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Microsoft launch $50,000 Mixed Reality Development Challenge

Set up back in 2007 the Microsoft backed Dream Build Play development challenge saw the tech firm launch an annual contest where developers from around the world were encouraged to create new and original videogame content. Winners receiving a cash prize and being featured on the Xbox LIVE Arcade service. One of the more notable winners being Dust: An Elysian Tail.

The Challenge, which last took place in 2012, saw developers using the various Microsoft backed technology at the time, be it the PC, Microsoft XBox, XBox 360 or even the Windows Phone to develop their creations. Now Microsoft have brought the challenge back, once again “showcasing and rewarding talent and innovation” by focusing on the technologies of now – and that includes Mixed Reality (MR).

Microsoft Acer HeadsetMicrosoft, who whilst expressing a slight hesitancy with virtual reality (VR) have still been making headlines with their Windows 10 MR head-mounted displays (HMDs), the recent pre-E3 trademark for the term ‘DirectReality’, (not to mention Hololens of course) are including MR in a line-up of four categories.

In the Mixed Reality Game category developers are competing for a grand prize of $50,000 (USD). How you develop the videogame is, according to Microsoft, up to the developers. However it must utilise Microsoft’s platform.

“Create an immersive mixed reality experience that lets players interact with 3D volumetric content in a virtual space. Use whichever tools you prefer (like Unity) to build as long as your game uses Windows Mixed Reality. Judges will prefer games that incorporate audio content.”

The other categories are:

  • Console Game – Developing a Universal Windows Platform (UWP) title for XBox One.
  • PC Game – Crafting a videogame title that utilises Windows 10.
  • Cloud-powered Game – A title that utilises Microsoft’s Azure Cloud Services as part of its functionality. – This category has the highest grand prize at $100,000 (USD).

Registration is already open for developers on the Dream Build Play homepage with August 2nd 2017 set aside as the date where team formation and game entires begin. Game submission ends on December 31st 2017 with judging commencing in the new year and winners set to be announced in March. More information, including the rules, can also be found via the website.

VRFocus will bring you more information on Dream Build Play challengers as they become available.