Wednesday, June 22, 2011

XNA 4 on Visual Basic - Time to fill the void?

Drifting about the game development community, I've discovered that XNA seems to be the "cat's meow", of late.

For some time now, I've been learning how to employ Microsoft's horribly inefficient GDI+ to draw my graphics to the screen. I've gone back and forth with other coders who have constantly insisted that I need to put that old dog down - GDI+, that is - and move up to XNA.

After dedicating so many years to learning what I have, the idea of starting all over really kinda freaks me out. Leave Visual Basic for C#? Learn XNA?! Not so fast-... Before I panic, I hit up Google for advice. "Can I use XNA with VB??" The answer - "Heck yeah, you can, but we don't have any support docs for it, so you're on your own... You're probably an idiot for even entertaining the notion."

Further digging reveals that there are very few pioneers on this front! I found one very well constructed tutorial on the subject - but halfway through the first segment, I found that it was for XNA 3 and nothing worked, as there had been many changes to the framework! GRRRrr!

I got as far as tapping into my graphics device and making a window that closely resembled a "Blue Screen of Death". It wasn't though. It was my very own creation. Of course, then I wanted to add a 2D Texture next, but my new world came crashing down around me. I found myself neck deep in unfamiliar code and the tutorial was of no help. "Content pipeline?? What the heck is it, and how the heck do I use it?! Why can't I draw stuff to this sexy blue window I made?!?!?! WHY?!!?!?" After my break down, I continued to Google to no avail.

That brings me to my point... There is a serious need out there for VB over XNA 4 tutorials. If I dedicate enough energy to this, perhaps I can figure it out enough to produce some useable tutorials for the XNA-starved masses. It'll be the blind leading the blind, but hopefully it would spur some of the big boys to say, "Hey! Your code is CRAP. Try it this way, instead."

Just generating interest and a response might kick-start the fledgling VB/XNA community. Of course, more likely is that I finally gain a novice understanding of XNA 4 and XNA 5 is released, plunging me back into the darkness... Blah. Move or die, right?

Let's do this thing! :-D


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