Tuesday, May 25, 2010
By: Matthew Doucette
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A Yarmouth video game development company has scored big in a Microsoft global Xbox 360 video game challenge.
In the DreamBuildPlay 2010 competition, Xona Game’s Duality ZF game placed first in Canada and fifth in the world among more than 350 countries. This marks the second year in a row that Duality ZF placed as a top-20 finalist in Microsoft’s global game development competition.
Duality ZF, developed by brothers Matthew and Jason Doucette, is a one-to-four player 2D retro-style shoot’em up game. It introduces innovations such as dual play, the ability to control two fighters at the same time, a morphing spread/laser duality weapon and up to eight independently controlled fighters at once.
“DreamBuildPlay gave us that extra push we needed to take a risk at Xbox 360 game development,” said Matthew Doucette, referring to the competition. “It got our feet wet and we haven’t stopped since.”
The Doucettes’ company Xona Games, an independent games developer, concentrates on intense retro games. Jason is the lead programmer and Matthew is the game producer.
This past year they have also had much success with the development of their game Decimation X, which became the #1 rated and #1 best-selling XBLIG (Xbox LIVE Indie Games) game in Japan out of almost 1,000 indie games.
The Duality ZF game is being considered for XBLA (Xbox LIVE Arcade) publishing, considered the more professional platform of Xbox LIVE.
Over the past year the brothers and their game development have also been written about in several gaming magazines.
The Doucette brothers say in addition to Xbox games they are looking at other major gaming platforms, including Windows PC.
The two brothers have been making video games since they were eight years old – which was a year after they delved into computer programming.
“Back then our skills went mostly unnoticed and there wasn’t a distinction between programming games and playing them,” Matthew said in an interview for the DreamBuildPlay challenge. “Technology was largely misunderstood by the society that surrounded us. There was little respect for video games as a whole.”
Now the brothers say their work, and their industry, are getting lots of respect.
Thanks to Tina Comeau of The Vanguard for the excellent coverage!
About the Author: I am Matthew Doucette of Xona Games, an award-winning indie game studio that I founded with my twin brother. We make intensified arcade-style retro games. Our business, our games, our technology, and we as competitive gamers have won prestigious awards and received worldwide press. Our business has won $190,000 in contests. Our games have ranked from #1 in Canada to #1 in Japan, have become #1 best sellers in multiple countries, have won game contests, and have held 3 of the top 5 rated spots in Japan of all Xbox LIVE indie games. Our game engines have been awarded for technical excellence. And we, the developers, have placed #1 in competitive gaming competitions -- relating to the games we make. Read about our story, our awards, our games, and view our blog.