Microsoft has announced that it is working with The Guildhall at Southern Methodist University to discover new innovative and educational applications for Microsoft’s XNA tools and technology.
According to Microsoft, the company will work with the school’s newly formed Innovation Laboratory as a means to “help to drive improvements in general computing and game development academic programs” using XNA Game Studio Express. In addition, the tools will be used to “research innovative new approaches to game design, development and education for students and established game developers alike.”
States SMU level design instructor and XNA research project lead Michael McCoy, “We have already produced two case studies on 2D game production using XNA Game Studio Express and have a starter kit developed for use in a middle school video game development camp this summer. We also have incorporate a more advance starter kit into our course work for SMU students who starter at our program in July.”
Three SMU faculty members, four post graduate students and two graduate students are working with McCoy on the XNA project. The team plans to publish results from the research in the near future and present their finding at upcoming industry events.
SMU’s Guildhall is just one of many schools that have requested more information on how they can incorporate XNA Game Studio Express into their curricula since the suite was announced in August 2006. XNA Game Studio Express is a software toolset based on Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and Microsoft .NET Compact Framework, and is aimed at PC and Xbox 360 homebrew programmers, enthusiasts, and students.
“With more than 120 video development graduate students in residence and a faculty of video game industry veterans, technology companies are beginning to realize that The Guildhall at SMU is a living laboratory for the video game industry. That is why we formed our Innovation Laboratory focused on video game development,” said Dr. Peter Raad, founder and executive director for The Guildhall at SMU. “By working with industry technology leaders such as Microsoft, we believe we will be able to help set new standards in video game development and provide new research, case studies and curriculum that drive advances in interactive media educational programs across the country.”