XNA Game Studio 2.0 and 3.0 CTP
Hello everyone.. Sorry for taking you so long, if you're all waiting for this post, that is the first post actually talking about XNA, since my first post isn't talking about XNA at all, hehe..
Hmmpph.. I think before we go deeper into XNA world, it will be nice if we can know what features that XNA provides, that can make our game-developing activity become easier and more interesting.
Although it's been a while since XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP was released earlier this year, I want to write about the differences between this version and the previous version. I'm sure there are many people out there who still don't know about this, even they don't know about the newest version of XNA. So, here we go...
XNA Game Studio 2.0
If we open our Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 installed with XNA Game Studio 2.0, we will find this dialog box if we go to the menu File > New > Project...
So in the picture above, we can see 7 installed templates that is provided by XNA Game Studio 2.0. Let's take a closer look to each of them..:)
1. Windows Game (2.0)
This is the template that we choose if we want to make a game for Windows (the name has described it clearly, hasn't it?). By using XNA, we don't have to do many things to make plain window pop-up into the screen. We just have to make new project with this template, and without doing anything else (e.g. setting the project properties to set the libraries that we may use to make the game, make a class that handle the window creation, or add some code in the main program, etc.), we can build and run our project by pressing F5, and tadaaa.. the first window of our new game will be showed up in the center of the screen. By doing this, we can conclude that by using XNA, everything become easier for game developer.:)
2. Xbox 360 Game (2.0)
Just like the first one, this project template allow us to create game in Xbox 360, and everything has been made to make the game production in Xbox 360 easier. Let's say you have made your-ready-to-deploy Xbox 360 game in your computer, so it's time to connect your computer with the Xbox 360 console, so that you can see that the game can run perfectly in the machine. First, you need XNA Game Studio Connect installed in your Xbox 360, to make it possible to connect it with your computer. This XNA Game Studio Connect acts like the bluetooth driver in your bluetooth device (let's say, your handphone), if you want to connect your handphone with your computer.
And then, if you have already connect your Xbox with the computer, it's time to initiate the connection, which is done by the computer. All you have to do is, add you Xbox 360 to your computer using XNA Game Studio Device Center. In the bluetooth-connection-story, the XNA Game Studio Device Center acts like bluetooth adapter driver in your computer.
Just like the bluetooth-connection procedure, when you connect your computer with the already-added-device Xbox 360, you have to insert the connection key both in the Xbox 360 and the computer, to make sure that both side want this connection. For complete information about the connection procedure between the windows-based computer and Xbox 360 in the XNA Game Studio 2.0, see this one.
3. Content Pipeline Extension Library (2.0)
Warning : this is for them who still don't know what is Content Pipeline in XNA.
Content Pipeline is feature provided by XNA Game Studio that makes assets in many types of file can be included in the game. Shortly, a modeler doesn't have to take care of what type of file the model should be converted, so do the developer, she/he doesn't have to take care of what type of file the assets should be so that it can be included in the game. XNA has provided standard content importers and processor to import many types of file to become an asset in XNA game.
Everything called standard will never be enough for game developer, isn't it? :D They understand this situation, so XNA has provided installed template project called Content Pipeline Extension Library so that developer can make custom content importers and processors to import new file types that hasn't been supported by standard importers and processors provided by XNA. Not only to make XNA support new file types, developer can make the standard importers and processors behave differently by making new library that is actually customizing the existing one.
4. Spacewar Xbox 360 Starter Kit (2.0)
This installed template allow us to see the fully functional Xbox 360 game complete with the source code, so that the XNA beginner can learn how to make a game using XNA by reading and modifying the Spacewar source code and see the effect of the modification directly.
5. Windows Game Library (2.0)
With this installed template, we can make game library that typically contain functionalities that hasn't been provided by XNA basic library. When the project is finished, we can reference this project from other Windows Game Project, and enjoy the functionality declared here without including the source code into every projects that need the library's functionalities.
6. Xbox 360 Game Library (2.0)
This installed template works like the above, but this is for the Xbox 360 game.
7. Spacewar Windows Starter Kit (2.0)
This installed template works like the one that works for Xbox 360, but this is for the Windows environment.
XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP
Now if we already have our Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 installed with XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP, we can find this dialog box if we go to File > New > Project....
There are 5 installed templates (fewer than the older version, because this CTP version hasn't support the Xbox 360 game development. So, for those who want to develop Xbox 360 game, they can't use XNA Game Studio 3.0. But in the download details of XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP, they said that Xbox 360 game development will be supported in the final release version, so don't worry :D
1. Windows Game (3.0)
2. Content Pipeline Extension Library (3.0)
3. Windows Game Library (3.0)
I won't say too much for the first three installed templates, because it's basically same as the templates in the 2.0 version.
4. Zune Game Library (3.0)
Basically this is for creating game library that can be used in Zune Game projects.
5. Zune Game (3.0)
This installed template allow us to enjoy the new feature that significantly improve the ability of XNA Game Studio 3.0 CTP compare with the previous version. The new feature is developing game in Zune environment. For those who still don't know what Zune is, should see this. FYI, I know what Zune is, after I read this.
Although Zune's capability for 3D rendering is still not as good as Xbox 360, they say that Zune game development has good potential in the future, because unlike other games in other media player devices, Zune games is free of charge, so the development will grow bigger as long there are still "freelance" developer who has eager to develop Zune Game.
Hope this article helps you to know what features provided by 2 latest versions of XNA Game Studio..
See ya.. :)