Originally posted to Shawn Hargreaves Blog on MSDN, Sunday, February 24, 2008
This article is brought to you by
the order of one Brandon Bloom, who told me I should post something with
this title after GDC.
I'm very happy that we were finally
able to announce our plans for distributing
XNA Framework games through Xbox LIVE Marketplace. I work on the
framework, so am not directly involved in the distribution mechanism,
but it is a crucial part of our "enable indie developers" story, and
much of the framework was designed with this goal in mind.
we released the first version of Game Studio Express, many people looked
at it and concluded that although developing for Xbox was cool, it was
seriously limited by the lack of any distribution mechanism. At least
you could self-publish your game if you targeted Windows, though.
Game Studio 2.0, things got even worse. Our new networking API was only
available to Creators Club subscribers on both platforms!
Perhaps we were so focused on academia that we didn't
care it was impossible to publish a game which used LIVE networking?
we got too distracted by the details of designing a nice API, and never
even noticed this flaw in our scheme?
Actually, we were planning
for the future. If you think about it, a game published on LIVE
Marketplace has to use LIVE networking: it just wouldn't make sense to
build on any other technology.
The networking bits in Game Studio
2.0 are a developer tool. By shipping the API before the distribution
mechanism, we gave you a chance to learn how everything works, and get
your game ready so that come this fall, you can send it out to an
audience of 10 million Xbox LIVE gamers.
As an added bonus, the
exact same API will soon work
on Zune, too!
Hopefully our design decisions will make more