Microsoft XNA is a set of tools with a managed runtime environment provided by Microsoft that facilitates video game development and management. XNA attempts to free game developers from writing "repetitive boilerplate code" and to bring different aspects of game production into a single system.

The XNA toolset was announced March 24, 2004, at the Game Developers Conference in San Jose, California. A first Community Technology Preview of XNA Build was released on March 14, 2006. XNA Game Studio 2.0 was released in December 2007, followed by XNA Game Studio 3.0 on October 30, 2008. XNA Game Studio 4.0 was released on September 16, 2010 along with the Windows Phone 7 Development Tools.

XNA currently encompasses Microsoft's entire Game Development Sections, including the standard Xbox Development Kit and XNA Game Studio.

The name "XNA" originated out of the project's development name, Xbox New Architecture. Instead of being released under the Xbox name, the Xbox 360 was released (2005), and XNA came to stand for "XNA's Not Acronymed".

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Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Ship Generation & Interaction

About 39 Days to Mars with 0 comments by surrealix on Nov 16th, 2014

After making some tough design decisions last month, I've been able to make good progress on a number of fronts. In this post I'll run quickly through ship generation, "micro" puzzles, planning sessions, and object selection.

What's New this Month?

One exciting feature that I started is random ship generation. This lets me include different puzzles in each game session, and ensure that the generated ship meets certain conditions. In this example, the balcony with the coil of rope is always placed so as to have free space to its left.

Another area of the game I made progress in is the single-player mini-games that you complete during the resource-management parts of the game. There's still a lot of work needed to make this fun, but it's nice having a framework for it in the game.

On the subject of making the minigames fun, I've also spent time planning and playtesting small parts of the game. This really helps me get a feel for what works and what doesn't.

The last thing I've been working on is streamlining the navigation and interaction. The early builds of the game used separate keys for movement, inspecting objects, interacting with objects, and navigating menus. This was very confusing. The new system, although not quite complete, already feels much more intuitive.

Watch this Space

In the upcoming month I'll be working on minigames, resource management, and hopefully adding more to the start and end of the game. I'd like to have a completely playable story arc before too long.

Don't forget to follow @philipbuchanan on Twitter for more regular updates and development news, and if you have comments or questions leave them below - I always enjoy hearing your feedback on the game!


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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 23)
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:40am says:

Microsoft abandoned XNA but for the most part XNA is free to download, free to install on to Visual Studio and free to use. To port your game to Xbox 360 and test your programs on it, you have to download the XNA dev kit on 360 and it usually runs $100 per year to have this feature. It’s essentially a membership. You see this is great, because it allows anyone to test their games or programs on 360 for $100. That may sound like a lot but that is essentially your license with Microsoft to run the programs you create on 360. You see, years ago Homebrew games were illegal games ported to console platforms and the reason they were considered illegal is because many people porting their games they created to consoles like Xbox and PS2 did not have a license. XNA already existed. It was a dev kit for “Professional Developers”. So Microsoft create a free version of XNA for anyone to use in year 2004, before Xbox 360 launched. This diminished Home-brew games somewhat and allowed anyone to safely create games for 360 if they paid $100 per year. Check out MonoGames to port your XNA projects to other platforms. I recently found out about it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:38am says:

Just to be very clear, XNA is not a game engine. I don’t have any problems with people calling it a game engine but that doesn't fully make sense. XNA is not a game engine, it’s a framework. What I mean by that is, XNA essentially is a set of Helper Classes to help game developers save time programming their games. Those classes are saved into .dll files which are a set of library files. This is where I think Microsoft slipped up some on the “tools” part but I am starting to understand why I am confused when people are saying XNA is dead and turn to Unity. XNA does not come with features like tilemaps, particles, scripts, physics, level editors, etc. but if you are a XNA Community Member, you can go to their forums and download sample projects created by Microsoft to help you primarily learn about these things and save time creating your own. So you have to either create your own or use an existing engine built upon the XNA Framework. Unity is entirely a separate game engine of its own with its own physics engine, its own graphics engine, and its own support for multiple platforms, its own level editor… I think you get the picture.

+2 votes     reply to comment
zerglingno7 Apr 2 2013, 1:38pm says:

simple for game deverloper

+2 votes     reply to comment
Jdawgg25 Feb 3 2013, 3:26pm says:

XNA is a great resource and I am grateful to have it. I am programming and designing a game engine built upon the XNA framework. See more at this link:

The page will be updated gradually over time with more pictures, videos, and features. I hope you like it so far. Check it out and post comments letting me know what you think. With that said, just to be clear, I am not a professional game programmer with tons of experience. I am teaching myself and updating my engine as I go along. Thanks and I would greatly appreciate your support.


+2 votes     reply to comment
atsebak Aug 29 2012, 9:28pm says:

xna is great framework for 2d games too bad its not supported for visual studio 2012

+4 votes     reply to comment
Arethrid Jan 26 2013, 7:25pm replied:

Actually it is possible to make XNA work for VS2012 with some adjustments. Search for "Coding Made Easy" on youtube, he made a tutorial on how to do it.

+3 votes     reply to comment
#Tilbie May 6 2012, 11:36am says:

There is an error in the description: XNA stands not for "Xbox New Architecture", it stands for "XNA's Not Acronymed".
Also I have to agree that XNA is not an engine.

+8 votes     reply to comment
ds9490 Feb 9 2012, 7:25pm says:

XNA is not an engine it's a development libary it's just Direct X with some code already provided.

+12 votes     reply to comment
pulka103 Dec 29 2011, 3:14pm says:

Magicka is create on XNA and .NET 3(.5)

+2 votes     reply to comment
IceIYIaN Dec 7 2011, 11:43pm says:

Visual Studio 2010, C# / XNA Game Studio 4.0

+3 votes     reply to comment
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Released Dec 31, 2006
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Highest Rated (2 agree) 9/10

It's not an engine, its a framework basically a template to directX. I really like it because it allows you to develop for 3 Microsoft platforms and can port them easily.

Jul 14 2012, 12:13pm by atsebak

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