriented. It is just a beta and it will get better. This game has some great potential. I'll have to keep checking on it to see if the overall experience improves.
  • By link, do you mean add an object to another object? Example: Add a piece of meat on a grill so when you move the grill, the meat moves with it. You would have to go into character properties then attachments I think.
  • It's in beta. That's why performance lags. The search function inside the brain editor is quite good. Just type "camera" and all of your camera options will pop up.
  • Yeah I know its a beta. Thanks for the info on the search!
  • One of my favorite games from beta is Zelda OoT. They even put in the HUD straight from the original game. I've been working on 3 games, but none of them are great. Two of them have a ton of potential, but finding time to work on it is difficult. I was thinking about handing off the projects to somebody else.
  • Did they fix the teeny tiny text yet? I got into the closed beta but didn't do anything with it because reading the text in the game gave me a killer headache!!
  • Yeah, the text displayed on the Xbox One version is illegible. They clearly just ported the Windows 8 version over to the One and didn't consider the fact that staring at a tiny monitory 16" away is  not the same as staring at a 40" HDTV 6' away. That needs to be fixed before the final release. Quite frankly, as much as I love this game and am enjoying the beta, I'm surprised they made the beta open (not that it was every that closed) for public release now, given all the bugs still in it. Hope people are understanding of that. Usually, they're not.
  • Are you just trying to be funny but failing at it. I mean 16" wtf are you talking about? Most win 8 pc users would have between a 20 and 24 in screen and I seriously doubt most xbox one users have a 40" screen. 
  • I got the beta, but it seems really slow.
  • I'm sure the final release will be faster. This beta is definitely much more "in beta" than other beta games (say, the Titanfall beta), which is why I was surprised they made it an open beta suddenly, but as long as people understand it's in beta, that should be fine. A great game it is. Can't wait for the final release.
  • Yeah agreed, and mine was crashing all the time too, so I've stopped playing it for now
  • Played it on PC was fun crashed on the one
  • On RT yet?
  • Wasn't it always open beta on Xbox One anyway? I downloaded it day one by searching the store, and it never asked for a code. It just worked.
  • It was only open on Xbox One if you had already registered a Windows 8 beta key.
  • Trying to see how many typos you can slip in to this article. Think it may of set a record
  • More like you were trying to see how poor your manners could be. :P
  • Well i won there too.. Lol. Sorry, just read 4 articles in a row and all 4 were really bad with typos etc. They were all good articles tho
  • Glad you liked the articles at least. We always appreciate *constructive* feedback. I went back over this one and only found two typos (a missing letter and capitalization error), which is more than one but hardly a lot.
  • Another one is "having answered those questions three" :)
  • That was actually a deliberate reference to Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Call it an idiom. ;)
  • Lol fair enough :)
  • Why no win RT?
  • It's in beta status. They need to get the main game finished before they can start streamlining it for RT... Assuming RT devices are actually powerful enough to run it.
  • I demand to use the Kinect on my 360 for this game even if isnt good as the new one
  • I am seriously interested in this game.
    What is the feature vs cost structure like?