Sunday, November 05, 2006

Make your own Halo

Create your own GTA - Last Wednesday Microsoft released the second iteration of its XNA Game Studio Express beta, upgraded with full functionality for Windows and third party toolset support, allowing hobbyists, academics and independent game developers to more easily integrate game content into their creations. The technology promises to ratchet up indie game development with an expanded set of features.

According to the company, Microsoft’s goal is to empower the masses through offering easy-to-use and affordable tools enabling them to bring their creativity to life by offering:

· The addition of XNA Framework Content Pipeline, a feature set that makes it simpler and more straightforward for game developers to use 2D and 3D content in their game projects from third party digital content creation packages like Autodesk 3ds Max, Autodesk Maya and SOFTIMAGE XSI.
· New content importers for .X and Autodesk FBX 3D asset format in partnership with Autodesk.
· Xbox 360 project system gives game developers the ability to preview game design specifically for the Xbox 360 and pre-compile games starting today, giving developers a head start in preparing their games for the XNA Creators Club availability in December.
· Improved game component architecture updated with a simpler design, adding increased usability based on community feedback.
· Overall performance improvements and optimizations – XNA Game Studio Express Beta 2 is a near final version of the tool.

I really have no idea what any of this means, its way too technical for my small brain. But if this gives people who are much more creative than myself a way to create their own games, I'm all for it.

On a related note... - In August I posted an interview with PSM editor-in-chief Chris Slate and Official Xbox Magazine editor-in-chief Francesca Reyes. My last question for both dealt with how someone could become a gaming writer. They gave some good advice but if you're looking for a different career in gaming I highly recommend the book "Paid to Play: An Insiders Guide to Video Game Careers".

It gives detailed information about a wide variety of gaming jobs, not just gaming journalism. If a career in the world of video games is something you think you would excel at or are considering, I highly recommend a peek at this book. Its a pretty easy read and gives you a great idea of what companies look for and the qualifications you need to get into an incredibly competitive market.

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