07 December 2010

Steamworks, Developing for XBox Live, and Unity

Legion is on hold for now as I prepare to return to the States. I've had little time to write, and what time I do have is used to work on the book. More to follow there.

For now, let's talk Steamworks (http://www.steampowered.com/steamworks/). Steam is the lovely computer application that allows you to download games to your account, and then play on any computer where you have an internet connection and login to your steam account. Steam is owned by Valve, creators of Half Life, Half Life 2, Team Fortress 2, and Portals and Portals 2. Steampowered is their business solutions division. Here they give you the tools to distribute your game for free through Steam, and Valve takes their cut through the actual sales. There's even info on Steam for Mac, micro transactions, the Steam Cloud, how to give your product the Steam makeover, and the Unreal engine that the team at Valve uses to create their games. The main Steamworks page above has everything you need to get started. If you're interested in producing games and distributing them, then Steam and Steamworks is the way to go.

XBox live also has a development page, though less detailed than Steamworks: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Community/Developer/DevelopingForLiveArcade. You have to contact the XBox Live arcade team, but they give you a venue to distribute your game through Live.

UNITY (http://unity3d.com/unity/) is a free game development software that makes game creation relatively easy. The program gives you everything you need to create, program, and distribute your game. You can even save your game as different formats such as PC, Mac, XBox 360, PS3, Wii, iPhone, or Android.  This flexebility allows you to distribute your game across multiple platforms. If you want to sell your game, you have to purchase the $1,500 package. Though a steep price, it's a one time purchase and is equivalent to a game selling liscence. Besides, if you put the work into the game and make good sales, it will pay for itself, perhaps many times over.

I bring this to light as one of my colleagues and I are slowly working on a game. The details are super secret squirrel right now. Suffice to say our plan is concrete as we venture into the video game making realm.

My next post will see me back in the great old US of A. I'll see you all then.

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