Microsoft GDC: big plans for XNA program

xnaAnd now, for the second half of Microsoft’s GDC presentation!

In addition to the other announcements, Microsoft also spent some time talking about their XNA game development program. The program, which was created to give homebrew creators a chance to let their products shine on XBLA, seems to finally be taking some more form.

Chief XNA Architect Chris Satchell took the stage to talk a little about the program. The XNA game studio was revealed 18 months ago, as one of Microsoft’s many little experiments. "The response has been incredible," said Satchell, revealing that there have been over 800,000 downloads of the toolset. "That’s a lot of creativity and passion that we’ve tapped into out there." In addition to the 800,000 downloads, several hundred universities all over the world have embraced the software as part of their courses.

"The time has come for the games industry to open its doors to all game creators, enabling anyone to share their creations with the world," said John Schappert, corporate vice president of LIVE, Software and Services for the Interactive Entertainment Business at Microsoft. "Our goal is to drive a creative and social revolution in games with the same transformative power that we’ve seen in digital music and video sharing."

Seven homebrew titles were briefly shown on-stage, and will (according to Microsoft) be available to download on Xbox Live immediately. Those titles include:
"JellyCar." Created by Walaber from the United States, this game is about driving a squishy car through squishy worlds, trying to reach the exit.

"Little Gamers." This is a 2-D high definition action side-scroller based on the famous Web comic "Little Gamers" created by Loïc Dansart, a 24-year-old software developer from Belgium.

"Dishwasher." An intense 2-D action platform game created by James Silva from the United States, "Dishwasher" has a unique, highly stylized look and fast and fluid action.

"TriLinea." This puzzle game created by Edison S. Prata Jr., Renato Pelizzari da Silva and Davi da Silva Prata from Brazil mixes fast-paced action with strategy.

"RocketBall." Created by Tyler Wanlass, Patrick Murty and Todd Barrons of the United States, this neighborhood game of dodgeball explodes onto the street with fast-paced multiplayer action.

"ProximityHD." This game, created by Brian Cable from the United States, takes the essence of strategy games – battles for control of territory and armies – and distills it down to a simple, easy-to-understand set of rules for casual players.

"Culture." Created by independent game development company Hidden Path Entertainment from the United States, "Culture" contains challenging games and puzzles based on beautiful flowers.

For a game to be considered for release over Xbox Live, the XNA-developed game must first undergo a thorough peer review process, and then pass several other intense tests from Microsoft to make sure the game meets their standards and doesn’t break things. Obviously, games with copywritten material or excessive vulgar material won’t be allowed.


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Author: Brendon Lindsey View all posts by

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