Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Utah Indie Night – May 2016 Edition

Posted by Rampant Coyote on June 1, 2016

For Indie Night on Tuesday, Katie Stone Perez, senior program manager for ID@Xbox, came out to give us a presentation about the program.

I’m gonna say… maybe if I do more research I’ll feel differently, but I went in a little on the defensive / skeptical side, and came out really, really interested. While it is a bit more of a formal approval process than something like the App Store or Steam (now), it’s how you get your games onto the store for both Windows 10 and the XBox One. There are no exclusivity requirements, so you can also release your game on Steam, on other platforms, whatever. And they are currently even providing free dev kits to approved developers (and free licenses to the Unity exporter for Xbox One).

Katie was very friendly, ultra-supportive of indie developers, and very forthcoming with her best answers to the many, many questions people had. She emphasized how much the program has changed since she came on board… it’s not the same thing it was six months ago, let alone at the launch of the Xbox One two years ago. Now… the flip side may be it may be very different six months from now.

Their emphasis now is on supporting indies, making sure they have the same tools and support as the major publishers (as well as the same marketplace, for a change).  There are no fees for certification (!!!!!). They really sound like they’ve made some major changes for the better, and are now bending over backwards (or at least intend to) for indies.

I would say that if you are an indie considering launch on both platforms, and you have a game in development that is actually a reasonably commercial concept (meaning: you’d be able to pass through a full-on certification process, as opposed to a cobbled-together fart simulator)… I’d suggest checking it out.

You can also check out the web series Katie hosts, Level Up.

As far as the rest of the meeting… I spent all my time yappin’. I mean, networking. Momentum and Siphon Spirit were there, but I didn’t see what else.

ElderStarPosterThe big deal, of course, was the Salt Lake Gaming Con going on this weekend, starting Thursday. Due to scheduling conflicts, I won’t be there this time, unless it’s for a brief visit as a regular attendee (possibly on a panel, but that’s still up in the air!). Deli Interactive will be showing the very awesome We Need to Go Deeper, though, which will be a blast.

Also, the excellent beginner-friendly SHMUP Legacy of the Elder Star is going to be on display, and will be officially launching next week! This is awesome. I have played it a bit while it has been in development, and I’m excited to see the final release.

Overall – an excellent indie game night, with a good crowd, and excellent presenter, and a night packed with good information, pizza, smart people, and games. I’m glad I went.

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