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kirkd

Unity Microsoft Opens Game Development

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OK, so I was too late with my post yesterday about Microsoft giving away its development tools to students, but how about this one? I haven't seen it around here. Microsoft Opens Game Development By AMANDA FEHD (Associated Press Writer) From Associated Press February 20, 2008 5:13 PM EST SAN FRANCISCO - Microsoft Corp. said Wednesday it will make Xbox 360 video games developed by players available for download through the console's online service. The new service will double the size of the Xbox 360 game library, to 1,000 games within a year of its launch, scheduled for this holiday season, the company said. To distribute a game on the Xbox Live service, game creators must use Microsoft's XNA Game Studio software, which requires a $99 per-year subscription, or be an XNA Creators Club member. Each game will be vetted for quality and appropriateness by the online community itself. Creators Club members will be able to test a beta version starting this spring. In addition, Microsoft announced that game developers also will be able to build games for the software maker's Zune digital media players. "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," John Schappert, a vice president of gaming at Microsoft, told an audience of about 6,000 game developers at a San Francisco conference. Microsoft also said it will give students free access to its XNA Game Studio 2.0, its video game development program. The moves to encourage Xbox 360 game development comes as the company faces fierce competition from Nintendo Co. and Sony Corp.'s PlayStation in the game console market. Nintendo last year unveiled its own game development tool, called WiiWare.

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At this point that really doesn't mean a lot, and it won't until we actually get the tools into our hands. This more or less confirms the original view of Microsoft wanting to create the "youtube" of games.

The only two pieces of information that I see in that is:
1. The community is going to be the one moderating the content of the games (although I can still see this being a legal minefield for Microsoft, with people creating copyright breaking/illicit games).
2. The approximate time frame that we will get to see these tools (spring, however that is defined)

Good find though. I hadn't seen that particular news press before.

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Quote:
Original post by kirkd
OK, so I was too late with my post yesterday about Microsoft giving away its development tools to students, but how about this one? I haven't seen it around here.


That's because you don't read the journals [grin].

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The new bits are that you can (or will be able to) develop for the Zune, and can upload your games directly to XBLA. I don't know the exact process of sharing XNA games previously, but I'm pretty sure you had to release your game and content on the web, and if anyone who was a Creators Club member wanted to play it, they'd have to download your game and push it onto their Xbox themselves. Something like that, at least.

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I'm personally excited about Zune support, especially this:

Quote:
Q: How does the wireless support work?

A: The Zune device can support multiple Zunes that have wireless turned on. If all the Zunes have the game deployed, and the game is written to work in a multiplayer mode, you can join in and play games with other Zunes.

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