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Weekly Poll: Homebrew It Yourself

Microsoft Announces Xbox 360 Homebrew Kit

Xbox 360Aspiring game developers, rejoice!  Microsoft has announced a Windows XP-based software package for use in developing games for the Microsoft Xbox 360 and PC.  For just $99 per year hobbyists can join the Creators Club which in addition to the development software provides a framework to test and share creations.

The games created with XNA Game Studio Express will not initially be available to regular Xbox 360 users, although there is hope that successful titles made with the package might go on to debut in enhanced form on the universal Xbox Live Arcade service, and a longer-term goal is to create a less restricted distribution market using Xbox Live.

Somewhere out there right now is someone saying "Finally, I can make my own Super Mario game for the Xbox!"  Stop right now!  I can promise that fan-created titles based on copyrighted elements will never see the light of day outside of the development framework, lest Microsoft face the wrath of Nintendo, Sega, Capcom, and dozens of other publishers.  Here's some free advice to those folks: if your game is fun enough to stand on its own, it doesn't need a "borrowed" Mario as the star.  Create your own original characters and scenarios.  Achieving success with an original creation is much more satisfying than merely piggybacking off the successes of another company, plus an original character is much more likely to be picked up by the Powers That Be (if any of them are watching).