So I recently took the plunge and joined the Xbox One Creators Program with Microsoft. It turns out that it's supposed to be incredibly hard to build these little games we see all the time, and for the most part, it is. Not only do we have to deal with the fact that the XBOX One does not use the stripped down PowerPC architecture that the Xbox360's used to run on, we now have to contend with the fact that it's basically running Windows 10. I remember the good old days when win32 and GDI (Graphics Device Interface) were sufficient to get a decent game running on a Windows PC - especially if the game wasn't too resource intensive. Then came Direct(X/3D/2D/11/12) with all its COM (Component Object Model) Glory -> which, perhaps most asinine of all -> is still being used today. Getting into the creators program costs a little bit of money, and that's mostly to keep the chancers out and cover administration fees. After that you really only need to abide by the store policies and be able to write a little bit of code, then you're sorted. With the advent of Xbox One-Friendly game engines, it's easier than ever to build an app that runs on a Windows 10 PC as well as the beloved Xbox One. I remember the good old days where things needed to be rewritten and recompiled to be able to run on different platforms . .when developing for a console required the teams to purchase a Dev-Kit (Development Kit containing an unlocked piece of console hardware) in order to be able to write their code. I remember when the costs were prohibitively expensive, and a simple guy - like myself - would never be able to justify spending that kind of cash on a hobby. I remember when it took teams of people to build an idea, a game, a concept, a business with big-budget marketing, in order to break-even on the Xbox Live Marketplace. I remember when NDA's (Non-Disclosure Agreement) had to be signed so as not to divulge the inner workings of the console. I remember . .. . These days it's stupidly easy to publish an app to the Microsoft Store, and by extension the Xbox Live Marketplace -> Step 1) Sign up for the creators program (this requires a small sum of money) Step 2) Peruse the numerous tutorials and reference materials Microsoft makes available online. Step 3) Build your desired game Step 4) Publish to the store Those are literally the steps, and Step 3 is simplified vastly if you use the Unity Game Engine with the Xbox Live plugin -> this abstracts away all the tedium of setting up your project keys to be included in your application. All in all, one could go from 0 all the way to Step 4 in a little under a week if they were motivated and had lots of spare time. So, yeah . . . I think I've found something that was supposed to be hard, that's been made incredibly easy along the way.
Hmmm, what's that, you say? A Python home monitoring system? Why would anyone want to subject themselves to that kind of abuse? Well, I , for one, amd lazy ... it shows in my work, it shows in my lifestyle, it shows in my weight .. and it shows in the way I write code. I'm the guy that will spend 2 days writing an app (which is available for purchase on the Google App Store) because I'm too lazy to get up and get myself a credit card ... because I'm too lazy to get up and scratch in the drawer for my old credit card so I can purchase stuff from Google Play ... Before you go ranting that I expend time and effort to write an app which costs $3 ... you must remember that I am a programmer .. code it like water to me - extremely bitter, and mostly salty water, but water nonetheless ... I eat code, I think code, I dream code and I can churn out code if I want to because it has become second nature to me. So it's simpler for me to just write it myself than it is to