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After a successful beta, Microsoft's indie development tool Game Studio Express has hit public release, with XNA Creators Club, Garage Games' Torque X beta and a design competition launching, too.

Lift off for XNA Game Studio Express and Creators Club

Based on the Visual C# 2005 Express Edition and .NET Compact framework, XNA Game Studio Express allows anyone with a Windows PC to develop a game, which can then be shared to other creators via the web or an Xbox 360-backed online Creators Club.

Plus, Microsoft is launching a game design competition – and the winner’s game could end up plublished on the Xbox Live Arcade service. The Dream-Build-Play contest is open to XNA Game Studio Express customers on Windows and Xbox 360 Creators Club members.

“The XNA Creators Club is really the first of its kind — an opportunity to join a community of other developers who are empowered to bring their game ideas to life on a next-generation console system,” said Chris Satchell, general manager of the Game Developer Group at Microsoft.

Greg Canessa, group manager of Xbox Live Arcade at Microsoft, added: “We have a tremendous opportunity to shine the spotlight on up-and-coming talent through the ‘Dream-Build-Play’ contest, and we can’t wait to share their creativity with our gaming community around the world.”

And to coincide with the release of XNA Game Studio Express, GarageGames has launched an open beta for its Torque X platform, a tool built on the Torque Game Builder and based on the XNA Framework.

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