Game Developers Conference 2009 was a hotbed of awesome XNA-related adventures, learning, and activity! Team XNA kicked off GDC week with two days of talks, highlighting the full breadth and depth of tools and technologies available to game developers building games for Xbox 360, Windows, and other Microsoft platforms. To highlight key Microsoft products and technologies, we also sponsored nine sessions in the main conference, and had more than 15 additional talks throughout the GDC agenda.
To support our ongoing efforts for every level of developer, Team XNA previewed a new Xbox Development and test Kit with additional memory that some devs called “gorgeous” and “sexy”. And of course, we kicked off the 3rd annual year’s Dream-Build-Play Competition and some new features for the next version of XNA Game Studio. For more on this you should check out this earlier Team XNA Blog post!
This year, we set up our Lobby Bar with a small theatre style area where we addressed several developer focused topics as well as a separate set of workstations for an “Ask The Experts” hands-on demo area where people could test out what they heard in each talk. Hopefully soon we’ll have many of these presentations available for download through XNA Creators Club!
The Games for Windows LIVE team announced new anti-piracy solutions to protect games from being pirated before first day they are available. They also unveiled a new in-game Marketplace that lets developers create unique store fronts and experiences surrounding the sale of additional content, and premiered roaming functionality which would permit PC gamers to save their games and personal settings in the cloud providing access to their favorite games on any compatible Windows PC!
Every year, GDC hosts the Independent Games Festival and every year this event gets bigger and more incredible! This year we’re excited that Erik Svedang’s XNA Game Studio game, Blueberry Garden won the Seumas McNally Grand Prize and $30,000! There were so many incredible games nominated (including Xbox LIVE Community Game and Dream-Build-Play 2008 winner CarneyVale: Showtime!) and you can read all about them at Gamasutra.
I also got a chance to meet many current and aspiring Community Games developers. I can’t say it enough that I’m so happy to be part of this amazing community of space brains. Every single person I meet impresses me with their sincerity and enthusiasm!
Next week, we’ll be sure to return you to our regular pro-tips and tricks content. If you’ve got a great link you’d like to share here, be sure to send it to me at XNAKat@microsoft.com!
XNA Community Manager