Microsoft XNA

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XNA Game Studio
Microsoft XNA logo.svg
XNA Logo
The orange dashed line cutting through the 'X' represents XNA in Morse code: –··– means X, and "–· ·–" also means NA
Developer(s) Microsoft
Stable release 4.0 Refresh / October 6, 2011; 2 years ago (2011-10-06)[1]
Preview release 4.0 beta / July 12, 2010; 4 years ago (2010-07-12)[citation needed]
Platform Microsoft Windows, Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Zune
Type Application framework, integrated development environment
License Freeware
Website msdn.microsoft.com/en-us/centrum-xna.aspx

Microsoft XNA is a set of tools with a managed runtime environment provided by Microsoft that facilitates video game development and management. XNA is based on the .NET Framework, with versions that run on Windows, Windows Phone and the Xbox. In many respects, XNA can be thought of as a .NET analog to Microsoft's better known game development system, DirectX, but it is aimed at developers primarily interested in writing lightweight games that run on a variety of Microsoft platforms. XNA is the basic platform for Xbox Live Indie Games.

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 Development Tools. According to an email sent on 31 January 2013, XNA is no longer actively being developed,[2] and it is not supported under the new "Metro interface" layers of Windows 8 nor on the Windows RT platform.[3]

Overview[edit]

XNA Framework[edit]

Microsoft XNA Framework is based on the native implementation of .NET Compact Framework 2.0 for Xbox 360 development and .NET Framework 2.0 on Windows. It includes an extensive set of class libraries, specific to game development, to promote maximum code reuse across target platforms. The framework runs on a version of the Common Language Runtime that is optimized for gaming to provide a managed execution environment. The runtime is available for Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows Phone and Xbox 360. Since XNA games are written for the runtime, they can run on any platform that supports the XNA Framework with minimal or no modification. Games that run on the framework can technically be written in any .NET-compliant language, but only C# in XNA Game Studio Express IDE and all versions of Visual Studio 2008 and 2010 (as of XNA 4.0)[4] are officially supported.[5] Support for Visual Basic .NET was added in 2011.[6]

The XNA Framework encapsulates low-level technological details involved in coding a game, making sure that the framework itself takes care of the difference between platforms when games are ported from one compatible platform to another, and thereby allowing game developers to focus more on the content and gaming experience. The XNA Framework integrates with a number of tools, such as the Cross-platform Audio Creation Tool (XACT), to aid in content creation. The XNA Framework provides support for both 2D and 3D game creation and allows use of the Xbox 360 controllers and vibrations. XNA framework games that target the Xbox platform can currently only be distributed by members of the Microsoft XNA Creator's Club which carries a $99/year subscription fee.[5] Desktop applications can be distributed free of charge under Microsoft's current licensing.

XNA Build[edit]

XNA Build is a set of game asset pipeline management tools, which help by defining, maintaining, debugging, and optimizing the game asset pipeline of individual game development efforts. A game asset pipeline describes the process by which game content, such as textures and 3D models, are modified to a form suitable for use by the gaming engine. XNA Build helps identify the pipeline dependencies, and also provides API access to enable further processing of the dependency data. The dependency data can be analyzed to help reduce the size of a game by finding content that is not actually used. For example, XNA Build analysis revealed that 40% of the textures that shipped with MechCommander 2 were unused and could have been omitted.[7]

XNA Game Studio[edit]

XNA Game Studio is a programming environment for development of games.[8] Five revisions have been released so far.

XNA Game Studio Express[edit]

XNA Game Studio Express, the first release of XNA Game Studio, was intended for students, hobbyists, and independent (and homebrew) game developers.[9] It was available as a free download. Express provides basic "starter kits" for rapid development of specific genres of games, such as platform games, real-time strategy, and first-person shooters. Developers could create Windows games for free with the XNA Framework, but to run their games on the Xbox 360 they will have to pay an annual fee of US$99 (or a four-month fee of US$49) for admission to the Microsoft XNA Creator's Club. The initial release had no way of shipping precompiled binaries to other Xbox 360 players, but this was changed in "XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh" which made it possible to compile Xbox 360 binaries and share them with other Microsoft XNA Creator's Club members.

The first beta version of XNA Game Studio Express was released for download on August 30, 2006, followed by a second version on November 1, 2006. Microsoft released the final version on December 11, 2006.[10]

On April 24, 2007, Microsoft released an update called XNA Game Studio Express 1.0 Refresh.[11]

XNA Game Studio 2.0[edit]

XNA Game Studio 2.0 was released on December 13, 2007.[12] XNA Game Studio 2.0[13] features the ability to be used with all versions of Visual Studio 2005 (including the free Visual C#2005 Express Edition), a networking API using Xbox Live on both Windows and Xbox 360 and better device handling.[14]

XNA Game Studio 3.0[edit]

XNA Game Studio 3.0 (for Visual Studio 2008 or the free Visual C# 2008 Express Edition) allows production of games targeting the Zune platform and adds Xbox Live community support. A beta of the toolset was released in September 2008.[15] The final release was released on October 30, 2008. XNA Game Studio 3.0 now supports C# 3.0, LINQ and most versions of Visual Studio 2008. There are several more new features of XNA Game Studio 3.0 also, such as a trial Mode added to XNA Game Studio 3.0 that will enable creators to easily add the required trial feature to their games, Xbox LIVE multi-player features like in-game invites, create cross-platform games that work on Windows, Xbox 360 and Zune.

XNA Game Studio 3.1[edit]

XNA Game Studio 3.1 was released on June 11, 2009. The API includes support for video playback, a revised audio API, Xbox LIVE Party system and support for games to use the Xbox 360 Avatars.[16]

XNA Game Studio 4.0[edit]

XNA Game Studio 4.0 was announced and initially released as a "Community Technical Preview" at Game Developers Conference (GDC) on March 9, 2010, and in its final form on September 16, 2010.[17] It adds support for the Windows Phone platform (including 3D hardware acceleration), framework hardware profiles, configurable effects, built-in state objects, graphics device scalars and orientation, cross-platform and multi-touch input, microphone input and buffered audio playback, and Visual Studio 2010 integration.[18]

XNA "Game Studio 4.0 Refresh" was released on On 6 October 2011.[1] This added support for Windows Phone 7.5 (Mango), support for Visual Basic, and also bug fixes.

Microsoft has confirmed to MVP (Most Valuable Professionals) that it will cease support for this version of XNA in April 2014 and that there are not any plans to release any further versions of the XNA platform.[19] ExtremeTech, Gamasutra, and IndieGames were among the first to report this discontinuation of XNA.

XNA Framework Content Pipeline[edit]

The XNA Framework Content Pipeline is a set of tools that allows Visual Studio and XNA Studio to act "as the key design point around organizing and consuming 3D content".[8]

XDK Extensions[edit]

Formerly known as XNA Game Studio Professional, XDK Extensions is an add-on to XNA Game Studio and requires the Microsoft Xbox 360 Development Kit.[20] Both are only available for licensed Xbox developers. The extensions include additional managed APIs for achievements, leaderboards, and other features reserved for licensed game titles. Titles developed using XDK Extensions include winners of Microsoft's Dream.Build.Play competition among others. The most heavily publicized of these was The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai.

Dream Build Play[edit]

Dream Build Play is an annual and global $75,000 Microsoft contest promoting Microsoft XNA and eventually Xbox LIVE Indie Games, although it predated it. The contest was first announced in 2006 and first opened in January 2007.[21] Many winners are notable developers in the Indie Game community.

Xbox LIVE Indie Games[edit]

(See Xbox LIVE Indie Games for the full article.)

Xbox 360 games written in XNA Game Studio can be submitted to the App Hub,[22] for which premium membership is required (about US$99/year). All games submitted to the App Hub are subjected to peer review by other creators. If the game passes review then it is listed on Xbox Live Marketplace. Creators can set a price of 80, 240 or 400 points for their game. The creator is paid 70% of the total revenue from their game sales as a baseline. Microsoft originally planned to take an additional percentage of revenue if they provided additional marketing for a game, but this policy was rescinded in March 2009, leaving the flat rate intact regardless of promotion.[23]

Microsoft also distributes a free year premium App Hub subscription for educational establishments through their DreamSpark program and MSDNAA. These accounts allow students to develop games for the Xbox 360, but developers still need a premium Xbox Live account to submit their game to the marketplace.

Alternative implementations[edit]

A project called Mono.XNA was formed to port XNA to the open source and cross-platform Mono framework.[24][25]

From the codebase of Mono.XNA and SilverSprite, a new project called MonoGame was formed to port XNA to several mobile devices.[26][27] As of version 3.0.1 (released March 3, 2013), support is stable for iOS, Android including OUYA, Mac OS X, Linux and Metro for Windows 8, Windows RT and Windows Phone 8, as well as PlayStation Mobile in 2D. PlayStation Mobile 3D and Raspberry Pi development are currently in progress.[28]

An open source project called Grommet contains a limited port for embedded devices using the .NET Micro Framework.[29]

A project called ANX is available which implements its own version of XNA using the SharpDX stack, support for Linux, Mac OS X and the PlayStation Vita is in progress as well.[30][31] Using ANX, developers are able to write games using code that is very similar to XNA, while still being considered a Metro application in Windows 8.

Partial list of games that use XNA[edit]

Game Year Platform(s) Developer Publisher
Amazing Princess Sarah 2014 Windows, Xbox 360 Haruneko Haruneko
A.R.E.S.: Extinction Agenda 2010 Windows, Xbox 360, OnLive Extend Studio Origo Games
Aliens vs. Romans 2013 Xbox 360 Sick Kreations Sick Kreations
Bastion 2011 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360, Chrome, iOS Supergiant Games Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment
Battle High 2011 Windows, Xbox 360 Mattrified Games Mattrified Games
Biocide 2012 Windows Phone Tony Sakariya Tony Sakariya
Blazing Birds 2009 Xbox 360 Vector 2 Games Microsoft Studios
Bleed 2012 Windows, OS X, Xbox 360 Bootdisk Revolution Bootdisk Revolution
Blockhead 2011 Windows, Xbox 360, Windows Phone Nightmare Games Nightmare Games
Bloodline Champions 2011 Windows Stunlock Studios Funcom
Blueberry Garden 2009 Windows Erik Svedäng Erik Svedäng
Breath of Death VII 2009 Windows, Xbox 360 Zeboyd Games Zeboyd Games
Capsized 2011 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 Alientrap Alientrap
Charlie Murder 2013 Xbox 360 Ska Studios Microsoft Studios
Chime 2010 Windows, Xbox 360 Zoe Mode Valcon Games
Cloud Blaster 2012 Windows Phone Husky Paw Games Husky Paw Games
Comet Chaos 2013 Windows 8, Windows Phone 8 Beard Bandit Games Beard Bandit Games
Crackdown 2: Project Sunburst 2010 Windows Phone Seed Microsoft Studios
Crank Command 2012 Windows DYNAMaltee DYNAMaltee
Cthulhu Saves the World 2010 Windows, Xbox 360 Zeboyd Games Zeboyd Games
Dead Pixels 2012 Windows, OS X, Xbox 360 CSR-Studios CSR-Studios
Dead Pixels 2 2014 Windows, OS X CSR-Studios CSR-Studios
Decimation X3 2010 Xbox 360 Xona Games Reverb Communications
DLC Quest 2011 Windows, OS X, Xbox 360 Going Loud Studios Going Loud Studios
Dust: An Elysian Tail 2012 Windows, Xbox 360, Mac OS X, Linux Humble Hearts Microsoft Studios
End of Days: Infected vs. Mercs 2011 Xbox 360 Sick Kreations Sick Kreations
End of Days: Survivor 2012 Xbox 360 Sick Kreations Sick Kreations
Escape Goat 2011 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 MagicalTimeBean MagicalTimeBean
EvilQuest 2012 Windows, Xbox 360 ChaosSoft Games ChaosSoft Games
EvilQuest 2 TBA 2014 Windows, Xbox 360 ChaosSoft Games ChaosSoft Games
Face-Plant Adventures 2012 Xbox 360 oddworm games oddworm games
Fez[32] 2012 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 Polytron Trapdoor
Fist Puncher 2013 Windows, Xbox 360 Team2Bit Adult Swim Games, Team2Bit
Flotilla 2010 Windows, Xbox 360 Blendo Games Blendo Games
Fusion Genesis 2011 Xbox 360 Starfire Studios Microsoft Studios
Galactic Arms Race 2010 Windows Evolutionary Games Evolutionary Games
Gnomoria TBA Windows Robotronic Games Robotronic Games
Grey: The Lost Technology 2012 Windows, Xbox 360 Team Aurora Team Aurora
Guncraft 2012 Windows EXATO GAME STUDIOS EXATO GAME STUDIOS
Ilomilo[33] 2011 Windows Phone, Xbox 360, Windows Southend Interactive, Microsoft Studios Microsoft Studios
Infiniminer 2009 Windows Zachary Barth Zachary Barth
I Made a Game with Zombies in It! 2009 Xbox 360, Windows Phone Ska Studios Ska Studios
Islands of Wakfu[34] 2011 Xbox 360 Ankama Play Microsoft Studios
KGB: Episode One 2010 Xbox 360 Sick Kreations Sick Kreations
Kodu 2009 Windows, Xbox 360 Microsoft Studios Microsoft Studios
Kung Fu Strike: The Warrior’s Rise 2012 Windows, Xbox 360 Qooc Soft 7sixty
Lucidity 2009 Windows, Xbox 360 LucasArts LucasArts
Magicka 2011 Windows Arrowhead Game Studios Paradox Interactive
Miasma: Citizens of Free Thought 2010 Windows, Xbox 360 ESP Games ESP Games
Miasma 2: Freedom Uprising 2012 Windows, Xbox 360 ESP Games ESP Games
Miner Wars 2081 2012 Windows, Xbox 360 Keen Software House Keen Software House
Nuclear Wasteland 2010 Xbox 360 Sick Kreations Sick Kreations
Orbox C 2013 Windows Phone ProGamix ProGamix
Plain Sight 2010 Windows Beatnik Games Beatnik Games
Pokémon 3D 2013 Windows Kolben Games Kolben Games
Potion Lore 2012 Windows Phone Hexfire Software Hexfire Software
Protect Me Knight 2010 Xbox 360 Ancient Ancient
Proxy Blade Zero 2014 Xbox 360 D6 D6
Reus 2013 Windows Abbey Games Abbey Games
Rogue Legacy 2013 Windows Cellar Door Games Cellar Door Games
Rocket Riot 2009 Xbox 360, Windows Phone, iOS Codeglue THQ
Schizoid 2008 Xbox 360 Torpex Games Microsoft Studios
Score Rush 2010 Xbox 360 Xona Games Reverb Communications
Sequence 2011 Windows, Xbox 360 Iridium Studios Iridium Studios
Skulls of the Shogun[35] 2012 Windows, Xbox 360, Windows Phone 17-Bit Microsoft Studios
Snops Attack! Zombie Defense 2012 Xbox 360 SnopsGames SnopsGames
SoccerTime 2013 Windows Phone T-Bag Games T-Bag Games
Solar 2009 Xbox 360 Murudai Murudai
Solar 2 2011 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 Murudai Murudai
Soulcaster 2010 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 MagicalTimeBean MagicalTimeBean
Soulcaster II 2010 Windows, OS X, Linux, Xbox 360 MagicalTimeBean MagicalTimeBean
Sol Survivor 2009 Windows, Xbox 360 Cadenza Interactive Cadenza Interactive
Space Engineers 2009 Windows Keen Software House Keen Software House
Terraria 2011 Windows, Xbox 360, PS3, iOS, Android Re-logic Microsoft Studios
The Adventures of Shuggy 2011 Windows, Xbox 360 Smudged Cat Games Valcon Games
The Bridge 2013 Windows Ty Taylor and Mario Castañeda The Quantum Astrophysicists Guild
The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai 2009 Xbox 360 Ska Studios Microsoft Studios
The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile 2011 Xbox 360 Ska Studios Microsoft Studios
The Harvest 2010 Windows Phone Luma Arcade Microsoft Studios
The Path of Go 2010 Xbox 360 Microsoft Studios Microsoft Studios
The Undead Syndrome 2012 Xbox 360 MUKAGOSOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT MUKAGOSOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT
Tile Rider 2014 Windows Phone 7 Soft Pillows 7 Soft Pillows
Veks and Silence 2009 Xbox 360 Edible Entertainment Pty Ltd Edible Entertainment Pty Ltd
Weapon of Choice 2008 Xbox 360 Mommy's Best Games Mommy's Best Games
Yo-Ho Kablammo 2009 Xbox 360 Canalside Studios Microsoft Studios
Zeit 2 2011 Windows, Xbox 360 Brightside Games Ubisoft

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "xna game studio 4.0 refresh". Microsoft. October 6, 2011. 
  2. ^ Rob Crossley, "Microsoft email confirms plan to cease XNA support", I CVG, 31 January 2013
  3. ^ Patrick Klepek, "The Future of XNA Game Studio and Windows 8", Giant Bomb, 16 September 2011
  4. ^ "App Hub - downloads". 
  5. ^ a b Microsoft XNA Frequently Asked Questions
  6. ^ "Windows Phone Dev Center". Create.msdn.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  7. ^ Brian Keller: "Will XNA tools be able to help reduce game sizes?"
  8. ^ a b "XNA Game Studio". Retrieved 2007-03-20. 
  9. ^ XNA Game Studio Express
  10. ^ Gamefest announcement of XNA Game Studio Express
  11. ^ "XNA game studio express 1.0 refresh released". XNA Team Blog. Microsoft. 24 April 2007. 
  12. ^ XNA Creators Club Online - quick start guide
  13. ^ XNA Tutorial
  14. ^ XNA Team Blog : XNA Game Studio 2.0 Released
  15. ^ XNA Creators Club Online - xna game studio 3.0 beta
  16. ^ Dream Build Play '09/XNA Game Studio 3.1 Announcement
  17. ^ "xna game studio 4.0 available for download!". XNA Game Studio Team Blog. Microsoft. September 16, 2010. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  18. ^ "What's New in XNA Game Studio 4.0". MSDN. Microsoft. Retrieved September 16, 2010. 
  19. ^ "Microsoft kills XNA". ExtremeTech. February 1, 2013. 
  20. ^ "Download GDC 2009: XNA Game Studio Program Overview from Official Microsoft Download Center". Microsoft.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  21. ^ Dream Build Play, Alfred Thompson
  22. ^ App Hub
  23. ^ "Download History News". Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  24. ^ Mono.XNA
  25. ^ "Mono.XNA". Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  26. ^ MonoGame
  27. ^ "MonoGame: Write Once, Play Everywhere". Retrieved 24 March 2013. 
  28. ^ "MonoGame Wiki". Retrieved 2013-03-24. 
  29. ^ "Grommet". Retrieved 2009-11-02. 
  30. ^ ANX
  31. ^ SharpDX
  32. ^ "The Future of XNA Game Studio and Windows 8". Giantbomb.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  33. ^ "Windows Phone 7 App of the Week: Ilomilo". wintersupersite.com. Retrieved 2012-07-01. 
  34. ^ "JeanBaptistePortfolio". www.jbriguet.com. Retrieved 2012-06-26. 
  35. ^ "Interview Skulls of the Shogun Dev on asynchronous multiplayer and xbla". xblafans.com. Retrieved 2012-07-19. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]

Training resources