Brian Lewis, on 10 October 2012 - 10:01, said:
A quick question - is XNA dead?
I never understand why people panic (I am not saying you are, I just had to deal with a lot of developers who were in a panic because they were in the middle of development of a large project) and think a framework can be dead. I had to respond to a lot of emails and worried developers about this. And they always say a blog post said XNA was dead or an article somewhere. Here is the response I usually give:
Do not be worried about using XNA. One of the biggest indie games ever was made in Java (Minecraft), which probably has less support than XNA (especially for 3D stuff). If XNA is more than enough for your needs, you do not need to be worried about using it.
Also, with XNA right now, you can make the game for Windows XP, Vista, 7, and yes 8 in Desktop mode. You also get Xbox 360 and WP. I do not use it on the phone, but I heard it is supported on WP8. Once you build it for one of those to create the XNB files (for your assets), you can use MonoGame for cross platform. I honestly think it is way too soon to jump ship and only focus on one Operating System (Metro apps) and the phone. On the flip side, now might be the best time to develop for the new apps on Windows 8. But you can develop for XNA for a desktop program, then use MonoGame to make a metro version of it.
We have not heard anything one way or another. Metro/Modern uses Direct X 11, XNA is Direct X 9 (they only took state object designs from DX 10/11 according to Shawn Hargreaves). Likewise, Xbox 360 is only DirectX 9, which is what XNA is primarily used for. We do not know if they are making a new XNA for DirectX 11 to go along with a new Xbox (which will require some time) or if they will abandon it. Why dedicate resources to make an XNA version with a new DirectX when we still have the Xbox 360? Plus supporting both types would be a nightmare. They are probably waiting until the next Xbox to perform such an upgrade to XNA. This is entirely possible. It is just as possible that they will not. But a framework can only be dead if Microsoft stops providing download links for it. I assume they will let the download live for years. You can still download XNA 1.0. Since MS seems to be focusing a lot on C++, they might make the next XNA (if there is one) C++, which will require even more time to develop. I would love that!
How is it considered dead but you can still write Windows 8 desktop programs with it? Even if 4.0 is the last XNA version, it is still a decent gaming framework that will work on the latest almost-released Operating System in the desktop environment. It could PROBABLY work on Windows 9 too, but we will see when we get there what MS decides to do. You have a lot of target audiences that way.
Unity is good too, I personally prefer XNA over unity because I do not get much time to develop, but if I did I would use Unity.
I would avoid Visual Basic. The syntax still annoys me to this day...
Finally, I would go with C/C++ (if you want to) after you learn the basics and use an easier language to begin with.