The March Game Development Kit (GDK) is Available Now
The March GDK is an exciting one, with something for every type of game developer.
Keeping our focus on delighting players and developers alike, the March Microsoft Game Development Kit (GDK) has been released. The key features and fixes highlighted in this blog post are just a handful out of dozens—a mix of improvements for both PC and Xbox development—that improve build or iteration times and deliver powerful tools to optimize your game development experiences. Many of these features are the direct result of developer requests. Thank you for the time, energy, and knowledge you've shared with us.
Building on our improved sustainability efforts in the October GDK, we’ve added a new Sustainability section to the GDK documentation that gives an overview of the work in this area that Xbox has done. This section has ideas and recommendations about tooling that can be used to optimize your game for players and the planet. This documentation will continue to evolve as more developers engage in sustainable coding and will be updated to reflect the current best-practice information.
As for the GDK itself, we’ve implemented an array of features that make it easier for developers to develop games by using the GDK. Games planning to ship on all Xbox consoles and PCs running Windows 11 and Windows 10 can take advantage of the common APIs in the GDK. With this release, we’ve improved the development experience across a number of areas. For developers who are porting games from other marketplaces, these improvements help shorten development time and increase the number of critical features they have access to right out of the box. Examples of these improvements include:
- GDK PC games are no longer required to use the Gaming.Desktop.x64 platform.
- The Microsoft Game Config Editor is now integrated into the Visual Studio IDE.
- HID Force Feedback support is available for PC with the GameInput API.
On the audio front, major improvements have been made to the maximum dynamic object counts for spatial headset formats on Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, specifically for games that use the March 2023 GDK or later versions. These advancements bring an elevated level of immersive audio experience to players. For middleware partners, exposing this platform support to game developers is the beginning of a paradigm shift in sound design. Games can now be developed by using object-based audio rather than channel-based audio. For game developers, the increased dynamic object count allows studios to create more immersive spatial audio experiences across all rendering technologies.
In addition to those improvements and updates, we’ve also added PIX Timing Captures enhancements, a new Azure PlayFab Services extension library for the GDK, a new commerce service called Clawback v2, and more.
For a detailed breakdown of the March 2023 GDK Update, check out the full announcement. To learn more about how to use the GDK to develop games on Xbox and Windows, take a look at our public GDK documentation at aka.ms/gamedevdocs or experiment with our public version of the GDK at aka.ms/gdk. Finally, if you’re ready to start creating games for Xbox and Windows, join the ID@Xbox program at xbox.com/developers/id today.