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Microsoft XNA is a set of tools with a managed runtime environment provided by Microsoft that facilitates video game development and management. XNA attempts to free game developers from writing "repetitive boilerplate code" and to bring different aspects of game production into a single system.

The XNA toolset was announced March 24, 2004, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California. A first Community Technology Preview of XNA Build was released on March 14, 2006. XNA Game Studio 2.0 was released in December 2007, followed by XNA Game Studio 3.0 on October 30, 2008. XNA Game Studio 4.0 was released on September 16, 2010 along with the Windows Phone 7 Development Tools.

XNA currently encompasses Microsoft's entire Game Development Sections, including the standard Xbox Development Kit and XNA Game Studio.

The name "XNA" originated out of the project's development name, Xbox New Architecture. Instead of being released under the Xbox name, the Xbox 360 was released (2005), and XNA came to stand for "XNA's Not Acronymed".

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About 39 Days to Mars with 0 comments by surrealix on Jul 24th, 2014

In this update I talk about how I took the plunge and got 39 Days to Mars running on Monogame. It's something I've been planning to do for a long time, but there have always been more important things to do. After a great reception on Steam Greenlight, I had enough motivation to dive into something technical.

What's new this fortnight?

My aim is to release 39 Days to Mars on a number of different platforms, ranging from Windows to OUYA. To save re-writing the same code over and over for each different device, it's common to use a game engine to handle the low-level code. For various reasons, my engine of choice is Monogame.

The problem is, I started writing 39 Days to Mars in XNA. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but from version 4.0 Microsoft dropped support for XNA. A lot of people, along with their experience, are slowly drifting away to other frameworks. It was time for me to do the same.

Was that all?

Porting a game to a new framework is usually a pretty messy and time consuming business. I was expecting an uphill battle with thousands of bugs and mis-matched function calls. I'd heard frustrated, hair-pulling stories about porting the content pipeline, and tales of woe about terrible framerates.

I downloaded Monogame, followed the setup instructions, and within 90 minutes I had 39 Days to Mars up and running on the new engine.

That was it?

Colour me surprised.

It looks pretty much identical.

Puzzles : 3 co-op / 2 stand-alone
Objects : 8 tutorial / 9 ship

The cracks appear.

Unfortunately my optimism was a little short lived. I'd forgotten about the level editor, which has been getting more feature rich (and more useful) each week. It looked a bit like this:

Now it looks like this:

The interface uses a library called Nuclex GUI, which is great to work with, but unfortunately has no support for Monogame. This means I'll have to find another interface library to use instead.

I also seem to have hit an obscure bug with the media player class, which causes the game to crash every so often when I try to play the background music. Apparently there's a recent patch for this issue, but that means compiling Monogame from source. It's not hard, just time consuming.

Overall, though, I'm very pleased with the switch to Monogame. For the most part it went smoothly, and it means I'll soon be able to get MacOS and Linux builds up and running!

Watch this Space

Over the coming weeks I'll be diving into the monogame repository to try and solve my audio issue, and looking into alternative GUIs. I've had a few suggested to me already, so I have somewhere to start.

If you'd like to keep up with the development, remember to follow @philipbuchanan on Twitter. You can also subscribe to this blog via RSS or watch for updates on Facebook. And as always, if you've got questions or comments just leave them below.

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Post comment Comments  (0 - 10 of 23)
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Apr 18 2014, 6:31am says:

If anyone is curious, it is possible to integrate your XNA Game Project into Unity, but it might take a little extra work. This is a proof of concept showing the Platformer XNA starter kit running inside Unity3D. Zero code changes have been made to the original game code. Using a mixture of new code and some code from MonoGame, the author has implemented XNA emulation. They did so by having a game object with a script attached run an XNA game performing updates and drawing.

Check out this link below for the source code:
Github.com

+3 votes     reply to comment
DonBre
DonBre Jun 5 2014, 4:09pm replied:

nice! :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Xylemon
Xylemon Dec 27 2013, 6:14pm says:

Public Domain? What?

+1 vote     reply to comment
garry68
garry68 Dec 14 2013, 4:56pm says:

I generally refer to XNA as a library, surely that's essentially what it is. A library of pre-written routines that are designed for graphical and timer based recursive programming.

Having recently had a look at Unity, surely it would be wrong for someone beginning to be under the impression that XNA is remotely the same thing.

Using XNA reminds me of the old Turbo Pascal, and Turbo C environments for some reason...

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 3:00am says:

Oh wait, XNA already supports .fbx! Sorry about that. The problem with XNA 4.0 is the with .fbx, it only supports the first animation take within the model. I figured out how to get multiple animations working somewhat with .fbx by splitting up the models into separate animation takes for the content processor to read them and then kind of merge them in the program.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest
Guest Sep 27 2013, 3:42am replied:

i thought when u make a .fbx u can make many animations just write down the frames it uses and then can call them

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Jan 9 2014, 8:39pm replied:

Yes, you can have multiple animation takes within a .fbx model. XNA 4.0 by default pulls up only the first animation take; not the others within the model. To get it working within the XNA Framework, one way is to split the model into separate animations, and then merge them in the content processor. Here is a link that describes what I am talking about but better.

Metlab.cse.msu.edu

+1 vote     reply to comment
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:58am says:

Many XNA developers moved to Unity because it uses C# and they don’t want to spend the time it takes to create that same kind of game in XNA. It would take longer to create a First person shooter in XNA than it would using Unity, (unless you are using a 3d game engine built upon XNA like Digital Rune) because you have to hard code just about everything. That’s the goal of game engines, to help people save time developing games. XNA does make it easier somewhat to display 3d models with its Model class and Draw Method and display 2d stuff using the SpriteBatch but for the most part you have to do majority of the work yourself. If you are serious about publishing a game using Unreal Engine 3, you have to go through Epic games to have it approved because after all… it’s their game engine. It’s like the old saying, anybody can use Photoshop but designers use it well. Well same with game engines. Anybody can learn to import models into UDK, hit a play button and run around in first person and learn to use Unreal Script but professionals use it well. Regardless of what the media and many critics say about XNA being dead, I am still using it. People create their own engines or modify older game engines all the time. Brink uses a Modified version of ID Tech 4 which surprised me. Bring probably would have performed better and rendered all of its textures better with ID Tech 5 but ID Tech 5 came out much later. Many people moved away from XNA because they want to support the latest versions of DirectX. My game engine not only supports .X models and maybe not the latest version, but I programmed it to support obj, .fbx, and I am working on making it support .dae which are Collada files.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:49am says:

Examples of Game Engines Built upon the XNA Framework or ones that work in conjunction are:

-Axiom
-FlatRedBall
-Digital Rune
Digital Rune is a 3D game engine for the Microsoft.NET Framework and the XNA Game Studio supporting windows, windows phone 7 and Xbox 360. See more by visiting their website (http://www.digitalrune.com/Products/GameEngine.aspx)

-SunBurn (This is a lighting engine for Xna and helps developers save time creating scenes and adding lights to their scenes. You have to pay for Sunburn)
-Visual 3D
-Ploobs (Visit their website at: Ploobs.com.br)

I could go on for a long time listing game engines built upon the XNA framework. Also Torque X Builder is a game engine that works in conjunction with XNA. I am creating a game engine called the Cyclone Game Engine but many call it Cyclone Engine for short. I chose to create my own game engine primarily to learn and educate myself about game engine development and to have a game engine I can call my own (especially if I needed a backup). There is nothing wrong with using other game engines but if you are serious about becoming a game developer, break out of the habit of strictly using one tool and try creating your own tools. Unity is free for the most part but you have to pay for additional features.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:45am says:

When you install XNA, their are tools that come with it. They are the following:

-Microsoft Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool
-XACT Auditioning Utility
-XNA Framework Remote Performance Monitor
-XNA Game Studio Command Prompt

+2 votes     reply to comment
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Released Dec 31, 2006
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 9/10

It's not an engine, its a framework basically a template to directX. I really like it because it allows you to develop for 3 Microsoft platforms and can port them easily.

Jul 14 2012, 12:13pm by atsebak

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