after Microsoft announced its new XNA Game Studio Express on the eve of
this year's Gamefest in Seattle, independent/casual game publisher,
developer, and technology company GarageGames announced the release of
Torque X, the next generation of its Torque Game Engine technology and
tools for use with the Microsoft XNA game development platform.
GarageGames' Torque X is a full-featured 2D and 3D game engine which will support the editors being used in Torque Game Builder, as well as the features of the Torque Game Engine and its shader generation system. In relation to this, Gamasutra sat down with GarageGames' president, Mark Frohnmayer, to discuss the future possibilities for Torque, independent developers and whether or not we'll be seeing a 2D game renaissance.
GS: Now that the entry price for developing for the XBox 360 is so low, what kind of games do you expect and hope to see?
MF: What kind of games do I expect and hope to see? I guess that the easier question to answer would be what kind of game developers I hope to see. As far as what they're going to make, well, I don't know. I think that there's a huge number of areas in terms of games and game mechanics and untapped paths in both 2D and 3D game mechanics that I would hope to see exploited. Mostly what I'd like to see is more people and more creative energy going into development.
GS: Where do you see independent XBox 360 development heading?
MF: I think one of the great things about XNA is that it opens up console development to such a wide potential audience of developers. We'll definitely start seeing applications that you'd never expect to see on a console, things that aren't necessarily games. Whether they're new ways of visualizing music or different forms of interactive video and audio creations, that sort of thing. I think now that we have this device in our living room that people can code for, it's going to be huge.
GS: Do you think that, with Torque X and XNA, we may be seeing some unknowns get discovered and possibly receive full Live Arcade releases?
MF: Absolutely. I was talking to one of the product managers for Live Arcade, and it's certainly going to make their job a lot easier. They have a huge amount of interest in people developing games for Live Arcade. This will allow them to preview and look at the actual running gameplay on the actual console. I believe this will open it up to a much wider potential audience of developers.