XBox Live Independent Games
 
So, as Truth or Treason makes its way through the  Peer Review process I have been testing other XBL Independent Games. Since it is a community after all, it is an unspoken requirement that you do for others what you hope they will do for you. I have come across a few that I have been very impressed with including: Rotor’scope, Pew Pew Pod, and Tank-tastic. All of which are worth checking out on the XBox Live Independent games channel.
 
What concerns me more are the amount of apps, and crap games that are making their way through the pipeline. For instance, I saw a metronome “game” approved the other day. This is simply a program you start on your 360 and it will be a metronome for you, of which you can vary the speed... Really?!? Why would someone use their 360 for this task? This seems much more like an iPhone app, or just go buy a digital metronome...
 
My concern here is that the XBLIG independent channel simply becomes a  second App Store... full of 100,000 pieces of crap, in which consumers cant find the good stuff. This is perpetuated by the fact that Microsoft themselves do not approve/deny the software that comes through. It is a peer review system, so if you can “convince” enough people to pass your product it is on.  I think Microsoft needs a simple clarification of app vs. game. Or include two separate channels for the two realms of application. I don’t know where the line is drawn, but I will be very saddened if the one channel for independent developers to get their ideas seen becomes a grocery store of helpful $1 metronomes, magic 8-balls, and controller massagers (Yes, I’ve seen this... and yes, it is disgusting).
 
This happening would be the equivalent of Sundance starting to allow any 15 year old kid with a camcorder to enter their “Jackass” film rip-offs in the festival... Sad sad day it would be. Unfortunately, for now the only way to prevent this is to simply not pass these “games”. I am doing my part, if you are reading this, are part of the XNA community, and feel the same way... please do yours.
Monday, March 8, 2010