Monday, August 14, 2006

XNA Game Studio Express

I think this could be very interesting.

From Gamasutra (thanks Chris Meadowcraft):
Microsoft has revealed XNA Game Studio Express, a new product which will allow indie developers and students to develop simultaneously on Xbox 360 and PC, and share their games to others in a new Xbox 360 'Creators Club'.

The details of the new tech are as follows: XNA Game Studio Express will be available for free to anyone with a Windows XP-based PC, and will provide them with what's described as "Microsoft's next-generation platform for game development." In addition, by joining a "creators club" for an annual subscription fee of $99, users will be able to build, test and share their games on Xbox 360, as well as access a wealth of materials to help speed the game development progress.

Full article here as well as many additional details.

Anything that lets more people make more games and lets more people financially support themselves making games will result in more great games.

Okay, that was kind of a mouthful.

Let's say that a thousand new games get created that wouldn't have otherwise existed because of this program (that's not a guess or anything--it's just a number to use for the example). Does it matter that 99% of these games will be crap? Absolutely not--because we won't be playing them. Instead, we'll be playing the 10 great games that did emerge.

At one level, great games are a brute force function of math--all other things being equal, the more games that get developed, the more great games we'll have around. And yes, I know that all other things are never equal, but the math is still important. It also speaks to what I've written about many times--the democratization of content development is good for everyone.

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