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Elysian Tail game wins $40,000 prize in XNA Dream-Build-Play competition

Edited as of Sun 27 Dec 2009 - 12:17
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Anthropomorphic animator-programmer Dean Dodrill (Noogy) has won the $40,000 grand prize in the Microsoft XNA Dream-Build-Play competition with his side-scrolling action game Dust: An Elysian Tail.[1] Dust draws on Dean's work towards an animated film in the Elysian Tail universe, though it features different characters, and has been compared to Odin Sphere and Muramasa. In the game, the lead character Dust must save a village from oppression with the help of an ancient sword, accompanied by miniature flying fox sidekick Fidget.

Dean was an Epic Games artist who left the company when Jazz Jackrabbit 3 was canceled in 2000, and only began object-oriented programming at the start of this year.[2][3][4] He became popular within furry fandom for characters such as Bonnie, an anthropomorphic mouse.

While the award does not guarantee a traditional publishing contract, Dust is now likely to become an Xbox Live Arcade game sold on the Xbox Live Marketplace, Microsoft's digital-distribution service.[5] The game is on display this weekend in the Microsoft Indie Games booth at PAX, a popular gamer festival held in Seattle, Washington.[4]

The game will feature music from composers Alexander Brandon and Chris Geehan.


" Dust is a culmination of all the things I like in games. I love 3D games, but have a deep fondness for a good '2D' game. ... I know that a lot of people miss that 'look'. So it was my goal to create the best looking 2D game I could make. — Dean Dodrill[3] "


  1. Dream-Build-Play 2009 Winners Announced - Andy "Vidgames" Eddy, TeamXbox (September 5, 2009)
  2. Dust: An Elysian Tail, a stellar upcoming XNA Title - The Baroness, GameGirl News (August 6, 2009)
  3. 3.0 3.1 The game that might end my marriage or ‘Dust: An Elysian Tail’ - interview with Xbox Indies (August 8, 2009)
  4. 4.0 4.1 Elysian Tail - News and Production Diary - Dean Dodrill
  5. PAX '09 - Dust Wins Dream-Build-Play 2009 Competition - Ryan Langley, GamerBytes (September 6, 2009)

Further reading


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