Wannabe games designers get helping hand from Microsoft

Microsoft's bloggers have been grabbing lots of attention lately, from the Zune Insider man to the Vista engineer who ate humble pie after an awful co

Microsoft's bloggers have been grabbing lots of attention lately, from the Zune Insider man to the Vista engineer who ate humble pie after an awful cock-up with the new OS's speech recognition.

Well, now there's new blog from the XNA team, revealing all kinds of juicy info about making your own 360 and PC games.

Team leader, Boyd Multerer, reveals that the XNA Game Studio Express software will be available in the autumn. The program will let wannabe game designers have a stab at creating the next Halo or Project Gotham Racing. Sadly it’ll be US only to begin with, but we’re awaiting an update from Microsoft in the next couple of days about a possible UK service.

From the screenshots posted on the blog (like the one above) it appears to be a fairly advanced development kit with shading and high-end graphics, so anyone with the skill can showcase their talents. Handily, the team will also give away source code and art from existing games as examples.

If it doesn’t stay Yank only and us Brits do get to have a go, your hard work and toil will be playable on either your Windows PC or very own Xbox 360.

Unfortunately the service won’t be completely free. To run the codes on an Xbox, there’ll be a yearly subscription charge (US$100) and only Windows-based creations will be available to share, although the team aim to put this right sooner rather than later.

If we do get our hands on the kit, watch out for a first person shooter featuring members of the Stuff team, coming to an Xbox near you.

Essentials

XNA Game Studio Express

Related links:

XNA team blog

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