Indie games have become a huge market in the video game world, and Microsoft has just made it easier for publishers to deliver those creations right to your digital doorstep.
The Xbox Live Creators Program has officially launched, meaning developers can now directly publish games to the Xbox One or Windows 10 PCs. The first Creators Program games are already available in a special section of each platform’s store, called “Creators collection.” Only nine games currently populate the list, but Microsoft hopes indie developers will begin to publish basic titles that can be played cross-platform on both a PC or the Xbox One.
Some of the currently available games include Animal Rivals from Blue Sunset Games, ERMO from Nonostante and Space Cat! from GershGamesLLC.
“Xbox empowers game developers large and small to create different types of games for every type of players,” reads an official Xbox statement. “It’s all about offering a diverse range of games, and this program has that for sure.”
The benefit of Creators is that studios can utilize a simplified certification process and even skip the concept approval stage, going straight to publishing a finished game. This means smaller developers can devote more time to games and less time to clerical admin processes that bog down the delivery of content. Anyone who plays video games knows that waiting on a game’s release is excruciating, made worse by the disheartening feeling of seeing that it has been pushed back.
Design your own game
This feature seems targeted towards a more layperson kind of game developer, as the process is as simple as designing games can be. If you want to try your hand at becoming a Creator, Xbox has some steps for you, outlined in their release.
- Take advantage of tools you’re already using; like a retail Xbox One console, the free Dev Mode Activation app from the Xbox Store, and game engines like Unity, Construct 2, MonoGame, and Xenko.
- Use a Microsoft Developer account (which can cost as little as $20) and download the Xbox Live Creators SDK.
- Create your game and then ship it through a short and simplified certification process.
Creators-made games have access to social Xbox Live features, use of your gamertag, leaderboards and more, but do not have access to online multiplayer, achievements or gamerscore.
“This is just the beginning,” reads the release. “We’ll be sure to spotlight more of the diverse array of Creators Program games that catch our eyes.”