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  • Question

  • Do any of you reckon that it's possible to make a game using the XNA express framework, and then get it published (by MS or otherwise). I think, looking at the standard of games on Xbox Live Arcade, that I can make a much better game than anything there.
    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 7:13 PM

Answers

  • "I think, looking at the standard of games on Xbox Live Arcade, that I can make a much better game than anything there."

    That's easy to say but not so easy to do.

    That said, yes, from what I understand, a possible path to the XBox Live Arcade is: Develop game using GSE, Get game recognized/accepted by Microsoft for XBox Live, Get XNA Professional version when it comes out, Re-Compile/fix up game for XBox Live, Deploy to XBox Live. 

    Something like that anyway.


    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 7:23 PM
  • For a game to be on the Xbox Live Arcade, it will need to pass certification (like all xbox games) and for that you will need an xbox 360 development kit (and be a recognized xbox developer), so you will need to 'wow' a publisher that can help you with that.

     As Jeff Weber said you will need to use XNA Professional (when it arrives) which will allow you to target development kits, and is aimed at creating commercial games for the xbox (and Windows).

    You can still use XNA GSE to create commercial games for Windows, of course.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 9:43 PM

All replies

  • "I think, looking at the standard of games on Xbox Live Arcade, that I can make a much better game than anything there."

    That's easy to say but not so easy to do.

    That said, yes, from what I understand, a possible path to the XBox Live Arcade is: Develop game using GSE, Get game recognized/accepted by Microsoft for XBox Live, Get XNA Professional version when it comes out, Re-Compile/fix up game for XBox Live, Deploy to XBox Live. 

    Something like that anyway.


    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 7:23 PM
  • I got the impression from Major Nelson's podcast on Sunday that Microsoft's thinking is that you'll show your game to a publisher, they'll go "Wow!", then the publisher will send it to Microsoft for consideration on XBox Live. I don't think Microsoft has the resources to consider everyone's games, so they want to deal with game publishers.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 7:52 PM
  • Techincally, for XBLA Microsoft is the publisher.  Major's podcast was more referring to traditional games.
    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 8:00 PM
  • For a game to be on the Xbox Live Arcade, it will need to pass certification (like all xbox games) and for that you will need an xbox 360 development kit (and be a recognized xbox developer), so you will need to 'wow' a publisher that can help you with that.

     As Jeff Weber said you will need to use XNA Professional (when it arrives) which will allow you to target development kits, and is aimed at creating commercial games for the xbox (and Windows).

    You can still use XNA GSE to create commercial games for Windows, of course.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 9:43 PM
  •  Sinnix wrote:
    Techincally, for XBLA Microsoft is the publisher.  Major's podcast was more referring to traditional games.

    No.  XBLA is the Channel.  Other companies are publishers.

    Wednesday, September 6, 2006 10:09 PM
  • Hi,

    Does anyone else think that the GSE community will need a "enthusiast friendly" publisher?  One that doesn't have their own development kit interests at heart e.g. Garage Games.

    I'd be willing to run such a beast; but I'm not sure if Microsoft would be happy to work with a community focused, rather than financially focused, company.

    Perhaps Microsoft would be willing to "throw a bone" to such an organisation to help get independent (i.e. new and interesting) content on the Live service...


    T
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 4:52 AM
  • So I'll need the pro version of XNA, does anyone know how much that will cost?
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 4:47 PM
  • I hope that will be not to much expensive .
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 5:52 PM
  • I'm sure it will be. That's why you need publisher backing to get in on that hot action.
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 9:06 PM
  • What's to stop "underground" gaming or is it "indie" gaming from having some really great titles and distribute them themselves?  Is that against the EULA?
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 9:30 PM
  • And for Windows Games XNA will remain free or at least cheap?
    If not we can switch back quickly to DirectX, managed (C#, VB) or not (C++).

    Toni
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 9:38 PM
  •  johnnyXNA wrote:
    What's to stop "underground" gaming or is it "indie" gaming from having some really great titles and distribute them themselves? Is that against the EULA?


    Probably nothing, and you may be able to do this to some extent. It's just that if you want your game on the Marketplace with a MS Point pricetag you'll need to go through the whole developer process. I haven't seen MS comment on setting up a paypal website where people can just pay you up front and they email you the registered version of the game or something. Who knows.
    Thursday, September 7, 2006 9:51 PM
  • I'm guessing the XNA Professional will be reasonably priced ... $100?  give or take.  I read something about having to subscribe to some annual "service" for roughly the same amount.  Not sure if that gets you access to XNA Professional, or just the rights to even think about publishing.  Or both?  ;)

    The tough part will be Cert.  Full TRCs I imagine, which are non-trivial (or is it TCRs?  can't recall which belongs to Msft and which to ... other ... major console developers ;) ).

    I guess it depends on what subset they choose to force LiveArcade games to enforce.

    • Language localization?
    • Online?
    • Save games?
    • Stats tracking on your gamer profile?

    All can be painful as they add layers of complexity to the product that are outside what most people think of as the game itself.

    Beyond that, there's access to the X360 dev kits to test on before submitting for Cert.  Those ain't cheap ($10k?  I forget the last figure I heard... something in that order-of-magnitude range).  Definitely outside the range of most homebrew developer types.  And that's not even considering Msft doing clever things like charging license fees just to be on the list of folks that COULD buy a dev kit.  ;)  I have no clue what other fees are involved, but I can gaurantee it isn't cheap.

    So setting up a more community-based publisher would require a chunk of capitol just to get set up, much less hiring any resources to help you polish your game until it's ready for Cert & publishing.  Unless we have a few lottery winners in the dev community here, it seems unlikely that anything like that will spring up on a not-for-profit basis.

    Friday, September 8, 2006 6:53 AM
  • I think $200 is a more realistic price for XNA GSP, but who knows.

    If such an indie-publisher organisation was set up and approved by Microsoft, I wouldn't mind contributing towards the costs. But then again let's not forget all the problems we will have with sharing the dev kit...

    I must admit I'm somewhat disappointed that XBLA games require so much approval. Of course Microsoft need to make sure that XBLA games are of a certain quality and suitable for all ages, but requiring a devkit and a publisher doesn't make any sense to me. (If anyone wants to elaberote on the reasons, please do)

    Making it harder for indie developers to release games on XBLA will limit XBLA's potential. Let's take Flash games as an example. There are millions of them. Why? Because anyone with the Flash authoring tool and enough talent can create one, and then share it with the world with little hassle and cost. I'm not suggesting that we allow anyone to publish XBLA games, but Microsoft should seriously consider making XBLA much more open.
    Friday, September 8, 2006 12:13 PM
  • Unfortunately, I think you guys are way off base with the pricing on GSP.. from the faq:

    Q: What’s the difference between XNA Game Studio Express, XNA Game Studio Pro and XNA Studio?
    A:
    XNA Game Studio Express and XNA Game Studio Pro are related products targeting non-professional game developers and established professionals respectively. Both products integrate with Microsoft Visual Studio. XNA Game Studio Express is intended for the hobbyist/small development group and therefore designed to help create non-commercial games. XNA Game Studio Pro will include additional functionality such as libraries supporting Xbox Live (Achievements, Leaderboards, Multi-player) needed by professional game developers wishing to create commercial, signed titles. XNA Studio will implement enterprise wide solutions aimed at the production pipeline and process by which games are developed in large AAA studios.

    This is what I get from that, and other things I've read:

    GSE will always be free, and with the addition of a creators club membership you will be able to download and depoy other creative club member's games to your 360. This will all have to be done through windows, since you can't distribute binaries for xbox with creators club. I imagine there will be a large community similar to the homebrew scene for other consoles, only recognized by microsoft and easier to use since you won't have to mod your machine and will be officially supported.

    GSP will probably be a modified version of VS Pro,which retails for $800. It is intended for companies that are already working for publishers or planning on having games officially signed and published on XBLA. I can't imagine how they will offer development support for XBox Live without requiring a dev kit. The biggest part of the dev kit is an environment for testing the functionality of these types of things.

    XNA Game Studio is going to be expensive. I remember seeing somewhere that it will be based on Visual Studio Team Edition, which retails for $5k plus. This is definately targeted at large shops that require integrated workflow, source control and project management tools.

    All that said, XNA is a big step for a console and is one that microsoft probably needs to test out a little at a time. There are a lot of things to consider before just opening something like XBLA to everyone. There may be a time in the future where there's a 'community' section on XBLA where normal 360 players can find community submitted games, maybe even with a paypal like payment system, but this is a long way off. In the mean time I imagine there will be one or two companies that start up willing to port GSE created games to a published XBLA title for a majority cut of the profits.

    Friday, September 8, 2006 2:36 PM
  •  Philtho wrote:
     johnnyXNA wrote:
    What's to stop "underground" gaming or is it "indie" gaming from having some really great titles and distribute them themselves? Is that against the EULA?



    Probably nothing, and you may be able to do this to some extent. It's just that if you want your game on the Marketplace with a MS Point pricetag you'll need to go through the whole developer process. I haven't seen MS comment on setting up a paypal website where people can just pay you up front and they email you the registered version of the game or something. Who knows.

    Actually, you may want to re-read the EULA. =)

    Friday, September 8, 2006 2:54 PM
  •  Ty Newton wrote:
    Hi,

    Does anyone else think that the GSE community will need a "enthusiast friendly" publisher?  One that doesn't have their own development kit interests at heart e.g. Garage Games.

    I'd be willing to run such a beast; but I'm not sure if Microsoft would be happy to work with a community focused, rather than financially focused, company.

    Perhaps Microsoft would be willing to "throw a bone" to such an organisation to help get independent (i.e. new and interesting) content on the Live service...


    T

     

    It would be a great opportunity for an entrepenuer floating around here to compile games, validate, test and publish them on xboxlive.

    HOWEVER, according to web shots i've seen there will be a new "XNA" button on the dashboard for XNA games so maybe you can just download them from wherever you wish as long as the fee is paid for the application signature to run on the 360.

    Saturday, September 9, 2006 4:03 AM