In today's main Gamasutra feature, Beth Dillon covers the 2005 Indie Games Conference, held by GarageGames in Eugene, Oregon from October 7-9. As Dillon notes in her introduction: "The conference is known for learning, networking, celebration, community, game playing, discussion, game development, and, of course, the bar. A primary focus this year was on the rising popularity of casual games."
Part of this year's Conference dealt with making casual and indie games for the Xbox 360, as is explained in the feature:
"Why should independent developers publish games on Xbox 360 Live Arcade? Katie Stone of Microsoft spoke on this subject at IGC, promising a frictionless distribution with no cogs involved and no minimum purchase quantities. She pointed on that there is a direct channel to reach connected Xbox 360 consumers via the dashboard, which supports much lower development cost and quicker time to publishing.
Stone went on to detail some specifics on Xbox 360 Live Arcade. In order to publish a game on the service, the developer must create a full game experience that can be digitally distributed in a relatively small file size (a target of less than 50MB for faster broadband speeds in North America, and sub-25MB goals for international). It must be playable without physical media or other dependencies. The game also needs a free trial version, with limited but entertaining gameplay to qualify.
Adaptation is essential to creating a successful game, Stone suggested, indicating the Xbox 360 developers should consider the ten-foot sitting range gameplay experience versus the typical PC two-foot experience. In addition, designers must keep in mind the affects of TV displays on fonts and colors - for example, reds are more saturated. The controls and navigation, in game controls, menu and UI elements cannot be text heavy, it was argued, and also noted was the need to remember the audience when programming difficulty and game progression modifications."
You can now read the full Gamasutra feature
on the subject, including more coverage of multiple sessions from indie developers (no registration required, please feel free to link to the article from external websites).