Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Retrospective IV

Last year, I conducted a simple retrospective for 2011. Therefore, here is a retrospective for 2012.

2012 Achievements
Note: locating the code listing for the first game I ever published is an achievement!

2013 Objectives
  • Apply XNA game development experience to alternatives such as MonoGame / Unity 3D
  • Explore existing games SDK integration, such as Steamworks, or produce my own
  • Improve DirectX knowledge, specifically DX11, for Windows 8 Metro applications
  • Target alternative game development platforms directly such as iOS / Android

In 2012, as in previous years, there has been much speculation over the future of XNA; Microsoft has not announced any further development since the news: No XNA support for Metro applications in Windows 8.

However, many people believe that XNA may not be dead because of the MonoGame open source project:
MonoGame is an open source implementation of the Microsoft XNA 4 Framework. The goal is to allow XNA developers port their games to Windows 8 Metro as well as iOS, Android, Mac OS X and Linux; PlayStation Mobile development is currently in progress.

Also, as an alternative to XNA that is gaining momentum is the Unity 3D game engine: many developers leveraging their C# game development experience to target PC, Mac and Linux with the potential of iOS, Android, Xbox 360 and PS3.

There have also been an increasing number of Indie gaming distribution channels external to XBLIG, such as Big Fish Games, Desura, Indie City and Steam. While some of these platforms do host games written in XNA to target PC, the increased revenue generated from marketplaces such as the App Store and Google Play have prompted many developers to target iOS / Android directly.

Therefore, the options available to independent game developers continue to grow and the outlook positive despite any future announcements of XNA, XBLIG, and the Microsoft Indie gaming scene.