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Connecting Communities, Redefining Xbox Live: Chris Satchell On XNA
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Connecting Communities, Redefining Xbox Live: Chris Satchell On XNA

March 7, 2008 Article Start Previous Page 4 of 5 Next

Will there be access, I guess? Or will things have to be submitted to other regions? Is it on the user's end to say, "I want this game to go out to the other regions?"

CS: Yeah, you have to say. Let's say there were five different regions with their classifications. You as a creator would say, "Okay, I want it to be in every region, so I'm going to do the descriptions and hit my levels for each region." You might say, "I'm not localized," and I don't think a lot of community members are going to be able to do localization.

No, I don't know if they're going to be able to put their game into Portuguese for Brazil, for the most part.

CS: I think it might be difficult to get appeal in other regions, because there's probably going to be more than one other language. But I want to see how that turns out. At least we're going to have the tools and the pipeline in place to be able to have respect for each region. I think that's the important part.

It's interesting. There's always been the theory that Microsoft was going to do the "X Boy," but there's never been any real credibility to that theory, as far as I'm aware. Coupling XNA with Zune is an interesting way to still get into the handheld games space with an existing device and not have it be a potential problem or liability.

CS: It is interesting, because Zune was never designed for gaming. I don't know about you, but I love the way this control input feels, especially...

Right now in this game [Zauri] specifically, you mean?

CS: Well, in general. I love it in this game, but I've done it with other games before. Yeah, we've got some other games, and it works really well. We did this, and we were super surprised at how well it worked.

Yeah, this works. Using the thumbpad to actually navigate actually does work. It's responsive.

CS: We've got another one. We ported a Wolfenstein [3D level], and you turn the Zune sideways and use it to slide around the level. That's pretty cool as well.

The Zune had some feature upgrades to the service since the platform came out, but the original Zune and the new Zune... are there any hardware differences between the units?

CS: I think there are some hardware differences, but they basically have the same processor, though. The [hard drive and] flash device are the same, and in terms of screen resolution and processors... we haven't got one with us, but you can run this on the eight gig Zune as well.

Okay. The reason I'm asking, I mean, with PC, there's probably even more differentiation, but if there's different generations of Zune... obviously with iPod games, you have to have the right iPod to play the games, so it can maybe be a little bit of a hassle for the users.

CS: I think... well, obviously, there are probably [new] Zunes coming out this year, so I think the first few generations will work. The interesting one will be if it ever had any discontinuity. Imagine if you put 3D acceleration in the Zune.

3D acceleration for mobile devices is super-cheap now. There's some amazingly cheap graphics chips; actually, you get an all-in-one, processor and everything. It would be really interesting to see 3D acceleration. Of course, I'm a bit of a tech-head, so of course...

No, it could be really interesting, and I think the screen on the Zune, unlike the classic iPod, is big enough to satisfy more of a core gamer audience.

CS: You could do 3D on that and it would be fun.

It's bigger than one of the screens on the DS, anyway. Maybe not both together. Actually, the way it's vertically aligned, you could get some DS ports going, depending on the game.

CS: Or we could get all-new content, and it would be amazing!

Given how competitive the gadget market is right now, it leads to the race to add features to make devices more compelling, right? That's part of the reason to want to have XNA on the Zune, I would think.

CS: Yeah, well, I think also it's we're still coming at it from both angles. On one hand, I want to create the best game development technologies and give all the creative people power in managing the community, in as many outlets as possible.

On the other side, and this is the distribution side, and there's more choice in there for the core. I think there's going to be more fun concepts that you just won't get any other way, and I really see it as that hand. It's like, the best triple-A games, and the best independent games on Xbox Live Arcade, and the best community games. We come at it from both sides, and as you connect those communities, that's what a pipeline's about.


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