Project Spark wasn’t quite ready for the Xbox One’s launch, and it won’t be showing up on the new console until early in 2014, but Windows 8.1 users can take a crack at it now with the global launch of the game’s beta program. To get involved, you’ll first have to sign up at the official Project Spark website.
Microsoft revealed Project Spark for the first time at E3 2013. It’s a free-to-play, user-created content-driven experience that will eventually be available for Xbox 360 and Xbox One as well as Windows 8 machines. More game builder than proper game, users have a robust set of tools to work with that allow them to create their own worlds, fill it with virtual lives, and tailor the AI for each individual. It’s ambitious in the way that the LittleBigPlanet games are, except it’s all designed to operate in a 3D environment.
To get in on the beta, you’ll need a Windows 8.1-equipped machine and a beta invite. This is still a closed beta, so there’s no way at the moment to simply download and install the software. There’s no mention in the announcement of a limit on the size of the beta, so while you might have to wait a bit for the rolling invites to reach you, you should be able to get in soon enough.
We haven’t gone hands-on yet with Project Spark, but we were very encouraged by what we saw of it at E3.