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yamfun

Is XNA "THE" way to game development in C#?

13 posts in this topic

First, some background. I have been using C# at work(albeit just to do some really simple and routine win form things). It's so very convenient that I can't go back to other language, so I would like to know more about using C# for game development. OTOH, let's say, all I knew about game dev was things back in uni, such as rendering some uglily shadowed spheres with dx/opengl and shoot it with other ugly spheres, or some simple flash thing.

What I want to know is, this XNA thing. Is it THE way to game dev in C#? Is it something Microsoft actively promoting and supporting? Or have they abandoned it? Does it have a future? If I love C# will I love XNA? What is its drawback?

Just want to make sure before I start diving into the realm of XNA.
:)
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[quote name='yamfun' timestamp='1322572786' post='4888764']
First, some background. I have been using C# at work(albeit just to do some really simple and routine win form things). It's so very convenient that I can't go back to other language, so I would like to know more about using C# for game development. OTOH, let's say, all I knew about game dev was things back in uni, such as rendering some uglily shadowed spheres with dx/opengl and shoot it with other ugly spheres, or some simple flash thing.

What I want to know is, this XNA thing. Is it THE way to game dev in C#? Is it something Microsoft actively promoting and supporting? Or have they abandoned it? Does it have a future? If I love C# will I love XNA? What is its drawback?

Just want to make sure before I start diving into the realm of XNA.
:)
[/quote]
[url="http://create.msdn.com/en-US/"]It is "the" way to XBLIG.[/url]

Anything else is just silly. Is DirectX "the" way to make a renderer? OpenGL is just as valid an option. That's all they are; [i]options, [/i]with all the associated features and drawbacks that come with them.

[url="http://slimdx.org/"]SlimDX[/url] is another option, it offers DX11 and 10 support and it's continuously updated towards the latest version (last I checked they roll their SDK out about a month later than the official DirectX team; but ask Promit or Mike, they should know more exactly).

Right now, for you, it doesn't matter if XNA has a future or not; that shouldn't be your focus just yet. Your focus shouldn't be on learning how to use a specific set of tools that may (or may not) be updated in the coming years; it should be on learning [i]how [/i]to make a game.

Best of luck. :)
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[url="http://deltaengine.net/"]Delta Engine[/url] looks pretty damn awesome. It's developed by Benjamin Nitschke, the guy who wrote Professional XNA Programming as well as [url="http://www.exdream.com/Games/"]a slew[/url] of XNA games.
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Hey

I had the same dilemma as you when I started with game development (or 3D world development would be more precise). I started with XNA, and haven't regretted it yet :D It's syntax is exactly the same as C#-s so you will have no trouble with the transition. What you will have a "problem" with is everything else - unless you already had experience with programing games or simulators. But to answer your basic question "If I have experience with C# should I learn XNA" my answer is yes. If you decide to start learning it I suggest Riemers tutorials on XNA 4.0 as a good place to start.

Now, about the future of XNA, I have no other info other than what you can find on msdn or create.msdn. The last I think I heard is that Nokia and Microsoft had an agreement that Nokia's smart phones will be able to run XNA games (for more info search Nokia Mango). Aside from them you have Windows Phone, XBox and PC as your potential platforms so I think XNA is a serious project. Again this is my view of the matter, I have no inside info or any other source other than the Internet.

Hope this helps

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For a rather depressing overview of the state of managed game development, see a [url="http://ventspace.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/directx-and-xna-status-report/"]recent entry[/url] on Promit's blog.
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Unity is probably worth investigating if you want to develop games with C#. It targets a lot of platforms (web, desktop, mobiles and consoles), and since it's the company's main focus, the question of whether they're going to abandon it any time soon doesn't really apply.
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[quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1322580036' post='4888786']
For a rather depressing overview of the state of managed game development, see a [url="http://ventspace.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/directx-and-xna-status-report/"]recent entry[/url] on Promit's blog.
[/quote]

This is exactly the kind of info I am looking for and exactly the kind of future that I am worrying!
:(
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Holy smokes. So what were looking at is.. Direct X will continue to perform as a graphics api with all the new tricks and technologies.. The only difference is they will no longer make efforts to help developers out (samples and all that) ??
And XNA may drop dead.

So if i wanted to continue dev'n games, id probably want to switch to DX and then go and buy lots of books and study real hard because i will have zero tutorials and samples...???

Is this accurate ?
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[quote name='EgoDeath' timestamp='1322648706' post='4889020']
Holy smokes. So what were looking at is.. Direct X will continue to perform as a graphics api with all the new tricks and technologies.. The only difference is they will no longer make efforts to help developers out (samples and all that) ??
And XNA may drop dead.

So if i wanted to continue dev'n games, id probably want to switch to DX and then go and buy lots of books and study real hard because i will have zero tutorials and samples...???

Is this accurate ?
[/quote]

hm... if that is your approach to things, I'd save the money for something else because FOR SURE you MUST believe that by next year the world will end just as the Maya said it will [img]http://public.gamedev.net/public/style_emoticons/default/biggrin.gif[/img]

Seriously.. XNA works and will work with Win8 as it is. It is not going "away". There are rumors of a XNA 5 just as there are rumors of no XNA 5. But I'd be interested in which features the "typical" XNA developer is missing from XNA 4 and that stops him from getting his game done.

As for DX, we are, just now, starting to see DX11 games finally surfacing, do we really need DX12-13-14?
And anyway, no rumors of DX being dropped or unsupported..the signs are right at the opposide side actually, with next VS getting more game dev oriented features in the core.

So.. I'd save the "De Profundis" and enjoy programming with what we have right now.. and that most programmers out there don't even know the 10% of... the future is a moving target just as it has been for the entire history of computing.
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We should take into account the financial situation in the world, it effects even giants like Microsoft. They might have slowed the production down or put it on hold for a while, but that doesn't mean that they will never continue with it. I doubt that they will make any public announcements about this, but we should wait and see.
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[quote name='Mike.Popoloski' timestamp='1322580036' post='4888786']
For a rather depressing overview of the state of managed game development, see a [url="http://ventspace.wordpress.com/2011/11/28/directx-and-xna-status-report/"]recent entry[/url] on Promit's blog.
[/quote]

I kind of get the impression from the XNA lack-of-announcements that MS wanted to shift entirely into a XAML/WPF for future app development and somebody forgot to tell the people in the XNA group, so they're working on updating the framework to support that. The thing that gives me hope is that at Build there was a lot of new exciting announcements for C# development. It seems kind of silly that they'd announce clear support for a programming language and completely halt support for one of it's most popular frameworks in that language.

[quote]
[url="http://deltaengine.net/"]Delta Engine[/url] looks pretty damn awesome. It's developed by Benjamin Nitschke, the guy who wrote Professional XNA Programming as well as [url="http://www.exdream.com/Games/"]a slew[/url] of XNA games.[/quote]
Well that is just awesome.
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With all the depressing talk about the future of XNA and DX, [url="http://www.opentk.com/"]OpenTK[/url] is a nice OpenGL wrapper for .Net/Mono.

So obviously XNA isn't the only way, it's just one choice among several for openGL/DirectX support (basically, OpenTK for OGL; SlimDX, SharpDX and XNA for DX technologies are the biggest most popular these days) and then from there, many small and large engines that use those libraries.
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The writing has been "on the wall" for XNA for some time, but now that we have a better estimate of when its demise will be, we can remove it from our long term strategies. However, in the short term, its still a great API for beginners, and if/when MS fail to replace it with a comparable API we have the likes of OpenTK to fall back on. Just how long XNA has left depends on when MS introduce the next iteration of the Xbox, which may or may not have some managed API, but that API is unlikely to be XNA, in its current form; XNA will probably be replaced.

So really, if you are a beginner, XNA is A way to game development, just not THE way. Skills are transferable, and code can be ported.
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