Written by Matthew Rondina
During the Game Developers Conference this year Microsoft unveiled a very exciting initiative for aspiring game developers called the Xbox Live Creators Program. The program promises a relatively minimal setup and cost on your end to get started as an indie game developer. This also offers unique opportunities for professional gaming on the Xbox, as a more open platform could lead to more competitive indie experiences like Rocket League.
Game Publishing – Simplified
The Xbox Live Creators Program eliminates many barriers to game development, especially when it comes to start up costs and publishing red tape. The promise from Microsoft is the new streamlined process will allow rapid self-publishing of your content from a retail Xbox with very few restrictions. Indie development startups need only their creativity, Xbox One hardware and an Xbox Live Subscription to turn their console into a baseline development kit.
Chris Charla, the director of the Indie Development program at Xbox, or ID@Xbox, says the program is aimed at “everyone” who is interested in game development. What this potentially means is anyone can walk into a retail store purchase an Xbox One, open it up and develop and ship a game from the console.
This is pretty exciting news considering the previously restrictive aspects to getting into game development have mostly been done away with while adding greater tools for social experience on Xbox Live. The new program promises to allow potential developers to integrate Xbox Live social experiences such as sign-in, presence, leaderboards, and more into your title, with minimal development time as stated by xbox.com.
Indie eSports Growth
Looking at Psyonix’s indie smash hit Rocket League, new competitive gaming experiences are coming from development houses both big and small. A move to streamline the publication of more gaming experiences on the Xbox platform could mean the next big indie eSports hit will be on the Xbox platform first, or launch simultaneously with others. Rocket League has spawned it’s own championship series with competitors from all around the globe participating. One of the goals of the Xbox Live Creators Program is to attract developers to build the next unique indie experience on the Xbox platform.
The program is currently in the preview stage, but will roll out to the entire development community in the near future. If you are interested, the first step you can take is to visit here (link to: https://developer.microsoft.com/en-us/games/xbox/xboxlive/creator) and sign up for the program.
It’s exciting to see Microsoft moving toward a more open development platform with the Xbox and Windows 10 family of products as it will help lead to more innovative gaming experiences and more creators having the means to share their gaming vision.
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About the Author: Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things gaming since the 8-bit era. He is a veteran of the video game and tech industry who has been in love with teaching, technology and gaming for over 20 years. Follow Matthew’s gaming adventures on twitter
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xbox live, Xbox One