Bachmo

Before I commit serious time and effort to the XNA framework, I'm wondering if anyone knows Microsoft plans for allowing us to redistribute our games for Xbox360. I'm an academic. Let's say I want to make some educational/simulation games that my students can use on the Xbox 360. Will I be able to provide them with a CD or download link in XBox live As far as I can tell so far, the only games I can write are for myself.



Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Derek Nedelman

There is no announced policy on distribution through Xbox live, so you probably shouldn't count on the availability of such a mechanism.

In fact, I'd go so far to say that if you're going to be distributing the software to students (and running on school machines I'd imagine) you might focus on something more portable, such as SDL.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

waruwaru

I don't know if running on xbox 360 is essential to your idea, if not, you can always work on the Windows version. Although that has some hardware requirements which your students/lab may not have. I also wish MS would clarify the distribution strategy. Sure, you can zip up the source and pass it out like candies. But no one can run it unless they plop down $100 for Creator Club membership.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Jim Perry

From the FAQ:

Q: How can I share my Xbox 360 game built with XNA Game Studio Express with other Xbox 360 users
A: To share your Xbox 360 game with friends, four requirements must be met:

  • The individual you are planning to share the game with must be logged in to Xbox Live and have an active subscription to the XNA Creators Club
  • The receiving user must have downloaded the XNA Framework runtime environment for the Xbox 360
  • The receiving user must have XNA Game Studio Express installed on their own development PC
  • The game project, including all source and content assets, must be shared with the receiving user. The receiving user then compiles and deploys the game to their Xbox 360.

We are actively working on other ways to allow you to more easily distribute your games and are very excited about the possibilities this will open up for independent game development.

Q: Can I store my XNA Game Studio Express game on my memory card or CD/DVD and share it with a friend
A: No. Games developed using XNA Game Studio Express cannot be shared through a memory card or CD/DVD at this time.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Bachmo

Jim,

Thanks for pointing out the FAQ; in fact I read that FAQ before posting. It suggests that our games will only be useful to people who are willing to install XNA studio on their computers and build the games--basically, other developers. I figured I must have missed something because the excitement about XNA is about being able to build high powered games for the Xbox, games that ordinary people can play.

Certainly I can distribute my games using other user-friendly media (I currently use Flash), but the 3-D graphics power of the Xbox is very attractive. I've seen hints that Microsoft will open up the Xbox to "indie" games and I wondered if anyone knows more about this and can provide clarification. Obviosuly, many of us don't want to invest lots of time to develop games that no-one can play.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

glenrm

It would be nice to be able to publish the game to see a limited number of User IDs that are not in the creators club (say 10 or so) as a start to testing wider use. I was thinking of this if I were to try and get my nephews into computer programming it would be nice to publish some games for them without the overhead of the creator's club. Also the ability to send the game without source code and with encrypt content is going to needed at some point. I am sure the XNA team is aware of the issues let's hope the continue to get it right as they have done up until this point




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Holm76

I saw a movie not so long ago where an XNA Creator talks about the future of XNA. I dont know if it was a recent video or an old one.

But this guy talks about what you can do with XNA and how great it is that you can deploy to the X360. He then talks about the stages or lifetime of XNA if you will. The first stage was to get this great product out the door. Out for us to play around with and learn and to deploy to our own consoles. He then talks about the next stage where they hoped to be able to enable members of the XNA Creators Club to be able to send compiled code to their friends on their friendslist. If the reciever had to have a Creator membership or some XNA Users Club membership the video didnt say but that would be the goal for stage 2.

Stage 3 would be to create some sort of upload/download service where XNA Creators could upload their game and everyone could download the compiled code directly to their X360. Again I dont know if this would require some sort of membership to be able to download.

And again I dont know if it was a recent movie or an old one showing what they hope XNA will be like.

It seemed faily recent though.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

r2d2-proton

If I'm not mistaken, a Professional version of XNA will be released this year (2007).






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

NightAvail

I could be wrong about this but from what I'm "assuming" the professional edition will be geared to established companies and not independent developers. I'm also going to assume that there will be a larger subscription fee and a more strict screening on what games will be published using XNA Game Studio Professional Edition onto the XBox 360. I hope I'm wrong and that the Professional Edition will be geared to both "serious" independent developers and established game studios.

(Concerning XBox360 development)
The problem right now with
XNA-GSE (XNA Game Studio Express), is that it's geared to the game creators and not the average person the developer is trying to attract. Who wants to pay $100 to play a game made by some independent developers I'm sure they could go out and buy the next Ghost Recon or Gears of War at a much cheaper cost... So right now I think the Creators Club subscription needs some work on, but I think they're trying to figure that out right now as well..

I am optimistic, and I'll continue using XNA-GSE because of that optimism. I believe the XBox360 could benefit greatly with a strong independent developer base that can bring new and innovative games to their system. Of course, I don't think Microsoft wants the independent games to be in direct competition with the commercial games that are trying to make money in the stores.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Jim Perry

 NightAvail wrote:
I could be wrong about this but from what I'm "assuming" the professional edition will be geared to established companies and not independent developers. I'm also going to assume that there will be a larger subscription fee and a more strict screening on what games will be published using XNA Game Studio Professional Edition onto the XBox 360. I hope I'm wrong and that the Professional Edition will be geared to both "serious" independent developers and established game studios.

As the Pro version will be targeted as established companies, not indies, I don't believe there will be a subscription fee.  I could be wrong, but that's how I've read what little has been discussed on the Pro version.

 NightAvail wrote:
(Concerning XBox360 development)
The problem right now with
XNA-GSE (XNA Game Studio Express), is that it's geared to the game creators and not the average person the developer is trying to attract. Who wants to pay $100 to play a game made by some independent developers

 * Jim Perry raises hand  since I'm doing my own development for the 360 anyway. The Creator's Club isn't for gamers, it's for game creators (thus the name).  It's more a way of getting people to have the ability to create games for the 360 than it is for people to play them. I don't expect non-developers to be purchasing a Creator's Club membership and I would bet MS doesn't either.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

waruwaru

Yeah, alot of us do this because we love games dev and we are masochists. But you have to admit that showing off and watching your friends enjoying your creation is a huge motivation. I think right now alot of people are relying on MS's promises that they will "do the right thing". If MS comes out and say that non-club-member can't run the game, alot of people probably won't subscribe in the first place. They can just use XNA/XGSE on Windows with a bigger API library, and reach a bigger audience for free.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Ty Newton

Perhaps Microsoft could be generous and create an indie games area that non-developers can access. Naturally they need to make a buck out of it so charge a minimal subscription fee to gain access to the area.

Sponsor a wiki and a forum for each game and another to the area and Microsoft will have created something special that could potentially attract and keep a new demographic.

Sponsor an indie community to perform basic quality assurance and deployment tasks and suddenly its not a lot of work for Microsoft staff.

They could even charge the developer a small fee to host the games in the indie area. This would discourage abuse of the system.

Anyone from Microsoft listening





Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

r2d2-proton

The only difference between the Indie and the professional game houses is the amount of resources. Other than that, it's fair game.

We'll all use the same API's and have access to the same distribution channels. Don't worry; nobody is going to be banging down your door to sell junk.

As it was once told to me, the cream percolates to the top :)






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

Jim Perry

r2d2-proton wrote:
We'll all use the same API's and have access to the same distribution channels.

Not really. The publishers that the industry companies use aren't usually going to distribute indies games.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft's future policy for redistributing Xbox 360 games?

r2d2-proton

Bottom line: Publishers are out to make money, just like most folks. If a game has appeal it will sell. (Indie films )

That¡¯s all I will say on this one. . .

But the real issue is what limitations will be placed on GSE

I¡¯d imagine the same as with all the Express editions. However, in a Microsoft tradition the cost to move from free to professional will be nominal.

My concern is more of a technical nature (of course), and that is accessing the multiple cores with the Express edition. I¡¯ll be the first to say that I¡¯m not too excited to be programming at the .Net level, especially since I usually work with chipsets on a daily basis.

BUT. . .

I have nothing but high praises for Microsoft regarding their entire endeavor. They have worked diligently to provide the community at large free tools to learn and play with. And on top of that, their people are going out of their way to communicate with us in a personal way.

Yea, I programmed in Assembly (with MASM no less), long before the .Net era. During that time, I often thought of creating a game. However, because I worked on PC¡¯s (and others) regularly I wasn¡¯t really motivated to do so. I tried on several occasions over the years to get access to Sony, Nintendo, and Dreamcast with no success.

I knew once Microsoft got into the fray that it would only be a matter of time before they would open up access to it. Yes, I am happy. . .

Truly though, I wish I could get complete access. . .maybe not you, but me yes :D