Microsoft XNA

Last Thursday I had the chance to attend a meeting about XNA, a games development platform which is Xbox 360 and PC exclusive.  Microsoft are supporting XNA as a platform for academics to use as a gaming platform for their courses.

There’s no denying that the tools, and opportunities that the software offers are impressive – some of the examples that were shown developed by ‘real’ students are way beyond what I could have considered ‘student work’.

There is a concern though about the proprietary framework, and developing academic courses around this.  What would happen if Microsoft pulled XNA – where would this leave a course which would be validated for six years?

As interesting as the Microsoft section, were two talks.  One was by David Braben,  who co-created Elite (mentioned in yesterday’s post – it’s a small world isn’t it!).  He emphasised the five generations of game playing.  If we do develop a games development route, then this is the sort of thing I would like to teach, the history of computing and gaming. David’s talk was supported by what I would say is the most interactive PowerPoint presentation – I thought they were just video clips, but given the lack of repetition of some of the demonstrations, there must have been some clever embedded objects.

The other talk was by Nick Burton, senior developer at Rare, a company which is owned by Microsoft, but was able to offer some really interesting lectures to students about working in the games industry.  We really hope to be able to take him up on these, our visiting lecture programme has been lacking recently.

I’ll add the uk academic blog to my RSS list – and read with interest what Microsoft can offer.

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1 comment so far

  1. Windows Vista News on

    Microsoft XNA

    Interesting: andyhollyhead.wordpress.com


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