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XNA seemed like a valid option a few years ago, but XNA was never a real success, and now it seems like a footnote, even Microsoft seems to treat it that way.

Should I just go the DirectX route instead?

Ideally, eventually, I'd like my games to be playable on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac + all consoles), but my primary focus is getting the games out the door on Windows XP, 7 and 8.

EDIT: This question and releated might already be answered here: What is the future of XNA in Windows 8 or how will manged games be developed in Windows 8?

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closed as not constructive by Nicol Bolas, Trevor Powell, Josh Petrie, Byte56, John McDonald Jan 18 '13 at 17:03

As it currently stands, this question is not a good fit for our Q&A format. We expect answers to be supported by facts, references, or expertise, but this question will likely solicit debate, arguments, polling, or extended discussion. If you feel that this question can be improved and possibly reopened, visit the help center for guidance.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

did you ever work with UDK or Unity? How are your sure that they are not flexible enough for what your are trying to do? They offer a really big package to realize lots of different ideas on all kinds of platforms. And if the editors really lack something, there are ways around if really needed. – cppanda Jan 6 '13 at 5:37
As per the FAQ, "what technology to use" questions are considered off-topic for this site. – Trevor Powell Jan 16 '13 at 4:11
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I'm going to focus on this:

Ideally, eventually, I'd like my games to be playable on all major platforms (Windows, Linux, Mac + all consoles), but my primary focus is getting the games out the door on Windows XP, 7 and 8.

Generally OpenGL and DirectX are the two most supported graphics libraries. Of course XNA is built over DirectX, however it was not adopted to the expected extent. Now if you are being smart in your development, you should be able to isolate your graphics handling in such a way that by changing only a select few of your files, you can completely migrate from one graphics library to another.

I can't remember which Sims game it was, (Medieval i think), but the game was developed with DirectX for PC and Xbox, but then they replaced it with OpenGL for the Mac, Linux builds.

I recommend sticking to the more commonly accepted libraries, as to have the largest amount of support. XNA is greatly accepted here at gamedev, however OpenGL and DirectX are both supported as well, both here and at overflow.

I was making the same decision around a year or two ago and concluded I would head into OpenGL (OpenTK for C#) grounds rather than staying with XNA for the following reasons:

  • OpenGL can be used on all platforms
  • XNA (in my opinion) was messy, which is one of the reasons i think it hasn't been adopted to a large extent.
  • A knowledge of OpenGL or DirectX is as good as you get. If you learn them, picking up XNA would be a piece of cake. The same cannot be said the other way round.

My final advice though, is to try it all out for yourself. Check out Reimers tutorials in XNA and DirectX (and just browse google for some OpenGL tuts), and work out which one you think would be better for your interests.

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but XNA was never a real success

lolwut? XNA is an amazing success. If you just look at this site as a measuring ground, you will notice that:

  • XNA is the top recent tag (it stays up there quite a lot)
  • XNA questions get quickly answered, often with multiple answers
  • Difficult XNA problems are addressed

This shows that there are a lot of people interested in, and actively using, XNA. I tried many, many different tools and platforms before eventually coming back to XNA.

I'd like my games to be playable on all major platforms

Me too. Since I love XNA so much, I ditched the Microsoft version, and went with an open-source implementation of XNA, aka MonoGame. Try it, and see for yourself.

And by the way, it supports Android and iOS via MonoTouch and MonoDroid. It also supports Windows (and Windows 8) out of the box.

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XNA does not seem to be a success if we're talking general adoption, XNA might be popular among Stack Exchange users, though. But if you look at released games, even among Xbox Live games, very few are XNA developed, this worries me a bit... – Erik Jan 5 '13 at 22:22
@Erik XNA has an amazing community of active developers. Whether they actually finish games or not is not relevant though; they are there. Other game engines and platforms don't have that. – ashes999 Jan 6 '13 at 1:42
Also, there's actually a decent number (not a majority but sizable) of XBLA using XNA as well as all WP7 and XBLIG games. – CobaltHex Jan 15 '13 at 18:34
Compare XNA forums to The only reason you see so many XNA questions here is (no offense) because if people want a fast OpenGL or DirectX answer, they go to StackOverflow. – Randomman159 Jan 15 '13 at 20:42

Unity seems to be a good option to you, even if you are a beginner, since it welcomes new users easier than most engines and frameworks, like XNA. It has a growing community and fast support. Also have options to export for almost all major platforms (including consoles).

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Linux received support since Unity 4. – user15805 Jan 5 '13 at 19:01
Unless I've misunderstood something, I'd need to shell out $4500 to get all features Unity offers, and be able to deploy on Android and iOS? I'm not yet sure what exactly the free version offers, but it seemed to be pretty limited feature wise. – Erik Jan 5 '13 at 19:07
Yes, that is a bit true. Unity is pricey unless you want to stick with the PC. A license for consoles is even more expensive, but it's not shown on the site. – user15805 Jan 5 '13 at 19:08
@Erik the free version of Unity may work for you depending on what you're after. – ashes999 Jan 6 '13 at 1:43

XNA would work wonders for you then, and I imagine XNA will build up again when they release the new Xbox.

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