The Xbox and Project xCloud teams have learned to adapt on during the global COVID-19 pandemic. Working from home presents its own unique set of challenges for everyone, but especially for game developers. One pain point is that many game developers are unable to access their Xbox Development Kits.
Without this access, game developers, artists, and designers might not be able to churn out new game content for gamers. Most of the traditional Xbox remote access tools are not ideal to be used in a work from home scenario.
As noted in a post on their Game Stack Blog, Microsoft is working to make Xbox Development Kits more easily accessible.
“We’ve set out to solve these remote access challenges by re-allocating our Project xCloud resources; going beyond mobile and creating a PC app experience for developers that runs a low-latency 60fps gaming experience that allows for continued game development. By giving developers access to our PC Content Test App (PC CTA) they can remotely connect to their Xbox Development Kits from their PC, allowing them to test, play and iterate as if they were in the office. It also prevents them from having to download daily builds to local hardware in the home, which can often take hours.”
So far, the following game developers have used the PC CTA to improve their remote working environment, including Eidos-Montréal, Infinity Ward, Ninja Theory, Playground Games, Rare, Turn 10 Studios, and Undead Labs.
Once the PC CTA is installed, game developers can use the Direct Connect functionality to access their Xbox Development Kit remotely. With the PC CTA, all the developer tools needed to develop your game are accessible, including game performance simulations, network testing, and game system resource monitoring are accessible.