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#1 RollaJ  Icon User is offline

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Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:38 AM

I used to use XNA in my spare time, never made anything worth shouting about, and as I look back, I was only a dabbler in C# and programming but enjoyed it none the less.

I have since worked as a software developer for the last few years, working with Autocad programming and other graphical interfaces. Gained a great deal of experience in C# and software development and would like to pick up my hobby where I left it but this time make a better go of it and complete a game or two.

While looking at things I see two possibilities, back to XNA, or Unity. Unity has gained a lot of popularity since I last saw it and XNA seems to have fallen slightly in popularity. Is this an accurate observation? Whats the current opinion of the uses for each? From what I can tell XNA is still the barebones framework, limited by only what you want to spend the time adding, while unity allows you to focus more on the game and less on the nuts and bolts? Is this correct? Also, I am unsure how the change to Windows 8 will affect XNA if at all?

I suppose if I have a question itís which platform would be best to spend my time learning/re-learning.
My only interest is 2D games. I have no interest in developing 3D. I am after it supporting a multiplayer environment (both LAN and Online) but we are talking 2-4 players not MMO (so donít worry there :P). Not bothered by the XBox360 ability of XNA as I would want it to run on windows only.

If it matters I consider my C# skills at a solid intermediate level (i.e. I've kept my job creating software for 2 years in a small team of 4 so lack of skill would be noticed)

Any advise welcome.

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Replies To: Coming back after gaining experiance

#2 SixOfEleven  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 23 July 2012 - 06:59 AM

Welcome back to games. If you're only interested in 2D then I'd say forget about Unity. It is mainly a 3D platform. XNA hasn't really lost popularity. It is still going strong. If you want to go the 2D route then XNA is the better choice of the two. There is built in networking however it is not available in the release version of game for Windows. There are 3rd party networking APIs that you can use for networking. Can't seem to recall the name of the most popular one off the top of my head. :P From what I understand XNA will never be able to make Metro style apps but on the desktop side XNA games should run fine in Windows 8. Still waiting to see what Microsoft is going to do with XNA and Windows 8.
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#3 RollaJ  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 23 July 2012 - 07:07 AM

Ok, I'll read up on the current state of XNA a bit more then. I would want to use my own network code (or a good API). Wouldnt touch games for windows with a barge pole purely from my own user experiance!
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#4 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 24 July 2012 - 06:57 AM

Hi RollaJ

Do you realize that you have quite solid experience that can get you into games as a tools programmer? Your knowledge of Max and C# is a great mix that could land you such a job.

Secondly, being at a studio is the best way to learn how games are made, ramping up your skills significantly.

I hope you give it some thought.
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#5 RollaJ  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 24 July 2012 - 07:26 AM

View PostButchDean, on 24 July 2012 - 06:57 AM, said:

Hi RollaJ

Do you realize that you have quite solid experience that can get you into games as a tools programmer? Your knowledge of Max and C# is a great mix that could land you such a job.

Secondly, being at a studio is the best way to learn how games are made, ramping up your skills significantly.

I hope you give it some thought.


Nice to know! For now im pretty happy in my job (making custom tools for Autocad), might be something to look into should something happen though. What does a tools programmer in the game industry actually entail?

I agree hands on is the best learning, thats how I became good at what I do (that and a lot of late nights!)

Going to dig my teeth into XNA at the weekend hopefully, see what I remember and whats new.
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#6 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: Coming back after gaining experiance

Posted 24 July 2012 - 03:53 PM

View PostRollaJ, on 24 July 2012 - 03:26 PM, said:

Nice to know! For now im pretty happy in my job (making custom tools for Autocad), might be something to look into should something happen though. What does a tools programmer in the game industry actually entail?

The tools programmer is responsible for creating bespoke software tools that the games and technology programmers can use for rapid asset creation and deployment to a game engine, for example. The tools programmer may also be required to create tools that allow designers and artists to tweak gameplay and art assets respectively.

Being a tools programmer will most likely also require intimate knowledge of certain platforms like the major games consoles as well as mobile platforms for which the studio develops for.

It is a very responsible role that is highly valued. It might be something to think about. :)
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