Microsoft XNA Beta Released

Want to write your own games for Xbox 360? Microsoft has announced the availability of the XNA beta, initially to build games for Windows, but eventually to build games for Xbox, too. More details on the FAQ page. Now you have a really compelling reason to learn C#!

13 responses to “Microsoft XNA Beta Released”

  1. Matthew Reinbold Avatar
    Matthew Reinbold

    Hope that was a sarcastic statement. Greg, indie game zealot and founder of Manifesto Games, had this to say:
    "You have been able to create freeware for PCs, Macs, Linux devices, Amigas, Java-enabled phones, Series 60 devices and (I imagine) your HEPA filter forever. But now we are supposed to rejoice that you can create freeware for Xbox?
    Today, this very instant, you can embark upon the creation of your own -commercial- game. Oh, you can do a freeware game if you like, and good for you if you do. But few of us are rich, and would like to be able to make enough money to pay for the development of the next game–and if we are independent developers, and keep our costs under control, just maybe we can do so, if we can attract a few thousand or tens of thousands of buyers. That is, on open platforms, we can do so. Or at least hope to do so.
    If Microsoft was serious, they wouldn’t be restricting things in this way. They’d be saying: Create what you like! And charge what you like! It all supports our hardware!
    But they want to earn money off your software. They don’t want you to earn dime one, unless they get their cut. So non-commercial use only. Unless they decide they like you."
    Covered on my mutednoise site (I’ll admit, I was pretty excited about the project too until I saw that bit of reality):

  2. Richard Brownell Avatar
    Richard Brownell

    Matthew: Yes, you should definitely "rejoice" that you can do games for the Xbox cheaply. Go call Microsoft and ask them how much dev kits and licenses cost to develop on their platform. Hint: very expensive.
    And I don’t know where you get that crap about not making a dime on it. The initial XNA release is a beta of the non-commercial Game Studio Express. If you want to make money, you get Game Studio Professional. Next time read the article Ben links to before replying with somebody’s false information. That guy’s rant is misinformation from Xbox Live "Arena" to Nintendo being "villains" to misconceptions about quality control.
    You want to know why Microsoft won’t let just anybody sell games on Xbox Live Arcade? Most games from indie developers, be they freeware or commercial, are just terrible. Yes, there are exceptions. But they are few and far between.

  3. Aaron Rouse Avatar
    Aaron Rouse

    I wonder if that will get many kids interested in trying to make games and therefore learning some programming skills. When I was growing up, I had some friends whose dad would not let them buy any games for their computer. So their only solution was to a) find means to bypass copy protection which admittedly they did on some and that took learning assembly if I recall right OR b) write their own games, which this they did as well. Both those brothers ended up becoming some rather successful programmers.

  4. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Matthew, no, I am not being sarcastic at all. I have to agree with Richard and Aaron here, this is a good thing because it will encourage more development. I have an 11 year old who has gotten into coding, he’s written a few little apps, and is working on a game now in VB.NET (using the wonderful Visual Studio Express). And Game Studio Express will encourage him, and others, to do more. That’s a good thing, and indeed reason to rejoice.
    — Ben

  5. Programming_Is_for_Chumps Avatar

    Man forget programming and do something that is going to give you a life long career, the days when a 11 year old can do programming are here and that means programming equals low skilled work. Most of it is just copy and paste as well…pff. Anyway if you have talent become an accountant or a scientist, least then you won’t have kids taking you jobs. I for one have been programming for years and know that its out with the old and in with the new. Luckily i got a qualification in Mathematics and I don’t have to put up with the teenagers telling me they know more about Bayesian statistics than i do……What all this means is that while you waste all that time learning a skill that will be outdated soon, the other half are securing there future… And buy the way don’t listen to the Camden’s or the Bluntel’s of the world cause they are just trying to sell software and make money….Larry Page and Sergey Brin would never have done it if they were programmers

  6. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Although as a rule I don’t respond to anonymous posts …
    You are missing the point. If an 11 year old has an interest in programming, that should be encouraged. Whether or not he’ll become a professional coder, or whether or not that is even a profession in the future, is irrelevant. What is relevant is that programming encourages logical thinking, mathematical skills, problem solving, discipline and structure, and more, while providing an outlet for creative expression. And a tool like Game Studio could encourage even more kids to try their hands at these skills. If this succeeds in getting some kids to want to create games and not just play them, then I am all for it.
    — Ben

  7. Aaron Rouse Avatar
    Aaron Rouse

    Just because they learn to program does not mean they have to do that for a living. I’d certainly much rather see kids trying to make cames and other things that take some sort of thought process and imagination over sitting in front of the TV and applying codes from the internet to their latest console game.
    Of the two brothers I spoke of before, one of them used his programming skills to pay his way through college to become a doctor. The other stuck with computers, was one of the higher ups in the making of net meeting(I believe it was that MS tool) and continued to progress through several levels of management.

  8. Programming_Is_For_Chumps Avatar

    these days you don’t need to know anything about maths to do programming, and playing games develops problem solving skills just as much as building one or two. As to Aarons post, yer why don’t you talk about all the other people who have lost there jobs to people on the other side of the world because they work for less, or the many that work for peanuts while all there friends are now earning more as builders/doctors etc. We only ever hear about the ones that made it to management, but i tell you that it is a pyramid out there and most are at the bottom. And i agree with you Aaron, if you get out of programming it is fine, but most are stuck in it. It would be better off teaching the children of today life skills and not about some codes that have no use in the real world… get your kids outside and run around for a while, there is plenty of time to sit in front of the computer on rainy days… i for one worry about kids who don’t interact with others as they end up knowing nothing about being street smart when they are older and end up missing out on a lot of things. Gee computers are the leading causes of overweight children in the western world, my kid is not becoming a fat lard. Again getting kids to create games as you say just reinforces my point that it takes realitively no skills, intelligence or know how to program. It is a mugs game. If you want to be an upmarket secretary or a child then become a programmer, otherwise wise up and learn about the stock market etc

  9. Aaron Rouse Avatar
    Aaron Rouse

    Yes, most people do get stuck in programming but I see a lot of people get stuck in other career paths as well. People need to have the want and initiative to move onto bigger things or they get stuck. I for one could just be happy and content with my job and think it will just always be like this but I do not believe that for one second which is why I am constantly working towards the next step.
    Interesting that you think programming can not help people get their minds going. Of course everyone is different out there and different things stimulate different minds. Such as some people it is music and playing instruments. We have one kid where it is music, get them into some instruments and you see improvements across the board such as behavior, general attitude, and grades. Another kid it is more towards puzzles and programming is one form of puzzle for him, usually things more along the lines of something like ALICE or other animation type programs that are more complex than alice. So when I see something like this I can not help but wonder if maybe my kid would have interest in this and it become something challenging for them. I do not see it as his stepping stone to becoming some mighty programmer but if he decides that path then more power to him. BTW neither of my kids are overweight(one is a little underweight) and far from ever becoming fat lards, but of course even with that ones interest they do not live in front of a computer or TV.

  10. Tony Petruzzi Avatar
    Tony Petruzzi

    As much as you are going to probably get bashed by poeple for saying what you are sayiing, I for one am going to say that you are hitting the nail on the head. I hope you’re not trying to use your comments to get a rise o

  11. Ben Forta Avatar
    Ben Forta

    Encouraging kids to write code won’t necessarily push them to do that for a living later in life. Just like encouraging them to play sports won’t make them NBA or NFL stars. If a kid expresses an interest in doing something productive, something that provides mental stimulation, that must be encouraged. And no, I am not suggesting that kids spend their entire lives at the keyboard, but if your kid is curious about application development and you discourage that healthy curiosity by telling them ‘don’t become a programmer, you’ll just be made redundant when your job is outsourced by some greedy corporation’ – well, that is decidedly unencouraging, it puts a damper on that healthy curiosity, and will probably turn the kid into a cynic prematurely. Again, my original post said nothing about programming per se and nothing about whether it is a wise career choice. All I said was that if you want to write games for Xbox, take a look at the beta. I have done so, and my son will do so shortly. If he wants to write games or any other code later in life, fine, and if not, he’d still have gained skills and disciplines that will be useful whatever he does.
    — Ben

  12. AConcernedAdobeEmployee Avatar

    But encouraging kids to code will waste a lot of time in their formative years. Enough time is wasted on computers as it is encouraging them to sit in front of box any longer is stunting there growth. The number of reason for poor academic performance is computers and the amount of time people waste on them. I you want a future for you kids, forget the programming $2 a day gimmick. Cause it will be over before you know it.

  13. Aaron Rouse Avatar
    Aaron Rouse

    Poor academic performance because of computers? That is interesting considering at the high school level if you do not have a computer with internet access, you can not do a lot of the work they assign. At least that is how it is here, they assign it with the assumption you have those two things. Just how much time is in front of these boxes? I know the computer I have for my kids they spend far less time in front of than most kids spend in front of TVs. I know this because I have the thing locked down just like the TVs, they can only get on them during small windows of time and they can only get to certain things.

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