"I think the rise of Twitter has been the greatest thing for developers. It puts us in a spotlight, and that's a great place for us to be."
- ID@Xbox director Chris Charla says that open criticism of the self-publishing program is the best way for it to evolve for the better.
Echoing similar thoughts from Sony's own self-publishing angle
, Charla said at Develop Conference today that the rise of Twitter, and being able to engage with developers directly via Twitter, is helping the company to rapidly expand ID@Xbox.
"It lets us feel feedback," he said. "I'm really happy to be under the hard spotlight of Twitter, even when it hurts sometimes."
An example: Recently ID@Xbox was criticized by many developers on Twitter for not responding to emails fast enough. Says Charla, the team spotted these tweets, and was able to hire someone to specifically address this issue as a result.
"We wanna be accessible at all times, and always have direct communication," he added.
Charla noted that, while the company has opened the ID@Xbox system up as much as possible, it's getting a large number of applications, and is finding it difficult to fulfill demand.
There have been thousands of applications, he said, and hundreds of devs have Xbox One dev kits in their hands now, but that hasn't been enough.
"The most tricky part for us is curating who gets kits," he notes. "We have limited people and kits, so working out who to send to is hard. It's tricky to manage this - we pay close attention to Kickstarter and indie showcases. We try really hard to help developers who don't get kits, to be successful in the meantime."
So when should you apply for an Xbox One dev kit then? Charla says to apply as early as possible -- worst case is that Microsoft doesn't feel like there's enough of your game to see yet, but they'll keep you on their radar. Then once you have more to show, you can apply again.
And remember when Microsoft said that the Xbox One retail console would eventually double as a dev kit? Charla said on this topic
, "We have said that anyone will be able to use retail Xbox Ones to develop games. We're not there yet, so we need to send custom dev kits."