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I give in! XNA here I come

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I have fooled around trying to develop games in VB.net for too long. I am tired of trying to learn C++. You all kindly suggested C# and XNA as a good integrated game development choice but I spurned you. Why? I don't know. Moose-headedness I guess. Well I just installed C# Express Edition and XNA 2.0 and HERE I GO! Thanks to everyone who tried to convince stubborn old me before.

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Welcome to the Dark Side young Padawan!

Seriously, welcome and I too have recently made the switch from C++ to C# and XNA. I am currently working on port of a C++ console dungeon crawl into XNA

Good Luck and Good Coding!

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I concur, good choice! Also, with the XNA 3.0 beta now available, you can take advantage of the new features in C# 3.0 and VS 2008 if you like.

For some of the best XNA advice available, be sure to stop by Nick Gravelyn's website from time to time. Nick created my all-time favorite XNA tutorial (for tile mapping).

Gamedev also has an XNA forum area (currently mixed with the DirectX area).

Cheers,
Tim

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Welcome indeed! XNA Game Studio is a really great way to work on games. I switched to it during their second beta of version 1.0 and haven't looked back. It was so good I switched from OS X game dev to Windows/Xbox 360 just so I could use it. Hopefully it treats you as well.

Quote:
Original post by TMichael
I concur, good choice! Also, with the XNA 3.0 beta now available, you can take advantage of the new features in C# 3.0 and VS 2008 if you like.
If this applies, keep in mind that the XNA GS 3.0 beta cannot deploy to the Xbox 360. If you want to work with the Xbox 360, you'll want to stick with XNA GS 2.0 until the final release of XNA GS 3.0.

Quote:
For some of the best XNA advice available, be sure to stop by Nick Gravelyn's website from time to time. Nick created my all-time favorite XNA tutorial (for tile mapping).
:D

In addition, I'm starting a new series talking about things I've learned while working on my DreamBuildPlay game, so that might be some good reading for some.

Quote:
Gamedev also has an XNA forum area (currently mixed with the DirectX area).
There's also the official XNA forums where a lot of us MVPs hang out. Even some of the XNA team posts there, so if you get stuck and don't get an answer here, feel free to post it over there. It's a pretty high traffic forum, but most questions generally get some response.

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Thanks for all the positive advice! I just bought the books "Beginning XNA 2.0 Game Programming" and "Microsoft Visual C# 2005 Step By Step" and so far I am amazed at how much work XNA does for you. All that time I spent trying to learn C++ is paying off too, the first chapter of the C# book made total sense. All my time spend learning VB.net paid off too, since I now know the Visual Studio 2005 IDE pretty much inside out.

I'm going to use C# 2005 Express and XNA 2.0 for starters and once I've learned more I'll upgrade, probably when XNA 3.0 goes final.

I can't believe how much easier game programming is with C# and XNA than with VB.net or C++, both of which have their own, unique drawbacks to the beginner.

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Quote:
Original post by Theodore Fuhringer
I have fooled around trying to develop games in VB.net for too long. I am tired of trying to learn C++. You all kindly suggested C# and XNA as a good integrated game development choice but I spurned you. Why? I don't know. Moose-headedness I guess.

Well I just installed C# Express Edition and XNA 2.0 and HERE I GO!

Thanks to everyone who tried to convince stubborn old me before.



I did just make the same decision.
How do you feel about the change so far?

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Original post by Basse85How do you feel about the change so far?

I am surprised at just how much work XNA does for you in terms of forming your windows application into a game framework. That's the worst, most unsatisfying part about windows game development, starting the windows form, initializing a graphics window... yeesh. Yet I clicked "Create New Project" and boom, there was everything I needed to get started. I can't wait to try out the sound stuff. XACT looks VERY interesting. So far, I am not disappointed.

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What were you using with VB.NET prior to switching? I've been using the XNA libs from VB.NET with great success (other than some missing niceties like the pipeline and project templates). Used MDX before that.

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Original post by ItsDan
What were you using with VB.NET prior to switching? I've been using the XNA libs from VB.NET with great success (other than some missing niceties like the pipeline and project templates). Used MDX before that.

I wasn't. I got so frustrated trying to access DirectX from VB.net that I gave up. I didn't know you could use XNA from VB.net. Before that I spent some time using the outstanding TrueVision 3D Engine. Works in VB.net like a charm. But like all engines, it has limits. My crazy ideas need my own engines.

Man I feel like when you start working out after being sick, all sore and wimpy. My head hurts, lol. But in a good way.

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I've tried the Garage Games' Torque Game Engine(TGE) and I just couldn't go with it, the documentation doesn't deserve to be called documentation, the source code is C++ sphagetti code and for beginner like me, this just doesn't work out.At same time, I decided to switch to something more newbie-friendly, something like C#.I don't have time and will to bother with C++, maybe after time, but for indie stuff C# should do the work.

All what I need to know from you is what can you say me about TorqueX and XNA?
I've heard that XNA doesn't allow you to use their net code for indie and they don't publish games.

br

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Quote:
Original post by dMaze149

All what I need to know from you is what can you say me about TorqueX and XNA?
I've heard that XNA doesn't allow you to use their net code for indie and they don't publish games.



I tried out TorqueX a few months ago and I was quite underwhelmed. Documentation was poor, it was buggy, and the feature set wasn't exactly what I was hoping for. However the 3D stuff may have improved since then, and they're going to be offering of a 3D version of their game builder APP which is cool.

You can't use net code on PC, only on the 360. On the 360 you have access to pretty much all the LIVE functionality (game invites, matchmaking, etc.). On the PC you can just use whatever networking API you want, you're not restricted at all.

And yes, MS doesn't publish games. On the PC you're completely on your own, but you can do whatever you want. Using the framework doesn't place any restrictions on how you sell your game or anything like that. On the 360, unless you have a publisher your only choice is to put your game on the XNA Community Games service. Basically you submit your game for peer review, and if it passes you can sell it for $5, $10, or $15 bucks. You get 70% of those revenues, and MS keeps the rest.

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I started XNA myself a few weeks ago, moving on from C++ and SDL, and im loving it :D It sems like thins just... work!

And thanks to this thread ive jsut discovered Nick Gravelyn's blog, and that tile map tutorial, and i know exactly where i will be spending alot of time over the next few weeks, this is definatly something ive been intereted in, and have about 10 different projects around here with various different attempts at tile engines and map editors, now i jsut need these damn huge videos to download so i can get started :D

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I used C++ for programming games without graphics, then switched to Microsoft Popfly (Silverlight based online game creator.) Once I've done I few games on Popfly, I'll try XNA.

[Edited by - cj270608 on September 21, 2008 11:31:27 AM]

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Quote:
Original post by MJP
...


Looks like I will have to stick with garage games products, you get the tools and they publish the game for you, for free - but the price is that you have to screw around with bad documentation and spaghetti code, as mentioned before.

If I've choosen XNA only, I'd have to build a game engine myself, which is not really what I want.The truth is that I want to get a game engine ready to work with and to make changes to it by demand - I'm just trying to follow the concept of "Do what hasn't been done yet".Second problem would be publishing product at some other publisher.I don't know how would this end, propably with big fees and bad promotion, well one of the reasons why "garage games" again.And the market I'm currently interested in is PC-windows only.

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Quote:
Original post by MJP
You can't use net code on PC, only on the 360.
Not true. You can definitely use the XNA networking code on PC. You cannot, however, distribute a game using those libraries as they are not included in the XNA framework redist. However that does not mean you cannot use them at all. For instance it's a great way to test networking for your Xbox game as well (launch game on PC and Xbox and network between the two).

Quote:
On the 360 you have access to pretty much all the LIVE functionality (game invites, matchmaking, etc.).
Note: Invites are new to 3.0 and therefore are not present in XNA GS 2.0. This does mean, almost ironically, that you cannot use them on the Xbox 360 as the XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta does not work on the Xbox 360.

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Basically you submit your game for peer review, and if it passes you can sell it for $5, $10, or $15 bucks. You get 70% of those revenues, and MS keeps the rest.
Nope. It's 200, 400, or 800 points which, in US dollars, is $2.50, $5.00, and $10.00. Also worth noting they only allow you to charge the 200 price point if your game falls under 50MB compressed in the CCGAME package.

Edit: That last sentence is probably better read "If your game is over 50MB, you cannot charge 200 points."

[Edited by - NickGravelyn on September 19, 2008 8:15:06 PM]

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Quote:
Original post by NickGravelyn
Also worth noting they only allow you to charge the 200 price point if your game falls under 50MB compressed in the CCGAME package.


Should i be reading that as:

"if your game falls under 50mb you cant charge 400/800 ms points"

OR

"if your game is above 50mb you cant charge 200 ms points"

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Quote:
Original post by gameXcore
Quote:
Original post by NickGravelyn
Also worth noting they only allow you to charge the 200 price point if your game falls under 50MB compressed in the CCGAME package.


Should i be reading that as:

"if your game falls under 50mb you cant charge 400/800 ms points"

OR

"if your game is above 50mb you cant charge 200 ms points"


The latter. You can charge 400/800 points for any game if you would like. If your game is above 50MB, you are no longer allowed to choose the 200 point price point.

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I'd have to backpedal on my original rantings and say that XNA 3.0 looks quite nice.

However, I still prefer the idea of creating a blank C# project and simply dropping in the XNA framework components I want to over using the default XNA Game Project solution in Visual Studio. That, I always found, was clumsy, clunky and full of bloat, as well as restricting me in the way I wanted to lay my code and logic out.

Also, XACT sucks balls and I honestly haven't found anyone who is exactly raving over it. I'm glad that XNA 3.0 doesn't explicitly require it and that is a good step forwards.

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Quote:
Original post by ukdeveloper
However, I still prefer the idea of creating a blank C# project and simply dropping in the XNA framework components I want to over using the default XNA Game Project solution in Visual Studio. That, I always found, was clumsy, clunky and full of bloat, as well as restricting me in the way I wanted to lay my code and logic out.


You might want to take a look at my minimalist templates I made. It gives you the absolute bare minimum project to use XNA Game Studio. They currently are for XNA GS 2.0, but I'm going to be making some 3.0 Beta ones in the next week or so.

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I just went through the beginner's 2-D tutorial of the Dream/create/play site. Parts of it were slightly painfull since I've been programming a while, but it does show how easy it can be to start a game with XNA.

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