Ideal .net game development platform for beginners?
My full-time job is teaching both computer networking as well as programming at a high school. We have a few courses that teach Visual Basic and then transition into programming with both the CLI and GUI with C#. Last year I tried to shake things up a bit and make the course more interesting by introducing XNA and providing a myriad of examples and tutorials on how to develop simple games with XNA.
This got me thinking of GameDev.net a bit.. I'm wondering how useful it would be for us as a site (or me if I so choose) to try to start collecting a ton of XNA resources together that I think both the community at large as well as my students. I was pretty gung ho about continuing with XNA until Promit posted a rather depressing view of the future of XNA.
But then I saw someone post a link for something called the delta engine. I really wonder if it would be worthwhile for interested community members of GameDev.net to try to get behind an initiative like this and support some of the .NET developers of our site with something that would make cross-platform publishing a bit easy but would also make game development a bit easier for beginners in particular. Maybe this would involve a beginner tutorial series or something.. I don't know.
I know SlimDX is out there and I've certainly found it to be extremely easy to use, but I the delta engine is something different.. it is filling in a lot of the gaps I wouldn't want my own students to worry about just yet.
So while this entry is short, I'm wondering if anybody else has any other comparable managed alternatives to XNA that have similar features to the delta engine that are free and simple to use as a platform for beginners.. or if you think the delta engine looks like a pretty good project to get behind and start creating tutorials.