Thursday, September 17, 2015

And so the end draws near...

A few days ago, it was announced that Xbox Live Indie Games, the service ran by Microsoft in which independent developers could self-publish their games to the Xbox 360, has put a plan in place to shut its doors by 2017
The day I received this email, Twitter was ablaze with people discussing the topic.  At one point I sorta muttered to myself, "Geez, we get the point, move on."  I thought this because I definitely had moved on from XNA and the XBLIG marketplace.  I released an OUYA game and am nearing the completion of an Xbox One title; however, I have to admit, I haven't really moved on.  On XBLIG I released three games:
Since then I've written a programming book about GameMaker Langauge.  I've also released a game on OUYA and am bringing an update of that game to Xbox One.  That game?  Battle High 2.  Well, sorta, it's an update I'm entitling Battle High 2 A+.  Regardless, almost 4 years after its initial release, I'm still working on this game, so, it was a bit premature -- maybe even arrogant -- to push XBLIG aside and say I've moved on.
XBLIG helped me connect with a lot of talented individuals, a perk that I continue to benefit from as I work on my own games to this day.  The platform was special because it was the first time I was able to get something working on a game console, helping me realize a major goal in my career path, one that I wasn't able to accomplish at my full time job due to varying circumstances.
I guess the sad thing about XBLIG is it was sort of a precursor to a lot of problems the industry -- especially the indie avenue -- faces today:  flooding, substandard quality, cloning, sustainability problems.  But, and, I know this for my first game -- which was not well-received -- it still felt important and an accomplishment to release the game.  To realize an idea and finish it.  So though I am a full-time professional in the game industry, XBLIG gave me an opportunity to create games that I could call mine.
So, next for me is to finish the Xbox One port of Battle High 2 A+, and after that, I think it's time to really move on from XBLIG.  I want to start new games, my own IPs, my own ideas; however, even if I never release another game after Battle High 2 A+ on a console, I'll still remember XBLIG as the first place I was able to.