GDC Keynote: Microsoft Reveals Community Features, XNA For ZuneFrom Gamasutra: At its GDC 2008 keynote, Microsoft announced the full range of peer-reviewed community features coming for amateur-made XNA games and a new XNA game player for its media player Zune.

To fully illustrate where Microsoft wants to take the community orientation, Chris Satchell officially revealed Xbox Live: Community Games, its service it says will put "power in the hands of the community." Split into four distinct stages -- create, submit, review, play -- the service will be community managed, and will be restricted by Microsoft only for IP conflicts and otherwise "massively objectionable" content.

For the submission stage, developers will create a "creator identity," similar to the standard gamer identity that tracks achievements and reputation. The creator identity too will help developers build a reputation and a history of games developed. When a game is submitted, the creator is expected to accurately rate the game on a sliding scale, with "blood, injuries, hostility, and cruelty" categories shown as an example.

At that point it's put into a peer review process from other creator's club members, who have two things to do, said Satchell, look for prohibited content and submit their own violence slider. At that point, the game is released to the Xbox Live community at large for download and play -- though Satchell did not reveal an interface or potential pricing scheme for community games.

Satchell showed off a number of already created games -- the physics demo JellyCar, cute zombie action game Little Gamers, Proximity HD, Trilinea, Culture, Rocketball and Dishwasher, which he then revealed are all now available on Xbox Live Arcade as free trials.

Moving on to XNA in general, Satchell then reiterated that XNA was built as a cross-platform tool, with Xbox 360 and Games For Windows builds easily portable, but then announced that Microsoft will be taking that one step further with XNA game support for the company's media player, Zune, coming over the next year with both custom soundtrack support, and wifi support for multiplayer Zune games.

GDC Keynote: Microsoft Reveals Community Features for XBLA (source article)