Interview with Chris Satchell
Want to build your own video games? Chris Satchell, head of Microsoft's Game Developer Group gives us the inside scoop about XNA

Labeled With  XNA Microsoft XBOX 360 Chris Satchell
Written by Josh Lowensohn on Monday, November 13 2006

GR: So you work on the development side, you don’t actually produce any of these games, your group just works on the tools?

Satchell: Yes, my group has always worked on producing technologies, tools and support to be able to make game developers make their great games. So what we’re all about is how we can enable people to make great games, whether they’re professional developers making their next AAA game like Epic built Gears of War, or how we enable developers making their first game. How do we enable college students who are getting together for the first time to build a good quality product and they want to build it on the XBOX 360? So we’re really about how do we make all those people successful, not building games ourselves. A lot of us have come from a “big games” background. I’ve worked with games for over 10 years before I got to XBOX building games, in fact more years than I care to talk about.

GR: So where do you see XNA in a year, where would you like it to be, and what are you doing to work towards getting to that point?

Satchell: So, in a year. I’m not going to tie this down to a year timeline, but what I see in the future is that this year we’re focusing on giving people great tools. And you can share in a great community on XBOX and you can share on a great community with Windows. But where we want to take it is that vision, of what we’re calling it at the moment, and what people are calling it “The Youtube of Games.” So imagine being able to share your games with everybody on XBOX Live. So that’s our vision, working towards when you can build a game, you can submit it, have it go through template validation, we can look at it, and then push it up on our service, and then ALL those people on XBOX Live can download it, and play your game. So you know, think next summer like in June we’re going to have six million people on XBOX Live. And that’s in summer. Now imagine being able to share your game with six million people. Now I don’t know if we’re going to have the service lined up by this summer, but that number is just growing. That’s a huge audience. So I think the things that excite me are that we’re going to be seeing this brand new creativity we’ve never seen before because people can take risks. When it’s this easy to build games, you can take risks. The other thing we’re going to see is new stars. We’re going to get people out there in the industry who never thought they would be able to create a game or wouldn’t have access to this technology, and we’re going to find them and we’re going to see some new stars in the game development industry. I think we’re going to see a wealth of creativity we’ve never seen before, and I’m really excited about that. I’m excited thinking about the day, when like three kids going through college out on the East coast get together and make a game that just hits it big, a publisher approaches them with a contract, and it pays their way through college. Wouldn’t it be cool to see these kids driving Porsches to class because they were making their games with XNA, that would be awesome. At the same time, hey, if you’re doing it just because you want to hang out with some friends and make some games that are fun, that’s cool as well. You know, we want to provide you with that whole spectrum of activities.

GR: Excellent, thank you very much Chris.

Satchell: Cool.

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