MS offers deals to four XNA devs

Two winners and two runners-up of Dream-Build-Play indie Xbox 360 development contest offered chance to publish their games on Live Arcade.

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Blazing Birds shared top honors with Dishwasher: Dead Samurai.

In March, Microsoft began accepting submissions for its Dream-Build-Play promotion, a contest that challenged independent developers to create their own Xbox 360 games using the XNA Game Studio software. The winner of first prize was to receive a prize package including an Xbox Live Arcade publishing contract.

Microsoft today announced the results of the Dream-Build-Play contest at its Gamefest 2007 Game Technology Conference, and the publishing giant is actually doling out not one, but four separate contracts to developers of submitted games. The company said more than 4,500 people from more than 100 countries enrolled in the contest, and the number of quality entrants was such that four contestants would be given the opportunity to publish their games on Xbox Live Arcade.

The cowinners of the contest were Blazing Birds by David Flook of Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai by James Silva of Marcy, New York. Flook's Blazing Birds is a futuristic 2D twist on badminton, with robotic spheres hurling power shots at one another across a neon net. The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai is a side-scrolling action game featuring over-the-top violence and a main character that uses an array of blades and guns to mow down adversaries.

The runners-up were Gravitron Ultra from Steve Olofsson of Stockholm, Sweden, and Yo Ho Kablammo! by Daniel McGuire of Huddersfield, UK. Gravitron Ultra is a multiplayer-focused space shooter in which players attempt to protect their home bases from black holes by attaching gravity orbs to them. In Yo Ho Kablammo!, players sail around a number of islands collecting treasure, priming mines, and attempting to sink other players' ships with cannon fire.

Microsoft also took the opportunity to show off Schizoid, the first XNA Game Studio game set to be released on Xbox Live Arcade. Billed as "the ultimate co-op game," Schizoid is for two players, one in control of a red ship, and the other in control of a blue ship. Each ship can destroy enemies of its own color and is vulnerable to enemies of the opposing color, so players must work together to clear waves of enemies while keeping each other safe. Developed by Bellevue, Washington-based Torpex Games, Schizoid is set for release later this year.

Finally, the company detailed new game content usage rules designed to give people more creative freedom in how they use footage from Microsoft games. Essentially designed to allow people to legally create machinima films based on Microsoft games (like the Halo-derivative Red vs. Blue), the new rules still retain a number of caveats, most notably that the content can only be used for noncommercial purposes, and that soundtracks and audio effects are off limits. The full text of the new rules is available on Microsoft's Web site.

Discussion

63 comments
IRoxxorUrSoxxor
IRoxxorUrSoxxor

These actually look way more interesting than the other stuff on XBL. Then again, I'm one of the guys who bought Space Giraffe. EDIT: Good lord the Gravitron Ultra trailer sucked.

ghog69
ghog69

They all seemed like neat little additions to Live Arcade, but IMHO the two runners up should have been the winners.

DeanCorleone
DeanCorleone

Its a mainstream game dev kit (XNA). It was built on DirectX most say, yes, but if you ask any vet to programing they will say one simple thing. NXA is targeted for the hobbist programmer - Oh by the way smarty DirectX SDK's are free as well. Below are simple quotes from GameDev.net ( a site abuot game dev since you want to act like you know so much ebookerd1) "XNA is targeted at hobbyist. DirectX is still alive and kicking, and there are no plans to replace it with XNA." "Well, it depends on what you really want. Do you want to make high performance applications using the latest in graphical technology? Do you want to use C++? Do you just want to get stuff on the screen and make a game? Do you ever intend to target different platforms (other than PC and XBox 360)?" "I don't think DirectX will be replaced by XNA as the more popular choice (at least not any time too soon). XNA is still pretty young. I've done a little bit with both (DirectX 9 and XNA), and what it really comes down to is what you want to do with it. " Its the same thing as using the Windows API's to make a game, addition over-head makes it easy to use, but you're not going to see anything really impressive from it for awhile to come its to young, and M$ wants to try to push it to add another income source to its Xbox Live Arcade setup. XNA doesn't have support for any other operating systems, as of yet, and like you said if you want to put stuff on 360 - you have to pay... Wow M$ after more money. XNA is in my opinion a RAD tool, look it up. Its like learning VB 6.0 when you're able to learn, and download C++ Express for free... P.S. DirectX 9 is a dev-kit as well(Look up SDK if you are confused by simple terms), it supplies a serious set of API's just as OpenGL does(look that one up also if ya need to.), idiot. (referring to ebookerd1 ). I don't bash things I only say my opinion - XNA is very young, and is targeted toward simple, basic programmers. I'm sorry if I enjoy the idea of learning more complex programming, and look down on something other then that - its my opinion, so don't call me a idiot because you're being a fanboy of something new (XNA) Have a nice day.

jknight5422
jknight5422

I like the XNA approach. I'm hoping somebody will use it to make more PC rpg-oriented games, instead of just arcade. It seems it should be useful for creating some time-consuming games of that nature.

orfbin
orfbin

Blazing birds looks amazing!! I love badminton

playstation_wii
playstation_wii

It's nice to have new faces in the gaming industry. :)

VenDaler
VenDaler

I tried to get into the XNA thing, but what I made, wasn't running on my computer, so i haven't tried it since. I don't know if it was my computer or what, but after all I put into it, i haven't tried again... yet.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Hey DeanCorleon, XNA is free unless you want to put the games on Xbox. then it is a $99 license per year. I think it is worth it considering they give you a free tool kit that you should be paying 400 dollars for as far as software and enuff tutorials to build close to anything. By the way and it is built on DX9. You can use it for PC games as well it is great. Try reading up on something before bashing it like an idiot. The DX core is needed for sound and additional features. It is just a lighter interface that is much simplers than attempting to code it by hand. Thus making it a Dev tool kit. give it a try it is pretty fun. you can be a Dev Noob and probably come up with something.

ebookerd1
ebookerd1

Nice XNA is great if you can get it to work on your system I have been trying to get that thing to work for 3 months now. But the demos and environment from a coders standpoint is really good. It is nice to see up and comming developers getting a chance to make it out there. It gives me more hopes that I won't have to move to india to get my next job. LOL!!

subrosian
subrosian

Schizoid seems like a complete ripoff of the excellent Ikaruga.

DeanCorleone
DeanCorleone

Wow M$ is really forced their new XNA Game dev kit - I see it maybe as a replacement for DirectX series in the long run. I don't look at it as "M$ helping small game makers"... they are simply mustering up attending for their XNA software. No I'm not a PS3 Fanboy. I own a 360... I just figured since M$ is pretty much dropping the DirectX that they are moving on to XNA APIs and trying to try to push the market as they did in the 90's with DirectX. Either way its nice to see such detailed games being created in a small amount of time. They are good at what they do.

Dreski83
Dreski83

sounds like Microsoft isn't all that bad after all... :roll: best wishes to the winners tho, I look forward to checking out their games.

Hvac0120
Hvac0120

The two winners sound pretty cool. I especially like over-the-top violence in my samurai games! Glad to see that all four games come from different parts of the world. Nice to see the diversity in there.

oddworld7
oddworld7

dishwasher and YoHo looks good

shabulia
shabulia

Holy crap, Dishwasher: Dead Samurai looks incredible!!! It's like Alien Hominid HD but black and white with tons of red blood and more violence!

cowbrains788
cowbrains788

XNA is C# oriented, you can currently port them to your 360 via LAN connection, but they said somewhere (don't quote me) that they would be uploadable through a screening process by 2009 or 2010

edhc44
edhc44

turk4eva41 i dont know how to use xna. can some one help -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- It's not like you can make games just by "clicking around", it's a C# based IDE with some tools to aid development for PC or X360. I'm still learning C#, but I know other programming languages (and even developed a couple of games in Java), but if you're not a coder and don't intend to become one, don't even bother.

barom
barom

man that dead samurai game looks SICK. I would so play that.

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

Congratulations to the winners. All games are most deserving. The quality of the entries was truly great, and I can assure you you have my custom when those games go Live. :)

SUPER-X
SUPER-X

Hey! Dose anyone in here want to team up and possibly make some games ? I mean. This is a perfect time to realize the value that Microsoft's Live market can bring to the video game industry and I for one wouldn't mine trying a different career move ! So. Why not everyone who's interested in both playing and developing games, jump on the Microsoft XNA Game Studio band wagon while the market is still young, before it becomes too saturated for the average person to break into. With that being said; Who wants to start networking so that we the consumers can bring great games to the industry and not just leave the responsibility to the many experienced developers who've already payed their dues in the industry. Theres no better time then now for change.

turk4eva41
turk4eva41

i dont know how to use xna. can some one help

Takalth
Takalth

XNA rocks. From a developer's side, it's ridiculously easy to program in compared to traditional DirectX. I actually hope that they charge for these games, though, (with the devs getting a proper cut). If a group can make one great game, they can usually make several, and getting enough money will allow them to quit their jobs and focus on making more games. If they don't get anything more than a bit of prize money, though, they'll still be stuck with trying to put something together around the rest of their life.

edhc44
edhc44

As a aspiring game developer myself, I gotta say this James Silva of Marcy is one wicked coder...

edhc44
edhc44

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

IKKF
IKKF

Well, there definately is a lot of talent out there. The indi-devs have some great ideas and I look forward to these guys' games.

Big_T-Mac
Big_T-Mac

microsoft is making the dreams of a few come to fruition. again, another reason to support the 360 instead of casually dismissing it. if the other two did stuff like this gaming would be in a much better state.

GameSnake89
GameSnake89

wonder when they will come out i hope soon

prostar343
prostar343

Ah this is a really cool thing. Congrats to the winners. I wonder if they will be having another one next year. As this is beneficial to both MS, and the contestants. MS gets a full completed game to sell on XBL, and the contestants can make a profit of their game getting published onto XBL.

ashuncc2
ashuncc2

That's cool some 4 developers are getting the opportunity to get games published on Xbox 360. Yeah, I have to agree with the board......Dishwasher looks sweet.

bjl8624
bjl8624

wow, that dishwasher game looks awesome... almost like God of War inspired too, with the blood effects seeming similar, as well as how you have to do certian things with the buttons to kill a guy. (ie. pressing y will kill one guy, but not the other, or having to tap 'b" multiple times to kill someone.) its like a whole bunch of God of War's minigames. i have yet to look at the others, but its lookin like i'll be geting that dishwasher game. haha

RgvXavi
RgvXavi

just another form of XBox and XBL/XBLA really trying out ground-breaking ideas. MS is saying: well if you think you can create; here the tools start writing code. thats a good thing because they, MS, are letting gamers create for a console they love to play. sony isn't doing anything like this: MS really trying to get the grassroots developers to showcase thier creations to an installed base of over 10 milliion. i'm telling you, everyone's focusing on the wrong point: how graphically better the ps3 is and yadda, yaddda, yadd. as i stated in a post in regards to the BioShock demo on Live: everyone's missing the greater picture that MS is trying to paint. by creating cross-platforming(shadowrun, GoW, and others to come) and allowing the ability to stream media from XP Media Center to the 360 and vice-versa MS is trying to create a seamless world. a media lifestyle that is fully integrated allowing a person to switch from device to device to device with no loss of library content. so if you have a fave song track on the pc, it can also be on your 360 for games with custom soundtracks or your Zune by hooking it up to the 360. im telling you: everyone needs to realize that MS is DOING something Sony should have thought of a long time ago since they, sony, have more devices and peripherals(i.e. tv's, consoles, blu-ray players, mp3players etc.) out than MS. everyone wants to rag on MS for being corporate and blah, blah, blah but what they are really trying to do is say: hey, if you buy OUR products you can live in an electronically seamless and integrated world. and i for one am all bout streamlining and integration. take me to the future MS, I'm ready.

themyth01
themyth01

good, very nice, ms is on the right track here.

peeweeshift
peeweeshift

that dishwwasher game is overthetop.i hope it releases to 360 and i hope it gets fully reailzed later into a hd game with textrues

greystone227
greystone227

I'm hoping they are free, although I'd be willing to pay at least for Dishwasher, because that game looks sweet and well worth the money. On the Blazing Birds website, you're allowed to download the game for free and play it on your 360, but obviously only if you're in the XNA Creator's Club (so you can stream the game to your 360 from your computer). I am testing if you can play it on your computer with a 360 controller though. I'll tell you guys after it's done downloading.

Farzan777
Farzan777

Man, I love the Xbox 360. I wish I can make games for it

poolboy8
poolboy8

Aegis Wing was not made with XNA. Like the above article says, "Schizoid, the first XNA Game Studio game set to be released on Xbox Live Arcade."

zero9167
zero9167

The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai looks amazing

Evanrocknuma
Evanrocknuma

Cool are these games going to be free when they are published to xbox live like XNA's Aeges Wing? I should have entered that contest, or atleast bought the softwhere to have my own created XBLA game :)

HALOISTHEBEST26
HALOISTHEBEST26

thats great that they give people oppertunities like that to publish great ideas

RaiKageRyu
RaiKageRyu

Schizoid, a cooperative version of Ikaruga. Cool.

xDonRobx
xDonRobx

I might get Blazing Birds. Sounds fun. Definitely getting The Dishwasher and Schizoid

poolboy8
poolboy8

Yes, Schizoid definitely sounds Ikaruga-based. It should be good. Ikaruga had a novel idea that never got used in any game since. Well, any game I'm familiar with.