The annual Game Developers Conference (GDC) is a chance for creators to connect with one another, share knowledge, and forge business relationships that can help a game go from idea to reality. With GDC 2020 postponed, lots of developers missed out on these opportunities at a vital point in their development cycles and, since the event also reaches press and fans, a chance to promote their work. At least for indies in Microsoft's ID@Xbox program, a new opportunity has come along: the ID@Xbox Spotlight.
"Given the global situation right now, of course, we're not able to show off games to press and players in person," reads the announcement from Microsoft. "[W]e're excited to announce a new series of videos on the ID@Xbox YouTube Channel that will highlight independent developers–ID@Xbox Spotlight."
Microsoft is launching the Spotlight series with 6 videos, each featuring some indies coming to Xbox and/or PC that could benefit from the exposure of GDC or other festivals. There are also some announcements in the mix: for instance, Xalavier Nelson Jr's An Airport For Aliens Currently Run By Dogs and Goblinz Studio's Legend of Keepers are now coming to the Xbox One.
Presentation-wise, the Spotlight videos are similar to Nintendo's Indie World Showcase reels: not so much a parade of trailers and as it is gameplay footage with developer narration. Each Spotlight installment covers 6 games, so there are 36 indies putting their best foot forward in total.
This sounds like it'll be the start of a new format for at least some of Microsoft's ID@Xbox presentations moving forward. With Microsoft planning a digital event in place of its annual E3 press conference due to the pandemic, these Spotlight videos may also give us a sense of what that Series X-focused showcase will look like.
To see all 6 videos, head over to Microsoft's official ID@Xbox news post.