I've been living in Juneau, Alaska for the past 7 years. I work in the IT field and recently got back into programming so I've been spending a lot of time futzing around with Microsoft's XNA Games initiative. I forgot that coding can be fun when you're not working on your umpteenth massive relational database.
I plan on trying to update this Blog at least weekly with XNA related posts. Since there isn't a lot of XNA news at this point a lot of it will be covering the issues I'm dealing with on my first attempt at making a game in XNA. Also, I'll be trying to review an XNA game on a semi regular basis once I have paid the $100 to be able to run XNA code on my 360.
This news is month old so it might be a little stale for those of you up to speed on whats up with XNA. For the uninitiated though there was a two part interview with Chris Satchell general manager of Microsoft’s game developer group on http://www.developmag.com the 2 part interview (Part 1 & Part 2) consisted of trying to open up Live! to allow there to be a section on it for all the XNA based games. Chris Satchell compared the idea to YouTube for XNA on Live! Sure it sounds like a great idea that I would love to have implemented on Live!, but it also opens up a whole series of questions.
Up to this point Microsoft has had the ultimate say of what can and can't be available on live. So if they try to create this XNA YouTube like idea is there going to be a submission or screening process and if there is it's most likely going to get even more bogged down than the XBLA certification process. There are some apps created by XNA coders like a ported NES emulator and a ported MAME emulator that smacks of copyright issues. Would something like that be available on the service, most likely not, but it sure would be fun.
Another issue is that up to this point to play any XNA games it required joining the XNA Creators Club at $100 (U.S.) per year. You were also required to compile the code yourself and then load it onto your 360. So would there be an option possibly with XNA 2.0 to create an executable that will run on the 360? Because right now if you want friends to test out (and hopefully enjoy) your games they either need to be part of the creators club (@ $100/year) or able to come over to your place to try out your game.
Finally there are the really obvious issues with XNA as YouTube on Live! While just about everyone can make video clips and upload them there is a very small fraction of people out there that can code in C#. So that already narrows down the potential user base of this initiative. The other issue, one that has made YouTube as big as it is today is that the submission process is totally open and free. You hear that Microsoft that dirty four letter F word is what makes YouTube, well... YouTube. Try not to forget that when you create you own XNA YouTube portal Microsoft.