Hey, before I head over to the Iron Architect final: have you tried out the XNA Game Studio Express yet? Sure its a beta 2 but don’t let that frighten you. XNA is actually a new .NET platform for writing games, based on DirectX and the .NET Compact Framework. Rob Miles from the University of Hull, UK, gave an inspiring and humorous talk on XNA in the educational space and also how to get started with XNA. His “Hot Salad Death with Cheese” demo was so kewl, just wait till he makes it available for download
The thing with XNA is that it gives us a very clean, managed way of writing games, with all the tools and coziness of the .NET and Visual Studio world. XNA works on both Windows Vista and the XBox 360 which to me makes the framework even cooler. XNA also put a lot of focus on componentization…err, making components out of features in your game… for instance, why re-create a starfield backdrop in all your space shooters when you can create the StarfieldBackdrop component once and then re-use it in all your shooters. Re-use should be a good thing for the game industry. “Hey, my starfield is not going to look the same in all my shooters!” you might say, and yes you’re hopefully right. But still, it will be easier to take that isolated component and improve it instead of having to rip out all those lines of code intertwined in the vast amount of code that makes up your game. Right?
…more on this, too, later… now over to see some great architecture!