Xbox Live Independent Games

Computer Programming

Throughout high school I created and released three video games onto the Xbox Live Indie Game Marketplace. Since I was four years under the age limit, my account was actually through a parent.

I had a lot of fun designing these games, and would usually create them based on what little things my friends and I were wanting to play together. I was fortunate enough that others wanted to play them, too. I was able to do this as a job throughout high school with approximately 10,000 total paid downloads.

There were other games that weren't released when the marketplace lost support before their release. But here are three that saw the light of day.

Tiles With Buddies

 

I was really into word games in high school, so I thought a great challenge would be to create a Scrabble clone.

Since XBLIG titles can't connect to any servers, it was a challenge to create a word lookup algorithm to run locally on the Xbox, as well as creating the global high scores list that implemented a P2P protocol.

I had a lot of fun playing this game with random people around the world. I had thought I was pretty good at my own game, but there were many far better. This was my best selling game to date with about 6,000 paid downloads.

World's Best FREAKING Card Game

 

During a power outage, I played a few games of Nerts (also known as Nertz or Wackee Six). I really loved the frantic nature of the game, so I set out to replicate the experience on the Xbox 360.

This was the first game I implemented online multiplayer modes. I loved going against random people across the globe. Though the game's following was smaller than normal, its players were very dedicated.

And yes... If I could go back, I would tell 9th grade Hayden that the title was, in fact, not that funny.

Sketchy Bounce

 

I started this game as a sort of "Hello, World!" project. When my friends started testing it with me, and actually enjoying it, I decided to continue the learning process and use this release to help work out the kinks of the distribution platform.

I'm constantly amazed that a game so simple had so many purchases, against my other releases where much more time and love was spent. That was a great lesson in design altogether.

Sketchy Bounce helped lay a foundation of computer programming that I will be forever grateful for. I love this scrappy little game.

These titles aren't pretty. They aren't incredibly clean, visually appealing, or even bug-free. With all that being said, I'm so thankful that these are a part of my life. They gave me a very early introduction to the world of programming, and though small, what successes can be found in the craft. Though I don't focus of game development any longer, I still find ways to implement programming into my projects. You can find more about that here.

© 2020 by Hayden Allred.