In a new XNA-sponsored Gamasutra article, Microsoft's Dax Hawkins presents a comprehensive pictorial overview of Xbox Live Community Games
, which uses XNA Creators Club and a peer-reviewed submission process to allow indies to put their games onto Xbox 360, starting on November 19th.
The in-depth article, which comes after Microsoft released XNA Game Studio 3.0 and Xbox LIVE Community Games 1.0 on October 30, 2008, notes in its introduction:
"XNA Game Studio provides a managed platform upon which to write rich games that can target Windows, Zune devices, and Xbox 360 consoles. Xbox LIVE Community Games enables game creators to sell their Xbox 360 games to more than 10 million Xbox LIVE members."
Later in the article, Hawkins explains all of the significant differences with this release, in overview form:
"Here is a quick rundown of the changes between beta and version 1...:
- Consumers can now play your games. As promised, Community Games will be available to all of the 10+ million Xbox LIVE users [as of November 19th New Xbox Experience update]! You no longer have to be an XNA Creators Club member to download and play community games. Of course, you still do have to be a Creators Club member to submit and peer-review community games.
- Creators will get paid. Version 1 will support payment to creators residing in these countries: United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, Spain, Ireland, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and the Netherlands.
- Games will be distributed in multiple regions. Xbox LIVE Community games will be available in Xbox LIVE Marketplace in the following countries: United States, Canada, France, United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.
- Community Games are integrated into the New Xbox Experience. We have a great experience aimed at the consumers of your game. We've streamlined the download experience (no more separate download of the XNA Creators Club launcher--the XNA Game Studio Connect), exposed a community games Marketplace on the console and Xbox.com , and did a ton of other things to put the community game experience on par with other gaming experiences on the console.
- XNA Game Studio 3.0 improves the game creation process. New platform features make it easier than ever to build your games to take advantage of Xbox 360 functionality.
- It is easier for creators to share community games. We now enable a Playtest phase of your community game so that you can get others to look at your game before placing it in peer review. In addition, we automatically create a new forum thread for each game you place in Playtest or Review. This makes it easier to exchange ideas and feedback with other creators."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature on the subject
, including lots more details and pictures of the submission process for Xbox Live Community Games, and the features of the New Xbox Experience update that allow consumers to play these games easily.