Community around XEN - where to look?

Nov 2, 2009 at 6:54 PM

Hi everyone.


Let me tell you all a bit about me.

My name is Dennis ( 28, living in Denmark ) educated programmer a few years back. I have mainly programmed databases (MS-, postGRE- and My- SQL), business logic, web services (ASMX and WCF), work flows in Visual Studio and C#
Even though I like my work and I love programming ( the making stuff work - part ) I still think there is more than boring business logic out there. So, this is me taking up game programming in XNA/xen and now I'm looking for a community around xen.


I'm guessing that I'm here of a lot of the same reasons as you are...

  • Passion for games <- C64, AMIGA, PC running games like: Summer/Winter- Games, Sim City, Doom, Red Alert, Warcraft, Starcraft, WoW, Lineage and ofc. Transport Tycoon Deluxe - Well, everyone have it's favorits, but I'm guessing most "old-guys" like me started there ;)
  • Idea for a new game. <- Well, I have, and YES I want to share ;)
  • Know-how and the necessary skills to build the game. <- I may be a bit behind here, but I know my way around C#
  • Time. <- I'm unemployed at the moment, so I have a LOT of time and I'm considering taking the 5 years at the local university to get a "Bachelor In Games" - The "BIG" degree.

One thing that I got up and working is a minor tank-game. Well actually I build it with 2 of my friends and we stole the running game somewhere online. What we did though, is adding a Client/Server with a highly optimized network layer, that should (we cant test this) reduce the network load with up to 9x% making it possible to run MMO's on a cheaper connection or just run that many more clients on the same line. - I'll gladly tell you all about it, but check it out here -

Since we are all here, there should be a common ground for a community - but is there one?

If not - are there anyone that want to build games in a team? I don't care about age or gender, but if you are 14 and just had your first brain fart about the best super duper game EVER or, if you use these words l8ter, m8, 1337 and likewise - then just don't bother contacting me. Be serious and offer at least one skill that is needed when we are building games.

You are very welcome to contact me if you have any private thoughts or ideas, that you wont spill in here :)

Dennis Jensen

Email: (interesting contacts will have my primary mail)
Skype user: entotreduharringettildennis
Mobile (0045) 22 26 19 75

Nov 2, 2009 at 9:28 PM

Hi Dennis,

I think there's definitely the possibility for a small community to take roots here. I think StatusUnknown has done a terrific job answering the many questions that have been put before him, but I think it would be great if there were enough of a community that we could field questions for each other. I don't know if there's enough traffic that keeps coming back to these forums, but it's certainly an interesting idea. I definitely think Xen is a fantastic project, and would like to contribute to any community development efforts.

I'm also interested in the idea of building a game in a team. My time is somewhat limited as I'm working on another games project full time, but I find it helps to have a couple projects going to keep myself interested in everything. I'll tell you a little bit about myself, and maybe we can discuss the projects that you're considering working on...

I'm a recent Computer Engineering graduate from the University of Washington. I've started a company (that, of course, makes video games) with a few friends of mine, and we're working on our first project now. Unfortunately, I can't talk much about the project at this stage, but I can tell you it is built around Xen 1.6.3 and XNA Games Studio 3.0. I'm the lead programmer, as well as the chief executive of the company.

The skills I can offer to a games project are mostly technical. While I can use Photoshop, GIMP, and Blender to produce "prototype art", I can't actually make anything that looks, well, nice... I have a little bit of game design experience, but nothing that qualifies as more than a hobby. My strongest skill to offer is the ability to design and write code.


Noah Callaway

Nov 6, 2009 at 11:38 AM
Edited Nov 6, 2009 at 12:41 PM


I'd say it's very difficult to build a community around a graphics api / engine, especially one within another graphics api.
XNA is big enough to foster it's own community, but I don't really think it's big enough to attract large satellite communities.
The nature of XNA is that the majority of people using it probably aren't the type who want to branch out and get involved - they are mostly here to learn or have a bit of fun. Realistically, few take it very seriously (Which isn't such a bad thing).

The biggest XNA projects are those like Farseer physics. They get roughly 5x the traffic xen does. There have also been commercial attempts to build communities around XNA, perhaps the most notable being the spectacular commercial failure of Blade3D.
Finally there are extreme 'do it all' long term projects like I'm not aware of how many projects use In any case it has an interesting history, has it's roots as the RealmForge GDK way back in the days of Axiom (Axiom is a .net port of the Ogre engine). I remember evaluating (and rejecting) RealmForge for a work project around 6 years ago.

Ultimately xen is my little experiment. I work on it when I have some free time (and the desire to do so). But at the end of the day, I work in the industry, often quite long hours - and I simply wouldn't be able to cope with something larger. I'm finding the majority of my 'xen time' goes to supporting Kerberos. I'm not blaming them or complaining, I'm just saying that there are downsides to getting too big.

So what am I saying?...
I really appreciate that you want to form a community - but I guess my gut feeling is you'd have far better success getting involved with the core XNA community. Afterall, the majority of the problems you will face will be game related - the goal of xen is so that you don't have to worry about the graphics problems :-)


Good luck with your game :-)

Nov 6, 2009 at 12:19 PM

Hi Status


I'm sad, that the mastermind behind xen is asking us to not-support the project. But ofc. I'll respect your decision.

BUT... I'm still looking for 2-4 game enthusiasts (hopefully a 3D artist) that wants to build games. - Anyone up?

Nov 6, 2009 at 1:52 PM

Well. I'm not quite saying that. I'm happy for the support - I'm just suggesting if you want to form a community for game development, then it's far easier to just get in the larger XNA community.

It's a big community and there are some very smart people there. They can help you with all your game problems, xen is here to help with graphics problems. I don't see forming a xen game community as a good idea, because it's ignoring the large, already existing resource out there already.