Monday, August 14, 2006

So You Think You Can Create Videogames?

XNA Game Studio Express

XNA Game Studio Express is a new offering, targeted at students and hobbyists for game development. XNA Game Studio is based on Visual C# express 2005 and lets developers target both Windows and Xbox 360. XNA Game Studio Express contains the following:
  • The XNA Framework Content Pipeline which is a set of tools that allow developers to more easily incorporate 3D content into their games
  • The XNA Framework is a set of managed code development libraries which will allow game developers to be more productive when creating games for Windows and the Xbox 360.
  • Game Studio Express also contains a full set of documentation, how-to’s and starter-kits that demonstrate how best to utilize the content pipeline and XNA Framework.

A beta of XNA Game Studio Express will be released on August 30, 2006. To receive a notification when the Beta is available, please go to http://connect.microsoft.com and select "Available Connections." Then choose the XNA connection and follow the link to sign up for the XNA Game Studio Express Beta. (Note: A valid Windows Live ID is required, if you do not have one, you will be given the option of creating one.)

Windows Development with Game Studio Express

Developers will be able to download Game Studio Express from MSDN and develop games for Windows for no cost. Additionally, XNA Game Studio Express will allow developers to commercialize their games for Windows.

Xbox 360 Development with Game Studio Express

Developers wishing to target Xbox 360 for game development will need to join the XNA Creator’s Club. The XNA Creator’s Club will be a new Xbox Live subscription offering that will provide the additional pieces needed to develop non-commercial XNA Framework-based games on an Xbox 360 retail kit. The subscription program will be open to everyone. The subscription is available in 2 options, $99 a year or $49 for 4 months.

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