Sunday, December 17, 2006

XNA Game Studio

I've been wanting to check out Microsoft's XNA Game Studio for awhile now so I spent a couple of hours tonight checking it out.  Basically it's a hobbyist release of Visual Studio (C# Express) with a 'Framework' that sits on top of the .NET 2.0 libraries.  This XNA Framework wraps the DirectX libraries with managed code and you get a bunch of classes like Game, GameTime, GameWindow, BoundingBox, blah blah blah.

It shows alot of promise.  I was able to follow along the tutorial and basically make an image bounce around on the screen like a ping-pong ball.  As a business app developer it's cool seeing the C# code, how little it takes, to get this to work using objects I normally don't see like Vector, Sprite, and Texture.  I wonder if someday we'll get to inject some of this kind of code into business apps as the younger generation (where gaming is more... accepted as a norm) gets older and doesn't mind some of the fancier graphics in the app - where it may even enhance it.


Bottom line here is that although they have a great 'arcade' game framework - it's not yet ready for prime time. 

It doesn't have any UI classes...

There's a few posts on the XNA Framework message boards from MS employees stating that they aren't releasing any in V1.  Seeing how cool the WPF stuff is using XAML, it would be cool if they could incorporate the XAML/WPF stuff with this...

Anyway I'll have to keep looking/researching... My Dad and I have been talking about a creating a game for years and I even did some work a couple years back on a web based version.  My biggest hurdle is how to represent a game board that can contain lots and lots of hexes (200 x 200, etc); once I figure that out...


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