Game Programming and Development Tools

XNA Game Studio and Torque X – steveth45



Posts: 536
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-10-2005
Microsoft announced that XNA Game Studio Express for Windows and XBOX 360 game development will be free.

You can use XNA Game Studio Express for free to make Windows games. You can spend 99$ a year to be in the XBOX 360 “Creator’s Club” to develop for the XBOX 360, but not commercially (commercial is OK for Windows platform). It's hard to share your games though. To play your game on other people’s XBOX 360, they have to be part of the “Creator’s Club” with a PC setup with XNA GS Express connected to their 360, and you have to give them your source code.

If you want to sell 360 games you have to buy XNA Game Studio Professional for $??? and an actual XBOX 360 Dev Kit which costs $?????, and those aren’t sold to just anyone. But if you come up with a good enough game, it would only be a matter of getting funding, probably from a publisher. I’ve heard of getting a “loaner” Dev Kit from a publisher, too.

It’s an interesting concept. For $99, plus the price of a console and XBOX Live subscription, you could develop and test a game on the XBOX 360 console itself. That’s not a bad deal. Now, if Nintendo did the same thing with Wii, then I’d really be stoked. If anything, I may end up buy a 360 later this year to try it out. Garage Games announced Torque X, which will tie in with the XNA thing, and allow you to build games with Torque that can be used with XNA Express for XBOX 360 development. That may be enough for me to invest in Torque. Apparently, they have already adapted most of Torque Game Builder, the 2D game creator, for the XNA/360. That would create a very short path for console game development. Oh yeah, XNA development is all C# Managed Code.

I'd say this is great news for those who are already developing with Torque, because Garage Games is going to try to make it as easy as possible to port your games over to the XNA platform using Torque X.




Posts: 1828
From: Indiana
Registered: 10-11-2004
Wow, great news! I hadn't heard this yet, Steve. That's extremely cool.

All of this makes me like GG more and more.

Junior Member

Posts: 6
Registered: 10-07-2003
Steveth45 is right on!!! Last week I attended the Microsoft Gamefest conference and they pretty much confirmed everything steveth45 said. The CEO of GG was also present and talked a bit about the integration of Torque and XNA in the keynote. Microsoft appears to be interested in giving the independent community the tools to create more innovative games for the Xbox360. Also, for you audio fans out there, you should check out XACT. It's a cross platform audio creation tool you can use in XNA.

Brethren Entertainment Studios

Matt Langley

Posts: 247
From: Eugene, OR, USA
Registered: 08-31-2006
From what I've seen and heard from our TorqueX team, they've loved working with XNA. We did TankBuster (the 2d side scroller game that was on screen at GameFest) in about a week in Torque Game Builder, then it took a member of the TorqueX team to port it to TorqueX in about 1-2 days.

Matthew Langley
Docs and Demos Team
TGB Dev Team



Posts: 654
From: Pacific Northwest
Registered: 03-22-2005
Hi Matt! Welcome to the site. Great to have someone from GarageGames. Looking forward to hearing your input in the forums.

I just used XNA for the coding competition and found it less than desirable. Granted, this was my first game, and therefore my first gaming API I have used, so maybe I was expecting too much. I think some of my woes will be addressed in the final version, though. Some the issues I had may be due to the nature of the beta.

1) ONLY WMA files for music. Basically, MS is suggesting NOT to add music at this time or your downloads will be HUGE!!!

2) No way to draw primitive (is that the right word?) types like ellipses, rectangles, or polygons.

3) It is ALL bitmap based. No text allowed. Without special tools and classes created by others, you would have to do all your text as a JPG/PNG/BMP/etc.

My conclusion is XNA is great if you plan on creating cross-platform games (PC/XBOX). Since it is meant to work on both systems, XNA needed to be based on the least common denominator. Meaning, XNA seems geared towards XBOX, based on the .NET compact framework. You end up losing some of the power of .NET and the ability to use Forms and events. (Note: People have actually figured out a way to include XNA within a Windows Form, so some of this is possible. But I don't believe XNA is intended to be used that way.)

Some of what XNA lacks is being pursued by other developers. One guy on the MS team has put out an extraordinary package (XNAExtras) which is a MUST download. It adds several nice classes and makes the text issue a little bit easier to deal with.

I may look at XNA again when the final version is released.