XNA Game Studio Express
© 2006 Microsoft Corp.
Windows XP, Xbox 360
Teaches: Creativity, math, logic, programming
Microsoft is doing something smart, by following the lead of GarageGames, an authoring system for novices designed in part by folks like Jeff Tunnell (inventor of The Incredible Machine). The strategy could increase the number of titles by seeding the platform with thousands of s...
Microsoft is doing something smart, by following the lead of GarageGames, an authoring system for novices designed in part by folks like Jeff Tunnell (inventor of The Incredible Machine). The strategy could increase the number of titles by seeding the platform with thousands of smart, very motivated developers. Available for free for Windows XP-based PCs, there is also a Creators Club ($99 per year) that will let users test and share their games on Xbox live, running on an Xbox 360. So this package also has a publishing path. In creating this package, Microsoft did some homework first, by pulling in two important players in the game development space: Autodesk and GarageGames. Autodesk (a well known 3-D authoring program) will make it possible for users to incorporate content into XNA Game Studio Express using an Autodesk’s FBX file exchange format. GarageGames (www.garagegames.com) has been at the center of creating novice-friendly game design tools, with its Torque Tools package, which will also be compatible with XNA. Torque was used to create Marble Blast Ultra, which is one of the most popular games on Xbox Live. It has migrated both its Torque Shader Engine and new Torque Game Builder 2-D visual game designer to the XNA Game Studio Express platform. A beta of the software is available as a free download on Windows XP, for development on the Windows XP platform. The final version of XNA Game Studio Express will be available this holiday season. A second XNA toolset geared toward game development professionals is scheduled to be available in Spring 2007. Microsoft hopes that XNA Game Studio Express will liberate anyone with a game idea to create titles for Xbox 360 and Windows XP simultaneously.