A Cool Way to Improve Your C# Skills

Yesterday we announced XNA Game Studio Express. While this may not have direct relevance to federal developers at work, it does provide a cool way to practice your C# skills at home. In a nutshell, XNA Game Studio Express is a tool based on Visual C# express that is optimized for building games targeted at the XNA Framework, which is based on the .Net Framework 2.0. The XNA Framework will be available for Windows and Xbox 360, so students and hobbyists will be able to use XNA Game Studio Express to target both platforms.

That's right. You can write games that will run on the Xbox 360. From the faq, here is how it will work:

Q: How much will XNA Game Studio Express/XNA Framework cost?
The XNA Game Studio Express tools and runtime environment for Windows is completely free. To develop, debug and/or play games on the Xbox 360 you will be required to purchase a XNA "Creator's Club" subscription on the Xbox 360 through Xbox Live Marketplace. The subscription is available in 2 options, $99 a year or $49 for 4 months.

Q: How exactly can I share my 360 game to other 360 users? Will my game only be available to people with the XNA "Creators Club" subscription? Will it be available to all 360 users that have an Xbox Live account?
There is currently no supported way to share binaries on the Xbox 360. Currently, there are four requirements that must be met in order to share a game targeting Xbox 360 which is developed with XNA Game Studio Express.

  • The individual you are planning to share the game with must be logged in to Xbox Live and have an active subscription to the XNA Creators Club
  • The receiving user must have downloaded the XNA Framework runtime environment for the Xbox 360
  • The receiving user must have XNA Game Studio Express installed on their own development PC
  • The game project, including all source and content assets, must be shared with the receiving user. The receiving user then compiles and deploys the game to their Xbox 360.

For more information, check out the following: