New Dashboard Makes Xbox Indie Devs Sad

Inevitably, every time Microsoft redesigns the Xbox 360 Dashboard, someone suffers. There’s been plenty of talk with the latest Metro update that Microsoft seems to be favouring the console’s media applications over actual games, but spare a thought for the Indie devs, hidden away now more than ever – in some cases up to 17 button presses away from the home screen.

Mirroring similar complaints about the NXE, users have been weighing in on the Xbox and App Hub (Microsoft’s developer dashboard) forums about the issue. There seem to be a number of issues, the biggest of which there are now two different entry points to the Indie section, that both feature different content. The carousel in the Games Marketplace will eventually show an Indie Games ad, but one that only links to Kotaku’s favourites, finalists of a recent contest, and some of the latest releases. Going into the Indie catalogue under ‘game type’ just shows every single indie title in one long release date-ordered list.

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In addition, indie games can now no longer be listed by genre, and do not appear under any of the ‘all content’ or ‘A-Z’ lists as Microsoft had previously told developers. The current recommendation from the Indie community is to promote your titles with “Xbox, Bing, [Game Title]”, a command reminiscent of the old AOL keyword system that can be used in the Kinect-powered Bing app, until browsing functionality is restored to the service.

You can read more over at Xbox.com or App Hub, but it’s clear that once again indie game developers have been let down in favour of bigger hitters, and more advertising in the Marketplace.

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16 Comments

  1. Ouch.
    That sounds a bit crap.

  2. Hmm … not good Microsoft.

  3. actually, trying to find anything on the new dash is a bloody pain.
    it’s like it’s designed so that the only way to find anything is to search with bong and the bloody kinect.

    • obviously i meant bing there.

      i don’t know why but i’m finding that typo very funny.

    • for a company that apparently specialises in user interfaces they don’t half create some shit ones.

      each one is worse than the last.

      and this one has clearly been designed so it’s only truly user friendly if you have kinect.

  4. It sounds like it is a bit crap. You would think that a company that develops software and has a lot of experience with UIs would know what is user friendly and what isn’t.

    I would give up using the new dashboard after a week just to find an indie game. I can see it working with Kinect very well but without kinect it’s probably awful. You don’t get rid of the genre/a-z listing as it’s very very user friendly.

  5. Wow I thought it was just Sony who remove/ruin features and user friendliness of the console with so-called updates, but Microsoft are at it now.

    and has anyone else noticed that they’ve completely ripped off the PS store logo for the marketplace one?

  6. The new Dashboard sucks balls. There’s a advert on every page in the bottom right and the advert has audio!

    There should be no adverts for Gold users! MS=Greedy F**ks

    • Adverts are on sky though

  7. They should release a little UI SDK and hold a competition for the community to design a new one where the winner is decided by a vote by LIVE members.

    Wishful thinking…

    • give the community even the tiniest bit of control?

      you obviously don’t know ms very well do you?

  8. It’s a bit ironic that indie games usually get released in the Xbox Marketplace before the PSN and Microsoft is pissing on this relationship. I wonder how long it takes until indie devs start releasing PSN versions first. Wasn’t there a similar outcry a few month ago?

    • Yep, I’m making a game at the moment, and the last outcry was the main reason that I didn’t bother going with the MS Indie Games route.

      I mean, I use my 360 quite a lot and I don’t remember the last time I even saw an Indie game, so I’ve got to assume that there’s no money in making an Indie game for the 360. Seems like the best route for aspiring Indie devs at the moment is Steam and Impulse.

  9. Still can’t make my mind up whether I like the new update yet. Glad they have changed the horrible white to a nice black though. The cloud saves and beacon feature are nice additions too :)

  10. Hopefully at some point, the whole store interface will be replaced with the Windows 8 App Store, since that will have to have a proper way to sort through indie apps, since a good majority of the apps will be from the community on Windows 8.

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