The third annual Dream-Build-Play global game development competition by Microsoft has started at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco, inviting aspiring and hobbyist developers to create new and innovative games for Xbox 360.
Starting Monday, April 6, developers will have the opportunity to submit their game creations to the competition for a chance to win a cash prize and an opportunity to sign an Xbox Live Arcade publishing contract. Winners will be announced this fall.
More than 7800 members had taken part in the competition last year, submitting over 350 completed games using Microsoft’s free XNA Game Studio tools. Winners took home more than $70,000 in prizes and have since become top sellers on the Xbox Live Community Games Channel.
“The level of innovation and the number of submissions we receive each year to Dream-Build-Play has increased exponentially because the development community is becoming increasingly familiar with the XNA Game Studio,” XNA General Manager Boyd Multerer said. “I’m really looking forward to seeing what developers are able to create with the latest LIVE features and updated tools at their disposal.”
The Guildhall at SMU in its newly formed Innovation Laboratory is going to integrate XNA in its general computing and game development academic programs as well as researching new approaches to game design, development and education for students and game developers alike.
“With more than 120 video development graduate students in residence and a faculty of video game industry veterans, technology companies are beginning to realize that The Guildhall at SMU is a living laboratory for the video game industry, That is why we formed our Innovation Laboratory focused on video game development,” said Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director for The Guildhall at SMU. “By working with industry technology leaders such as Microsoft, we believe we will be able to help set new standards in video game development and provide new research, case studies and curriculum that drive advances in interactive media educational programs across the country.”
XNA Game Studio Express is a new game development solution aimed at students, hobbyists and independent game developers. It is based on Visual Studio and .NET technologies, allowing developers to code more easily for both Windows and Xbox 360.
“What we are trying to do is open the door a little wider with XNA tools from Microsoft and see how they can fit into video game development not only for students, hobbyist and independent game developers but what role XNA Game Studio Express may have in professional video game development as well,” said Michael McCoy, SMU level design instructor and project lead on the XNA research project. “We have already produced two case studies on 2D game production using XNA Game Studio Express and have a starter kit developed for use in a middle school video game development camp this summer. We also have incorporate a more advance starter kit into our course work for SMU students who starter at our program in July.”
Three SMU faculty members, four post-graduate students and two graduate students are currently working with McCoy on the XNA project; the team hopes to publish results from the research in the near future.
Microsoft has launched the XNA Game Studio Express, allowing coders everywhere create their games for PC and Xbox 360. It is based on Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and the .Net Compact Framework, making game development easy.
The company also announced the launch of the XNA Creators Club on Xbox Live Marketplace; it is available for £30 for a four-month subscription, or £65 for an annual subscription. Those who subscribe will get access to thousands of game assets from Microsoft and its partners, as well as white papers, specialized starter kits, samples and technical product support.
In addition, they have also launched the “Dream-Build-Play” content for both PC and Xbox 360 users. The contest, which will be launched in January 2007, will offer the community the opportunity to showcase its work, with the winner’s game being published on Xbox Live Arcade. Further details can be found on the contest’s official website.
The second beta for XNA Game Studio Express has been released by Microsoft, allowing hobbyists, academics and independent game developers the chance to create game content for both PC and Xbox 360.
This update adds the XNA Framework Content Pipeline, a feature set that makes it simpler and more straightforward for game developers to use 2D and 3D content from modeling software such as 3ds Max. There are also performance improvements and optimizations, as well as giving users the ability to preview and pre-compile their Xbox 360 games for the XNA Creators Club which is launching this December. The Club will let users upload and sell their games through Xbox Live Marketplace, letting gamers try out XNA games on their retail units. A one year membership will be available for £65 and a four-month trial will be available for £30.
The final version of XNA Game Studio Express is set to go live on December 11. A Professional edition will be available in Summer 2007.
Big budgets, time constraints got you down? Still want to develop for consoles? Microsoft has the answer for you in the form of XNA Game Studio Express. Aiming to bring console development to the masses, Microsoft will release a new set of tools based on the XNA platform, taking Xbox 360 development to hobbyists, students, indie developers and studios alike.
To be available this Holiday season, XNA Game Studio Express will be available for free to everyone with a Windows XP PC. All one will have to do is join a “creators club” for an annual subscription fee of $99 USD; here users will be able to build, test and share their games on Xbox 360 and access material to help speed their game development progress.
College students across the United States will be able to get their hands on the tools as 10 universities and their game development schools have already joined the program. These include the University of Southern California, and Georgia Tech College of Computing and Southern Methodist University as they have pledged to integrate console game development and XNA Game Studio Express into their curricula for the first time.
The beta will be available on August 30 as a free download for Windows XP, with the final version to be available this Holiday season.