Go check out this really awesome Ars Technica Interview of Matt Lee from the XBox Game Technology Group. While the whole interview is well worth the read, I'd like to quote what Matt has to say about what XNA is doing in the space of builds....
"The XNA Build community technology preview released at GDC shows a glimpse of what's possible when powerful build tools are applied to content production. Programmers take things like compilers and linkers for granted. These tools scan header files and file timestamps, and automatically determine dependencies and perform incremental builds. Content builds are similar to code builds—many files with dependencies need to be processed into a final build, but content builds have traditionally not enjoyed the same features and benefits as code builds. Content builds at a game studio are typically composed of a mixture of off-the-shelf tools (Maya, third-party middleware) and custom in-house tools, all tied together with project-specific scripts. These scripts are typically hard to maintain and debug, very project-oriented (so they aren't reused for multiple projects), and when something breaks, one or a handful of people become the bottleneck to getting it fixed. XNA Build takes the MSBuild build engine and replaces those scripts in content builds—providing cool features like debugging, incremental builds, distributed builds, logging and more. I think studios will readily adopt this tech, since it will save them money and make the day-to-day development process run much smoother.”
Way to go, Matt!
[ Author: Faisal Mohamood ]