Ahead of the start of the week-long GDC events schedule in San Francisco, Microsoft has revealed details of its Dream-Build-Play contest - which aims to promote the XNA Game Studio Express tool set by offering an impressive prize bag to amateur creators.
The firm is looking for the best game to be created using the free tool-set, and is offering to publish the winning entry on Xbox Live Arcade - as well as handing over $10,000 to its creators. Runner-up prizes have been supplied by firms including Alienware, AMD, Autodesk and Softimage, which should sweeten the deal for any potential entrants.
XNA Game Studio Express allows you to create Windows games using a powerful toolkit incorporating various tools and pieces of middleware. It was launched late last year along with the Creators Club, which allows you to develop games using the tools which run on the Xbox 360, in return for a 99 Euro annual subscription.
As well as promoting the tools with competitions such as Dream-Build-Play - and the less high-profile $500 prize contest currently running on the XNA Website - Microsoft is also continuing to add new tools to the package, with GarageGames' Torque engine, Softimage's XSI-3D technology and Allegorithmic ProFX's 2D texture editor all bound for XNA Game Studio in the near future.