Sunday, March 24, 2013

XNA Game Studio Connect

or, "How Not to Design your User Interfaces, Episode 84."

Maybe I'm missing something.  I hope I'm missing something glaringly obvious (I do have a knack for it).  If I'm not, it means that with the latest major update to the XBOX console's UI (the move to the Metro look-and-feel), Microsoft has delivered a nice kick in the shins to its indie developer community.  It wouldn't be the first time.

Anyway, for those of you just tuning in, XBOX Live Indie Games (XBLIG for short) provides a way for Joe Anybody With An Idea to write an XBOX game and publish it to the XBOX Live Marketplace.  One needs simply to develop the game code on one's computer, then "deploy" it to an XBOX for testing using a special app on the XBOX called XNA Game Studio Connect.

Used to be that XNA Game Studio Connect lived in the "My Games/All Games" list.  Choose it, hit Play, and off you go.  Ready to deploy.

Now, under the new Metro UI, first of all, it's categorized as a "Game Add-On" instead of a "Game" (or "App" or whatever).  If you navigate to find it, all you get is a "Download Again" option.  You have to select "Download Again" (even though it's already downloaded), and only then are you presented with a message that says "oh, gee, that's already downloaded; would you like to play it now?"  Those aren't the exact words, of course, but you get the point.  To get to "Play Now" you must first select "Download Again."  Yeah.  That's intuitive.

Anyway, in the hopes I'm just overlooking something really obvious, I've posted a thread in the XBLIG forum explaining this and asking what I'm missing.  Hopefully someone will clue me in and it won't turn out that my clumsy approach is the correct one.

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