So you wanna be a game developer?

(I’m gonna copy/paste since i’m in a lazy mood)

Are you a hobby, casual or Indie game developer? If so, we’re looking for participants in a usability study which will help us build better products and technologies to help serve your needs in this area.

Participation criteria:

  • You must have been actively involved in programming games within the past year.
  • You must be a student, hobbyist (meaning you develop games for fun), or Indie game developer. For this particular study we are not considering professional game developers who work at established studios unless you also develop games for fun outside of work.
  • For this particular study we are looking for participants who reside within 30 miles of Seattle, Washington.

Users who are interested in participating in the study and meet the criteria above should complete our short (5-10 minutes) survey here:

Once we receive survey responses we will begin contacting the candidates if they meet our selection criteria.


According to Amazon, I had a new book come out this week!

If the title didn’t give it away, I regret to inform you that I didn’t.

I’m sure everyone is aware that a long time ago I had signed up for writing a 3rd book.. A more “advanced” game programming book that took an already completed game I had written, disected it, and showed the techniques I used, etc.  Once it became apparent to me that I wouldn’t have the time for that, I left that project off in good hands with a co-worker and friend Rick.

Now, more recently I was asked about updating my quite popular Kickstart book with a second edition.  The goal there being to add more content for the new API’s, and update the book to the latest versions.  At the time this was being discussed it was the early days of what would become MDX2, and I decided that should be the focus of this second edition.

So, both of these projects were designed to run with CLR2 and MDX2.  As I’m sure everyone is aware now, MDX2 is evolving into the XNA Framework, which is delaying (yet again) each of these projects.

So, despite what Amazon says, to my knowledge there is no “new” Managed DirectX book coming out this week.  Certainly not one from me.  Plus, with the XNA Framework, a “Managed DirectX Kickstart” second edition doesn’t seem as logical (second edition of a first run product?) so that seems likely to change as well..

MDX1 or MDX2.. That is the question..

At least, it’s been the question people have been asking me quite a bit.  Given we haven’t announced the availability of the XNA Framework yet, but we have announced that MDX2 is a “technology preview”, but will never ship in a “released” mode, the answer seems relatively straight forward to me.

If you are shipping something that needs to be “released” by a particular date, you’ll probably want to be using MDX1, as it is already released and available.  If you have a project that isn’t tied to any strong dates and you can wait for us to ship the XNA Framework, you can stick with whatever you’re using right now, be it MDX1 or MDX2.

The question is somewhat more complicated if you fall into the former, but the “particular date” is say a year out.  Then it becomes more of a business decision for you.  “Can I risk sticking with MDX2/XNA Framework with no guarantees it would be out within a year.”  If you can’t, then you should probably be using MDX1..

You can thank whoever decided my blog was spam worthy…

From this point on all comments require my approval before they are posted, and if the 200+ comments I just had to delete/moderate on that last post are any indication, you can expect a lot less posts from me because frankly, I don’t have the time for that crap.

I apologize that the “few” will be ruining it for the “many”.

Why does everyone seem to think the XNA Framework is only XBox?

In the comments section of my last post (not including the april fools joke) many people are talking about how MDX2 is ‘dead’ and they can’t afford an XBox dev kit, etc..

I’m not entirely sure where the confusion of ideas has come from.  The XNA Framework is going to be cross platform.  This means that it will run on Windows.  XBox 360 (and thus development kits) is not a requirement for using the framework at all.  You will be able to use the framework and write games for Windows even if you’ve never seen an Xbox 360 before.

While MDX2 as a name may be “dead”, many of the API’s in the framework will look quite familiar to developers who have used MDX2.  I also enjoy reading everyone discussing how much things are going to cost ignoring the facts that:

  • We haven’t said anything about availability or pricing
  • The DirectX SDK is already free

Everyone seems to be getting all up in arms by jumping to conclusions, and making a lot of bold assumptions.  At least let us announce our plans,etc before you go off predicting such doomsday scenarios..

Before you ask, no, I’m not aware of when we’ll be announcing more of the plans.  So I guess everyone will continue to assume the worst until we either verify their fears or disprove them. :p

(Edit: I can’t spell obviously)

Exciting new announcements!

Well I have to admit, I’ve been anxiously awaiting the opportunity where I could finally get out and let the public know some of these things, and now the reigns have been taken off and I’ve never felt better about the opportunity to write a blog post.

First and foremost, myself.  After almost 8 long years I’ve decided to leave Microsoft because I’ve gotten an offer that is simply too good to pass up.  Starting Monday I begin my new career being the guy on the other end of the phone when that Verizon Wireless employee is asking “Can you hear me now?” continously.  Can you imagine the endless joy that can be obtained by sitting on the phone saying “Yes.” all day?  Sure, I have to take a little pay cut, and lose my benefits, and move into a cardboard box downtown, but if you ask me, it’s a small price to pay for doing something you love.

Now, I know you’re probably worried about what my leaving will do to either Managed DirectX and/or the XNA Framework.  Unfortunately with this announcement they’ve taken my secret decoder ring, so I’m no longer able to translate the secret messages I get.  However, based on my last few meetings before they stole my ring, this is the most likely direction they are going.

The XNA Framework will still be cross-platform, but Windows and Xbox 360 have been removed from the list.  That’s just “too hard”..  Every abacus platform has been added though.  This should allow us to get the results we’re hoping for.

We’ve decided that the choice of languages was entirely too large.  From now on, all managed games will be written in COBOL.

Due to these two changes, that should lower the development time of the framework, and it looks like it will be finished well before our current June 2017 release date (of course, if we run into problems with those two changes it still might slip).

As you can see, there’s a lot of great stuff going on.  I for one haven’t been this excited since..  Well, this time last year!!!!!!