Don't give up

Mar 29, 2010 at 9:29 PM

I've read the "bad" news about porting Xen to XNA 4.0.. but simply don't give up! :-)

I think Xen is a really really valid api at the moment. I usually code  in C++ with Ogre3D but now I'm trying C# + XNA + Xen for some projects and it really speed up and improve productivity a lot. Xen has many  features with an easy and clean structure and this make it very valuable.

I really hope that when the final version of XNA 4.0 will be out you'll find a valid solution to port Xen to the new version of XNA.

While I'm waiting for good news I just say you thanks for your work.

P.S. Have you an idea of when your new lighting tutorial will be ready? :-)

Coordinator
Mar 29, 2010 at 11:13 PM

Thank you for your kind words :-) I'm happy you find Xen valuable. I learnt a number of lessons after working with Axiom (A C# port of Ogre), many of which influenced Xen.
Unfortunately my gut tells me that porting to XNA 4 is more effort than I have energy for right now.

I'm really not sure how I'll go forward. The last 8 months have been pretty tough. I've been struggling a lot with motivation and general stress levels. 
I was getting into a good state about a month ago, then all this happened. So as you can imagine, it's not something I can easily predict.

It's also almost certainly the reason why I have a really nasty head cold right now. To be honest I need a while to get better and figure out what I will do. :-/

Coordinator
Mar 31, 2010 at 11:56 PM
Edited Apr 1, 2010 at 6:25 PM

Ok.

I've decided I want to get this update out as soon as I can. Then I can relax and figure out what to do.

So... Things are progressing well:

 

  The lighting is really looking rather swanky.

Apr 1, 2010 at 4:26 PM
Edited Apr 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM

Wonderful news! Thanks. I'll try this new tutorial as soon as it's ready.

 

While you are thinking what to do I just want to make notice that Xen is a very useful API not only for its beautiful shader system.

Blendable skeletal animations, a robust XML-driven particle system (2D and 3D),  easy render target system, clean interfaces like (IDraw, IContentOwner, ICullable...), manual animations, batch rendering and so on, unified in a single API, make Xen worth of being used even without the shader system.

Xen doesn't force you to use a particular SceneManager and it's not thinked to a particular application but it gives you the freedom to choose what you want to do.

 

So I think that Xen is a valid set of tools for XNA 4.0 too, it can really speed up a project development.

 

Go on like this! ;-)

Apr 3, 2010 at 4:54 PM
Edited Apr 3, 2010 at 4:55 PM

Hey Graham,

Don't feel bummed out about xna 4.0, there are still many reasons I would still use XEN. I hope you decide to create a version that works on 4.0. 

In the meantime, here is something that I have been working on that runs on Xen (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5pq5d-HJK8):

 

Coordinator
Apr 3, 2010 at 11:26 PM
Edited Apr 4, 2010 at 5:44 PM

That looks really, really nice. :-) I'm very happy to see it, it looks great. Relaxing, which is good. I'm not keen on stressful games :-)
I see a number of nice little effects in there. Also nice use of the particle system, it really adds to the feel very nicely. The background fog is a nice touch, helps a lot with the feeling of depth.

 

As for the tutorial, it's going to be fairly simply in content - but by far the largest in terms of complexity and size.
All it will be, is the xna_dude model animating on screen, with a selectable background cubemap. It's all about how to represent light in your code, and how important it is to balance lighting and get your tone mapping right.

It's actually a very, very tricky thing to get right - even in the context of a small tutorial. There is loads of scope to change things.

Anyway, there will be four backgrounds, all full high dynamic range light probes:

Coordinator
Apr 5, 2010 at 1:47 PM

Yay. The tutorial is finished! It's taken quite a bit of effort to tidy up all the loose ends.
Now just to do my last checks, and run through some of the last little bugs, generate the docs (argh) and I'll be able to upload it.

 

serious