Game Development in the MSFT World

Posted by (twitter: @aaronsnoswell)
January 10th, 2013 1:56 pm

Hi wonderful community of Ludum Dare! Context:

I’m a hobbyist game developer who’s previously only worked in the Linux / Android / Mac / Online world. I’m about to attempt creating my first game using Microsoft tech and wanted some suggestions.

I want to create a Windows Phone game, but would love if the same code could also be ported to Windows 8 / XBLA / Surface. From what I’ve read, I believe the following is correct;

  • XNA Studio can be used to create Windows Phone, XBLA and PC (desktop-style) in C#
  • For Surface / Windows 8 Store style games, you have to use Direct3D / DirectX / C++. As of Windows Phone 8, this is also an option for Windows Phone.

Can anyone comment on this? Am I correct in thinking the above? Are there any popular middleware engines I should consider using if I do go down the C# route? I’ve only learned C# in the past month or so, and as such don’t know what is out there.

Thanks so much!


6 Responses to “Game Development in the MSFT World”

  1. Jeremias says:

    With XNA you can make games for windows, windows phone 8 [0] and xBox.
    XNA runs under windows 8 in the desktop mode – but not directly as a metro app [1].
    With the help of MonoGame, you can port your game to many platforms,
    including windows 8 metro apps. For an android port and some others
    you must pay money [2].


    ( I’m not 100% sure about this :) )

  2. PoV says:

    XNA has been discontinued.

    Unity uses C#, so if you’re after “popular Middleware”, there really isn’t anything more popular.

    I finished a native C++/Direct3D 11 port a few months back, but I haven’t released it because sales in Microsoft’s ecosystems are atrociously bad right now. It’s way too early.

  3. Eniko says:

    Another vote for MonoGame if you’re going 2D:
    MonoGame 3.0 is in beta now, 3.0 is also the version that will offer full compatibility with XNA 4.0. I believe you can’t use the content pipeline yet though, so be aware of that. Not sure where paying for an Android port comes from, never heard that before. From their own website:

    MonoGame is an Open Source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4.x Framework. Our goal is to allow XNA developers on Xbox 360, Windows & Windows Phone 7 to port their games to the iOS, Android, Mac OS X, Linux and Windows 8 Metro. OUYA, Windows Phone 8, PlayStation Mobile and Raspberry PI are currently in development.

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