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"Your 'reality', sir, is lies and balderdash and I'm delighted to say that I have no grasp of it whatsoever."
— Karl Friedrich Hieronymus, Freiherr von M√ľnchhausen

Microsoft XNA Enables Amateur Game Development

Microsoft announced today that they will be releasing a beta version of what they are calling the XNA Game Studio on August 30th. And just what is XNA Game Studio, you might ask? It's a version of Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 aimed at amateur and hobbyist game developers to allow them to create video games for the PC and the Xbox360 using a version of the .NET Framework (2.0) with additional libraries for game developers.

The software is free for PC development, and you can join the "Creators Club" for $99 a year, enabling you to test and distribute your games to the Xbox360 as well as gain access to additional tools and content for your games.

The blogosphere was abuzz about this today (thanks to The Average Gamer for being the first to show up in my feed reader with news about this) and with good reason: Microsoft is (a) giving away free software and (b) is enabling a potentially huge number of amateur developers to get into the game space. For someone like me, this is a godsend. I fully intend to redevelop an old game that I wrote in QBasic way back in 1991. I will post more details when I'm able to download the software at the end of the month.

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The Red Bull Diary is the personal pulpit and intellectual dumping-ground for its author, an amateur game designer, professional programmer, political centrist and incurable skeptic. The Red Bull Diary is gaming, game design, politics, development, geek culture, and other such nonsense.