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danromeo

Who'daWhere'daWhy'daHow'da...WHAT'da heck is MS XNA?

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danromeo    238
MS XNA, Bill Gate's Next Generation Games Software Development Package? Full Disclosure: Please everybody tell all you know! Is this the end of DirectX? Thanks.

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circlesoft    1178
Quote:
Original post by danromeo
Full Disclosure: Please everybody tell all you know!

The truth is, nobody really knows anything! MS has publicly released some vague common-sense info about XNA, but nothing really substantial. We don't know if Sony and Nintendo are on board (probably not), or when it's coming out.

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DrunkenHyena    805
XNA isn't really a thing, it's an initiative, so there isn't really a ship date or anything of the sort. It's a goal we're slowly getting closer to. There are also multiple parts to it.

The first is basically an improved and unified DirectX. There's a fair bit of info about the changes and we've already seen some (PIX for example).

Second are tools, with XNA Studio leading the way. There's a lot of marketing to cut through to see what this really is. It's based on the Visual Studio 2005 team system (can't recall the proper name at the moment) but customized for game development. At least part of it appears to be unifying of common tools so they actually work well together (source control, asset control, bug tracking, etc). I'm sure it won't be long before there's more detail on this.

The third is the most vague, and that's the middleware. The impression I got was that they want to enable things like pluggable physics engines and such. Right now integrating middleware can be a huge task because there are no standards. Don't be surprised if Microsoft produces a standardized middleware interface. MiddleX?, xXx? :)

This is all public info, BTW.

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Whirlwind    134
From what I've heard, the initiative is being put to the test with the next Xbox. Don't be suprised if by this time next year the initiative is in full swing as a Sun-like application suite where you buy your XNA development suite at varying levels - XNA Express (Enthusiast?) would include VC++ 2k5 Express and the latest SDK suite in a single bundle, XNA Enthusiast would include VS 2k5 Express and the latest XNA SDK suite, XNA Pro would bring to the table VC++ 2k5 pro, maybe VC# pro, and so on..

Just a hunch, though. What better way to lure the indie to make XBox capable games than to make development near perfectly portable?

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circlesoft    1178
Quote:
Original post by Whirlwind
What better way to lure the indie to make XBox capable games than to make development near perfectly portable?

Microsoft doesn't want indie developers making XBox games, though. Did you ever notice how hard it is to (legally) obtain an XBox Development Kit? A company has to have a proven track record before MS will even think about licensing them - and even then, dev kits cost mega-$$$. The cost alone eliminates a lot of developers.

Microsoft wants to be sure that quality games are being developed by quality developers. Before a game is published, it has to be certified by Microsoft. They go through an *extensive* checklist, making sure that everything is up to par. It's not uncommon, even for big games, to fail their certification multiple times.

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