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"Indie" Game Development on Xbox 360 and PC RRS feed

  • Question

  • (This is my first (technically second, I commented on something else) post on these forums) Alright, as a high schooler looking to get into game development after college (or possibly even nixing the college and going straight in) I was wondering if Microsoft was planning on doing anything at all with the XNA Framework that would support low budget game development.

    How available will tutorials and books about the code be available?
    How much money will the tools and such cost?
    How easy is this code going to be to learn?
    Will it be easy for people to test on PC and a (normal) Xbox 360 with this code?

    I've questioned Nintendo (through their website) about whether or not they'd be supporting "Indie" development, and I was given an affirmation, but there were no actual details released. If Microsoft had similar plans via their Xbox Live Marketplace service, I'm sure there would be many developers willing to submit more content for the Xbox Live Marketplace.


    Thanks in advance for your help,
    ~Jinno

    Thursday, July 6, 2006 10:44 PM

Answers

  • Hi Jinno, The XNA Framework is taking a lot of what was Managed DirectX and moving it to the XNA Framework. Managed DirectX has decent barrier to entry and is used by indie games today. If you’re unfamiliar with MDX I would highly recommend checking out TheZBuffer http://www.thezbuffer.com/ and Coding4Fun http://msdn.microsoft.com/coding4fun/gamedevelopment/default.aspx there is plenty of info there on writing games in Managed code.

    As far as the release of books and documentation in general this is something we’re still working on so I couldn’t really give you a definitive answer, but we know it’s going to be very important to provide first-class documentation for the XNA Framework. We also know that a few prospective book authors are looking at authoring books for the XNA Framework, but we don’t have any firm commitments or timelines as of yet.

    Finally David Weller has some information about the XNA Framework which you can read about here http://letskilldave.com/archive/2006/06/29/XNA-Framework-tidbits_2E002E002E00_.aspx

    On a personal note, as somebody who has been in the game development industry for a while, I would strongly encourage you to pursue a college education. The game development industry is a very competitive industry and far more game projects fail than succeed. Likewise, it’s very competitive getting a job in the game development industry should you decide that the Indie approach is not right for you. Of course I believe there is a ton of opportunity and the game development industry is a truly great place to be, but I would never suggest that somebody skip college because there’s just too high of a chance that you’ll be left struggling without any other options. And besides – the right college education will definitely improve your chances for success in any industry, including the game development industry.

    Friday, July 7, 2006 3:52 PM

All replies

  • Hi Jinno, The XNA Framework is taking a lot of what was Managed DirectX and moving it to the XNA Framework. Managed DirectX has decent barrier to entry and is used by indie games today. If you’re unfamiliar with MDX I would highly recommend checking out TheZBuffer http://www.thezbuffer.com/ and Coding4Fun http://msdn.microsoft.com/coding4fun/gamedevelopment/default.aspx there is plenty of info there on writing games in Managed code.

    As far as the release of books and documentation in general this is something we’re still working on so I couldn’t really give you a definitive answer, but we know it’s going to be very important to provide first-class documentation for the XNA Framework. We also know that a few prospective book authors are looking at authoring books for the XNA Framework, but we don’t have any firm commitments or timelines as of yet.

    Finally David Weller has some information about the XNA Framework which you can read about here http://letskilldave.com/archive/2006/06/29/XNA-Framework-tidbits_2E002E002E00_.aspx

    On a personal note, as somebody who has been in the game development industry for a while, I would strongly encourage you to pursue a college education. The game development industry is a very competitive industry and far more game projects fail than succeed. Likewise, it’s very competitive getting a job in the game development industry should you decide that the Indie approach is not right for you. Of course I believe there is a ton of opportunity and the game development industry is a truly great place to be, but I would never suggest that somebody skip college because there’s just too high of a chance that you’ll be left struggling without any other options. And besides – the right college education will definitely improve your chances for success in any industry, including the game development industry.

    Friday, July 7, 2006 3:52 PM
  • I fully agree with that. Infact, I am a 15 years old, so you can call me a high schooler too, and my plan is to study for Programmer not Game Programmer even through I am able to take that as education. Because this industry is only looking for people with exeptional talent and idea's that is unique.

    I wanted to ask you, another proffersional, what education is best suited to take if you want to be very related to Game Development? System Developer? Thank you... Your advice would be noted and appreciated very much.

    Mossa TheGreat
    Saturday, July 8, 2006 8:11 PM
  • hi, this is my first time on the microsoft forums , and i'm 16 and an indie games developer too!
    so it's not like i know a lot on the subject .

    still, i do know that quite a high level of maths is required for 3D games programming. i'm doing the highest level of maths possible in Australian Schooling (4 Unit HSC) and even that doesn't cover MOST of the stuff i'm needing. (not necissarily saying it's hard, just that it's uncommon).

    when it gets really advanced, the harder stuff tends not to be the actual programming, but the problem solving behind the programming. Despite that, if you have some kind of Software Development Course as a possibility at your school or anything, I'd advise taking that. it'll teach you the very important fundamentals.
    You could also try downloading Visual Studio Express (preferably Visual Basic) and trying some of the tutorials mentioned above from Coding4Fun or ZBuffer. These tutorials will probably even teach you the maths you need too.

    good luck buddy!
    Sunday, July 9, 2006 2:46 AM
  • Speaking about Mathematics and their need in Game Programming...

     

    There is a serie about Algebra, Geometry and Trignometry at www.3DBuzz.com that is free to download if you are a member og their forums.

    I suggest going there registering, downloading the Math VTMs, and then making a little "Hi" post on their forums.

    Personaly I have been working alot on sharping my mathmatics skills to be able to do high calculations for programming. Even through you actually doesn't need to know much about math to start DirectX coding... Anyways, it is good to have a great foundation

    But I wanted to know of the job that was most regonized to be close to Game Programming in this industry... Hope Mr. Michael can answer this for me.

    Good Luck,

    Sunday, July 9, 2006 9:53 AM
  • Hey, sorry for the late reply things have been a bit busy and I really only had a chance to stop by and look for new questions.

    I don't think that you'll find a "magic bullet" type degree that's favored over someone else's degree. I think you should take classes and support what you’re looking to do in game development. If you’re looking to program games, take classes on programming, system architectures, etc. If you’re looking to be more specialized you could take classes that teach you about user interaction models or physics.  If you’re looking to design games take classes on design, writing, communication, film making, etc. I’ve worked with people who worked at NASA or were professional sports stars, with all kinds of different backgrounds. So I would say from a high level think about what you’d like to do an focus on developing skills that support that.

    This is my opinion of course but I hope it helps you a bit. I think most of what helps people get noticed is a cool demo or something that shows they can apply the skills they learned (and continue to learn). Again I think college is important because it puts you in situations like you would be making games professionally, working with people and leveraging everyone’s unique skills to make whatever you’re working on better.


     

    Friday, July 14, 2006 2:33 AM
  • "The XNA Framework is taking a lot of what was Managed DirectX and moving it to the XNA Framework."

    So XNA is a superset of most of MDX, along with build managing features?
    Saturday, August 5, 2006 2:30 AM
  • The XNA Framwork and XNA Build are seperate pieces of technology, the XNA Framework does not have any build management features in it. Or at least not what your expecting from XNA Build.

    Thanks!

    Monday, August 7, 2006 3:59 PM
  •  Jinno wrote:

    Will it be easy for people to test on PC and a (normal) Xbox 360 with this code?


    I would like to hear this question answered. Is there any way Indie devs can write code with XNA and get it working on non-dev 360s? Lets say I wanted to write a tech demo with XNA, would there be a way to run it on my off the shelf 360?
    Monday, August 7, 2006 11:41 PM
  • Not until someone figures out how to softmod Xbox 360s to run homebrew code. It's quite unfortunate, really.
    Tuesday, August 8, 2006 1:43 PM
  • The prior person is 100% wrong.

    Well...as of today that is.  Yesterday he was right. 

    Well....sort of.

    Microsoft has announced that there will be a XNA for xbox 360 that when released will allow you to create indie games on the 360.  Beta is out this month,a bility to output something to the xbox360 is next year
    Monday, August 14, 2006 9:44 PM
  • I would really like to thank microsoft for making this happen, obviously a few of us were hoping that it would.  Now its up to the comunity to come back and make some killer products for the 360.
    Monday, August 14, 2006 10:35 PM
  • Hey guys . . . I'm also a pro developer during the day, and I just want to chime in here:  Please don't skip college.  It's true that if you have some good demos or a good reel (if you're an artist) you can often get a job, but trust me, it isn't just about the job.  College is usually awesome.  Aside from the learning stuff, there's usually lots of interesting people there.  Not to mention it's a good place to find a hot date (guy or girl).  Working in the game industry is great as jobs go but can be a very targeted, and you'll want that breadth of experience to draw on creatively.  Plus you'll have plenty of time in college to make your own games in your spare time, which is always more enjoyable than making someone else's games (even though that's cool too).
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:21 AM
  • So I managed not to notice that this thread is over a month old.  How did it get onto the main page?
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 6:24 AM
  • Umm, because of SorcererXIII's reply.
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 11:21 AM
  • SorcererXIII only replied because it was on the front page, leading him to think that it was current.
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 1:35 PM
  • Strange.
    Wednesday, September 20, 2006 3:18 PM
  • Thanks for the reply!  I am interested in taking some cleasses more as a hobbie to learn how to start game programming.  I will let you all know how its going.. 
    Monday, March 2, 2009 7:09 PM