At Gamefest 2007, the annual Microsoft Game Technology Conference, Microsoft Corp. today announced the highly anticipated winners of its Dream-Build-Play game development contest, which encouraged experienced game developers and enthusiasts to create innovative and fun-to-play video games for Windows or Xbox 360 platforms using XNA Game Studio. In a surprise announcement during the keynote address, an astounding four winners were invited to publish their games on Xbox LIVE Arcade. Tied for first place were David Flook of Ontario, Canada, and James Silva of New York with their respective games: "Blazing Birds," an action-packed, robotic sports game modeled after the game of badminton, and "The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai," a highly stylized game of mayhem and revenge. For their accomplishments, Flook and Silva were offered publishing contracts with Xbox LIVE Arcade, $10,000 (U.S.) each and several other prizes. Steve Olofsson of Sweden and Daniel McGuire of the United Kingdom received honors as runners-up for their games: "Gravitron Ultra" and "Yo Ho Kablammo!" respectively. Because of the amazing creativity demonstrated by these top four winners, the Xbox LIVE Arcade team also extended invitations to publish on Xbox LIVE Arcade to Olofsson and McGuire, along with $5,000 (U.S.) and other prizes.
A total of 16 others were recognized with third-place honors. More than 4,500 members of the gaming community from more than 100 countries enrolled in the Dream-Build-Play challenge. Final results have been posted on the Dream-Build-Play Web site at http://dreambuildplay.com.
"The games we received in the Dream-Build-Play competition are truly inspiring," said Chris Satchell, general manager of the XNA organization at Microsoft. "Created in just four short months using XNA Game Studio, these games demonstrate an incredible range of innovation, fun gameplay and technical achievement."
"We uncovered some remarkable talent with this contest and are pleased to include these original creations in our diverse library of games on Xbox LIVE Arcade," said Bryan Trussel, director of content and portals for Microsoft Casual Games. "It's aspiring, independent developers like these who are really driving our industry."
XNA Game Studio has seen a surge of momentum this past year, with more than 400,000 downloads of the tool and adoption by nearly 200 academic institutions globally since its release last December. In addition to the XNA Creators Club Online community at http://creators.xna.com, more than 50 new community sites in numerous languages have emerged around the world in support of XNA Game Studio, pushing the boundaries of game development further toward Microsoft's vision of true collaboration and democratization.
"Schizoid" by Torpex Games Showcased for the First Time
In his Gamefest keynote address, Satchell welcomed Bill Dugan, president of Torpex Games, to share a live demonstration of the highly anticipated action title "Schizoid," the first Xbox LIVE Arcade game to be created with XNA Game Studio. The game, which will be released later this year, establishes XNA Game Studio as a premier development platform for hobbyists, independent developers and professionals alike.
Microsoft Announces Game Content Usage Rules
Satchell announced that effectively immediately, some game content published by Microsoft Game Studios and owned by Microsoft is now available for noncommercial use by consumers. Under a license similar to the Creative Commons license, consumers may now use gameplay footage, screen shots and other gameplay elements from popular Microsoft Game Studios titles such as the "Halo" franchise, "Forza Motorsport" and "Age of Empires" to express their own imagination and creativity. Details on the game content usage rules have been posted at http://www.xbox.com/...loper/rules.htm along with samples of permissible and nonpermissible use.
New SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Mod Tool for XNA Game Studio
SOFTIMAGE|XSI 6 Mod Tool is new, free 3-D modeling and animation software for the creation of noncommercial game content. Based on the same toolset as the professional XSI 3D software, XSI 6 Mod Tool enables aspiring game developers to create compelling 3-D characters, levels and content designed for use with XNA Game Studio. Integrating natively with the XNA Framework Content Pipeline, XSI 6 Mod Tool comes with an enhanced user interface and training videos from Noesis Interactive, making it a perfect learning environment for newcomers to 3-D game content creation. "Softimage and Microsoft are committed to nurturing the next generation of game creators," said Leonard Teo, product marketing manager at Softimage Co. "With the free XSI 6 Mod Tool and XNA Game Studio, anyone can download these tools and learn how to make great games now. Students, enthusiasts and aspiring game creators now have a toolset similar to those used by professional game companies."
Microsoft leads the industry in helping game developers create amazing games for Xbox 360 and Windows. Gamefest 2007, scheduled for Aug. 13 and 14, will feature nearly 100 sessions for game developers, producers and publishers to improve their skills, introduce them to new development techniques, and deliver powerful tools to help them build the best games possible and engage the community.