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Xanather

XNA's Future

24 posts in this topic

I just don't understand Microsoft. XNA was probably one of .net's greatest contributions. Lately however Microsoft have had no news on XNA and the XNA team seems dispersed.

During Microsoft's //build/ so far I think XNA has had no official mention, except for attendees actually asking the speaker themselves on the future of XNA, their reply is always indirect. You know what the funny is though? Almost half of the questions asked in the game design event were related to XNA [url="http://channel9.msdn.com/Events/Build/2012/2-106"]http://channel9.msdn...uild/2012/2-106[/url].

Microsoft should hurry up say something something about this issue.

I don't get it! What has the game developers response to XNA not done to not impress microsoft? Did they think XNA would be used for AAA games or something, obviously that would not happen. Why stop XNA?

XNA will not be included in the WP8 SDK.

I am currently developing a desktop game in XNA, but will most probably move it over to MonoGame which is the only thing backing me up at the moment. I will definitely do it once MonoGame has the content pipeline for XNA.

[b]What do you guys think about the future of XNA?[/b] Edited by Xanather
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I've heard they are planning a new XNA or something alternative for Windows 8, but how true is that I don't know...
Time will show, be patient :)
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Thanks for the reply Dark. Do you think MonoGame will evolve beyond XNA 4.0? Otherwise should I just dump my project and try reconstruct it in SharpDX?
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No comment? I never followed MonoGame. When it first came out, it was a reactionary API to counter the announcement of XNA GameStudio. Looking at the site now. has it matured to not being a 'me too' OS alternative to XNA yet?

I don't know what C# APIs are viable at the moment, other than say, Unity3D. I know there are lots of framworks that wrap up OpenGL and DirectX, but as far as I know, they are just hobby projects and can disappear, or be discontinued any second. Edited by Daaark
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In my case I used XNA as a 'toy' to gain some knowledge, and then I moved to a 'naked' API. I chose openGL. I really don't care right now what will happen to XNA, but if something new appears I will definitely check it out. I would suggest as people above, if you want to stay with C# go SharpDX, MonoGames or SlimDX.
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[quote name='Tasaq' timestamp='1351796216' post='4996268']
In my case I used XNA as a 'toy' to gain some knowledge, and then I moved to a 'naked' API. I chose openGL. I really don't care right now what will happen to XNA, but if something new appears I will definitely check it out. I would suggest as people above, if you want to stay with C# go SharpDX, MonoGames or SlimDX.
[/quote]

I'm currently in this position, using XNA to gain sufficient knowledge before moving on to something else.

I wanted to ask about Monogame... its libraries have same structure as XNA? Meaning that I can freely convert my projects to Monogame once content pipeline arrives without modifying too much to become compatible?
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Several things. First, XNA is in the WP8 SDK. And if you want to write Windows Phone games that target WP7 and WP8 hardware then XNA is the only real option since the DirectX stuff is WP8 hardware only. If you want to develop XNA games for Xbox or PC then you need to download the WP7.1 SDK and the WP7.1.1 update to it. Second, XNA 4 didn't throw Xbox games under the bus. Off hand, the only thing that Xbox lost from 3.1 to 4.0 was 8192x8192 textures. As long as your switched to the HiDef profile you could do everything else (and a lot of it even got faster since they batched up state changes rather than pushing them one-by-one to the GPU). And if you look at the API changes made to XNA 4, they seem clearly designed towards moving XNA's guts from DX9 to DX10/11. But it seems extremely unlikely that that will happen at this point. If I had to guess why, I would say it was a combination of too many studios and developers being unwilling/unable to move from C++ to C# (due to experience, familiarity, libraries, tool chains, etc.) combined with the new Windows Runtime accomplishing all the sandboxing without the requirement to use C# and .NET. At this point it seems that DirectX 11+ and Windows Runtime are the future of the MS game development stack. XNA is in some sort of maintenance mode. It remains a good tool for teaching the basics of game development, but as most of the game development world can't or won't move away from a core of C++, anyone who really wants to get into the industry will need to learn C++ and DirectX/OpenGL eventually anyway. And there will continue to be projects like SharpDX, SlimDX, and MonoGame to keep things alive for developers who do want .NET game development.
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Thanks for the replies everyone. After reading everyone's comments I will probably continue to create my game, eventually port it over to MonoGame. After I finish that I will move onto C++ and DirectX in the future (because obviously as MikeBMcL mentions, any serious game programmer will eventually learn that).

Xanather.

Geese my hatred towards Microsoft is slowly building... Edited by Xanather
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[quote name='Aurioch' timestamp='1351814060' post='4996366']
[quote name='Tasaq' timestamp='1351796216' post='4996268']
In my case I used XNA as a 'toy' to gain some knowledge, and then I moved to a 'naked' API. I chose openGL. I really don't care right now what will happen to XNA, but if something new appears I will definitely check it out. I would suggest as people above, if you want to stay with C# go SharpDX, MonoGames or SlimDX.
[/quote]

I'm currently in this position, using XNA to gain sufficient knowledge before moving on to something else.

I wanted to ask about Monogame... its libraries have same structure as XNA? Meaning that I can freely convert my projects to Monogame once content pipeline arrives without modifying too much to become compatible?
[/quote]
That is correct. As long as your game does not go down and access any of the windows OS functions then it should be easily portable. I think in the new MonoGame 3.0 99% of the XNA framework has been reconstructed. I ported a older game I made to Mac OS X with MonoGame 2.5 and it worked well [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img]. Edited by Xanather
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Why use a API that is 30% of an abandoned API, and missing the only feature that gave it a leg up in the first place? Might as well use bindings for a mature framework like SDL or something similar. The allure of XNA was the Zune/360/Windows compatibility. Any framework can set video modes, and draw graphics.

Actually Mike, XNA 4 did remove XBox 360 features, such as point sprites. It was bullshit reasoning to do so, because the 360 hardware was static. But they abandoned that, because they were busy looking forward to their next half baked idea, WP7.

[quote]but as most of the game development world can't or won't move away from a core of C++, anyone who really wants to get into the industry will need to learn C++ and DirectX/OpenGL eventually anyway[/quote] Engine and system level development is in C++. 'Most' of the game world programming game logic in scripting languages for their engines or doing other tasks. There are many tasks in game development. Edited by Daaark
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My opinion: XNA is a great API, very well-designed (especially XNA 4.0), and apparently very popular. XNA 4.0 did mess some things up by removing some functionality (though I would argue the lack of point sprites isn't a big deal). But it also fixed a lot of the design flaws in the framework, and it's good at making you fall into the [url="http://blogs.msdn.com/b/brada/archive/2003/10/02/50420.aspx"]pit of success[/url]. It caught on for a reason (other than because it was cross-platform).

But yes, it pretty much appears completely abandoned by MS. I used to work at MS too, and I agree with what saintgimp said.

I haven't yet used monogame, but I would hope it is the future of XNA. People have invested so much "energy" in XNA, it's got to go somewhere. Edited by phil_t
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[quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1351830180' post='4996424']
Actually Mike, XNA 4 did remove XBox 360 features, such as point sprites. It was bullshit reasoning to do so, because the 360 hardware was static. But they abandoned that, because they were busy looking forward to their next half baked idea, WP7.
[/quote]

I remember when I was first told about XNA, one of the developers told me that in all of their profiling just drawing quads was faster than using point sprites on the 360. Not that I'm defending the removal of any features in the name of cross-platform support. PC was the platform that *really* got the shaft in when it came to cross-platform stuff, between the eDRAM emulation, lack of proper depth buffer support, and forcing floating-point textures to use point filtering just because the 360 didn't support it. It was also pretty weird that HiDef essentially required DX10-capable hardware, but couldn't support any DX10-level features.
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[quote name='Daaark' timestamp='1351830180' post='4996424']
Engine and system level development is in C++. 'Most' of the game world programming game logic in scripting languages for their engines or doing other tasks. There are many tasks in game development.
[/quote] I forgot about point sprites. But they could easily be replicated with quads (even improved upon) so it's hard to argue that anything was lost through their removal. And I saw their removal as one of many steps preparatory to moving the code base to DX10/11 (even though that ultimately hasn't happened). I do agree with PC being the least-loved platform for XNA. Anyway, I quoted that snippet because yeah I know there are other aspects of game development. But if you are planning to work in the programming aspects at all, you need only look through the job postings to see that (for the most part) people without C++ knowledge need not apply (even if you ultimately end up in a sub-discipline where you never end up writing any C++). Indeed, things like Lua interpreters written in C++ are some of the many things in the "libraries, tool chains" groups that made it impossible for most shops to consider going to C#. The expense of writing a Lua interpreter in C# likely wouldn't be too high as a stand-alone task, but add in physics, content ingestion, other ad-hoc interpreters and parsers, and everything else, (not to mention 3rd party middleware that you have little to no control over) and the costs can quickly become prohibitive. It's the same reason that people like my father are paid well to write new COBOL code (and maintain and update existing code); the existing millions upon millions of lines of COBOL code that his company has represent an astronomical sum of time and money when looked at from a replacement cost point of view but a relatively minor sum when looked at from a maintenance and update cost point of view. The same is true with C++ and game development, and that was my point.
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[quote name='Xanather' timestamp='1351826620' post='4996413']
[quote name='Aurioch' timestamp='1351814060' post='4996366']
[quote name='Tasaq' timestamp='1351796216' post='4996268']
In my case I used XNA as a 'toy' to gain some knowledge, and then I moved to a 'naked' API. I chose openGL. I really don't care right now what will happen to XNA, but if something new appears I will definitely check it out. I would suggest as people above, if you want to stay with C# go SharpDX, MonoGames or SlimDX.
[/quote]

I'm currently in this position, using XNA to gain sufficient knowledge before moving on to something else.

I wanted to ask about Monogame... its libraries have same structure as XNA? Meaning that I can freely convert my projects to Monogame once content pipeline arrives without modifying too much to become compatible?
[/quote]
That is correct. As long as your game does not go down and access any of the windows OS functions then it should be easily portable. I think in the new MonoGame 3.0 99% of the XNA framework has been reconstructed. I ported a older game I made to Mac OS X with MonoGame 2.5 and it worked well [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img].
[/quote]

Thanks. I'll then stick with XNA for few years until I gain sufficient knowledge about everything I need... and then switch to Monogame, and after Monogame to C++ and DirectX/OpenGL.

I'm just saddened XNA is coming to the end like this... it was API that enabled me to enter this "world" without having to study for multiple years in addition to faculty studies and studies for what I currently know. And, it was one of (rare?) Microsoft products that actually worked, regardless of background behind it XD Edited by Aurioch
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Thanks for Your advice, Gavin.

I'll consider switching earlier, but I'm not even comfortable with XNA - not in the actual game logic (for now I'm capable of replicating mechanics of existing games fairly good) but in the technical field (like InputHandler), not to mention I'm far from going into 3D. I'm not sure if I'll be able, considering I have faculty studies (which don't have connections to gamedev at all, at least for now), to invest much time into learning about new API in depth. It took me some time to learn (with understanding ofc) just the pure basics with XNA. OK, crappy argument which will be ripped apart in 1 sentence but I hope you understand what I wanted to say XD

I'm currently working on Battle City clone (1985 Namco game for NES) - I finished prototype (with one bug I'm too lazy to remove) and now I'm redoing it from scratch in order to implement Game State machine and proper Input handler. And ofc, I'm stuck for now - only material to study from is Microsoft's GSM example :/

Anyway, I downloaded Unity and will check it out. Maybe it's easier than I'm imagining.
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@Aurioch - That looks like a good project. If you've already got a game mostly written in XNA, then you could keep working on it to finish it certainly. But there is also Monogame which is based upon XNA, so that would be your best bet if you wanted to easily plug into a new framework without too much of a learning curve. It has active development and quite a following. Then you can keep working with the language that you have learnt so far. See what you think of Unity and then look at Monogame. I think they both look really interesting. Just give yourself some time to get used to them, and don't be put off by difficulties.

I love re-writing code from sratch, it always turns out a lot better. Maybe that's because I'm not such a great coder in the first place ;) And don't forget to tackle that bug this time round.
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Edit: forget what i just said, changed my mind. ill just use monogame heh Edited by Xanather
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It is only a matter of time before this topic arises again, but with DirectX being dropped. (or Unity etc...)

Projects and technology die (especially closed source ones) which is nothing new. It is important for a developer to adapt.

Even though OpenGL is likely to outlive us all, it may still have major API changes that still break our code requiring the majority of your code to be rewritten anyway. I.e since Quake 1 used a lot of the fixed function pipeline (it is all they had back then), once this is removed from OpenGL drivers, Quake 1 will need a serious rewrite.

What I might add though is that XNA code is a lot more easy to port to a new graphics API than Unity 3D... So I would have major concerns about using the latter especially since it's lifespan is artificially restricted due to DRM so once they turn off the activation server (even for the free version) you are screwed! Edited by Karsten_
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@Karsten_ - You should probably edit your post as I'm sure you didn't mean that DirectX is being dropped. Because it isn't.
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?.. I never said DirectX has been dropped.

All my post really suggested was that technology comes and goes, those who adapt quicker, win.

For the record, Unity isn't being dropped any time soon either AFAIK.
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Forget it, i am moving to SharpDX, ive played around with SharpDX.Toolkit and it really impresses me, cant wait for the mouse/keyboard input update.
Better yet, it uses DirectX 11 [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img].

This also means I can move onto Visual Studio 2012. Edited by Xanather
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