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blanky

[.net] MDX or XNA

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Hey guys, after deciding that I don't want to use SDL.Net for my game engine, I have come to a difficult decision, MDX or XNA. I have a book on MDX, however, I'm just doing 2D and there's only one chapter on 2D so it might not even help much. Also, it will be discontinued, and I never really found much information on it. On the other hand, there's XNA which has been getting lots of attention, and I even found a site with a 2D engine tutorial along with a map editor (Which will definitely help me get ideas). I'd like to know which you guys suggest. Also, how accessible are they? Do my friends have to download the whole DirectX/XNA SDK just to play my game? Or can I package the DLLs and necessary files with my game? Thanks for the help, I really appreciate it.

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MDX will not be discontinued. It is part of the .NET framework pretty much forever.

To play an XNA game on PC, you will have to download a 2 MB framework installer, in addition to the .NET 2.0 framework (if you don't have it) and DirectX 9.0c (if you don't have it).

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Ah okay, sorry, I didn't mean to say discontinued, what I meant was, not 'in' anymore, haha. What do you suggest, hplus0603? XNA seems pretty cool and I would like to try it out, the only thing I don't like is that I have to use XNA Game Studio Express which uses Visual C# Express, when I paid to get Visual Studio Standard :(. But oh well.

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You can still use XNA with Visual Studio, you just don't get the features offered in the Express IDE - the starter kits, the content pipeline functionality in the IDE, etc. Just add a reference the XNA DLLs and go.

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Ohhh, what's those things you mentioned? I know what the starter kits are, but the pipeline functionality? It's okay I'll look it up, thanks Machaira. So, what do you guys suggest? I'm leaning towards XNA.

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Original post by blanky
Ohhh, what's those things you mentioned? I know what the starter kits are, but the pipeline functionality? It's okay I'll look it up, thanks Machaira. So, what do you guys suggest? I'm leaning towards XNA.

If you don't already know c/c++ go with XNA since as you found out even though MDX is still around it won't be updated so it's pretty good as a dead.
If you know C++ you should just be using regular DX or opengl.


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I know C/C++ (Well, supposedly), but I'd rather make it in C#, I want to try out my C# 'skills', plus, I really like the language, more so than C/C++. I don't think I have the time to be messing with C/C++, doing something I can do in 10 minutes in C# when in C/C++ it takes me 3 days (Exaggeration of course), true, there's the issue of performance, but I doubt my game will sell 1 million copies on the first day, so that's not really an issue.

But thanks for the suggestion :)

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Original post by blanky
I know C/C++ (Well, supposedly), but I'd rather make it in C#, I want to try out my C# 'skills', plus, I really like the language, more so than C/C++. I don't think I have the time to be messing with C/C++, doing something I can do in 10 minutes in C# when in C/C++ it takes me 3 days (Exaggeration of course), true, there's the issue of performance, but I doubt my game will sell 1 million copies on the first day, so that's not really an issue.

But thanks for the suggestion :)

Yes I know that's why I'm so pissed off that Microsoft isn't supporting VB and XNA even though it was supported in earlier versions of managed dx.
I also know C++/C# but rather code in VB since it saves me alot of typing as you know and as long as you ain't making the next Quake engine is fast enough.
I guess it's back to C# since it isn't anywhere as bad as C++ and only a little more typing than VB.

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Original post by daviangel
Yes I know that's why I'm so pissed off that Microsoft isn't supporting VB and XNA even though it was supported in earlier versions of managed dx.
I also know C++/C# but rather code in VB since it saves me alot of typing as you know and as long as you ain't making the next Quake engine is fast enough.
I guess it's back to C# since it isn't anywhere as bad as C++ and only a little more typing than VB.


I've been using XNA and VB for a while now exactly in the way that Machaira said. I haven't found anything yet that I wanted to do and couldn't. Admittedly it would be nice to have VB sample code, but I don't mind translating C#.

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Original post by daviangel
Quote:
Original post by blanky
I know C/C++ (Well, supposedly), but I'd rather make it in C#, I want to try out my C# 'skills', plus, I really like the language, more so than C/C++. I don't think I have the time to be messing with C/C++, doing something I can do in 10 minutes in C# when in C/C++ it takes me 3 days (Exaggeration of course), true, there's the issue of performance, but I doubt my game will sell 1 million copies on the first day, so that's not really an issue.

But thanks for the suggestion :)

Yes I know that's why I'm so pissed off that Microsoft isn't supporting VB and XNA even though it was supported in earlier versions of managed dx.
I also know C++/C# but rather code in VB since it saves me alot of typing as you know and as long as you ain't making the next Quake engine is fast enough.
I guess it's back to C# since it isn't anywhere as bad as C++ and only a little more typing than VB.
I'm pretty sure lack of support in this case means no VB samples, documentation uses C#, no project templates/IDE integration with Visual Basic Express, etc. .NET assemblies are language agnostic, and you should be able to use the XNA assemblies from a VB app without problems as zangetsu has pointed out.

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Support for additional .NET languages will be added, it's just going to take some time. Whether that means using VB.NET Express or not is unknown though. There's always XNA Pro which will be released (hopefully sometime next year) and I believe uses one of the full VS editions. [grin]

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Doesn't XNA also require a graphics card which supports shaders? If you want to support older graphics cards, you may want to stick with MDX.

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Original post by kanato
Doesn't XNA also require a graphics card which supports shaders? If you want to support older graphics cards, you may want to stick with MDX.


XNA requires shader model 1 - that is, a GeForce 3 or later. So depends on how old your "older graphics cards" are...

That said, many of the samples and starter kits require shader model 2. You can probably edit them to take out the shader 2 stuff though.

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Thanks guys I really appreciate it! Looks like I'll be going with XNA! There's lots of information. Coincidentally, I chose this yesterday, the day that the stable/release version of GSE game out, 'some things are meant to be'. :)

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Original post by MachairaYou can still use XNA with Visual Studio, you just don't get the features offered in the Express IDE - the starter kits, the content pipeline functionality in the IDE, etc. Just add a reference the XNA DLLs and go.


So, what are your options without the content pipeline integration in Express ? Is there a way to manually process the assets via CLI, or must you use only standard .NET Framework calls to manually load textures ? Because I wouldn't mind going trough a few pains with the content if that meant proper refactoring support and conditionnal breakpoints.

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Original post by jfclavette
Quote:
Original post by MachairaYou can still use XNA with Visual Studio, you just don't get the features offered in the Express IDE - the starter kits, the content pipeline functionality in the IDE, etc. Just add a reference the XNA DLLs and go.


So, what are your options without the content pipeline integration in Express ? Is there a way to manually process the assets via CLI, or must you use only standard .NET Framework calls to manually load textures ? Because I wouldn't mind going trough a few pains with the content if that meant proper refactoring support and conditionnal breakpoints.


You can compile the content manually via msbuild and use your own content manager to load them or just load the assets regularly. The former wouldn't be that difficult. Here's a couple of links that might be relevant:

Clicky 1
Clicky 2

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