Dust: an Elysian Tail ACTUALLY COMING OUT in XBLA Summer of Arcade!

XBox Live Arcade is an interesting release platform, but one that often gets overlooked. As such, every summer Microsoft does a little thing called “Summer of Arcade” where they highlight and promote some of the best looking upcoming XBLA games. In recent years though the games have been…less than exciting. This year’s Summer of Arcade trailer, however, had a huge surprise in it: Dust: An Elysian Tail. Holy crap the game is actually coming out!

See, in a way I have been passively following the game for…about 12 years now. Oh yes, strap yourself in, this is gonna be a looong story.

Elysian Tail is the long lived dream project of Dean Dodrill, the lead artist and animator for the Jazz Jackrabbit series of videogames and one of the founders of the company that made that series. Many of the characters were doodled up back during his days in Junior High and High-School and appeared in a number of short films he did. Around 2000 he decided that he and his wife would begin work on a feature length animated film titled Elysian Tail.

Needless to say, the project has been in limbo for quite a while. I mean we are talking about a feature length movie made by two people.

Well skip ahead to 2009, when it appears Dean played Odin Sphere and said “Hey! I should do that with my characters!” and thus, Dust: An Elysian Tail entered early development.

The game was created in XNA and went on to win the XNA Dream-Build-Play competition. It’s no surprise as that alpha alone looks more incredible than 99% of all XBox Indie Games…and that’s being generous to the others.

Well years of hard work appear to have paid off as Microsoft has bumped the release up from “Indie Game”, where it would quickly slip under the radar and everyone would complain about it costing more than $1, to full fledged XBLA game. Not just a full fledged XBLA game, but a Summer of Arcade release with full Microsoft promotion! So what does it look like now?

Well color me impressed! It’s not often one of these single person indie dream projects actually gets somewhere. It’s even less often that one gets somewhere without massive irritating chest thumping from it’s excessively (though understandably) proud developer or copius amounts of pre-release press from crazed game journalists.

Dust: An Elysian Tail should be showing up next month. If you would like to see more about the game, check out it’s official website:

http://www.elysiantail.com/

as well as Dean’s own YouTube channel.

Now let’s hope that the film actually gets made.

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