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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About Terra Militia with 0 comments by Trigger01 on Mar 2nd, 2015

UI Improvements

Since the interface was modernized a year ago I finally found the time to update it with more information, after finally deciding on how to do it. After many iterations and sketches, I was finally content enough to show you some of it. This is still an experiment and work-in-progress though, but one thing is clear - it will certainly not return to the old style.

Before the update

Old interface

The idea behind the modernized style was to be very, very simplistic. It displayed no other details about the unit other than its health and a short (temporary) description. The plan was to show stats such as armor, speed and attack in a separate window, which of several could be opened - to easily compare stats between different unit types.

After the update

New interface

The new style shows all information instantly in a clear view, along with minor design changes such as the addition of subtle background textures instead of flat rectangles. The tooltip window also received a huge facelift, made less crude and overall much more pleasing.

To make room for the command buttons, which had not made their appearance in the game until now, the buildings were moved to a grid-based layout. I was originally critical to this, as it limits the amount of buildings by a hard-set standard. But if it comes to it I will make it either expandable or make folders possible, as it works in Warcraft and Starcraft. With this update, the icons for all units were also remade (previously they showed the 2D sprite enlarged). Eventually, the icons for buildings will also be remade although they do not feel as much of a problem.

A counter was also added to show the amount of resources, and which type the unit is carrying (if carrying any), shown below its name.

Desert theme

Here's a bonus full image showing the new desert themed visuals with two new tile-types and three tree sprites.


Full image of the new desert theme.

Command buttons

The command buttons are the biggest addition in the redesigned interface, which allows users to see descriptions and hotkeys for all available actions for the selected units. Along with this, patrolling and hold position was implemented.


Do the patrol dance!

Seen in the updated interface left to right: Move, Stop, Hold Position, Attack and Patrol.

Command buttons

The same system and layout will also be used for abilities in the future. With additional streamlining of actions behind the scenes, the multiplayer aspect and messages of issuing orders was also simplified and perfected.

In the next post, I'll talk about the recent improvements that were made to the development process, focused on automating and saving a lot of time - making future changes and addition to the user interface a breeze.

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Post comment Comments  (10 - 20 of 24)
Jdawgg25 Jun 12 2013, 2:45am says:

When you install XNA, their are tools that come with it. They are the following:

-Microsoft Cross Platform Audio Creation Tool
-XACT Auditioning Utility
-XNA Framework Remote Performance Monitor
-XNA Game Studio Command Prompt

+2 votes     reply to comment
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
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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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