If you have an Xbox 360 and a bit of time on your hands (ie. no children) you've probably visited the marketplace to browse the Live Arcade games for something new. You may have noticed that they recently added Community Games, which is where amateur game creators can publish their games for everyone to try and rate. If a game becomes popular enough, it is added to the Xbox Live Marketplace. I was flipping through the community games the other day and was not impressed. Like a typical software developer, I thought to myself, "I could make a better game than this...if I knew anything about making games."
I mentioned this to some coworkers who are into game development and they explained how simple it is to make games for the Xbox using Visual Studio and XNA Game Studio. Now I'm intrigued. You mean I can leverage my existing skills with Visual Studio and C#? Sure, I don't know much about modeling or bump mapping, but I'm a big fan of old school games and would love to make a simple Mario-style platformer or 2D puzzle game.
The spark of interest has been coaxed into a flame of creativity. I don't want to let my other projects suffer, however I intend to check out XNA and see if I really have what it takes to put something together. I'd love to hear from others who are thinking about trying their hand at XNA or who have already developed with it.