Iris Classon
Iris Classon - In Love with Code

Stupid Question 142 and 143: Is DirectX/XNA dead? And can you do XNA games for Windows Store Apps?

[To celebrate my first year of programming I will ask a ‘stupid’ questions daily on my blog for a year, to make sure I learn at least 365 new things during my second year as a developer]

Is DirectX/XNA dead? And can you do XNA games for Windows Store Apps?

I did a 2-hour getting started with WinRT for the non.Net developer session for a cross-platform user group. Turns out all were .net developers except one, and many had important questions. XNA came up rather early in the conversation, there has been a lot of talk about XNA lately. This discussion came about when some of the attendees made a remark that XNA was dead, and we ended up discussing an article on Hacker news. The article Microsoft kills Xbox 360/PC cross-platform development, declares DirectX “no longer evolving”

Was actually incorrect (says MS officials), and this information was added to the article later on. But at the very bottom and with a sarcastic remark. Ironically the day before the article went out Mary Jo Foley had already posted on her blog an article Microsoft: False alarm. We aren’t backing away from DirectX

One XNA MVP has written up an honest blog post sharing his frustration for the miss-communication that is well worth reading as well, turns out his original blog post if not started at least spurred the DirectX/XNA-is-dead articles the last few days. Follow-up on DirectX/XNA

In short: DirectX/XNA is not dead

-and this is confirmed by a reply Mary got in regards to this from a Microsoft spokesperson, (pardon my copy-and paste here Mary):
“I can confirm that the original communication sent to MVPs yesterday was inaccurate. Microsoft has issued a follow-up communication to the DirectX/XNA MVPs reaffirming that DirectX is very much an important and evolving technology for Microsoft.”

My first reaction to the question’ Can you do XNA games for Windows Store Apps?’ was, ‘You can, but not really. But this I mean, I know there is a way this can be done, but I’m unaware of the limitations as I haven’t done any XNA projects myself’. I promised to get back with more information and here it is.

For developing XNA Window’s Store App – games I’ve understood as you can if you use the open source cross platform implementation of the XNA MonoGame. I haven’t tried it myself, so I’ll leave the answer at that, and point you to a really good step by step article.

Windows 8 Game Development using C#, XNA and MonoGame 3.0: Building a Shooter Game Walkthrough – Part 1: Overview, Installation, MonoGame 3.0 Project Creation

For more on the subject, a really good blog post about XNA and more: In lament for XNA Framework, long live the XNA platform


Leave a comment below, or by email.
Dave Voyles
2/5/2013 4:01:22 AM
Iris, you are correct. You can use MonoGame to continue XNA crossplatform development. It is a middle layer between XNA and the new OS frameworks, so once you've done the initial setup (Bob Familiar, a head of MS tech evangelism, has a great setup article on his blog, but I don't want to drop a link on your site), you are using XNA just as you normally would.

So is XNA dead? Well it's not going to see any advancements, but it is more than usable in its current state. 
Randell Trulson
2/5/2013 4:03:28 AM
Thanks for posting this.  If you look on the Gamasutra article.  You will see me giving them a bashing for making the article "It's Official : XNA is dead"  I told them there wasn't a single MS site out there that would back that claim.  God, why are people such sheep?  Thanks for posting. 
2/6/2013 9:59:06 AM
I am planning to develop my next 2 indie games in XNA, for the xbox360 platform.  My first indie game "BloodyCheckers" has done very well....and I have been told [in certain terms] by contacts at microsoft to continue developing indie games for their console.  I never thought XNA was dead...although these rumors seem to go back almost 2 years. 

Last modified on 2013-02-03

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