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Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

Last post 5/7/2008 11:01 AM by Nick Gravelyn. 180 replies.
  • 2/20/2008 2:48 PM

    Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    This thread is for discussions/questions related to the Feb 20th announcement of Zune support in XNA Game Studio 3.0.  As always, make sure you read the Zune game development FAQ first, otherwise the moderators are liable to smite thy post with furious anger.
  • 2/20/2008 3:54 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Sorry about the thread-lock people -- fixed up now!
  • 2/20/2008 3:58 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Will wireless sync be supported for the XNA PC device connection?

  • 2/20/2008 4:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    This is great news! But ever since I got a quite capable Windows Mobile phone (based on the same ARM chip as Zune) I've been thinking about how cool it would be if XNA supported Windows Mobile. I hope this news about XNA targeting Zune will eventually make XNA available on Windows Mobile as well!
  • 2/20/2008 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Stuart P. Bentley:
    Will wireless sync be supported for the XNA PC device connection?

    Deploying games to your Zune from XNA Game Studio 3.0 will only be possible over USB.

  • 2/20/2008 4:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    I don't know that much about the Zune hardware; does it even have a 3D accelerator chip?

    Does this mean a split in the XNA Framework API?

  • 2/20/2008 4:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    ShawMishrak:
    I don't know that much about the Zune hardware; does it even have a 3D accelerator chip?

    Does this mean a split in the XNA Framework API?

    The graphics API on Zune will support 2D through SpriteBatch only, so it is correct to say that not the entire XNA Framework is available on Zune. On the other hand, Zune has some unique features that aren't available on other platforms.

  • 2/20/2008 4:42 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    I have to admit that I'm not super familiar with the zune hardware ... any chance someone could enumerate some of these features? :-)
  • 2/20/2008 5:18 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    when will we get an API list of supported features?

    how much control do we have over the wireless hardware?

    can we talk to a webserver through the wireless connection?
  • 2/20/2008 5:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Zune hardware isn't particularly interesting in the sense that Xbox is: it doesn't have a GPU, but the CPU is reasonably fast at least for a handheld device. You get the SpriteBatch API for graphics (plus full rendertarget support, but no 3D stuff), the same networking API we have today on Xbox and Windows, same input API (we map the Zune buttons to various properties of the GamepadState), same Game class and application model, plus some new APIs for enumerating media, starting and stopping playlists, and other cool media player stuff like that.
  • 2/20/2008 5:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    jdavid.net:

    can we talk to a webserver through the wireless connection?


    Networking is only from Zune to Zune: there is no connection to other devices. It uses our existing networking API.
  • 2/20/2008 5:27 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Shawn Hargreaves:
    Zune hardware isn't particularly interesting in the sense that Xbox is: it doesn't have a GPU, but the CPU is reasonably fast at least for a handheld device. You get the SpriteBatch API for graphics (plus full rendertarget support, but no 3D stuff), the same networking API we have today on Xbox and Windows, same input API (we map the Zune buttons to various properties of the GamepadState), same Game class and application model, plus some new APIs for enumerating media, starting and stopping playlists, and other cool media player stuff like that.


    I find it particularly interesting. 2D just came back in vogue now! I am so incredibly excited about this new feature.


    So reading in the FAQ I see that all version of the Zune are curently being supported, does that just mean the older style Zune's without the squircle just lose some input capabilities?

  • 2/20/2008 5:32 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    George Clingerman:


    I find it particularly interesting. 2D just came back in vogue now! I am so incredibly excited about this new feature.



    Yeah, I didn't mean to suggest Zune as a platform wasn't interesting, just that there isn't so much to say about the hardware specs. With Xbox you can talk forever about cool and obscure features in the GPU, but with Zune it's really the outward form factor of the device that makes it interesting. From an internal hardware point of view, it's really just "hey, it has a CPU, some RAM, that's about it" :-)

    George Clingerman:

    So reading in the FAQ I see that all version of the Zune are curently being supported, does that just mean the older style Zune's without the squircle just lose some input capabilities?




    Yep. The original Zune basically maps to a directional pad plus a couple of buttons, while the new ones have a proper analog input.

    I suspect some games will come up with cool gameplay uses for the squircle thingie, and might then be tough to play on an original Zune, while others will just use directional clicks so they don't care which version they are on, and some might even want to tune their input system differently depending on what input capabilities are available.
  • 2/20/2008 6:19 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    I'm not trying to burst anybodys bubble, but is'nt it kind of early to have 3.0 come out when 2.0 was released in november/December? Or is this just to talk about the zune and 3.0 when (as in if) it comes out next winter like when most of xna was released?

     

    Note: I know I posted this in the wrong at first and I cant deleate it. Sorry for the misstake.

  • 2/20/2008 6:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Jeff D:

    I'm not trying to burst anybodys bubble, but is'nt it kind of early to have 3.0 come out when 2.0 was released in november/December? Or is this just to talk about the zune and 3.0 when (as in if) it comes out next winter like when most of xna was released?

     

    Note: I know I posted this in the wrong at first and I cant deleate it. Sorry for the misstake.

    From the FAQ:

    A preview release of XNA Game Studio 3.0 will be available in the Spring 2008 timeframe, with a final release scheduled for the holiday 2008 season.

  • 2/20/2008 6:34 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Jeff D:

    I'm not trying to burst anybodys bubble, but is'nt it kind of early to have 3.0 come out when 2.0 was released in november/December? Or is this just to talk about the zune and 3.0 when (as in if) it comes out next winter like when most of xna was released?

    This is very much talking about the future.  XNA GS 3.0 (with Zune support) isn't available for people to download today - Microsoft is just announcing it.  According to the FAQ, they plan to launch XNA GS 3.0 this winter, though there will be a preview release sometime in the spring. (Keeping up the same pattern they've had with the 1.0 and 2.0 releases, IIRC.)

    Me, I can't wait to get my "old school" on!  2D is underrated.

    But I have a question about the Zunes themselves:  Is there any substantial difference internally between the older model (the 30) and the newer models? (the 4, 8, and 80) Or between the hard-drive and flash-based models?  Do they have roughly the same CPU, memory, etc, or do we need to be aware of performance differences between the models in addition to the input differences already mentioned?

  • 2/20/2008 9:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    One of the big advantages of using managed code for gaming on Zune is that gives us a chance to abstract away any minor differences between hardware revisions. From the perspective of an XNA Framework developer, the only significant difference is the input mechanism (version 1 Zunes only have directional clicks, while the v2 devices have the analog pad) and the screen size (they're all the same resolution, but some are physically bigger than others, so it's possible that for instance text which works ok on a big Zune might be physically too small to read on a smaller one). Also hard disk access is somewhat slower than reading from flash memory. Apart from that, everything is the same (CPU, RAM, etc).
  • 2/20/2008 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Echthros:

    But I have a question about the Zunes themselves:  Is there any substantial difference internally between the older model (the 30) and the newer models? (the 4, 8, and 80) Or between the hard-drive and flash-based models?  Do they have roughly the same CPU, memory, etc, or do we need to be aware of performance differences between the models in addition to the input differences already mentioned?

    Different amounts of disk space 

    Not that that would matter on an individual game basis, as according to Dave games will have to fit into 16 megs.

  • 2/20/2008 9:37 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    It is mentioned that the BETA version of XNA 3.0 will be released in Spring 2008. Who will this be released to? Will it be a public BETA release? Also, when the BETA is released, will a BETA firmware version for the Zune be also released? If not, how will we test our games?

    Thank you
  • 2/20/2008 10:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Note that games on Zune are limited to 16 MB or RAM not disk space. 

    Paul

  • 2/20/2008 10:07 PM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Details on the release and how to develop against your Zune will become available closer to the XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP.
  • 2/21/2008 3:43 AM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    Hey, i have been reading about how it says that only 2d sprites games will be available.. now this will be somewhat dumb question but one i can't rember the answer to.  could a game such as doom (orginal) be put onto the zune. I am fairly sure it falls under 16 megs of ram being used and it is mostly sprite based. I know that they hacked the original ipod photo to play it (only in 2 fps though). and the zune is more powerful processor wise. So would games such as doom and wolf3d be able to be played at all (its mostly speculation)
  • 2/21/2008 3:51 AM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    It should certainly possible to use spritebatch to create 3d looking games with some zooming - after all that's how early 3d games did it.

    Original zoom has more of a software renderer type approach where the pixels are built up from the data. The FAQ implies that setting pixels will be an option too. So I would think its likely.... so start porting the code to C# now...

     

  • 2/21/2008 4:48 AM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    If the Zune has no GPU, how can it use the SpriteBatch? The SpriteBatch uses shader model 1.1, so you would have to make the Zune emulate shader model 1.1? Or are you making a "Zune special" SpriteBatch that only uses the CPU to render? If so, it would be nice to have this SpriteBatch for PC too, so you could make 2D games for old PC's that has no shaders.
  • 2/21/2008 5:01 AM In reply to

    Re: Zune game development with XNA Game Studio 3.0 Discussion Thread

    will it be Possible to Create other Programms for the Zune beside games, like a Webbrowser or an RSS-feed reader?
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