Microsoft has opened registrations for its Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge, its contest encouraging independent developers to create innovative projects with XNA Game Studio, and is offering up $75,000 in prizes.

Now in its fifth year, the Dream.Build.Play competition invites developers to submit original, playable titles built with XNA Game Studio 4.0, its toolset for Xbox 360, Windows PC, and Windows Phone games. Previous winners include Beat Hazard, CarneVale Showtime, Weapon of Choice, Dust: An Elysian Tail, and last year's Lumi.

The contest's judges will review submissions based on how fun they are to play, how creative and unique they are, and how well produced they are. Four winners will be chosen to receive a share of $75,000 ($40,000, $20,000, $10,000, and $5,000 depending on their ranking) and an opportunity for an XBLA publishing contract.

Developers can register for free at the official Dream.Build.Play site. Once registered, they will have from May 17 to June 14 to submit their playable projects to the contest. After the entry period closes, the competition's judges will review submissions and choose their top 20 favorites, which will be posted on August 2011. The final four prize-winning games will also be posted then.