The winner of Dream-Build-Play 2009 features anthropomorphism and is quite a piece of work.
Microsoft’s Dream-Build-Play competition challenges development groups of up to seven people to create an amazing game using XNA Game Studio. This year the competition’s top prize was won by Dean Dodrill’s Dust: An Elysian Tail, an incredibly vibrant side-scroller featuring an anthropomorphic hero.
Watching Dust: An Elysian Tail‘s trailer here, I almost get a bit of vertigo with everything going on, but the game’s quality cannot be denied. For winning the grand prize, Dean brought home a cool $40,000. Second place and a slightly warmer $20,000 went to Max Blastronaut, third and a hot $10,000 went to Rotor’scope, with fourth place and a totally sweaty $5,000 going to HurricaneX2 Evolution.
All of these titles highlight the creativity and talent out there in the independent community today. Now, if Microsoft could find a way to get more people to buy titles developed with XNA. Higher profile XBLA indie titles like Castle Crashers have no problem selling, so maybe it’s an issue of branding or marketing? Whatever the reason, developers behind games like Dust deserve to earn a living on their amazing works.