Xbox Live Indie Games unveiled as XNA 3.1 adds avatar support, video playback and more

Microsoft renames Community Games, updates XNA

Microsoft has renamed its Xbox Live Community Games service to more capably represent the “independent spirit of XNA Game Studio creations”.

With the word ‘indie’ being trendier and more appealing than ‘community’ ever could be, the service will now be called Xbox Live Indie Games.

The name change comes as Microsoft completes a thorough update to its XNA Game Studio, the development tools set used by indie and bedroom devs to create games for the Xbox 360, PC and Zune.

As revealed by Microsoft back in March, XNA Game Studio 3.1 adds NXE avatar support to the framework, letting Xbox Live Indie Games developers take advantage of user avatars, as well as being able to dynamically generate new characters in a simple manner.

XNA developers will also get access to a Maya rig that enables them to use a range of stock avatar animations as well as create their own, without detailed knowledge of 3D packages.

Xbox Live Indie Games will now support video playback, allowing developers to create cut-scenes, video displays and more sophisticated logo screens.

Developers can also allow the playback of multiple video streams at the same time. The full list of enhancements can be found on Microsoft’s XNA page, which is available here.

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