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Moe

[.net] [XNA] What have you discovered by playing with XNA?

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Well, for the first time a few days ago, I cracked open Visual Studio C# Express and tried making a simple XNA program (as described in by these tutorials). After doing a bit of poking around, I came across the properties for the application settings. (To see what I mean, open up the window where you can view your different components - the design view of the main part of the program, and right click->properties. I had no idea that XNA programs by default had a fixed time step. I have also discovered: - the graphics component doesn't automatically handle alt-tab - XNA help is available through the Help->Contents menu. I had no idea that there was this much documentation available. I was trying to figure out how the heck people were making simple 2d games based of the few tutorials that I have seen...[rolleyes] So, what things have you guys/gals discovered with XNA?

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Original post by Moe
So, what things have you guys/gals discovered with XNA?

That's it's gonna make game development a heck of a lot easier. :)

I like the components/services system. Once the community gets rolling and releases components, it'll be a matter of dropping them on a game component, setting some properties and having the skeleton of a game pretty much done. Just write a little gameplay specific code and you've got a game.

Once the content pipeline is in and we can run games on our 360s, life will be good. If they create an XNA Live Arcade type system, so much the better.

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The design behind XNA is absolutely brilliant. I've played around a bit with the component and services model and am really impressed with how it all comes together. One of the game components I put together was a TrueTypeFontComponent, which when dragged onto the design screen, gives you the ability to load and render TrueType fonts.

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Once I learn enough, I would like to produce a simple GUI component, with things like buttons, checkboxes and a custom cursor. Mind you, I don't know if I will ever get around to it, but it is something I have been thinking about.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Since XNA is effectively C# with knobs on, does it still feature the DLL interop services?

Or put another way, can I still wrap opengl in a dll and use that instead of dx?

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Since XNA is effectively C# with knobs on, does it still feature the DLL interop services?

Or put another way, can I still wrap opengl in a dll and use that instead of dx?


No platform invoke, if you want to keep what you write working on XBox360 as well as your PC.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Yeah I figured it wouldn't be possible on the 360, different os and all, but the pc version still has it though right?

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Yeah I figured it wouldn't be possible on the 360, different os and all, but the pc version still has it though right?

Yes. You can do anything in an XNA PC game that you can regularly with C#.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
XNA is great. The one thing I was wondering about is whether Game.GameServices.GetService calls are expensive in terms of processing time, as I'm currently making several of them each frame to make sure my references are correct (eg after a device reset, or on the first frame, etc).

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Original post by Anonymous Poster
XNA is great. The one thing I was wondering about is whether Game.GameServices.GetService calls are expensive in terms of processing time, as I'm currently making several of them each frame to make sure my references are correct (eg after a device reset, or on the first frame, etc).


It looks like they have implemented the feature as an Dictionary which is essentially an hash table. Therefore the cost of the look up should be pretty small. The overhead in a hash table is generally cased by the use of extra non used memory blocks needed by the algorithm (Depending on the implmentation).

I really wish they would release a beta of the content pipeline. Seeing that the October DirectX SDK will be out Monday, and it does not include anything XNA related, I don't forsee it being released early. I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a stone on my 3D project right now. Its one of those, do I say screw the pipeline and write everything myself, or do I wait and reap the benefits.

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