Microsoft on Tuesday revealed the winners of its annual Dream.Build.Play competition, which recognizes independent and hobbyist game makers using Microsoft's XNA Game Studio.
France's Nicolas Daures walked away with the $40,000 grand prize with Lumi
, a stylized, side-scrolling action puzzle game that utilizes lightness and darkness in its gameplay.
Winning games have the chance to secure an Xbox Live publishing contract for the Xbox 360, and will be featured on Xbox Live Marketplace, making the competition important not only for the prize money, but the exposure to millions of Xbox Live users.
Following Daures' Lumi
was Thailand's Nenin Ananbanchachai, who captured the $20,000 second place spot with the run-and-gun 2.5D side-scroller A.R.E.S
, while Japan's Yoichi Hayashi won $10,000 with the rail shooter Prismatic Solid
UK-based Norman and Steven Hunt secured the $5,000 fourth place prize with Beat Hazard
, a colorful dual-stick shooter that turns a player's music collection into game levels.
Microsoft's Stephanie Reimann said, "We are continually amazed at the fantastic work and game quality submitted by Dream.Build.Play contestants." She also called Xbox Live "the place to be for independent developers."
This is the fourth year for Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play competition. Last year's winner was Dust: An Elysian Tail
by Dean Dodrill.
Also associated with the Dream.Build.Play competition this year was a new Old Spice-sponsored competition, in which Xbox Live community members voted on the best game that "captures the spirit of the Old Spice brand."
Graham Stewart and RB Games' Newton vs. The Horde
, a physics-based game that has players fending off hordes of stinky zombies, won the $60,000 prize in that competition.