2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

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20 Replies - 6729 Views - Last Post: 09 August 2013 - 01:57 AM Rate Topic: -----

#16 modi123_1  Icon User is online

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:28 AM

Do we need to split this topic into something called "When to move on..." ?
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#17 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 08 August 2013 - 11:40 AM

View PostButchDean, on 08 August 2013 - 11:20 AM, said:

And with all due respect (although I didn't have the time to read it all), both personal and professional experience strongly disagree with you. I have a variety of programming experience with games that spans beyond Windows - in fact I'm currently coding on Mac and Linux for work (non-games) and not work (games), I have experienced the burdens when I used to be in games of when the toolchain was changed either because of significant changes, or simply was just no longer suitable long-term even though it still was suitable for the current platform short-term.

What you are missing here is that you must always code looking long-term, and to insist that XNA is good long-term is to be completely oblivious to the inevitable that you will have to eventually dump it, and dump it soon. I get the feeling that those who have invested all of their game development experience based specifically on XNA are extremely reluctant to let it go in favor of what is undeniably good software development practice in using tools that are current and supported. To me it is just downright bad advice that you are trying to get people new to game programming started on a dead toolchain.

I cannot express how bad and potentially very difficult you are making it for someone new to programming games. You chose XNA, that is your choice, do not impose it on others.



You are the voice of experience. Experience that quite frankly I don't have. So, I think it is wise for people to listen to what you are saying. I think you make a very good point for people in terms of the commercial game programming world and are generally right about that.

However, I recommend XNA because it is the most clear path to success that I've seen in the many years that I've worked towards learning game programming.

But any technology that you work with could disappear at basically any moment. Microsoft could come out and announce that they no longer are going to support DirectX. Likewise, Microsoft may come out 3 months from now and say XNA 5.0 is on the way and that XNA is alive and well. (With recent announcements at Microsoft, that's not just wishful thinking.) And more importantly, something better than anything before could come out tomorrow.

You know as well as anyone that its an industry that is constantly changing and you have to be ready to jump ship and learn new things no matter which path you take. You can't count on any of these programs being around forever. I'm not suggesting that someone should learn XNA and never leave; rather, I'm saying that anyone who takes the time to master XNA will be 1,000 times more prepared for the next thing they move onto no matter how advanced that next thing is. I think you'll be able to become a DX11 guru almost over night if you master XNA first. Almost every last thing you learn in XNA will apply to DX11, where you are going to have your hands full learning non-game programming topics. And your experience in XNA will help you know what it is you need to be learning in DX11 and you'll largely already know how to get there.

Maybe XNA will be gone in a year, or maybe it won't. But as long as it's here it presents the best way to learn game programming that I've seen anywhere. And so I believe people will be best served getting the most out of it before it disappears, if they are not already fairly accomplished in their knowledge of game programming.

And ultimately, everyone is free to choose which path they take. I want to help people accomplish as much as possible in game programming. So, I recommend what's best in my experience. And that's not really focused on writing games for money and its not really focused on getting a job as a programmer or getting into the game programming industry. I advise them based solely on what, in my experience, is the best way to aquire the most knowledge about programming games. And in my experience, that's XNA.

I just fail to see how it's a waste of time to learn High Level Shader Language for example. Are you trying to tell me that that's a worthless skill that won't help game programmers because it's part of a dead tool set? Because XNA provides one of the best platforms for working with and testing HLSL shaders. And I believe there are more examples on it in XNA than any other platform. Granted, once you really get into it starts getting non-platform specific and leans towards DX11 and OpenGL (GLSL).

My point there is that if you spend a year learning HLSL in XNA, 99.9% of that is going to transfer directly over to DX11 and 95% of it is going to transfer directly over to OpenGL. Yet you learned it in an easy friendly programming environment where there were even examples tailored for beginners.

That's the sort of thing you are "wasting time on in XNA": skills that for the most part will all transfer for the most part over to the next environment that you're working in. The difference being you're likely to find better beginner tutorials to get you started in XNA (or examples in books) than for other platforms.

But you are definately going to be able to take the vast majority of what you learned in XNA and easily transfer it to the next platform you are on. So, I don't think it is wasted time at all.

Anyway, its certainly up to the individual to choose the path they believe is best for them. No single path is going to be right for everyone.

But really, all I can do is give someone the advice that I would want to receive if I were in their shoes. And I simply don't think there is any other platform other than XNA where there is such a large body of knowledge published and largely tailored for beginners.

So, until I see something that I think will help beginners more, I'm recommending XNA as long as its still around, or at least until I find something that I can clearly see offers beginners better learning oppurtunities.

@Modi, Maybe.

This post has been edited by BBeck: 08 August 2013 - 12:23 PM

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#18 Ryano121  Icon User is offline

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:36 PM

I think we've had this argument way too many times already. Lets just wait to see what Microsoft can come up with for the Xbox One be it something XNA 5 'ish or not.

If they do something like that with C# etc then we can perhaps start recommending that (providing it holds its own), but until then I think it's pointless to recommend learning XNA. It may well be a good tool to learn with but I don't think this can help the fact that it is now dead. There is no helping it. Yes there is still a lot of online support with it, but this isn't going to last forever - it's going to keep shrinking.

Surely its best we wait a while to see what Microsoft can come up with. We can then start making more useful recommendations on what beginners should learn (well not me because I'm no games programmer but the rest of you :P)
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#19 BBeck  Icon User is offline

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 08 August 2013 - 12:42 PM

People are free to recommend any other platform they like and argue why it's superior to XNA. I'm not even necessarily disagreeing with them that their platform isn't the best way to go, if I can't say I know they're wrong. Although, I reserve the right to argue until they prove that it truely offers more. A lot of people here have experience with many platforms I am unfamiliar with. And I think their advice is very worthy of consideration even if I am inclined to disagree.

So get in there and explain why that's the platform of choice. I think new people will benefit from a multitude of opinions.
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#20 anonymous26  Icon User is offline

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 08 August 2013 - 04:53 PM

Let me say that I know no-one personally who has used XNA, they either at the time used OpenGL with an arbitrary audio library like OpenAL with Win32 functionality for everything else, or DirectX. I personally started with OpenGL on Win32 then DirectX. Why? Because at the time I wanted to be exposed to as full as possible a game development cycle which turned out to pay off.

I have always had issues with XNA, because to me it sits somewhere between DirectX and Game Maker. As soon as something hints of Game Maker there is no chance I will touch it - the fun of making games is taking on the challenge head-on.

Microsoft can keep its XNA thank you very much.
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#21 stayscrisp  Icon User is offline

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Re: 2D Alternatives to the now-dead XNA?

Posted 09 August 2013 - 01:57 AM

I like these arguments about XNA but let's keep this as the last one for a while :)
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