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XNA (and other platform tech) future

Last post 12/6/2011 8:14 PM by Shawn Hargreaves. 545 replies.
  • 9/15/2011 7:08 AM

    XNA (and other platform tech) future

    Hi,

    I just woke up and twitter is filled up with the fact that XNA won't be available on Windows 8, which clearly means that XNA is no more. Is that true? What will be the alternative?

    Personally I'm very pissed because I saw that XNA was going to be used in WP7 and started working in XNA a year ago. I've devoted *lots* of personal resources to learn c# and XNA outside work, and just before getting my first big game there, everything explodes.

    edit: just read a bit more, KonajuGames said that XNA was out of Metro apps, but would be available for desktop games. Anyways it's still bad news...
  • 9/15/2011 8:34 AM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    I believe it is still supported as desktop apps however the killer will be whether or not it is supported by the store (and whether or not VS2011 supports it)


    this article looks positive 

    If XNA is not supported by Metro then i would imagine that it could be possible to write a Metro Launcher for a XNA Game, its just the apparent silence that is concerning 

    but if they want true cross compatibility then they must surely continue on with XNA or why is it such a Big Part of WP7 
    unless Silverlight 5 takes XNA as part of its scope. 
  • 9/15/2011 11:41 AM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    As long as the .Net framework is supported, and Direct X 9, I don't see why existing XNA implementations would stop functioning in Windows 8. Even if you move away from XNA, most of what you learned transfers to any other 3D API and a lot of the stuff XNA provides is common enough baseline features of various game engines and frameworks. The names of various functions and properties may differ, but their purpose and usage remains the same more often than not.
  • 9/15/2011 12:15 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Yakyb Studios:
    Tankster isn't XNA, it's HTML5. That's the Azure Social Games Toolkit.
  • 9/15/2011 12:17 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    siferion:
    most of what you learned transfers to any other 3D API and a lot of the stuff XNA provides is common enough baseline features of various game engines and frameworks.
    For me, it's a matter of not wanting to use C++. With .NET existing in Win8, why would I want or need to use C++ just for games. Doesn't make a bit of sense, especially with the supposed "3 screens" that was talked about for the last couple of years. 
  • 9/15/2011 1:32 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Mach X Games:
    Tankster isn't XNA, it's HTML5. That's the Azure Social Games Toolkit.

    I had never heard of that, presumed it was XNA
  • 9/15/2011 1:32 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Mach X Games:
    siferion:
    most of what you learned transfers to any other 3D API and a lot of the stuff XNA provides is common enough baseline features of various game engines and frameworks.
    For me, it's a matter of not wanting to use C++. With .NET existing in Win8, why would I want or need to use C++ just for games. Doesn't make a bit of sense, especially with the supposed "3 screens" that was talked about for the last couple of years. 


    Ditto. I know enough C++ that it got me through college, but honestly I don't want to learn any more. C# is my day to day job and it is just so much more comfortable to work with.

    I think it's a bit early to panic about it yet. WP7 and XBox still uses it for their games (although if my hunch is right, WP8 will be Windows 8). And everything that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8, so todays version of XNA will still run on Windows 8. But whether there will be a new version of XNA after this is anyones guess. Hopefully they won't kill it off, but you never know with Microsoft.

    If XNA does get discontinued we can all thank George. Getting that tattoo was like the ultimate jinx.
  • 9/15/2011 2:10 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Yes, legacy support being there is fine, but what will we be missing out on if it's not supported for non-legacy development? There seems to be all kinds of cool stuff going on with Win8 and just having legacy support isn't going to cut it IMO.
  • 9/15/2011 2:25 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    I'm a sceptic.  I have read too many scaremongering posts on forums to believe a word of any of it.
    I've seen the posts by MVP's via this other thread:
    http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/91514/547957.aspx#547957

    These are still not official MS answers.  Are there any official responses?

    siferion:
    As long as the .Net framework is supported, and Direct X 9, I don't see why existing XNA implementations ...

    The Dev build of Windows 8 includes .Net 4.5 so I agree that on Intel platforms XNA should continue to work using existing compilers.

    However:
    http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/sinofsky-outlines-the-windows-8-vision-1027101

    The ARM processor supported for the tablets is another matter.

    I would guess the only limiting factor is the time the XNA team have to create the compiler and anciliary bits for that platform.
    It would be a shame that XNA was not available but like all Windows before, it is an uncontrolled environment.  Unlike the Xbox and the Windows phone which are both deliberately controlled and therefore needed something usable but which avoids the possibility of hacking.

    Anyone fancy writing a compiler?
  • 9/15/2011 2:42 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Mach X Games:
    Yes, legacy support being there is fine, but what will we be missing out on if it's not supported for non-legacy development? There seems to be all kinds of cool stuff going on with Win8 and just having legacy support isn't going to cut it IMO.


    I agree. Being able to write Metro style apps with XNA would be much preferable to HTML/JS or C++. It's one thing to continue to create desktop style games, but if Windows 8 does take off in the tablet space it could be a potentially huge market.

    JCBDigger:
    I'm a sceptic.  I have read too many scaremongering posts on forums to believe a word of any of it.
    I've seen the posts by MVP's via this other thread:
    http://xboxforums.create.msdn.com/forums/p/91514/547957.aspx#547957

    These are still not official MS answers.  Are there any official responses?


    Nothing yet. And that's the scary part. You'd think that if XNA was going forward they'd say something about it. Usually when they're tight lipped about something, that means that the news are bad. Then again they may just be terribly bad at communicating, which is also a common Microsoftism.

    JCBDigger:

    siferion:
    As long as the .Net framework is supported, and Direct X 9, I don't see why existing XNA implementations ...

    The Dev build of Windows 8 includes .Net 4.5 so I agree that on Intel platforms XNA should continue to work using existing compilers.

    However:
    http://www.techradar.com/news/software/operating-systems/sinofsky-outlines-the-windows-8-vision-1027101

    The ARM processor supported for the tablets is another matter.

    I would guess the only limiting factor is the time the XNA team have to create the compiler and anciliary bits for that platform.
    It would be a shame that XNA was not available but like all Windows before, it is an uncontrolled environment.  Unlike the Xbox and the Windows phone which are both deliberately controlled and therefore needed something usable but which avoids the possibility of hacking.

    Anyone fancy writing a compiler?


    Actually the Metro environment is a walled garden and completely controlled. If you want to develop Metro style, you have to use WinRT. No ifs, buts or maybes. The plus side here is that anything developed with WinRT will run on any supported platform, including ARM. But Metro apps will only be available through the Store. You can't just download one off the developers website and use it.

    If you develop old school style, you can still list it on the Store but it will only be a link to your website. It won't be wrapped up in a package. That means that you have to take care of your own payment processing, download storage/mirrors, and update mechanisms.
  • 9/16/2011 12:15 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    From what I've seen, one of the key features of Win8 is the ability to run Win7/XP programs side by side. In one of the very first demos earlier this year, they showed how you could swap from one of the new Win8 apps to running Excel 2007 in traditional Win7 mode.

    It seems highly unlikely that they'll fully "cut off" XNA on Win8, as that would necessarily involve also cutting off a ridiculously large quantity of non-game software that's been written for Win7/XP.
  • 9/16/2011 2:16 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Frode A:
    Mach X Games:
    siferion:
    most of what you learned transfers to any other 3D API and a lot of the stuff XNA provides is common enough baseline features of various game engines and frameworks.
    For me, it's a matter of not wanting to use C++. With .NET existing in Win8, why would I want or need to use C++ just for games. Doesn't make a bit of sense, especially with the supposed "3 screens" that was talked about for the last couple of years. 


    Ditto. I know enough C++ that it got me through college, but honestly I don't want to learn any more. C# is my day to day job and it is just so much more comfortable to work with.

    I think it's a bit early to panic about it yet. WP7 and XBox still uses it for their games (although if my hunch is right, WP8 will be Windows 8). And everything that runs on Windows 7 will run on Windows 8, so todays version of XNA will still run on Windows 8. But whether there will be a new version of XNA after this is anyones guess. Hopefully they won't kill it off, but you never know with Microsoft.

    If XNA does get discontinued we can all thank George. Getting that tattoo was like the ultimate jinx.


    Where did I mention C++, I'm spoiled by C# too, and have had my fair share of debates surrounding the choice to go C# or C++ on many projects (most were business/school type stuff).

    If Microsoft does anything to prohibit XNA from working on Windows 8, you can still look forward to: SharpDX and SlimDX for Direct X related functionality, OpenTK for OpenGL/OpenAL/OpenCL, and a myriad of other popular choices for game and simulation development in C#. All of those have a good size following behind them, with many engines and frameworks built upon them. There's actually an open source XNA like framework for Mono/OpenTK already.
  • 9/16/2011 2:18 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    i have done DirectX programming with C# before...look up tutorials, it's possible.
  • 9/16/2011 2:24 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    SOWGware:
    i have done DirectX programming with C# before...look up tutorials, it's possible.

    They are either Managed Directx (Deprecated), XNA or use SlimDX or possibly the rarely use Windows API code pack (http://archive.msdn.microsoft.com/WindowsAPICodePack)

    There is no way other than through one of the wrappers out there to call DX from managed code.
  • 9/16/2011 7:13 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    siferion:

    Where did I mention C++, I'm spoiled by C# too, and have had my fair share of debates surrounding the choice to go C# or C++ on many projects (most were business/school type stuff).

    If Microsoft does anything to prohibit XNA from working on Windows 8, you can still look forward to: SharpDX and SlimDX for Direct X related functionality, OpenTK for OpenGL/OpenAL/OpenCL, and a myriad of other popular choices for game and simulation development in C#. All of those have a good size following behind them, with many engines and frameworks built upon them. There's actually an open source XNA like framework for Mono/OpenTK already.


    They won't block existing XNA versions on Windows 8. They have very clearly said (multiple times) that anything that runs on Windows 7 today, will continue to work with Windows 8. So anything we build in XNA 4 today, will continue to be supported going forward.

    What I'm worried about isn't that we can't continue to use XNA 4, but rather that there won't be any new versions of XNA. There are lots of new improvements coming down the pipeline, and the current version won't be able to take advantage of any of them. I know there are alternatives, but I prefer XNA to any of the other wrappers out there.
  • 9/16/2011 7:46 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Frode A:

    What I'm worried about isn't that we can't continue to use XNA 4, but rather that there won't be any new versions of XNA. There are lots of new improvements coming down the pipeline, and the current version won't be able to take advantage of any of them.
    Where did you hear this? I don't recall hearing or seeing anything about this.
  • 9/16/2011 8:47 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Concerned about this as well. I would very much like to hear from the XNA team about this.
  • 9/16/2011 9:26 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    It is correct that XNA is not supported for developing the new style Metro applications in Windows 8.

    But XNA remains fully supported and recommended for developing on Xbox and Windows Phone, not to mention for creating classic Windows applications (which run on XP, Vista, Win7, and also Win8 in classic mode).

  • 9/16/2011 10:05 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    thanks Shawn most of us had that figured now but thanks for clearly stating it,however there are still areas of confusion.

    can we expect metro integration in XNA 5? 6? ever?

    if not, what can we expect in the future for XNA will it continue to be a classic mode application framework.
     
    Also just to add classic infers old which is where most of this fear has come from.

    will Tablets support XNA?
  • 9/16/2011 10:36 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Yakyb Studios:
    can we expect metro integration in XNA 5? 6?


    Afraid that runs into the standard "we don't comment on unannounced future plans in forum posts".  Sorry!

    Based on what was announced at //build this week, it's really all down to what platform you are targeting.  If you want to develop games for Win8 tablets, we recommend C++ and D3D11  (or XAML or HTML5 for more casual stuff).  Whereas if you want to develop for Xbox or Windows Phone, XNA is where it's at...
  • 9/16/2011 10:56 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    Shawn Hargreaves:
    Afraid that runs into the standard "we don't comment on unannounced future plans in forum posts".  Sorry!

    Based on what was announced at //build this week, it's really all down to what platform you are targeting.  If you want to develop games for Win8 tablets, we recommend C++ and D3D11  (or XAML or HTML5 for more casual stuff).  Whereas if you want to develop for Xbox or Windows Phone, XNA is where it's at...

    What about PC, what is the recommended (Microsoft) path for desktop PC games?

    Can you confirm there will be a new version of XNA (not what features it will hold, just that there will be an XNA 5)?  

    Will XNA projects be supported in VS11?

    This week has been pretty devastating to those who love XNA.  Sure XNA games will run on Windows 8, and it looks like XNA games will be allowed in the Marketplace (probably isolated from LIVE and suffering the same stigma as on XBLIG and WP7) but the same can be said of FoxPro apps.

    Hopefully //build was just another instance of Microsoft's inability to work together across teams and departments.
  • 9/16/2011 11:01 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    When Windows phone was first coming out, at the conferences the MS people were talking about how the same code works on the phone, web, and desktop with minimal changes.  So when I saw the Metro styled Win8 previews, it seemed automatic that Silverlight and XNA would be the preferred frameworks.  In fact, I assumed phone apps would automatically (or with minimal changes) run on win8 tablets--just like phone apps ran on iPad.  It sounds like Silverlight apps will, but not XNA apps. 

    Are they going to come out with a Win8 phone so we can have one framework that works with phones and tablets? 
  • 9/16/2011 11:06 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    FuncWorks LLC:
    What about PC, what is the recommended (Microsoft) path for desktop PC games?


    There are many valid options for developing classic mode Windows games.  XNA is a supported technology for doing this (just like it always has been), as is native C++, or .NET interop to native D3D, or any of the billion and one other programming products that target Windows.


    FuncWorks LLC:
    Can you confirm there will be a new version of XNA (not what features it will hold, just that there will be an XNA 5)?  

    Will XNA projects be supported in VS11?


    "we don't comment on unannounced future plans in forum posts".  Sorry!
  • 9/16/2011 11:16 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    But why did they have to use the ^ to denote WinRT ABI compatible classes? It's the least accessible key on every one of my keyboards. They might as well have used the dagger symbol or something from wingdings. *grumble mumble* Other than that, WinRT is actually pretty impressive. I'm still trying to decide whether to nickname it COM.NET, Friendly COM, or COM++.

    To the topic at hand, I do hope there will eventually be an XNA for Metro built using DX11.1 with 10level9 support (toss in a few more members in the GraphicsProfile enum). Yeah, it's a lot of work, but one day when there's an Xbox 720 (or Ybox 890 or Zbox 10 Billion; whatever they decide to call Xbox vNext), then it'll all be there and done already and managed gaming can continue its glorious march to world domination! Though arguably, with it's automatic reference counting, WinRT is managed as well such that managed gaming has all but won, albeit via a bizarro, COM-based route that was as expected as The Spanish Inquisition! :)
  • 9/16/2011 11:32 PM In reply to

    Re: XNA future

    I never minded ^ for C++/CLI. On my keyboard (US) it's right next to the other two major symbol decorators already used in C++: & and *

    I have to admit it took a little getting used to using ^ but it wasn't long before I was using ^ as easily as & or *.


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