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XNA Express Beta Now Available

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  • User profile image
    PaoloM

    Chadk wrote:
    But having not tested it on x64, is just wrong.
    Aswell as no vb.net support, atleast not at this point, is also microsoft in a nutshell.

    So, "microsoft in a nutshell" means giving away free tools to developers on a scale and on a niche that NOBODY has ever touched? More than that, giving them away as early betas so those same developers can provide feedback and influence the capabilities of the complete offering?

    This is like someone offering you free ice cream for life and you can only reply with "bleh, it's only strawberry vanilla. Not giving me free chocolate and vanilla and melon ice cream for life is just WRONG".

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    PaoloM wrote:
    
    Chadk wrote: But having not tested it on x64, is just wrong.
    Aswell as no vb.net support, atleast not at this point, is also microsoft in a nutshell.

    So, "microsoft in a nutshell" means giving away free tools to developers on a scale and on a niche that NOBODY has ever touched? More than that, giving them away as early betas so those same developers can provide feedback and influence the capabilities of the complete offering?

    Yes, thats microsoft in the better side of the nutshell.
    PaoloM wrote:
    
    This is like someone offering you free ice cream for life and you can only reply with "bleh, it's only strawberry vanilla. Not giving me free chocolate and vanilla and melon ice cream for life is just WRONG".

    I dont mind it being C# only myself. Im just fine with C#. But i do find it kinda sad, that theres no VB.net. This leaves out a huge group too.

    The x64 support. Well. Steve Ballmer was almost screaming "x64! x64! x64! x64! x64!" at PDC05. But yet, products like VSTS have features that doesn't work on x64. And this product doesn't even seem to have been tested on x64.

    Doesn't beta's undergo an internal pre-beta first inside microsoft?

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    PaoloM wrote:
    
    Chadk wrote: But having not tested it on x64, is just wrong.
    Aswell as no vb.net support, atleast not at this point, is also microsoft in a nutshell.

    So, "microsoft in a nutshell" means giving away free tools to developers on a scale and on a niche that NOBODY has ever touched? More than that, giving them away as early betas so those same developers can provide feedback and influence the capabilities of the complete offering?

    This is like someone offering you free ice cream for life and you can only reply with "bleh, it's only strawberry vanilla. Not giving me free chocolate and vanilla and melon ice cream for life is just WRONG".


    Paolo:

    I think what I have been ragging on in several places is that at least IMHO (and I think in a few others) is that the support for x64 seems to be very poor from MSFT.

    the way that so many things are coming out without x64 builds is just annoying and frustrating.

    Why am I making such a fuss?

    well several reasons:

    1) so many new systems have cpu's/Mobo/devices that are ready for a 64 bit OS.
    2) microsoft DID push 64 bit when they launched XP 64 and so forth.
    3) we are at a point in general computing where the generaly accepted trends are to not push the CPU speed past 3GHz due to heat and chip size etc... to move to 2 other areas: Multiple Cores and 64 bit operations.
    4) in the PC ecosystem MSFT plays a key role in helping the market adopt new hardware and software due to the general dependance on the Windows OS to support the applications.
    5) microsoft also plays a key role in the developer tool set and developer readyness to move to that new hardware and software.

    For example I would like to know what happens when Vista is released and users want to upgrade ... will Vista allow them to move from XP x86 to Vista x64 ?
    will MSFT work with OEM's in this process?

    this is not just about XNA it's about Media Player 11, OneCare, the Express SKU's, the Vista Release, and so on.... I am sure I have missed some other MSFT apps that are not yet x64 ready for XP

    another example:  an Accountant just bought a new PC
    it's got the new Core Duo 2 cpu - so it's 64 bit ready.
    it came with Media Center 2005 - nice.
    he will want to use it to edit and burn video and other media stuff.
    so with a 32 bit OS and no 64 bit software he is not getting the full power of the hardware. and for transcoding a digital movie to a DVD I bet a 64 bit package would kick A$$ be faster etc...
    but he will only be using half the power ....
    such a shame I think that the hardware is there but the OEM's are not even loading a 64 bit OS.

    Ok .... so that's my gripe on 64 BIT.

  • User profile image
    Chadk

    figuerres wrote:
    
    PaoloM wrote: 
    Chadk wrote: But having not tested it on x64, is just wrong.
    Aswell as no vb.net support, atleast not at this point, is also microsoft in a nutshell.

    So, "microsoft in a nutshell" means giving away free tools to developers on a scale and on a niche that NOBODY has ever touched? More than that, giving them away as early betas so those same developers can provide feedback and influence the capabilities of the complete offering?

    This is like someone offering you free ice cream for life and you can only reply with "bleh, it's only strawberry vanilla. Not giving me free chocolate and vanilla and melon ice cream for life is just WRONG".


    Paolo:

    I think what I have been ragging on in several places is that at least IMHO (and I think in a few others) is that the support for x64 seems to be very poor from MSFT.

    the way that so many things are coming out without x64 builds is just annoying and frustrating.

    Why am I making such a fuss?

    well several reasons:

    1) so many new systems have cpu's/Mobo/devices that are ready for a 64 bit OS.
    2) microsoft DID push 64 bit when they launched XP 64 and so forth.
    3) we are at a point in general computing where the generaly accepted trends are to not push the CPU speed past 3GHz due to heat and chip size etc... to move to 2 other areas: Multiple Cores and 64 bit operations.
    4) in the PC ecosystem MSFT plays a key role in helping the market adopt new hardware and software due to the general dependance on the Windows OS to support the applications.
    5) microsoft also plays a key role in the developer tool set and developer readyness to move to that new hardware and software.

    For example I would like to know what happens when Vista is released and users want to upgrade ... will Vista allow them to move from XP x86 to Vista x64 ?
    will MSFT work with OEM's in this process?

    this is not just about XNA it's about Media Player 11, OneCare, the Express SKU's, the Vista Release, and so on.... I am sure I have missed some other MSFT apps that are not yet x64 ready for XP

    another example:  an Accountant just bought a new PC
    it's got the new Core Duo 2 cpu - so it's 64 bit ready.
    it came with Media Center 2005 - nice.
    he will want to use it to edit and burn video and other media stuff.
    so with a 32 bit OS and no 64 bit software he is not getting the full power of the hardware. and for transcoding a digital movie to a DVD I bet a 64 bit package would kick A$$ be faster etc...
    but he will only be using half the power ....
    such a shame I think that the hardware is there but the OEM's are not even loading a 64 bit OS.

    Ok .... so that's my gripe on 64 BIT.

    Exactly!
    I wrote about it here: http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=222244
    About the VS Team Suite stuff.

    Microsoft have been doing a terriable job on the x64 thing. Yes, on server side, x64 is ready. But workstation that relies on microsoft support a wider selection of programs, isn't ready. Why? Because of microsoft!

    We get a system, that is quite expensive(Xp x64 Is expensive, and as far as i remember, it cant be sold OEM), and no support!

    The only beta that have had a good x64 support, is really Vista x64. Yet when the rest of the stuff isn't ready, its a pain.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    PaoloM wrote:
    
    So, "microsoft in a nutshell" means giving away free tools to developers on a scale and on a niche that NOBODY has ever touched? More than that, giving them away as early betas so those same developers can provide feedback and influence the capabilities of the complete offering?

    This is like someone offering you free ice cream for life and you can only reply with "bleh, it's only strawberry vanilla. Not giving me free chocolate and vanilla and melon ice cream for life is just WRONG".


    Oh and BTW: many of us *PAY FOR OUR TOOLS*
    there is no free lunch.

    and as far as I can tell after reaing the FAQ about this "Free tool"
    I do not see that much use for it in building for the XBOX unless they change the terms around.

    from what I have read so far if I want someone to play a game I build with an XBOX 360 they will have to:

    have an XBOX and a PC and pay for the "Game creators club" and have XNA studio and C# express installed and download the xbox xna installer and THEN...
    I can give them the SOURCE to my game and they can BUILD and DEPLOY the game to thier XBOX and play it.

    WOW!

    so how many games are going to be shared that way?

    more like this is way for a few game builders to get started and then have to buy the "Pro" tools to put a binary of the game on a disk to sell.

    I know this is Beta, I hope that most of the process I just decribed will be gone when the final package is ready.

    what I would like to see:

    I build a game upload a binary to a server and pay a fee for that right.
    be able to list the game as Free, SHareware, Trial , Buy
    and then see what happens.

    if that is part of the final model then I see a ton of cool games beeing created and some new game developers moving up the ladder.

    that would be sweet.

    but as of now the process seems to complex for normal xbox users to want to deal with.

  • User profile image
    jbwebb

    Earlier in this forum I asked what the benefit of XNA & GSE will be.

    I hope one benefit will be that more people really appreciate just how difficult it is to actually develop good games. And general frameworks are even more difficult to create than that!

    I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far; the documentation in particular is very good. This is going to change things, big time Big Smile

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    jbwebb wrote:
    Earlier in this forum I asked what the benefit of XNA & GSE will be.

    I hope one benefit will be that more people really appreciate just how difficult it is to actually develop good games. And general frameworks are even more difficult to create than that!

    I'm very impressed with what I've seen so far; the documentation in particular is very good. This is going to change things, big time


    BTW: in general I think the overall work on XNA and the Game Framework is sweet....  so far my only real issues are to see that the final version supports a good way to share / sell the games and that some attention is paid to the gamepad stuff.

    shure the "default controller" should be the xbox controller. that's fine.  but have a bit of room in there for recognising other devices based on where the game is running, std pc devices should work on a pc and other xbox devices should work on an xbox. thats all I'm looking for in that space.

  • User profile image
    jbwebb

    figuerres wrote:
    

    shure the "default controller" should be the xbox controller. that's fine.  but have a bit of room in there for recognising other devices based on where the game is running, std pc devices should work on a pc and other xbox devices should work on an xbox. thats all I'm looking for in that space.


    Have you tried the docs for input?
    XNA | XNA Game Studio Express | Programming Guide |  Input | Input Overview.

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    jbwebb wrote:
    
    figuerres wrote: 

    shure the "default controller" should be the xbox controller. that's fine.  but have a bit of room in there for recognising other devices based on where the game is running, std pc devices should work on a pc and other xbox devices should work on an xbox. thats all I'm looking for in that space.


    Have you tried the docs for input?
    XNA | XNA Game Studio Express | Programming Guide |  Input | Input Overview.


    what I have so far is that i'd have to do some kind of assembly with MDX 1.1 and then  make that work with XNA.

    or did I miss something?

    but why if I have a gamepad attached to my pc xna does not see it and use it?
    that's my real gripe.... MSFT made DX and DINPUT and Windows and XNA ... connect the dots....
    game needs input, OS has an input device at the ready, game wants a "Game Pad" the user is pushing buttons on a "Game Pad"
    seems like it should "Just work"

    when it's a PC running the app that is...

    on an XBOX then I'd expect the users only "Game Pad" be an XBOX one (or compatible with the xbox std.)  and that's all good.

  • User profile image
    jbwebb

    figuerres wrote:
    

    what I have so far is that i'd have to do some kind of assembly with MDX 1.1 and then  make that work with XNA.



    Isn't it simpler than that?

    Reading the gamepad controller:

           // Check the current state of Player One.
            GamePadState currentState = GamePad.GetState( PlayerIndex.One );
            // Process input only if connected and if the packet numbers differ.
            if (currentState.IsConnected == true &&
                currentState.PacketNumber != m_PreviousGamePadState.PacketNumber)
            {
                if (currentState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Pressed &&
                    m_PreviousGamePadState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Released)
                {
                    // Button A has been pressed.
                    GamePad.SetVibration( PlayerIndex.One, 1.0f, 1.0f );
                }
                else if (currentState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Released &&
                    m_PreviousGamePadState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Pressed)
                {
                    // Button A has been released.
                    GamePad.SetVibration( PlayerIndex.One, 0.0f, 0.0f );
                }

                // When finished with differences, update PreviousGamePadState.
                m_PreviousGamePadState = currentState;
            }


    Reading the mouse:

                MouseState current_mouse = Mouse.GetState();

                // The mouse x and y positions are returned relative to the
                // top-left of the game window.

                m_MouseX = current_mouse.X;
                m_MouseY = current_mouse.Y;


    Reading the keyboard:
                KeyboardState currentState = Keyboard.GetState();
                Keys[] currentKeys = currentState.GetPressedKeys();

                // First loop, looking for keys just pressed.
                for (int currentKey = 0; currentKey < currentKeys.Length; currentKey++)
                {
                    bool found = false;
                    for (int previousKey = 0; previousKey < m_aKeysHeldDown.Length; previousKey++)
                    {
                        if (currentKeys[currentKey] == m_aKeysHeldDown[previousKey])
                        {
                            // The key was pressed both this frame and last; ignore.
                            found = true;
                            break;
                        }
                    }
                    if (!found)
                    {
                        // The key was pressed this frame, but not last frame; it was just pressed.
                        m_lKeysPressedThisFrame.Add( currentKeys[currentKey] );
                    }
                }

                // Second loop, looking for keys just released.
                for (int previousKey = 0; previousKey < m_aKeysHeldDown.Length; previousKey++)
                {
                    bool found = false;
                    for (int currentKey = 0; currentKey < currentKeys.Length; currentKey++)
                    {
                        if (m_aKeysHeldDown[previousKey] == currentKeys[currentKey])
                        {
                            // The key was pressed both this frame and last; ignore.
                            found = true;
                            break;
                        }
                    }
                    if (!found)
                    {
                        // The key was pressed last frame, but not this frame; it was just released.
                        m_lKeysReleasedThisFrame.Add( m_aKeysHeldDown[previousKey] );
                    }
                }

  • User profile image
    figuerres

    jbwebb wrote:
    
    figuerres wrote: 

    what I have so far is that i'd have to do some kind of assembly with MDX 1.1 and then  make that work with XNA.



    Isn't it simpler than that?

    Reading the gamepad controller:

           // Check the current state of Player One.
            GamePadState currentState = GamePad.GetState( PlayerIndex.One );
            // Process input only if connected and if the packet numbers differ.
            if (currentState.IsConnected == true &&
                currentState.PacketNumber != m_PreviousGamePadState.PacketNumber)
            {
                if (currentState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Pressed &&
                    m_PreviousGamePadState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Released)
                {
                    // Button A has been pressed.
                    GamePad.SetVibration( PlayerIndex.One, 1.0f, 1.0f );
                }
                else if (currentState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Released &&
                    m_PreviousGamePadState.Buttons.A == ButtonState.Pressed)
                {
                    // Button A has been released.
                    GamePad.SetVibration( PlayerIndex.One, 0.0f, 0.0f );
                }

                // When finished with differences, update PreviousGamePadState.
                m_PreviousGamePadState = currentState;
            }




    that only works for an XBOX 360 pad.....

    hookup for example a logitech rumble pad that works just fine in windows control panel and ..... nothing happens.

    so when they say "GamePad" what they mean is: "XBOX 360 GamePad"

    mouse and keyboard I know how to code for....

  • User profile image
    jbwebb

    figuerres wrote:
    

    so when they say "GamePad" what they mean is: "XBOX 360 GamePad"



    True. The XNA team do seem to be getting a lot of feedback about the gamepad being 360 only.
    They also don't yet have interfaces for steering wheels, joysticks and flight yokes. But I bet they'll be added too, it's still very early days.

  • User profile image
    littleguru

    Does this thing work on Vista or doesn't it. The download page says: only Windows XP SP2. Who is using it in Vista?

  • User profile image
    andrzej

    The FAQ says no Vista (or 2003 server) support in the current beta. http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/faq/

  • User profile image
    Minh

    andrzej wrote:
    The FAQ says no Vista (or 2003 server) support in the current beta. http://msdn.microsoft.com/directx/xna/faq/
    Actually spacewar1 compiles & runs on my Vista TabletPC ... but I'm not sure if that means everything would run

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