Greetings and glad tidings to everyone! We’re fast approaching the close of one hot summer here with the Seattle area. The end of summer brings with it many things; two of the biggest being the Penny Arcade Expo (PAX) and our annual Dream.Build.Play Competition!

If you haven’t already, be sure to add yourself to the XNA Creators Club Online Facebook group, and sign up for all the fun we have planned for this year’s PAX!

Dream.Build.Play 2009 Finalists and PAX Peoples’ Choice Award 

Top agents have been working hard playing the more than 350 games, made with XNA Game Studio 3.1, entered for this year’s Dream.Build.Play Competition. We’ll maturely and professionally debate over them until we decide on the top six titles. The top six games will join us at PAX, where those attending will be given a chance to play them. Everyone at our booth will be able to vote on their favorite game, and that game will receive an additional award and the honor of being PAX Peoples Choice! Be sure to stop by the booth to see these games before anyone else and vote for your favorite!

Xbox LIVE Indie Games Texas Hold ‘Em Charity Event

When: Saturday, September 5th at 12:00 (noon) PST
Where: Xbox LIVE Indie Games booth
Who: Players will be randomly selected from those who are marked as “attending” on this Facebook event.

Do you know when to hold 'em? Do you know when to fold 'em? Do you know when to walk away? Do you know when to run? Well, if you do, enter the Texas Hold 'em Charity Tournament, hosted by Xbox LIVE Indie Games and benefiting Child’s Play! Those selected will participate in a round-robin style tournament, playing a never-before-seen Texas Hold 'em Indie Game created by TikGames! Everyone that competes in the tournament will receive a prize, with the winner receiving an awesome prize package!

Panels

Of the many, many amazing panels held this during this year’s PAX, these three are some we think would be of particular interest to indie game developers like you!

Breaking into the Game Industry the Educated Way

Friday, 1:00pm-2:00pm, Raven Theatre

Computer and video gaming industries have grown from niche markets to mainstream. Top studios seek top talent to make their multi-million dollar games. Colleges are picking up on this trend – even major universities have begun offering game design programs and degrees. What should you expect to get from this education? How can any curriculum keep up with the breakneck pace gaming technology is advancing? Educators and professionals discuss the real world value of a game degree.

Panelists Include: Denise Novosel [Moderator] - (Staffing Manager IEB and E&D, Microsoft), Kim Swift (Game Designer, Valve Software), Kelvin Sung (Associate Professor Computing and Software Systems, University of Washington Bothell), Ron Jenkins (The Guildhall at SMU, Deputy Director), Joshua Hernandez (Producer, Metamoorephosis)

 

What is an 'Indie Game'?

Saturday, 3:00pm - 4:00pm, Wolfman Theatre

The rise in game platforms and distribution mechanisms has elevated the cultural profile of indie games. But along with this increased attention is an increasing debate about how to break through in the market. What really makes an indie title? Is it the game’s budget, art style, community outreach, or their distribution mechanism that really makes indies soar? This panel will examine the success stories within the indie gaming community to begin to expand and educate developers and gamers about this in-demand space.

Panelists include: N'Gai Croal [Moderator] - (Consultant, Writer, Columnist, Hit Detection LLC), Boyd Multerer (XNA General Manager, Microsoft), Simon Carless (Chairman, Independent Games Festival), Derek Yu (Editor-In-Chief, The Independent Gaming Source) James Silva (President, Ska Studios)

 

Harmonix Rock Band Network Panel

Saturday, 5:30pm – 6:30pm, Serpent Theatre

Rock Band Network is a groundbreaking initiative to empower musicians to put their songs into Rock Band themselves. But here’s the thing – it’s also pretty hard if you don’t know what you’re doing. Come see members of the Harmonix RBN team give a demonstration of the process from charting songs to playing them. With Special Guest – Jonathan Coulton.

 

Xbox LIVE Indie Games Boothblogpaxshirt

All weekend long we’ll be rocking out in Booth 141 on the expo floor. We’re bringing plenty of stuff to share, play, and give away! Be sure to drop by and say hello; we want to meet our Indie fans! We took a picture to show off our rad Xbox LIVE Indie Games PAX 09 shirts so you know who to look for!

Follow us on Twitter and here on the Team XNA blog to stay up to date on everything happening all weekend long!

xxoo

~kathleen sanders

XNA Community Manager

 

(Left to Right: Tracy, Kathleen, Minnie, Stephanie)