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I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

Last post 2/5/2013 8:17 PM by BigCorporation. 6 replies.
  • 10/27/2012 12:44 PM

    I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    Hey guys I have some question about XNA's discontinuation, first off will Xbox Live Indie Games cease to exists? What about Dream.Build.Play? Is XNA good enough to compete with other next-gen game engines/SDKs for future developments? Lastly should I keep XNA or use another engine, sadly... :(
  • 10/27/2012 4:56 PM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    Where did you hear it has been discontinued? There's no official announcement that I know of ;-)

    XBLIG is continuing as normal - XNA works and will continue to work on the 360. Nobody has any idea about Xbox.Next

    XNA games on Windows Phone 7 are equally one of the only supported platforms - so you have no choice if that's what you want. XNA apps on WP7 will continue to work on WP8.

    Windows Phone 8 SDK is not public so nobody knows for sure the state of XNA

    Windows 8 runs XNA apps just fine and will continue to do so. They do not run in Metro mode so they won't run on RT based tablets and they cannot be sold in the store as WIndows 8 apps (though you can have a store entry that will link to your own web site to sell it)

    Dream Build Play - we never have any idea about that until its announced each year.

    XNA is not really a game engine though - its just a managed API that wraps game like APIs such as DIrectX and XAUdio. It has a few game constructs in it to help you get going. SO its was never designed to compete with Unity/Unreal etc

    Bottom line however is that there's no XNA team any more that we can tell. So XNA is now what it will be going forward. No bug fixes, no new features (unless Microsoft has some secret project going).

    SO whats your future?

    If you want to release games on Xbox - you have no choice stick with XNA
    If you want to release games on WIndows Phone - right now you can still release XNA games and they will work on Phone 8. This may change in the next few weeks.
    If you want to release games for PC and distribute yourself/through steam/etc - then keep going. XNA is a solid API that works well.
    If you want to release games for PC and you want to sell them in the App Store or you need DX11 features then you need to change tactics:

    • Mono.Game has just released their latest version - a cross platform version of an XNA style API that requires little to no changes to your code. The project is very active right now.
    • Sunburn has announced their post XNA plans http://www.synapsegaming.com/blogs/johnk/archive/2012/10/23/announcing-sunburn-2-1-platform-independent-game-engine.aspx - worth a look if yo do want a graphics engine that handles shadows shading etc.
    • Or switch to Unity
    • Or switch to C++/DX11


    If you just want to learn game programming then carry on as you are with XNA its an excellent way to learn the skills without worrying about memory issues, C++ syntax or strange DX11 rules :-)

  • 10/27/2012 5:34 PM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    There has not been any such XNA discontinuation announcement, to my knowledge. Microsoft continues to support XBLIG and there are people working at present to resolve a recent issue that arose with the release of the new dashboard. Microsoft has not announced any future development on XNA, but that's entirely different. XNA continues to be supported as the game development platform for XBLIG and Windows Phone 7, and XNA games will run on Windows Phone 8 (and thus developers looking to target WP 7 and 8 would use XNA).

    There were rumors that XNA was dead before this past year's Dream.Build.Play yet not only did they host DBP this year but they expanded it to include Windows Phone in addition to Xbox. They haven't announced a DBP for next year, but they hadn't yet announced the DBP that was held this past summer at this time a year ago so no announcement about DBP is simply no announcement. They'll probably hold one. They may not. They may have an all new contest. They may hold several contests. They may sell off all their assets and build a moon rocket in order to create a real life version of the Atari classic "Moon Patrol".

    XNA 4.0 is built on DirectX 9. But it abstracts away most of those implementation details. The API itself could be made to work using a variety of underlying technologies (see, e.g. MonoGame). As far as competing with "next-gen game engines/SDKs", that's a nebulous question. XNA makes it (relatively) easy for people to learn game development and create great games. It can be used for almost any type of game, but as it is built on DX9, it does not expose any new features in later released of DirectX such as geometry shaders, hardware tessellation, compute shaders, new texture formats, the features that came in with DXGI and updates to it, etc. I doubt any developer creating a 2D game would find themselves restricted by this. I also doubt that many developers creating 3D games would be all that restricted by it (remember that the Xbox 360 uses DX9 era graphics hardware as does the PS3; the original Wii likely used even earlier graphics hardware though I'm not familiar with much of the details of it). If you're talking about Xbox vNext, then nobody who can talk about it really knows anything about its features or the game engines and SDKs that will run on it. Maybe Microsoft will release an XNA 5. Maybe there's be something else for indies. It's all just speculation until facts are revealed.

    Whether you should use XNA or switch to something else really depends on what you are doing. If you're creating XBLIGs then you should obviously stick with XNA since you need to use XNA for XBLIGs. If you're developing Windows Phone games then it makes a lot of sense to stick with XNA since your games will run on both existing WP7 devices and also on WP8 devices once they are released. But once the SDK is public, you may decide that you want to use the previously announced C++ & DirectX support instead to access features that those make available. If you're writing a PC game then you have to way the merits of XNA against other products (e.g. Unity and UDK) and APIs (e.g. DirectX 11). If you want to target as many devices as possible then you should consider something like MonoGame. If you are interested in game development as a career, then you should learn C++ if you don't know it already and should definitely familiarize yourself with DirectX 11 and/or OpenGL (and related technologies used for audio, input, etc.). But many of the skills and techniques you learn using XNA will transfer over regardless of language or platform. The basics of collision detection don't change. How alpha blending works is the same. Ditto for working with sprite sheets, dealing with transparency in 3D, partitioning techniques like BSPs and octrees, managing game state, the generalities of handling audio and ensure that sounds play at the right times, etc.
  • 11/1/2012 12:21 AM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    TEAM RINGO BROS.:
    Hey guys I have some question about XNA's discontinuation, first off will Xbox Live Indie Games cease to exists? What about Dream.Build.Play? Is XNA good enough to compete with other next-gen game engines/SDKs for future developments? Lastly should I keep XNA or use another engine, sadly... :(

    You would have to write or use an engine regardless, as XNA is not a game engine ( apart from a default time loop ).
  • 2/5/2013 4:51 PM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    Is it discontinued now ?
  • 2/5/2013 8:07 PM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    BigCorporation:
    Is it discontinued now ?


    A representative for Microsoft told Polygon that there are no plans to discontinue the use of DirectX for its Windows and Xbox platforms, but it will not be producing updated versions of the XNA program.

    "Microsoft is actively investing in DirectX as the unified graphics foundation for all of our platforms, including Windows, Xbox 360, and Windows Phone," the representative said. "DirectX is evolving and will continue to evolve. We have absolutely no intention of stopping innovation with DirectX.

    "XNA Game Studio remains a supported toolset for developing games for Xbox 360, Windows and Windows Phone," the representative added. "Many developers have found financial success creating Xbox LIVE Indie Games using XNA. However, there are no plans for future versions of the XNA product."


    Source: http://www.polygon.com/2013/1/31/3939230/microsoft-has-no-plans-for-future-versions-of-xna-software

    (Ignore the bit in the article about some anonymous source telling CVG that this marks the end of XBLIG; Microsoft isn't ending XBLIG on the 360. As for the next Xbox, they haven't announced anything about the next Xbox yet so nobody knows what will be on that platform; I expect it'll be awesome but we really know nothing beyond what has been gleaned from job postings. As for why you should ignore that bit about the end of XBLIG, read this: http://x-surface.tumblr.com/post/41282771026/x-surface-dont-believe-everything-you-read ).
  • 2/5/2013 8:17 PM In reply to

    Re: I hear XNA is Discontinued, now what?

    Hey Thanks a lot for responding over here as well !!

    I am very optimistic about Xbox/Microsoft/Indie games future.....

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