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asmcoder

Xbox live arcade game developement.

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- What tools do I need (besides the XDK and Visual C++.NET) in order to make XBLA games ... ? - Are XBLA games developed with XNA+C#,(No XDK/C++ is needed)? - Any emulators out there to test the code in action (XBLA emulator)? - Is the downloadable XBLA game (binary) is a plain (but small) xbox game, or does it have it's own specs? - Do you know any good Xbox developement tutorial to start making XBLA games? Any information is well apreciated. Thank you.

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I'm not sure you can make XBLA games without licensing and a dev kit, but XNA might offer what you want.

XNA is a game framework for Windows and Xbox360. It's free, works with the free Visual C# Express editions, and together with an XNA Community Subscription you can debug your games on a 360 and publish it to the Community section of Live Arcade.

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Your only bet unless you happen to be a professional game studio (IE Blizzard, Atari, EA, ect) is to develop your XBLA game using XNA and Visual C# Express 2008 (You can also use 2005 with XNA 3.0 afaik).

The XNA platform runs on Windows, the XBox 360, and the Microsoft Zune (with the 3.0 release).

The XNA website contains a number of samples and tutorials to get you started: XNA Creators Club

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Do i need definetly an XBOX 360 (with hard drive) before starting coding
XBLA games (With XNA)? Isn't there any emulator to test the code before testing it on the XBOX console itself?

Also, the "XNA Creators Club" programm seems to allow making games for "Xbox Live Community" , not "Xbox Live Arcade" market which is what I am asking about.

Would really apreciate your help.
Thanks.

[Edited by - asmcoder on January 6, 2009 7:20:14 AM]

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There's no XBLA emulator but XNA compiles for the PC too. You could make what ever you want for the PC first until you have it running to a quality you're happy with then purchace the XBox and creator's club membership to test your game on the 360 and make any adjustments you need.

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Quote:

Do i need definetly an XBOX 360 (with hard drive) before starting coding
XBLA games (With XNA)? Isn't there any emulator to test the code before testing it on the XBOX console itself?

Also, the "XNA Creators Club" programm seems to allow making games for "Xbox Live Community" , not "Xbox Live Arcade" market which is what I am asking about.

Would really apreciate your help.
Thanks.

If you want to make games for XBLA, you'll need to negotiate with Microsoft for a developer license, hardware kits, et cetera. You cannot do this on your own. You are unlikely to get anywhere as an unknown, single developer without a workable product to demonstrate in said negotiations, so you will probably want to use XNA to build your prototype anyway.

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Thanks a lot for the reply... But I am asking here for simple informations.
Suppose I've already got an XNA prototype that is approoved for XBLA, got the license, the XDK and Visual C++.

What else should I need to start making the XBLA game? Any other tools are needed besides stated above? (Maybe the hardware kits you montioned?)

Is a working Win32 DirectX game likely to work on Xbox as XBLA game, without major changes?

Thanks a lot.

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Quote:
Original post by asmcoder
What else should I need to start making the XBLA game? Any other tools are needed besides stated above? (Maybe the hardware kits you montioned?)


To make the game in C++ (not XNA) you need the Xbox dev kit. I believe anybody can purchase a dev kit, but they're not exactly cheap.

Quote:
Original post by asmcoder
Is a working Win32 DirectX game likely to work on Xbox as XBLA game, without
major changes?


Depends what you mean by "major". There's actually quite a bit of difference between PC and XBOX hardware.

My main experience is with developing games in XNA, but here's what I've learnt:

The CPUs in the Xbox are quite a bit different from the CPU in a PC. The first major difference is that it's big-endian whereas Intel CPUs are little endian (this can be an issue mainly with networking and serialization). Another big difference is that there's no hardware scheduler (on an Intel CPU, instructions can be reordered by the CPU dynamically to reduce the number of stalls - the Xbox CPU doesn't do that). That means you need a good compiler that'll pre-process the instructions into the best order.

Now, I understand the C++ compiler in Microsoft's devkit is pretty good and does a good job of instruction scheduling, but the .NET JIT compiler is not so great and you actually need to be more aware of it when developing XNA games.

There's also the issue of the controller, but you can use an Xbox controller on a PC so that's not a big deal.

Finally, the graphics chip in the Xbox is kind of DirectX 9-and-a-half level, so you can do things on the Xbox that you can't do on DirectX 9-level hardware in a PC.

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Quote:
Original post by Codeka
To make the game in C++ (not XNA) you need the Xbox dev kit. I believe anybody can purchase a dev kit, but they're not exactly cheap.


No. You have to be a known developer to obtain the dev kits even if you have the money. Also its not as simple as having the dev kit, the XDK, and visual studio. You need to be able to pass the TRC (technical requirements checklist) before Microsoft will let you release your game for the 360. Its not a simple check list either. From what I understand its a little less intense for arcade games though.

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Quote:
Original post by asmcoder
Thanks a lot for the reply... But I am asking here for simple informations.
Suppose I've already got an XNA prototype that is approoved for XBLA, got the license, the XDK and Visual C++.

What else should I need to start making the XBLA game? Any other tools are needed besides stated above? (Maybe the hardware kits you montioned?)

Is a working Win32 DirectX game likely to work on Xbox as XBLA game, without major changes?

Thanks a lot.


I know I am replying to this a day late... but you are "supposing" a lot. Let's assume I have a couple billion dollars (I would settle for millions honestly) and a solid gold pinball machine while we are at it (That would be awesome but it is optional :) ).

Anyway you can use XNA to create games that can be sold on the XBLA arcade marketplace as proved:

Quote:
Original post by XNA Creators Club

When Community Games are approved, they become available for purchase on the Xbox LIVE Marketplace. It’s the ultimate way to get your game right into the hands of the gamers, with the XNA Creators Club and Xbox LIVE Marketplace.


Source: Creators Club Quickstart (Play games section)

So anyway the easiest way to get on the true XBLA and to get an official dev kit one day is to show us how great of games you can make using XNA. If everyone loves your game and or if you make a fortune off of them then you will be able to go on the XBLA marketplace or whatever you want. Until that time use XNA as anything else is illegal.

Good luck.

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