monkeynova

What is MSFT's strategy with GSE I mean, is it a stripped-down version of GS Pro meant to spark interest in GS Pro Is it actually going the core of GS Pro, and the hobbyist/student community is acting as both first adopters and beta (or even alpha) testers of the product Is it a way for MSFT to foster some kind of indie/small game shop Xbox360 game development

(The latter would seem to be slightly odd: the actual dev kits, I gather, are not a minor expense, in addition to what I'm assuming are certification and any other testing expenses; I would think that releasing an alternate path for Xbox game development might cannibalize an existing revenue stream...)

It would seem to me to be just simpler to wait for GS Pro to come out, and learn XNA then, or bite the bullet and swallow the costs for the Xbox dev kit/certification/etc.

Re-reading my message, I guess I'm still confused about XNA; why XNA (as opposed to non-XNA development) Wouldn't it be simpler, and perhaps cheaper, for MSFT to focus on cleaning up or simplifying the existing toolkits for game development, rather than trying to push out yet-another-new-game middleware (which my reading of the FAQ suggests XNA is)

I apologize for increasing the noise-to-signal ratio in the forums; I would've preferred to send this to in a private e-mail to an MSFT rep for just that reason, but I really am trying to get some kind of reply (hopefully, again, from MSFT).

Thanks (and sorry again about the e-noise),

monkeynova



Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

leclerc9

Since this is currently at the top of the threads, I won't worry too much about adding more e-noise with my two cents:

1. XNA is not middleware, it is a 3D (primarily) API
2. Don't look a gift horse in the mouth




Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

monkeynova

1) The FAQ seems to be positioning XNA (GSE, GS Pro, Studio, Framework) as a series of tools that allow easier access to rich content from creation sources into a game; the examples one of the FAQ sections used referenced sound as an example; I'll admit that 'middleware' was probably too broad a brush stroke, but XNA does seem to do more than a 3D API...

2) I'm not saying it's a bad thing; I think it's great. It still makes no sense why Microsoft would do it; I don't believe it's a gift from the company to it's fans, and I really can't see a long-term benefit from it (again, why not work on improving Direct X, instead of trying to create a new framework/API ).

Thanks for taking the time to answer, though.

monkeynova





Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

leclerc9

Fair enough



Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Jonas Beckeman

I've been wondering about this as well, and I think you're probably right that it's about generating GS Pro developers. I don't think that the X360 part of GDE is ever going to take off with the current terms, it's too expensive and cumbersome in relation to the quality of the games you'll be able to play - but it's a great lure to know that you can make your own X360 games.

However, GSE will produce a large number of game programmers that a) wouldn't have become game programmers without it and the X360 promise, and b) will be very familiar with MS tools and will tend to stick to them when they get to professional levels. With enough tools and components to make things easy, it can also draw more people into game creation that are not primarily focused on technology, which might lead to more unconventional content.

In the coming years of console warfare, this group may become a huge asset for MS.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Knight99

I think MS wants to make this so that making a game in the future for any/all of their platform would be straightforward and fairly simple. I also think that in the future, hardware will get to a point where using XNA for most games (except for the Halos/Gears/etc that push boundaries) is standard due to rising development costs and time. What MS is doing now is probably just laying the foundation for the future. It is an exciting time, thats for sure.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Ely

For the professional game studio, XNA and the Xbox dev kit are not competing products, but more complimentary. For instance, I hear a lot of game development studios in Japan pit groups of developers against each other to come up with the best game ideas. XNA development is a lot simpler and faster than using the dev kit, so these groups can build prototypes and demos using XNA to see if these games will actually work. Once the best idea is chosen, then the work for the final product can begin with the dev kit.

For the hobbyist/student, XNA provides an easier path to break into game development. I think it is safe to view XNA as the replacement for managed directX, so all those .Net developers out there who want to tinker in game dev now have an environment to do so that is easy and free.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Jonas Beckeman

 Ely wrote:

I think it is safe to view XNA as the replacement for managed directX, so all those .Net developers out there who want to tinker in game dev now have an environment to do so that is easy and free. 

All .Net developers are not "tinkerers" in the gaming realm - MDX/.NET can be used to write real-world games and tools. So far, I don't have any information that suggests that moving from MDX to XNA would be a good thing for our studio. One problem is that we can't use our own renderer (e.g. DirectX with FFP, or software mode for 2D projects), another that it's harder to move to mono (for OSX/Linux ports).

Maybe this will be resolved in GSP, but until I have some hard facts I'm just going to sniff a bit on XNA and continue with MDX for our commercial products.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

lemonaid

xna seems not to target professional gaming studios but more then likely its to justify there hard and firm take on the xbox 360's security. if they give hackers a path to write software to run there own code legally and withing the security of the 360's kernel then hackers have less of a reason to break the security for piracy, it also opens up a new revenue of talent.

if you notice the constrants for deployment of a game on wide scale is very much controlled by microsoft. if microsoft developed the tools and the ability to write the game for free then they are probably hoping on publishing it and selling it for profit. they business model they have for xna seems pretty sound for programers and artists but to me it seems like they want to creep into other publishers turf.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

lemonaid

Jonas Beckeman wrote:

I've been wondering about this as well, and I think you're probably right that it's about generating GS Pro developers. I don't think that the X360 part of GDE is ever going to take off with the current terms, it's too expensive and cumbersome in relation to the quality of the games you'll be able to play - but it's a great lure to know that you can make your own X360 games.

However, GSE will produce a large number of game programmers that a) wouldn't have become game programmers without it and the X360 promise, and b) will be very familiar with MS tools and will tend to stick to them when they get to professional levels. With enough tools and components to make things easy, it can also draw more people into game creation that are not primarily focused on technology, which might lead to more unconventional content.

In the coming years of console warfare, this group may become a huge asset for MS.



I'll second that. even though I'm not a giant fan of ms or the 360 (starting to grow though) lately they def have been getting some good products and ideas in. If only they had any actual competition then things would really get good.




Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Jim Perry

lemonaid wrote:
xna seems not to target professional gaming studios ...

Maybe you mean "Game Studio Express seems not to target professional gaming studios ..." and you would be correct.

From the FAQ:

Q: What¡¯s the difference between XNA Game Studio Express, XNA Game Studio Professional and XNA Studio
A:
XNA Game Studio Express and XNA Game Studio Pro are related products targeting non-professional game developers and established professionals respectively. Both products integrate with Microsoft Visual Studio. XNA Game Studio Express is intended for the hobbyist/small development group and therefore designed to help create non-commercial games. XNA Game Studio Professional will include additional functionality such as libraries supporting Xbox Live (Achievements, Leaderboards, Multi-player) needed by professional game developers wishing to create commercial, signed titles. XNA Studio will implement enterprise wide solutions aimed at the production pipeline and process by which games are developed in large AAA studios.

Don't judge XNA by GSE because you're not getting the whole picture.






Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Shawn Hargreaves - MSFT

This blog post by Joe Nalewabau might give you some idea what sort of high level / long term thinking is going on at the moment. The economics behind the long-tail theory are interesting indeed...






Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

monkeynova

Thank you; yes, that does give me a better idea of some of the long-term thought processes among the XNA team. My only having a passing familiarity with the Long Tail effect would most likely explain why that never occured to me...

Thank you for the other responses in this thread, too; it's very educational for me to read other's ideas about XNA!

Again, thanks.

monkeynova





Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Jonas Beckeman

I really don't think that the Developers' Club can become a YouTubish phenomenon, not with the requirements/pricing suggested so far. If they were directly downloadable to the X360 (and its GUI gets a remake by someone who knows good interaction design :p), then maybe - or if there was an XNA browser plugin so people could make stuff for the PC that could actually be sold or generate ad revenues, it could get very big.

Right now I think expectations are a bit too high on that part. But I have high hopes for XNA overall.





Re: XNA Game Studio Express General strategy question about XNA

Shawn Hargreaves - MSFT

Don't forget that this is just version 1, and we aren't finished yet! This first release was all about making it possible for developers to write and run code. There is plenty more to be done...