XBLA – How hard can it be?

The Scene
Concept stage 1 I’m sitting on the floor admiring the plasma, playing a bit of worms with a friend.

Now this friend has always had a head for crazy ideas. As kids I used to like blowing things up, my friend made a laser and burnt a hole through his door (no small feat. when your 12), it was always about the science. A railgun, a particle accelerator, a bigger laser, an explosive, a gauss rifle, a gas turbine, a new type of spaceship propulsion, all things we have tried (and had varying levels of success with) to build over the years. A bit older (26) and a bit wiser these days, we still chat about building the next ‘great’ project.

Him: Do you remember that game we used to play in school?
Me: On what?
Him: The A3000 (That’s an archimedes for those not in the know)
Me: The game that consumed every lunchtime for 2 years?
Him: That’s the one!
Me: What about it?
Him: That would make a great XBLA title, don’t cha think……..

And so another crazy idea was born. Sometimes (read: often) the simplest ideas are the greatest and has to be the best idea we have come up with yet. Take a childhood favourite of ours and pretty much everyone we every played at it, rip the source from the original (it was public domain), convert it into c#, complile with XNA and deploy to the little white box, now how hard can that be?


  • I’m a graphic designer / web coder so I now next to nothing about c#
  • My friend is an accomplished artist with a definitive creative flair
  • We have to learn to program, and quickly

It’s a daunting task, as I’m sure you will appreciate, but we all got to start somewhere. I’ve looked in Torque which seems to have a lot of the components I don’t want (don’t know) to write, collision detection, sprite mapping, layers backgrounds and all that, so starting off shouldn’t be to difficult – the thing that worries me the most is writing the physics!

What’s great about this project is an hour after we had started talking about it we already had it planned on paper, I can’t wait. The Macbook Pro will be here soon, so I can jam xna / torque and c# onto it and get my fingers wet.

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