Monday, 18 August 2008

XNA and GravSheep

The whole XNA thing was on the back burner for me for a long time. I have a very creative side to me and I always like to be working on something outside of work, usually for fun. Last year it was all about the band. This year there's still the band but I've also worked on Pointless Quest, and now I'm diving back into XNA.

I used to write a lot of computer games when I was younger, and XNA is helping me get back into that on Microsoft platforms, which suits me down to the ground. In July, the new Creator's Club website was launched, bringing with it the abillity to submit games for peer review. People with access to the Community Games beta (currently US only) can play submitted and approved games on the Xbox 360 simply by downloading them from the dashboard. Those of us without the beta can still play submitted games by uploading the neat .ccgame packages to the 360.

Last year, I started work on GravSheep, my first XNA game. It's not a new idea, the game first appeared on the Amiga back in the days of my bedroom programming team, Team Mango. The project was put on hold because I got bored (as I do), but with the new XNA features I decided to get back on the ball. Especially as come Christmas time, I'll be able to make money from it via the Community Games feature of the forthcoming dashboard update.

The premise of the game is simple, but I'll let my short trailer explain it for me:



There's still a lot of tweaking to do, and still a number of levels to create in time for release at Christmas, but I'm already getting some great feedback from the XNA community. It's already got me thinking about expanding Team Mango once again to include at least a graphics dude. In fact, if you can draw nice looking 2D game graphics, why not leave a commment?

No Excuses This Time

I've been pretty busy as usual and really wasn't feeling the need for a blog. Here's a quick rundown of what's happened since my last update in April:

  • My band played a mediocre gig...
  • ...so we decided to go all out and organise a gig of our own in November. I'll blog more about that in the next couple of months. Ten bands in twelve hours!
  • I found out that "nice" guys don't always finish last.
  • I went to Paris (for the first time) to attend the Blizzard Worldwide Invitational. I did a little sightseeing whilst I was there. I may write about this in more detail at a later date.
  • I turned 27.
  • I went to Wacken Open Air 2008. I drove there. It was my first time driving on the continent. It was fun. At The Gates and Carcass kicked ass. Nightwish suck even more now.
  • I got back into XNA and released GravSheep to the XNA community. My next blog post will be about that.
So yeah, I've been a little pre-occupied!