Session: Taking Xbox LIVE Arcade Games to the Next Level

Note: I'll be regularly blogging on session at GDC (Game Developer Conference)

Rough notes

Speaker: Scott Austin: Xbox LIVE Arcade, Microsoft

I just interviewed Scott and we'll be posting the video on Channel 9 in the next few days


  • N+ - Level editor
    • P2P versus server (doesn't need to be policed)
  • RezHD



  • GeoWars
    • Pacifist - 60 seconds of living
    • Drives different behavior
  • Tetris Splash
    • Every unlocked achievement adds new fish to your fish tank
  • Small Arms
    • Buzz around non-descript achievement
      • You had to play against someone who had the achievement
      • Then play against someone who has the achievement
    • Indirectly played against someone that has the achievement (2 devs had it and achievement spread from there)
  • Braid
    • Coming out soon
    • 65 levels
    • Uses time as part of the game mechanic
      • Parallel time stream, distort time, reverse time
    • Meta story - find the meaning of life
      • Similar to bioshock
    • Ikaruga
      • Polarity - Black or white
        • Black kills white
        • White kills black
        • White ship shooting white actually helps you
    • Schitzoid -
      • Co-op - only black can kill black, only white can kill white
    • Every Extend Extra Extreme (E4)
      • Allows you to integrate your music into the game, not allowed to integrate your music into rhythm game, (ex: can't do guitar hero with your music)
        • Rip music off your DVD - E4 will figure out rhythm and analyze the music automatically
    • Texas Hold 'Em - Statistics
      • Analyze win/loss, flop, turn, bankroll, hands you've received
    • Undertow
      • Art/graphics to a new level for an arcade game
      • Cut scenes in-between levels, immersive experience
      • 16-person multiplayer game
    • Double Dragon (retro games)
      • Extras section - read storyline, original artwork, hints and trips
    • Take away
      • Innovation is really important to us
      • Innovate in any direction
      • Push the envelope
    • Questions
      • Statistics - Do we have stats on how many games are selling?
        • Do publish under NDA to show games by genre for publishers
      • Is mature content allowed (up to M)
        • Doom is M
        • ESRB regulates
      • How long should a full version of an arcade game be?
        • JewelQuest has high replay value, depends on game
      • Do people purchase directly w/o trial?
        • Can't track right now
      • Examples of games that are not best practices
        • Don't want to highlight games that are "worst" practices, not fair to publisher
      • How long is good for a trial?
        • Frogger - say first level
        • Other games need longer
        • Publishers should sit down and think through what the trial experience would be, don't make it an afterthought