Global Game Industry News Blog

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Microsoft Releases XNA Express - Let the REAL Revolution Begin

I really do wonder when Sony and Nintendo are going to notice what's going on here. I mean, if they don't have a plan to answer this, every game industry hopeful, hobbyist, and Open Sourcer interested in games is going to be developing code for the 360. You're going to have a wealth of available tools and code. Microsoft will still control the delivery pipeline (unless people start pressing their own CD's and distributing them, but who cares, that sounds like Indy music to me?!?) (Xbox Live Arcade) but they've opened up the production pipeline. This is still massively closed for Nintendo and Sony.

I see the consequences of this behavior in the game industry all the time. I've seen it in the last couple of days with folks here in India developing games these platforms. They feel like they're constantly reinventing the wheel, with no information as to how others have done it. And they're right! They are. This is part of the reason why crunch exists in the video game industry. You have an entire industry built up entirely around secrecy. Sharing is rare. It's rare even amongst studio owned by the same publisher.

I can seriously understand why you want to protect intellectual property. The importance of that is not lost on me. Nor is the importance of education, learning how to deal with these systems. I think what is ridiculous is to expect developers to do all of this work without any sort of community structure outside of their own organization. The IGDA certainly helps with this, but it's not like they can talk about how to get good read-rate performance out of _FILL IN BLANK HERE_ because it's covered by their NDA's.

Open up the production pipelines. It's good for the industry. It hasn't hurt the art world, music world, movie world. As a matter of fact it tends to invigorate things.

Microsoft Releases XNA Game Studio Express //
Microsoft has also announced plans to launch a new competition, titled Dream-Build-Play, which is open to Windows and Xbox 360 XNA Game Studio Express users. The winning game will be released through Xbox Live Arcade, and the contest will begin in January.

"Xbox Live Arcade has opened up a wealth of new publishing opportunities for established and independent developers alike, so it made perfect sense to also extend this privilege to hobbyists and amateur programmers," said Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Live Arcade.

"We have a tremendous opportunity to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming talent through the Dream-Build-Play contest, and we can�t wait to share their creativity with our gaming community around the world."

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