Not only this. We’ll also have the same flap we had back when someone
proposed porting Crystal Space to the Playstation. I suppose no one has
forgotten that SDL’s licensing is LGPL, and that sort of prevents Sam or
any of the developers actively involved in developing SDL from signing the
NDA which Sony requires of all would-be Playstation and PS2 developers. I
hope this is not true of other gaming consoles.
I have pasted, following my signature, the standard response from MS
concerning Xbox development, which clearly states that developers must sign
license and ND agreements…
Olivier A. Dagenais - Software Architect and Developer
Thank you for your interest in the Xbox development.
The Xbox is the most powerful game console yet built, and it is a
non-trivial platform for which to develop. If you are not conversant in
modern programming techniques and tools, if you don’t know C++, DirectX, and
have a solid grasp of modern processor and graphics technologies, you
probably want to reconsider trying to develop a game until you have these
fundamentals down. On the other hand, if you know DirectX and nVidia, have
made games on other consoles, and/or PC’s and have a great idea, you should
definitely talk to us.
The Xbox is a game console. As such, we are not likely to approve
development or publication of non-game titles at this early stage. The ideas
we want to see are hard-core games for hard-core gamers in the 16 to 26 year
old market. If you want to make the next great children’s educational title,
then Xbox is not for you at this time.
There are three ways to get on board Xbox development. The primary method
for becoming an Xbox developer is to be working with a publisher on an
approved Xbox title. Developers working on approved titles have access to
full technical support and development kits. In addition, they have the
benefit of having someone else paying the bills! The other two methods are
designed for “unsigned” developers who are working without a publisher. The
programs are not open to minors.
There are two programs for unsigned developers:
The Independent Developer Program makes Xbox technical information
available to developers who are willing to sign a non-disclosure and license
agreement. This is the program that most unsigned developers will take part
in. The materials - known as the Xbox Prototyping Kit, or XPK - will be
provided free of charge and include basic technical specifications,
information on best practices for Xbox development, instructions on how to
put together a PC-based system which can act as a low-end Xbox dev system,
and a prototype development guide which covers the important issues involved
in making Xbox games. While there will be no technical support offered,
there will be newsgroups accessible to participants in the program.
Note that the Xbox Prototyping Kit does not contain any development tools
and does not enable you to develop code in and of itself. You will also need
to purchase Microsoft C++ 6.0 (Professional version recommended), and the
DirectX 8 SDK. The DirectX 8 SDK is available on-line at
http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/ and Visual C++ can be purchased at any
major software vendor.
To apply to the program, send an email with the subject “XPK Application” to
xbox at xbox.com and include your name, company name (if any), mailing address,
email address, phone and fax numbers.
The XPK will be available in January, 2001.
The Xbox Incubator Program will allow serious developers with the
resources to self-fund a prototype development effort to obtain development
kits and technical support as if they were publishers. This program is
limited to a relatively small number of developers and is intended to offer
support to the best teams with the best ideas. To that end, the key
requirement for acceptance is a game concept that blows us away and the
wherewithal to turn it into a real prototype.
There is an initial application that must be completed and returned to me.
If your application passes review, you will be sent a non-disclosure
agreement to complete and once that is in place, you will be invited to
submit a full proposal using our form and any collateral material you may
wish to attach. A review committee will vote on the proposals. If the
concept is approved, you will be allowed to obtain development kits at the
same price as a publisher and will also be granted access to developer
The incubator program has a 6-month time limit. Within 6 months, you need to
have found a publisher for your concept, return for re-authorization, or
return the development kits.
Applications for the Incubator Program are available now. If you wish to
apply to the program, send email either to me ( scober at xbox.com
<mailto:scober at xbox.com>) or if you are in Europe or Australia/NewZealand to
Adrian Curry ( adcur <mailto:adcurry at xbox.com>ry at xbox.com) with your
request. Please include complete contact information for our records.
Account Manager Developer Programs