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stein102

Is XNA still worth learning?

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I'm mostly a Java developer, but recently I've wanted to try my hand at developing an indie game for Xbox live. To do that, I'd need to learn C#/XNA. I could probably learn them at the same time easily enough by picking up an XNA book and going through that/online examples. My question is, with XNA being unsupported and Xbox One going to be released soon(Support for Indie devs still unannounced), would it be worth it to invest the time into learning XNA?

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It depends if you are looking to learn XNA for a long time or just for learning purposes. Honestly If you can't wait to make a indie game on xbox live then wait until they announce the language for xbox one. If you can't wait then make your indie game and hope for the best. XNA is very useful as you can use it for flash games and other software tasks.

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Me and a game programmer talked this subject over once and both agreed, it pretty much isn't worth the time.

I don't know what system most people will be using for XBox One games, but I'm guessing Unity will end up big on them. (Note: I'm not 100% sure of this though.)

But if you have your heart set on XNA, don't let this stop you.

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Hi,

 

Most people will still be using the device which has DirectX 9c compatibility, even after the new hardware is released soon and updated version comes within the next year.  It will take a couple years for the two station versions to be about at par in numbers, but even then many people will still play Xbox 360 for years into the future.

 

Long term, you really should consider your options there, too. As for computers being a target hardware platform, once a program is installed into the Program Files registry, the Windows Operating System update utility will detect the version of the graphics API (Direct3D/DirectX) which the software needs to fully execute and then provide the end-user with the necessary version of the .NET Framework which contains DirectX 9c support (if not there already, then it should be provided automatically). Of course, any later versions of .NET Framework are backward compatible with DirectX 9c developed programs and software, so later OS are no problem.  I write all this for future reference because the numbers of people who own PCs still continues to climb despite the trends of laptops, tablets, play stations, and smart phones. (Laptops are of course PCs and are mobility devices though not technically in the mobile device category as most people think of that.)  For this reason, learning Mono at this time might be a better option in preparation for the new utilities which are coming, because by the time you are ready to provide serious art assets and include them in development, then Mono will be fully ready for the next generation of PCs and devices.   You may develop now for this generation, but Mono will only get better for years down the road. tongue.png Remember that Mono is also, like XNA, targeting a graphics API which is mature, which means for you that the game source code will never be "broken" for years to come and Mono tool chain itself will only improve with very compatible changes.  Mono after all is fundamentally an implementation of XNA type technology.

 

XNA on the other hand, as already stated, has reached maturity (stopped growing and expanding) with the advantage of stability and reliability.  You need to think carefully about the abilities and goals to make a decision on XNA or not.  I agree with previous writers that as beginning developer, you really can't lose in any case by using XNA.  The stability and maturity of XNA is a tremendous advantage to new developers who need all the help that they can get for the first 1-2 years.  If you actually like debugging, then you might want to consider another option. laugh.png   

 

Xbox in a similar way has no problem in playing DirectX 9c programs for years to come, the way someone pointed to it earlier.  wink.png  

 

Since the previous posts here hit the nail on the head, I only wanted to confirm and explain the reasons why.  

Edited by 3Ddreamer

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Microsoft has hinted at a replacement for xna.  Probably sometime after the XBOX one is released they will announce some kind of Indie software dev kit including a replacement to xna.  So give it a couple months and see what happens before spending a lot of time on a no longer supported api.

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If you mean you want to learn a tool for long term programming and development; Microsoft already announced that it has no plans of releasing any more versions of XNA in the future (google <XNA dead> or something like that). Learning XNA now would be the same as studying any abandoned SDKs.

 

Still, it would still be worth it if you simply want to learn the basics on game development, as the "tools" you learn will make little difference on the long run. The most important thing is what you learn. You should really understand object orientation, software architecture, this kind of higher-level stuff. Then, you should pick your language, as C++, C#, and get experience with it, practical experience (not read some books experience). Here, XNA can be a learning tool.

 

But, If you want to target Xbox One, the only thing I think as guaranteed is DirectX (note that I thinking it's guaranteed means sheet).

You can go with Unity, as they have already announced support for it (possible support), but it has a steep cost for an individual indie developer.

 

What I'd do? I'd wait. Wait and see Xbox One tools and Dev Kits, officially announced. Specially when you'll probably have a cross-platform technology to choose and target PS4 and PC as well.

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I wouldn't suggest just sitting and twiddling your thumbs doing nothing for however long it takes for that to happen

Just to clarify, since I see I've clearly been misinterpreted, when I say wait, I don't mean sit on the couch and watch brainless reality shows eating over salted french fries.

 

I mean study in general, and, once Xbox One support list and development tools is announced, then you worry about Xbox One support. That's what I meant, wait to make this choice specifically.

 

Sorry if I confused anyone.

Edited by dejaime

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