ID@Xbox program opens today, gives indie devs free Xbox One dev kits

Microsoft wants you to know that it is serious about indie development on Xbox One. With its new "Independent Developers @ Xbox" program (ID@Xbox), the company plans on courting talent by offering free devkits, a support team, and access to exclusive events.

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Microsoft wants you to know that it is serious about indie development on Xbox One. With its new "Independent Developers @ Xbox" program (ID@Xbox), the company plans on courting talent by offering free devkits, a support team, and access to exclusive events.

Registered ID@Xbox developers will receive two kits at no cost. Chris Charla will oversee the program and "maintain personal communication with a vast majority" of developers. In addition, registered teams will get access to community managers for any questions about the program.

Applications will be available here. Priority will be given to indie devs "who have a proven track record of shipping games on console, PC, mobile or tablet." There is no application fee.

In conjunction with this announcement, Microsoft included a number of prepared statements from indie devs briefed on the program. SpyParty developer Chris Hecker seems to be on board, making it likely his game will end up on Microsoft's next-gen console. "I'm really excited that Microsoft has listened to feedback from developers and created this program. As an independent developer, I want SpyParty to be available to as many players as possible, and it feels like Microsoft is interested in not only removing roadblocks for indies to get their games on Xbox One, but they're also genuinely interested in finding ways to bring new and innovative indie games to their platform to help games reach their potential as an art and entertainment form," he said.

From The Chatty

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    August 20, 2013 2:30 AM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, ID@Xbox program opens today, gives indie devs free Xbox One dev kits.

    Microsoft wants you to know that it is serious about indie development on Xbox One. With its new "Independent Developers @ Xbox" program (ID@Xbox), the company plans on courting talent by offering free devkits, a support team, and access to exclusive events.

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      August 20, 2013 2:35 AM

      xbox.com/id gives me a 404. :(

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      August 20, 2013 3:42 AM

      Q: Do ID@Xbox games have to go through certification?
      A: Yes.


      Not good; cert process was half of what made being an indie developer hellish on XBLA for the 360. At least title update cert doesn't have fees any more as of this July ( http://www.shacknews.com/article/79944/sony-does-not-charge-fee-for-patches ), but that didn't happen until the growing list of developers refusing to patch their game, starting with Fez on XBLA, and Silent Hill HD Collection on 360 (yes, a game publisher refused to patch a RETAIL game, because the costs of the patch outweighed the return on investment! http://www.shacknews.com/article/75198/silent-hill-hd-collection-xbox-360-patch-scrapped )

      The real question that prospective ID@Xbox developers need to ask is: "How disruptive and hellish is the cert process?" Yes, I know that certification grew out of a "Platform holders are not your QA", but cert has done more harm than good in too many cases in the past 4 years. Cert is what killed off Avatar: The Last Airbender: The Burning Earth's achievements and turned it into a running joke (Giant Bombcast 8-14-2012 3:07:00).

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        August 20, 2013 5:04 AM

        Otoh the appstore seem to be doing fine. The real question is about fees. The problem on the 360 was the high fees. If it is free or cheap like on phones, then certification is a win.

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          August 20, 2013 5:22 AM

          There will always be some artistically-minded devs who feel that certain UI requirements (such as requiring a menu at the start, or a "Press Start to Begin", or leaderboards or whatever) will shatter the delicate vision of their creation.

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            August 20, 2013 5:24 AM

            And they will get exemptons just like they did on the 360. E.g. Bastion.

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        August 20, 2013 5:17 AM

        So if they are not charging fees for or limiting the number of title updates, do you think it will continue to be hellish? Wasn't that the main point of contention?

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          August 20, 2013 5:23 AM

          The initial cert (and recert for failures) cost is still a big deal. They dont mention it, but wp8 and w8 are cheap/free so that seems likely.

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      August 20, 2013 4:56 AM

      Wonder if Philipe Poisson will receive one?

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      August 20, 2013 5:06 AM

      This is a big deal: "On Xbox One all games are treated as equal". I.e. no separate indie channel.

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      August 20, 2013 7:02 AM

      explains the free unity license news from a while ago