Print 10 comment(s) - last by ttowntom.. on Dec 14 at 1:40 PM

Microsoft puts development tools into the hands of gamers, developers

Microsoft's XNA Game Studio Express development software has been released for the budding game developers out there. According to Microsoft, the software is mainly for students, hobbyists and independent game developers.

XNA Game Studio Express is built on Visual C# Express 2005 and helps gamers create Windows-based games for free. However, if you'd like to develop and play games on the Xbox 360 platform, you'll have to pony up for the XNA Creators Club which costs $49 for four months or $99 for a full year subscription. For those that wish to share games developed for the Xbox 360 platform, these steps must be taken:

  • The individual you are planning to share the game with must be logged in to Xbox Live and have an active subscription to the XNA Creators Club
  • The receiving user must have downloaded the XNA Framework runtime environment for the Xbox 360
  • The receiving user must have XNA Game Studio Express installed on their own development PC
  • The game project, including all source and content assets, must be shared with the receiving user. The receiving user then compiles and deploys the game to their Xbox 360.

XNA Game Studio Express games developed for the Xbox 360 can only be stored on a Microsoft 20GB hard drive and cannot be used with memory cards, external hard drive or CD/DVD.

For those that would like to find out more about XNA Game Studio Express, you can check out Microsoft's FAQ and Readme.

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By therealnickdanger on 12/12/2006 12:13:29 PM , Rating: 5
I downloaded all this stuff last night. I've never made a game before, just a web-app or two, but I've always wanted to try it! This is hella-awesome.

RE: Nice!
By TomZ on 12/12/2006 12:42:32 PM , Rating: 3
Yea, I agree. While you could run Linux and maybe get something working on a PS3 (though probably not a reasonable gams), Microsoft has made it easy to develop games or whatever you want for the XBOX.

RE: Nice!
By ttowntom on 12/14/2006 1:40:19 PM , Rating: 2
easier than the PS3 for sure.

Only other developers?
By OrSin on 12/12/2006 12:46:25 PM , Rating: 2
So if you make a game you can't share it anyone?
Only other people that can make games too.
Not too sure microsoft is giving the small guy that much.
I guess if they offer some of the better ones in thier market place and give the creater a cut it might be ok.

RE: Only other developers?
By TomZ on 12/12/2006 12:56:59 PM , Rating: 3
Developers that want to do more "serious" game development can upgrade to the Pro version which will be out next year. With the Pro version, you can sign and distribute games to all XBOX users. Click through the FAQ link in the article.

RE: Only other developers?
By FITCamaro on 12/12/2006 4:13:13 PM , Rating: 1
$99 to be able to make games for the Xbox 360 isn't exactly breaking the bank. What I'm wondering is what kind of apps besides games people are going to come up with for the Xbox 360. I wonder how much restriction there is on what you can do. Otherwise you could write a "game" that bypasses a feature that Microsoft either wanted you to pay for or didn't want to allow at all.

Once I get a 360, I'm seriously thinking about getting this because it'd be great coding practice plus some experience making games and gradually building more difficult ones.

Too much Hype
By MrHanson on 12/12/2006 2:17:22 PM , Rating: 5
Really the only thing I found cool about this is the ability to use C# and to run your apps on the 360. The are already several programming launguages and libraries available for the pc that are probably easier to use and have been available for several years. $100 a year is a bit much to pay for limited functionality and the inability to show of your games to other people. It would seem more ideal to have used some sort of USB or CD key that you could have purchased that would be required to run homebrew apps on the 360. That would make it easier to take my app on a flash drive and the CD or usb key over to a friends house and show off my muli-player game.

Web browser
By BrassMonkey on 12/12/2006 6:32:02 PM , Rating: 2
Great, now can someone make a web browser? :\

RE: Web browser
By MrDiSante on 12/12/2006 6:49:49 PM , Rating: 2
FF port please?

Reason for restrictions
By jeffthegr8 on 12/13/2006 5:43:48 PM , Rating: 2
I think that security might be part of the reason for the limitations on sharing games you write with this. It looks like they're not done with the part of the software that lets you digitally sign your games for wide distribution, so this is the only distribution method that is acceptable. It's kind of odd that they weren't able to make it so that anyone who's downloaded and installed XNA can play other people's games (developer has a subscription, player doesn't). Doing so seems like it would really add value to the subscription!

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard

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