I’ve had an exciting week sitting at my computer. Reading all the news and happenings from GDC. Hoping for some great info, some great discoveries to be rained down upon me like liquid inspiration.

XNA Community

The most important news story to me is that on Wednesday Microsoft finally announced that games created with XNA Game Studio will be able to be distributed to ALL Xbox Live members. They’ve developed a system similar to Newgrounds.com, allowing anybody to upload content, undergoing peer review to be approved. This seems like another great way to reach a game audience, beyond Flash. You can read the details of how they plan to “Democratize Game Distribution” here.

N+ on Xbox 360

I don’t think it’s any coincidence that Wednesday marked the release of N+ on Xbox Live Marketplace, an upgrade to Metanet Software’s well-known ninja-simulator Flash game.

It seems that making the transition from free Flash game to a commercial product is becoming more reasonably obtainable/acceptable.

In other news… what have I been playing recently?

Mario And Zelda
Super Mario Galaxy and The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess

Super Mario Galaxy has blown my mind. So many fresh ideas shouldn’t exist in one game. To me, it takes the gameplay of Super Mario 64 and combines it with Super Mario Bros. 3, giving it a lot of relatively short stages experimenting with a lot of different concepts in each world. I finished it with the minimum of 60 stars and jumped right into Zelda: Twilight Princess. This game has me hooked. I just finished the first dungeon and I question why I waited so long to play this game. It’s a new Zelda game and it actually feels like something new to me. I loved Wind Waker to death but I felt that there was little challenge and it felt like they just reused a lot of puzzles and design elements from Ocarina of Time, despite the amazing visual design.

I just got my Wii a couple months ago and it’s really inspired me to love gaming again. I enjoy the WiiWare applications and downloaded Super Mario Bros. 3 and Bubble Bobble for retro funness. Most of the recent games blockbuster games have been unfulfilling to me. Assassin’s Creed being the worst offender. But even an awesome game like Bioshock doesn’t really inspire me to drop $60 on it and play all the way through. I finished Portal and that was well worth it, but I stopped halfway through HL2: Episode One (but you can blame that on my being scared of poisonous headcrabs in claustrophobic areas).

I use my Xbox 360 almost every day, but not for playing games. My only game is still Halo 3 and I haven’t played it in almost 3 months. I use my Xbox as a media center — streaming music, movies and TV shows I download to my computer. I’m looking forward to downloading Xbox Live Arcade games but I have to finish the games that I have first. Rez HD just came out and there’s already a ton of games that I want to play.

Is having too many good games to play a bad thing? So much competition out there, makes me wonder how I’m not going to be lost in the crowd with the games that I create in the future.

About the author:
Bryson Whiteman (http://www.sonofbryce.com)
Bryson is the guy behind all of the Sokay creations. Heading artwork and development, he's determined to make sure each game has a "distinctively Sokay" quality to them. He's always looking forward for a chance to experiment with new technologies to explore exciting ways to achieve fun.