Game Design Software for Sale

XNA.jpg

Sitting at the airport clearing emails – having just flown back from Malaysia and now waiting for a plane to Samoa where I’m going to be presenting a session on blogging to a UNESCO seminar.

This, however, from eSchool News – a story about how Microsoft Corp. plans to offer a consumer version of its professional software for creating video games that run on its popular Xbox 360 console.

I’m sure there’ll be all sorts of cynicism expressed about the motivation behind this release etc etc – but from my perspective this is exactly the sort of thing that we need to be looking for – enabling our students to become creators, not just consumers, and so tap into some of the rich potential that lies within them in terms of creativity, flexible thinking and innovation.

Introducing game development into our school curriculum mightn’t be such a bad idea either – the skills and abilities that are developed can be applied in fields much wider than simply creating X-Box games. Just this week in Malaysia I was speaking with a business organisation that is about to undertake a significant project developing a training programme for the agriculture sector. Within this they are wanting to develop 3D simulations and role-playing applications – guess who the’ll need to build them?

The Microsoft product is called XNA and In their news release about the product, Microsoft says that by joining a ???creators club??? for an annual subscription fee of $99 (U.S.), users will be able to build, test and share their games on Xbox 360?? and access a wealth of materials to help speed the game development progress. This represents the first significant opportunity for novice developers to make a console game without a significant investment in resources.

2 thoughts on “Game Design Software for Sale

  1. I agree with your angle on this of getting students to use this software to develop games.

    I am sure there are a lot of people that will instead invest thousands in using this app to develop corny games that students can play to learn things!

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  2. Having never posted before; I hope that this information will not duplicate that pulished elsewhere… In Northumberland we very much embrace the notion of our pupils becoming ‘Creators’ rather than remaining ‘Consumers’. As part of course work, we make games, construct finacial projections, design the packaging… then sell them. The sales side is non-profitmaking and carries the Kudos of having games in a local retail chain, the motivational incentives for this are obvious. To create games, we use 3D GameMaker, FPS Creator, Microworlds EX and Mission MAker. If anyone out there is interested, I’m happy to chat (at length!) about the project and our ideas. Steve Robson Secondary ICT Consultant, Northumberland LA

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