X48 Gamecamp Winners

The British can have gamejams too! Microsoft organised one last month at the University of Derby, with students and indie gaming types convening to bash out some 48hr game prototypes in XNA. The games, as well as stacks of video diaries, can be found here. They all have the theme “evolution” and there’s a strong whiff of early-stage Spore about them. Unfortunately, for now at least, you need all this nonsense installed to get them working. (I surprised myself by having all this stuff installed already, presumably from judging IGF games.) Apparently a Microsoft volunteer will soon be rebuilding the X48 games to make the titles more immediately executable on your PC. Congratulations to all those involved, and we look forward to seeing output from the next one.


  1. rob says:

    So far as I can tell, XNA is part of a long-term plan by Microsoft to get developers comfortable with development tools which will only ever work on Microsoft platforms. Their main target is obviously that XBox Arcade thing and since they have no real distribution platform that works in a similar way on the PC, it’s likely that these things only exist on the PC as a casualty of that being their development platform.

  2. Gladman says:

    I just was at the University of Derby until late ’08 but I left because I thought it was poo.

  3. Junior says:

    Oh, so when they say an Xbox360 controller or similar, they mean ONLY an Xbox360 controller, since none of my joystick pretenders work at all?

  4. Chris says:

    yea i was there, but saddly didn’t join in the fun. all the people in x48 got a free copy of fable 2 and 12 months on xbox live. Derby has one of the best Computer games based courses in the country. XNA isn’t goin to be anything big, indie designers and triple A designers will always be using something like C++ Xna isn’t goin anywhere big yet, its too resource heavy

  5. Pete says:

    AAA designers will probably stick to C++, but I think Microsoft is correctly targeting XNA at indie developers where games are sold on something other than polygon count. There’s got to be advantages to not having to debug your memory management again.

  6. fearian says:

    Derby has one of the best Computer games based courses in the country.

    Say that again with a straight face! We trounced them fully and absolutly on their home soil! :D Huddersfield Uni Teams took home First place, Second place, and most Innovative concept.

    …erm and the less said about our final teams game the better. :P

  7. BooleanBob says:

    Derby represent!

    I always find it so bizzare when my home town pops up on the internet, or in any other mainstream media; Stewart Lee (wrongly) identifying (and in the same instant dismissing) it as ‘northern’ on the telly this week threw me through an epic emotional gauntlet in the space of a couple of seconds. It’s such a non-entitative space, more a collection of towns than city, and more an aggregation of buildings than towns. Perfectly nice place to live and grow up, mind, but I was left with a glass-half-empty perspective to that old ‘there’s no such thing as boring places…’ cliche, in that I always just assumed that there was no such thing as interesting places.

    Then I went to a few.

  8. Chris says:

    just because huddersfield won doesn’t make it a better course. just means that on the day they had the better idea which turned into a better game. don’t get up your own ass about what i said, seeing as i said “one of the best” not the best. So take ur head out of your ass. jumping to conclusions won’t get you anywhere

  9. Rei Onryou says:

    XNA is truly for indie development that works for 360. Yes, you can make PC games, but unless the control scheme would work with a gamepad, then XNA probably isn’t the way to make it.

    I’ve been making an XNA game for my final year project at Uni and it’s been very useful to make a game quickly, but I bit off more than I can chew. It’s not very happy with mouse input. It supports it, but HUD interaction is an issue (that I’ve suffered with at least).

    Indie style games are the best way to go, and I do think it offers a good framework to work from. Just keep it simple. And in case you need any more coercion, Chris Delay suggested for me to use it for my project. He’s a smart man and I’m glad I took his advice.

  10. Richard says:

    Just a quickie to say that we’re in the process of repackaging the games to be more friendly in terms resources and controllers.