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Announcing ANX

Last post 8/22/2012 8:08 PM by EvoFxStudio.. 38 replies.
  • 11/2/2011 1:17 PM

    Announcing ANX

    Hey guys,

    maybe I have something interesting for you, but it is no other information than everyone else (except MS) has. It is kind of alternative to XNA.

    After the build conference some people around me started to work on a project called ANX.Framework with the idea in mind to create a framework which is source code compatible with XNA. We want to port a game from XNA to ANX just by swapping the namespaces and recompiling the content and we already made great progress.

    There is something more that we want to achieve with this project and want

    1. to be RenderSystem independent (currently we are working on RenderSystems using DirectX 10, DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 3). This system looks a little bit like the system OGRE3D is using.
    2. to be InputSystem independet (first input system will be a XInput system)
    3. to be AudioSystem independet (first one using XAudio)
    4. to be StorageSystem independet to use native storage of a platform
    5. to be able to run ANX using Mono and the MS CLR
    6. to create a community driven open source project
    7. to be able to create XNAish metro style apps for Windows 8
    8. port a XNA game to ANX by just swapping namespaces

    Reaching the first milestone we want to go open source with a CodePlex-Project (MS-PL license) which will be within the next three weeks. With the first milestone we want to be able to do this things:

    1. Use a project created by the XNA-Project-Template "Windows Game 4.0" only by replacing some namespaces (done)
    2. Load Texture2D and SpriteFont using the Content-Pipeline (done, but compression missing)
    3. Use the output of the XNA ContentPipeline-Project (done for most if the types, ReflectiveReader missing)
    4. Render different sprites using the SpriteBatch (done)
    5. Render text using the SpriteBatch (done, but rotation and scaling still missing)
    6. select one of two RenderSystems (DirectX done, OpenGL 60%)
    7. basic input handling (done for gamepad)

    As the basis of the RenderSystems we are using SharpDX and OpenTK. During the last benchmark session we already reached 91% of the speed of XNA using SpriteBatch, but we didn't do any optimizations yet.

    I hope that this project will be useful for XNA programmers to target even more platforms/system as already possible and mybe some people want to help us after going open source as this is really a big project but very, very usefull to many of us, I think.

    Roland "Glatzemann" Rosenkranz
  • 11/2/2011 1:33 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    i am not sure it is the right, spot to post this,but anyway here is goes

    RTainment Games all this is nice and a fantactic job done ,, really great.. i will look and join mail me  at michael@evofxstudio.net


    [Mod Edit: Please stop with these off topic rants about droid etc...]





    Michael


  • 11/2/2011 5:24 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    RTainment Games:
    Hey guys,

    maybe I have something interesting for you, but it is no other information than everyone else (except MS) has. It is kind of alternative to XNA.

    After the build conference some people around me started to work on a project called ANX.Framework with the idea in mind to create a framework which is source code compatible with XNA. We want to port a game from XNA to ANX just by swapping the namespaces and recompiling the content and we already made great progress.

    There is something more that we want to achieve with this project and want

    1. to be RenderSystem independent (currently we are working on RenderSystems using DirectX 10, DirectX 11.1 and OpenGL 3). This system looks a little bit like the system OGRE3D is using.
    2. to be InputSystem independet (first input system will be a XInput system)
    3. to be AudioSystem independet (first one using XAudio)
    4. to be StorageSystem independet to use native storage of a platform
    5. to be able to run ANX using Mono and the MS CLR
    6. to create a community driven open source project
    7. to be able to create XNAish metro style apps for Windows 8
    8. port a XNA game to ANX by just swapping namespaces

    Reaching the first milestone we want to go open source with a CodePlex-Project (MS-PL license) which will be within the next three weeks. With the first milestone we want to be able to do this things:

    1. Use a project created by the XNA-Project-Template "Windows Game 4.0" only by replacing some namespaces (done)
    2. Load Texture2D and SpriteFont using the Content-Pipeline (done, but compression missing)
    3. Use the output of the XNA ContentPipeline-Project (done for most if the types, ReflectiveReader missing)
    4. Render different sprites using the SpriteBatch (done)
    5. Render text using the SpriteBatch (done, but rotation and scaling still missing)
    6. select one of two RenderSystems (DirectX done, OpenGL 60%)
    7. basic input handling (done for gamepad)

    As the basis of the RenderSystems we are using SharpDX and OpenTK. During the last benchmark session we already reached 91% of the speed of XNA using SpriteBatch, but we didn't do any optimizations yet.

    I hope that this project will be useful for XNA programmers to target even more platforms/system as already possible and mybe some people want to help us after going open source as this is really a big project but very, very usefull to many of us, I think.

    Roland "Glatzemann" Rosenkranz


    This does seem promising.  I wouldn't have gone so far as to suggest reinventing the wheel, but it seems like it will be much more versatile than XNA currently is.

    If it can actually be pulled off, and remain stable, it might not just be an alternative to XNA, but a better product all around.  Only downside is (probably) no 360 development, but that's not really that big of a deal if XNA does go kaput. 

    Definitely will be tracking that, if not supporting.  Thanks for sharing.
  • 11/2/2011 5:40 PM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    Thanks for the kind words

    It shouldn't be a big deal, that ANX does not support XBox360 and WP7 development because our tool developer will soon start a new tool which will be capable of converting a XNA project to ANX and vice versa. Maybe it is possible to make this tool a MSBuild extension to support transparent deployment to XBox and WP7 ;-)
  • 11/2/2011 5:52 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    RTainment Games:
    Thanks for the kind words

    It shouldn't be a big deal, that ANX does not support XBox360 and WP7 development because our tool developer will soon start a new tool which will be capable of converting a XNA project to ANX and vice versa. Maybe it is possible to make this tool a MSBuild extension to support transparent deployment to XBox and WP7 ;-)

    This ANX project is brilliant on so many levels... best of luck! :-)

    ~OnekSoft Games
    .
  • 11/4/2011 2:43 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Thank you OnekSoft...

    We are currently planning to publish the CodePlex project on 19th/20th November 2011.
  • 11/5/2011 7:56 AM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    We are very interested in this for some possible future work in Windows 8 Metro games.  Will definitely follow this one.
  • 11/5/2011 6:37 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Be sure to post back here when the Codeplex page goes live.  I don't want to accidentally forget about this one.
  • 11/5/2011 6:44 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    that is very nice look forward to testing it out. :)
  • 11/5/2011 6:53 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Is ANX going to build on XNA (sort of like a community-developed 4.5), or is it just a more portable alternate implementation?

    Regardless, I'm interested to see where this goes. If it's open source, I don't see it being long until someone writes a browser plugin wrapper for ANX, a la Unity.
  • 11/5/2011 10:27 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Factory Eight:
    Is ANX going to build on XNA (sort of like a community-developed 4.5), or is it just a more portable alternate implementation?

    Regardless, I'm interested to see where this goes. If it's open source, I don't see it being long until someone writes a browser plugin wrapper for ANX, a la Unity.

    They said one of the goals is that this would work for immersive apps in Win8 ("to be able to create XNAish metro style apps for Windows 8"). So that would mean it couldn't be based on any part of the XNA framework. Instead it sounds like it will offer a nearly XNA-compatible API to which people could easily port their existing XNA apps.

    I'm looking forward to seeing where this is going!
  • 11/6/2011 8:14 AM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    The (first) goal of ANX is to create a more portable alternate implementation which is open source.

    This will open a whole new world of course. It is very easy for example to integrate geometry shaders. I've already made some tests with this. Such things are not a goal at the moment. Maybe in the future we will develop this towards a 4.5 version, but this will break compatibility with XBox and Windows Phone. We need a smart way to handle this and to get the best out of "both worlds".
  • 11/9/2011 3:19 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    So given that the current fully spelled-out name of XNA is "XNA's Not Acronymed," will ANX be continuing the recursive acronym silliness by going with "ANX's Not XNA?"
  • 11/9/2011 3:34 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Yes, you are totally right:

    ANX is a acronym for "ANX is Not XNA" :-)

    BTW: Yesterday night ANX got a MotionSensingDevice supporting Kinect input on Windows PC's. Such extensions are completly switchable by compiler directives and dynamically loaded AddIns. We are able to compile a 100% compatible version and a extended version now.
  • 11/9/2011 9:30 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    RTainment Games:

    BTW: Yesterday night ANX got a MotionSensingDevice supporting Kinect input on Windows PC's. Such extensions are completly switchable by compiler directives and dynamically loaded AddIns. We are able to compile a 100% compatible version and a extended version now.


    Very cool, though won't this break it as a Metro\WinRT app?  I know that there are drivers that work for Win8 and Kinect now, but I didn't think that these would work in a Metro App since it'd need to make calls that aren't sandboxed.

    Regardless, I'm really looking forward to trying this out.  I was working on learning XNA, but stopped as I didn't know it's future long term and WinRT seemed like something interesting to learn.  It will be great to have a Framework like XNA to build on for Metro\WinRT apps.
  • 11/9/2011 10:39 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    This sounds very nice indeed. I noticed you mentioned an OpenTK renderer. Does this mean ANX will be another option to ExEn and MonoGame for iPhone and Droid development?
  • 11/10/2011 5:43 AM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    We will use compiler directives to compile a version for Metro/WinRT which is perfectly compatible. This probably has not the same feature set as other ANX versions. Our custom extensions like Kinect support is on of this features e.g. but the goal is to have ANX with the full XNA feature set for Metro/WinRT at least.

    @Gnomic Studios: The OpenTK Renderer makes this probably possible and not very hard from the RenderingSystem side of view. Supporting Android and iOS is not one of our main goals but it is something we had in mind from the beginning. Once we are finished a stable version of ANX we will look into this, or maybe we will find a maintainer for these plattforms one we are open sourced the project.

  • 11/10/2011 8:23 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    The PlayStation Suite SDK beta sign-up opened today. If an Android port ever happens, that might be a good starting point. It's C#-based, so I'm guessing the implementation will be (somewhat) similar to XNA...
  • 11/18/2011 4:31 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    That sounds really interesting and I will have a look at it as soon as I have time for that...

    BTW: We are doing very well at the moment and we are looking forward to release the project within the next seven days. It will be a alpha version and there's still much to do.
  • 11/24/2011 4:16 PM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

  • 11/25/2011 8:31 AM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    I just made the CodePlex project public. There's still much to do but SpriteBatch e.g. is working pretty stable...
  • 12/5/2011 4:21 PM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    Hey guy's, I just want to let you know, that I just rendered the first CornflowerBlue window using ANX on a Ubuntu 11.10 virtual machine using our OpenGL3 render system.

    Windows8 (Metro-Style) RenderSystem is next to come, but I have to setup a new machine first because the virtual machine is to slow :-(

    SpriteBatch, most render states, Index- and Vertex-Buffers, Draw*Primitives, Effects, Depth-Buffer, Stencil-Buffer and Input are now working mostly using the DirectX10 and OpenGL3 RenderSystems.
  • 12/6/2011 12:53 AM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    I'm glad to see it's coming along nicely.  I've been watching it, and I'm liking what I'm seeing thus far. 

    Keep up the good work!
  • 1/2/2012 3:22 PM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    Just a suggestion, but in addition to SpriteFont support for legacy XNA code, an alternative render-system independent font rendering API would be nice as well. Something that, at least on DirectX would take advantage of the DirectWrite APIs for better rendering of arbitrary font glyphs without pre-packaging each glyph in a font spritesheet. Slower, sure, but capable of, for example, rendering arbitrary unicode text without a 100MB font sprite sheet pre-loaded. Good for in-game multiplayer chat functionality for international users.
  • 1/2/2012 3:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Announcing ANX

    Sounds like a good and interesting idea. Are you able to implement something like that?
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