Xbox LIVE Indie Games
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Xbox LIVE Community Games FAQ

Last post 1/22/2009 6:13 AM by FortisVenaliter Productions. 2 replies.
  • 2/20/2008 2:38 PM

    Xbox LIVE Community Games FAQ

    Starting with the beta launch of the Xbox LIVE Community Games service later this spring, subscribers of the XNA Creators Club will be able to submit their own game creations for self-distribution through to Xbox LIVE Marketplace via the website.  A community of their subscriber peers will be given a chance to download, play and review the game and its content for appropriateness and conformance to the service’s TOS.  Should it pass, the game will then be added to the global games catalog on Xbox LIVE Marketplace and available to gamers worldwide connected to Xbox LIVE.

    Q: Do I need an XNA Creators Club subscription to make games now?
    A: No, but if you want to make the game available on the Xbox LIVE Community Games area, or peer review submitted games, you must be a subscriber. [*Note that you still need a creators club subscription to deploy games to an xbox 360 just like you always did]


    Q: I don’t see the XNA Creators Club subscription service offered on Xbox Marketplace, why?
    A: If you don’t see the XNA Creators Club subscription service, it’s probably because you live in a country that doesn’t currently offer that service, even if you have access to Xbox LIVE.  The XNA Creators Club subscription service is being rolled out to various countries on different timetables.


    Q: I don’t own an Xbox, or live in a country that doesn’t have Xbox LIVE, how can I get an XNA Creators Club subscription?
    A: At this time, it is not possible to get an XNA Creators Club subscription without access to an Xbox connected to Xbox LIVE.  We understand this is an inconvenience for some of you, and are working to resolve the issue.  Please monitor announcements for more details when we post them.


    Q: Why does my game have to be peer-reviewed? Why can’t I just post it?
    A:     Peer reviewers are there to help creators write better games, and also to protect game players from experiencing highly offensive or malfunctioning games.  Peer reviewers will reject your game if:

    - You have prohibited content in the game, not allowed on Xbox Live services
    - You misrepresent what’s in the game play or  in the promotional materials for the game
    - The promotional content for your game ( banner, title) is not appropriate for all ages on Xbox Live marketplace
    - The game crashes, has too many bugs or is otherwise technically defective

    Q: What happens if somebody sneaks something through in a game?
    A: Microsoft reserves the right to reactively take down a game without prior notification, and enables anybody to report objectionable content in a game.  In addition, creators that willfully submit games with misleading content indicators can have a series of punitive actions taken, including loss of subscriptions and removal from the site.  Microsoft will also comply with all legal requests where required by law.

    Q: How complex does the game have to be?
    A: There are no complexity requirements before the game is submitted, but games can be rated by the community for playability, “fun factor”, etc.

    Q: So I can make clones of games already on Xbox LIVE Arcade or somewhere else?
    A: Not any more than you can make copies of Halo 3.   When you submit a game you agree that you own all the rights to the materials in your game.  If you don’t, then don’t submit the game.

    Q: Does this mean Xbox LIVE Arcade is going away?
    A:  No. The design and goal for the Xbox LIVE Community Games is to provide a distribution channel for enthusiasts to share homebrew creations with their peers and friends. Some games may “graduate” to a full Arcade contract as the Dream Build Play game winners have done, but the idea is to offer a different venue for game creativity.

    Q: Can I sell my game on Xbox LIVE Community Games? What is the revenue split?
    A: We are still finalizing the business models and revenue sharing details of Xbox LIVE Community Games at this time. More information will be available closer to the retail consumer launch this holiday.

    Q: Who owns the IP rights to the game I create? Can I distribute my game on non-Microsoft services?
    A: You own the IP rights to your game. However, we may provide incentives for exclusive distribution on Microsoft services. 

    Q: How do I set the ESRB rating for my community game?
    A: A: Xbox LIVE Community Games are not rated by the ESRB; however, they are reviewed by XNA Creators Club members and will have a game classification before appearing on Xbox LIVE Marketplace.

    Q: Will parental controls affect access to my community game?
    A: Yes.  All community games are considered unrated which is the highest level of restriction on the Xbox 360 console.  For consoles with parental controls activated, community games will be inaccessible.

    Q: Will there be a size limit to games submitted to the Xbox LIVE Community service?
    A: Yes. According to Stephen Styrchak in this thread, games will have a limit though this limit has not been announced. This will be enforced during submission to the service. Shawn believes it to be 150Mb in the compressed .ccgame format.

  • 2/25/2008 8:42 AM In reply to

    Re: Xbox LIVE Community Games FAQ

    Please post questions to this FAQ in this thread.
  • 1/22/2009 6:13 AM In reply to

    Re: Xbox LIVE Community Games FAQ

    There seem to be a lot of questions regarding prohibited content and ratings, so if the mods dont mind, I'll post it here:

    Here are the Community Ratings as of 21.01.2009:


    Blood: What was the impact of blood in the game?
    0 - This means there was no blood in the game at all.
    1 - Users can see sporting or arcade game play with violence but no blood or gore.
    2 - This means human/non-human blood is shed as a result of injuries in a realistic manner but not throughout the game.
    3 - This means you see definitely see blood spattering or pools of blood; bloody imagery is shown throughout the game, to include sporting or arcade game play as well as more realistic depictions of violence.

    Cruelty: This rates the game for its measure of cruelty experienced during game play by the player or others.
    0 - This means there was no cruelty at all in the game.
    1 - This means the game contains verbal mocking or taunts, but no physical cruelty
    2 - This means your character causes or sees gratuitous insults, bullying, intimidation or otherwise violent or emotional abuse of a position of power. You or other characters leave innocents or bystanders slightly injured but not dead.
    3 - This means your character or others participate in purposeful severe injury/killing of otherwise innocent bystanders outside of designated game combat. If someone dies as an innocent bystander as a result of your actions, it can be rated no less than 3.

    Injuries: What were the amount and intensity of injuries witnessed or experienced by your character in the game?
    0 - This means no creature or character is injured during game play.
    1 - Injuries in the game are either to non-human characters, non-detailed human-like characters, or to fantasy characters (dragons, etc). Injuries to human characters are either implied or not shown. Injuries may be set in a cartoon, slapstick or child-like setting.
    2 - The game contains realistic violence against fantasy characters, or non-realistic violence towards human/animal like characters. This category also includes minor assaults on humanlike characters that don't result in obvious injury being shown.
    3 - This means sustained depictions of dismemberment, maiming, decapitation, or mutilation occurs to human or animal-like character. Your humanlike character or others die in the game and it's particularly realistic, or your character/others suffer very gory wounds constantly during game play.


    Partial Nudity: This score rates the game for the frequency and presence of partial nudity in the game play.
    0 - No depictions of the human body partially unclothed, whether as art or game characters
    1 - Gym clothes level of modesty (shorts and tank top). You see some skin, but nothing startling.
    2 - Male or female buttocks exposed for brief periods of time, partial female *** exposed for small periods of time. A thong or bikini worn by a character for a brief period would fall into this category.
    3 - Partial *** exposure for prolonged periods of time, male/female buttocks exposed in a prolonged or unavoidable fashion in the game.

    Sexual Overtones: What is the frequency/pervasiveness of sexual overtones during game play?
    0 - This means there are no sexual overtones to the game
    1 - The game contains indirect or light verbal references to kissing or hugging. There is no reference to sexual words or imagery, or sex and romance are very peripheral to the game play.
    2 - Direct verbal references to romance, characters kissing or hugging, sexual overtones are part of the game. A game where your character is required to ask another out on a date would be rated no less than a 2.
    3 - The game contains words or activities that amount to obvious sexual innuendo or mildly explicit sexual descriptions or images or sexual posturing.

    Mature Content

    Crime: How is crime featured in this game?
    0 - There are no references to crime in the game.
    1 - Criminal activities may be briefly mentioned or non-essential to the storyline.
    2 - Criminal activities are more relevant to the story and are presented unfavorably. Crime does not pay in this game.
    3 - Crime is glamorized in this game and much of the storyline of the game centers around criminal acts and organizations. Crime DOES pay in the game.

    Fear/Horror: This score rates the experience of fear or horror during game play. This means the game offered situations that cause fear or terror in the player.
    0 - This means there was no fear or horror as part of the game play experience
    1 - The scenery of the game includes a setting of fear or horror (vampires, ghosts, and zombies) but would not be scary to young children.
    2 - Primary theme of the game will frighten younger children. Game play is menacing and can be aggressive.
    3 - Express purpose of the game is to create terror in the player (the game is the equivalent of a horror movie).

    Gambling: Please rate the game you have chosen according to its depictions of gambling.
    0 - This means there is no depiction of gambling activity in the game.
    1 - This means there is "fantasy gambling" not associated with real-world games of chance (racing cars to win "pink slips").
    2 - This means during game play you must participate in-game illegal gambling, or organized commercial gambling (example: your character visits a casino during one level or wagers on a gladiator ring). Betting or gambling is simply part of the general storyline.
    3 - This means that gambling is the primary game experience (the game simulates a slot machine, poker, etc) and the game actually teaches you how to gamble (play poker, roulette, etc).

    Offensive Language: What level of offensive language was present in the game?
    0 - This means there was no offensive or potentially offensive language
    1 - This means you encountered mean-spirited or demeaning language during game play but no vulgarity or profanity ("You jerk!").
    2 - There was occasional profanity or vulgarity in the game but it wasn't a common experience.
    3 - Mild swearing, or expletives were present in the game.

    Substance Use: Substances are items used by characters purposefully to change mental state or support chemical addictions.
    0 - This means there are no substances present in the game.
    1 - This means you saw/heard references to alcohol, tobacco or drugs or other substances but no physical presence of any of these.
    2 - There are objects in the game that can be used like a drug and are available to your character or others.
    3 - The game contains depictions of the use of illegal drugs or encouragement of the use of tobacco or alcohol, or the character gains advantage in the game by the use of tobacco, alcohol or drugs.

    Here is the list of prohibited content as of 21.01.2009:

    Collecting personal information
    Credit card, social security, identification, drivers license, and/or passport number, full home address of real individuals
    URL’s used without permission (except if URL is a copyright notice)
    E-mail addresses used without permission
    Telephone numbers used without permission

    Full or partial nudity exposing genitalia, buttocks, or full female breasts (including depictions on manga and cartoons, but excluding established and well-recognized works of art)

    Strong sexual content
    Content that depicts clothed or semi-clothed/nude depictions of human sexual activity such as intercourse, foreplay, or masturbation or that otherwise generally falls under the category of pornography

    Child pornography
    Visual depictions (simulated or actual) of sexual activity involving a minor (age 17 and under)
    Direct threats to a person or groups of people in the physical world
    Requests or instructions to injure or otherwise harm a specific person or group of people such as content that calls for someone to injure a former spouse or content that otherwise incites people to harm a specific person or group of people

    Direct encouragement/solicitation of illegal behavior in the physical world
    Content that encourages the user to engage in illegal activity in the physical world, such as content that instructs users how to make bombs, drugs, or solicits involvement in criminal behavior

    Crimes against humanity and/or intense and distasteful graphical violence
    Content that glorifies crimes against humanity such as genocide or extols the virtues of such events; content that contains intense and distasteful violence such as torture, mutilation, child abuse

    Human Excretion
    Depiction or product of human excretory functions. If it happens in a bathroom, it shouldn't be happening in your game.

    Advertisements for tobacco, gambling establishments, or alcohol products in the game
    These products should not be promoted in your game nor should you solicit sales for them.

    Racist/Discriminatory Language
    Depictions of ethnic, religious, nationalistic or other stereotypes like to encourage hatred.

    Nazi symbols or pro-Nazi content
    Images, sounds, language emblematic now or historically associated with the Nazi party and belief systems.

    Unauthorized content use
    Any unauthorized use of another party’s intellectual property, such as music, photos, code, artwork and logos. For additional information on copyright issues please see
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