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Goober King

[.net] Starting XNA

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I've been giving the XNA stuff a quick look for a couple of days now. I've been thinking it may be nice to lean something new for a change. C# sounds like a good thing to learn as it will force me to start using classes which I haven't really used. I'm not really looking at it in depth as I do have a major project I don't want to shelf, but I am think a dabble here and there may be fine when I need a change of pace. Anyway I guess I'm wondering a couple of things. First to those who have been using it what are your general impressions? The idea of having provided model and texture loading so you can jump right into the game is appealing. I'm not a super coder and that low level stuff is probably better handled by the experts. My plan is to remake an old puzzle game I made back in the dos days, to learn on. Then I have a SmashTV kinda style game I want to one day do. I was going to use an old style tile system but the engine I wrote uses old Direct Draw which now runs like a turtle on booze. The other thing is I ran through the video lessons on XNA and loaded up the ol' spaceship model OK. I tried to load a basic cube model I saved using TrueSpace but it looks squished, not square. I'm not sure if it has something to do with crappy exporting or with aspect settings, or whatever. The aspect is computed by the current window settings so I'm leaning toward TrueSpace. I actually had to nab their free light version of GameSpace which is newer than my copy of TrueSpace, just to get something that would not error during the build process. Anyone had troubles importing models or know some simple do's and dont's about getting valid models?

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I like it so far since it's almost as easy as using pygame now!
Can't get much easier than:

graphics.GraphicsDevice.Clear(Color.Green);
// TODO: Add your drawing code here
sprites.Begin();
sprites.Draw(backgroundTexture, position, Color.White);
sprites.End();


just to get something up on the screen. Before even with managed DX you had to mess with presentation parameters,etc just to setup the videocard to get ready to draw something. It looks like XNA takes care of all those repetitive details like pygame.
Only thing I don't like so far is not being able to use VS2005 since I have alot of plugins,vtune,etc I like to use. And also don't like the fact that I need to use C# and not able to use VB.Net, which I used with managed dx, since I prefer using that since it's less typing and like python no need to add a semicolon to the end of everything so I keep forgetting my semicolons;)

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Well I just tried to import a cube exported by Blender but that was even stranger. The shading was all jacked up and it was very deformed. The TrueSpace model was squished but looked good.

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I've spent some years programming in C#. My last try of game programming was in directX (some years ago) and I found that quite hard (as in two weeks spent just in initializing the graphics).

After years not doing anything related to game programming, I picked XNA and built a working model of player controlled textured geometric shapes interacting over a plane with nice ODE physics in about three days.

If you learn C#, it can't get much easier than XNA. The next step would be sending a mail with the description of your game and 50$ to the developers and receiving the game.

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I had never used C# when XNA came out. I decided to create a pong game to get a feel for the language and the toolset. I had it done in about 2 hours (again I had 0 experience with the language). After doing the pong game I made a couple of prototypes in under 30 minutes and I felt pretty comfortable with the language.

It's a really easy language to pick up on (assuming you already know a class based language) and XNA is a great tool. It really does take out all the annoying things of game creation. If I want to create even a simple game in Direct3D I have to create a crapton of framework files, set up all sorts of parameters and devices, and making sure I am freeing up resources properly. With XNA you can spend a lot more time on the meat of the game.

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Sadly, decent .X file exporters are few and far between (I assume that was the format you tried). Have you tried exporting and loading .FBX?

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I just started xna today--and so far I like it better than MDX. What's cool is that there are a bunch of really good tutorials out for it.

I am attempting to port my mdx engine/game over to xna. So far its been going good. I will have to rewrite all of the render methods, and loading assets is completely different.

So far my only complaint is that the gui stuff appears to be pretty limited, and there is no native mouse support (I spose I can still call directinput).

On the plus side I was able to implement bloom shading in about a half hour of screwing around.

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Quote:
Original post by spartanx
Sadly, decent .X file exporters are few and far between (I assume that was the format you tried). Have you tried exporting and loading .FBX?


Well I would have tried it but I don't have anything that will export to fbx. I need to try the GameSpace again. I may have squished my cube on accident. Surly I can get a flippin' cube. Still I hate the idea of spending time on some project in the future and finding out I cant get it loaded to save my life.

edit: Tried it, could be square not sure, hard to tell. Screw it I'm going to Disneyland ........or wherever sleep takes me.

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Quote:
Original post by Goober King
I take it nobody has had any trouble importing models?


I had no trouble importing them, I had trouble exporting. The trouble lasted until I found a 3dsmax plug-in to export to .x

So, just a bit of googling and trying about five or six plug-ins (and some free modelling apps but I didn't really want to use anything but 3ds).

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