Anyone using XNA Game Studio Express?

Discussion in 'Game Development (Technical)' started by mpolzin, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. Ratboy

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    Heh... Frank's a riot. Best programmer I ever worked with, too.
     
  2. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    Please read the fine print before you continue with XNA. Microsoft has openly stated in the forums and blogs that XNA is for noncommercial projects. With the Creator's Club you have to share all source and art.

    This may change, but until it does go with XNA Pro - which maybe exactly the same as XGE.

    I was in love with XNA beta1 at first and really like beta2 (content pipeline is nice - it's pretty easy to get 3D models and textures into the game) but to be honest it's kinda limiting if you don't have access to a HUGE library of C++ for physics, sound, UI. XNA is truly for small budget 2D clone games.

    That XNA Racer is pretty ghetto (horrible aliased blooming, popping of objects, poor choice of camera setp). Writing a racing game engine isn't all the difficult. It's creation of art, physics, AI and menus that are the time consuming parts.

    Listen, nothing smells more newbie to me than game developers who think new languages and technology will automatically game development a snap - nope... i.e do Word Processors and Print-On-Demand publishing make it easier to write novels?
     
  3. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    Exactly. It's a hobbyist's toy right now. If I wanted to write something "new" and "exciting" like Katamari (some MSFT XNA blogger wrote how he'd like to see something like that emerge from XNA) you spend all your time coding custom physics and level-loading / streaming then be forced to "give it all way" so others could play it.
     
  4. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Gears of War was created by a team of 30 (50 during peak content production), the only reason that is even remotely possible is because of the U3 engine. Though this has less to do with the technology (engine technology is virtually a commodity these days) and more to do with the fact that U3 provides them with mature tools and a mature content pipeline for getting content into the game.

    I'm not making any claims about XNA just yet, that remains to be seen, but I know that tools that automate the content pipeline can add GREAT efficiencies to game development and allow you to produce a lot more then someone working without that technology.
     
  5. mpolzin

    mpolzin New Member

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    Voxel,
    XNA only requires the release of source code for XBox 360 release within the Creators Club, if you go with the PC, there is no such requirement. You are free to use it for any purposes, commercial or not targeting the PC. Lets face it, there aren't too many on here coding to target XBox 360 in the first place, so most are tageting PC's, so XNA as a tool is fine... testing anything on the XBox for us is just a bonus.

    Also there is at least one physics libarary (perhaps two) created for XNA already which are freely available for download, including source. If your interested, let me know and I can forward you some links to them.

    Mike
     
  6. luggage

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Just a quick note to say the XNA release is live on the marketplace now for those that want to dabble.
     
  7. gosub

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    You could try going with C# and managed DirectX instead of XNA. C# is an order of magnitude better than C++ (my opinion, so don't argue). MDX is a bit too low level and interfacing with 3rd party libraries is a little tricky.

    -Jeremy
     
  8. Adrian Cummings

    Indie Author

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    As a developer I've also been following all this over the last few months and having tried out the latest 'everything' that was made available yesterday and tested on retail Xbox360 (it worked over wireless for me which was good to see too!) I do agree with pretty much everything that Vincent033 stated above.

    It's good... but... just not good enough yet to incorpate into day to day business if you want to make revenue from it down the line starting from as it is now if you make your living as an a full time indie as I do anyway.

    I will keep my eye on it all though and see how in pans out as it does show future promise at least.

    In the video clip mentioned I'm sure I heard Mr. Savage quote a '2+ years' period of further devlopment before we get what we really want (might be wrong) er ok but by then I would of probably moved onto something else :)

    My 2cents even tho I have not posted here in a quite a while - just been too damn busy heh!
     
  9. Nikster

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    We use it for RADing RAD tools :) I wouldn't use it for a long while for creating games themselves, we started integrating XNA to replace MDX and it made things a lot easier for us and just hid all the lower level junk away, for us meant we could concentrate on other things, it's just a shame for now we have to hack it in, as obviously XNA isn't really meant for this purpose.

    Apparently you can distribute binarys over 360 if you have them on your friends list, co-worker got it all hooked up last night, however, because of tools like reflector, you may as well just release the source ;)
     
  10. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    A bit of a contradication, eh? Disagreeing with me then agreeing?

    I am arguing that art tools and pipeline and art management is as critical as technology itself. Newbies don't realize that and will dive into a system without developing art tools and a pipeline.

    I mentioned above that I was impressed by the XNA content pipeline in beta 2, but it's not not there yet. Being able to just integrate textures, models, and sounds does not make very useful. It's good enough to start, but not as mature as Source, U3, etc.. which would be less useful without all the associated art tools.
     
  11. voxel

    voxel New Member

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    As a PC-only technology - blah. Skip it. So many more flexible solutions with better content pipelines.

    TorqueX looks interesting. Torque has traditionally built some nice art tools for their engines.

    It's still too immature to use professionally. I've seen the physics lib and I'd probably be forced to write my own. C#/Python are all legitimate languages to use, but C# doesn't have large code libraries Java/Python/C++ have right now. Maybe this will change in a year or two...
     
  12. Nikster

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    Amen, although you can integrate what you wish, customize the pipeline, part of the documentation tells you how to do this.

    PS: although comparing with Source and U3 is odd, it's like comparing directx with them, after all, it's essentially a wrapper with a content pipeline, and the content managment it delivers is what direct* has always used, textures, models(.x), shaders and sound. What others would be of any use out of the box ?
    And to be quite honest, I only even think the content managment stuff made it in because of the securities with handling files on the 360.
     
    #32 Nikster, Dec 12, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2006
  13. Dan MacDonald

    Moderator Original Member Indie Author

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    Ahh my bad, I read "new languages and technology" to include things like content pipeline and automation tools since that is where a lot of work is being done currently in the industry, its sort of the "new thing".
     
  14. MrPhil

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  15. Cygon

    Cygon New Member

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    I am using it!

    Hi!

    I don't know if I count as a valid user since I'm still at the very beginning of becoming an indie developer, but I plan to use XNA for my indie games. I'm currently writing a freeware game with it to get some publicity, click here if you want to take a look ;)

    If you're used to C++/DirectX or maybe C#/MDX it'll be a really smooth transition with a very convenient interface and a lot of utility classes already in place. I think in the long term there will be a lot more contributed GameComponents (sorta like modules in a CMS only for XNA games) available to build your game brick-by-brick, not stone-by-stone.

    The downside appears to be that your customers will need to download and install the .NET 2.0 Framework (~ 18 MB), up-to-date DirectX redistributables (~12 MB) and the XNA runtime (~ 3 MB) which might proove to be quite a barrier for download games.

    -Markus-
     
  16. Sharpfish

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    That and require a DX9 level graphics card! (if the info posted further up is correct).
     
  17. Nikster

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    A card with ps1 will suffice, gf3 up etc yadda, unless of course someone uses ps2 or anything above 1 for whatever reason, I agree with voxel though, it's in it's infancy, and given the choice having to choose a tech now to get $$, PC/360 or PC/MAC, oh, tough choice ;)
     
  18. sayer

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    For now we are not using XNA, however after i have seen what you can do with it, we will sure be using it in the future. Also in 2007, MS will make possible to sell your games through xbox360 community. This will skyrocket any game that will be good and inovative.

    And with Vista becoming more and more standard as OS, more people will have at least DX 9 capable computers so this will help PC community too.

    Its a great product and exciting times are ahead of us :)
     

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