Today was X07! It was a blast as usual. As in previous years we were on hand to talk about the developer side of things. For the second year in a row we focused on XNA. Unlike last year (when XNA was very new), we had some excellent examples and demos on hand that had been built by the community - including the winner of the Dream.Build.Play contest. We did 18 media interviews over the course of the day - so hopefully you will see some XNA stories over the next few weeks.
XNA is a very powerful set of technologies. Not only is it unique in the gaming industry - unlocking the power of user created content and allowing anyone to build games and deploy to either Windows or the console - but it is a great way to excite young people about a career in software development (which is key to Canada's long-term competitiveness in Information Technology). We already have 6 schools actively doing work with XNA and I would really like to see that number double or triple.
Dave Flook - the winner of the contest - was on hand with me as we talked to the press about his XNA-built game Blazing Birds. It's a really great little game - and rather addictive (which perfect for this kind of 'casual' game genre). The game is polished, fun and looks great. It really shows the power of XNA Game Studio and the platform. Dave beat out 2500 other entries to be named top-dog of the contest. It's a very cool Canadian success story! (and this is not even his full time job!). His prize included:
- An invitation to enter into an Xbox Live™ Arcade Publishing Contract
on terms and conditions applicable to such offer
- $10,000 USD
- Alienware Aurora® 7500 desktop system with AMD Athlon™
64 FX-62 Dual Core Processor, courtesy of Alienware PC and AMD
- Retail copy of Windows Vista Ultimate* operating system
- Autographed Xbox 360 Premium SKU retail console**
- 2-year subscription to the XNA Creators Club†
- 25 four-month subscription tokens to the XNA Creators Club, to
share your masterpiece with friends and family
- Choice of Softimage®|XSI® Advanced 6.0, Autodesk® 3ds Max® 9,
or Autodesk® Maya® Complete 8.5
Here is a screenshot of Blazing Birds:
In addition to Dave we had 2 other cool demos. Frozen North (a startup based out of our Innovation Centre at the University of Waterloo) showed of some concept-demos they built to show how XNA can be used to develop educational games and David Hu, a high-school student, showed his game WarPong.
Some other links I have found so far tonight.....
Interested in learning more about XNA? Check out the developer centre and the DevelopMental site. Also - keep your eyes open for the many Game Camps we run all around Canada. If you are already doing something cool with XNA, let us know!!!!