XNA Creators Club

I signed up for the XNA Creators Club last night. It’s really rather good: it took me about 5 minutes to go from a blank project to having a sprite up on the 360’s screen, and it supports network debugging from a PC – it’s not fully featured (you can’t do edit-and-continue, and you don’t get much exception information back) but you can do all the usual breakpointing, interrogation and variable editing jobs that usually make up most of your time debugging.

The whole dev environment runs happily from my laptop, although I can’t run a Windows build of the projects on in, as it’s lacking in the requisite graphical muscle – but it’s so simple to get things running on the 360 that this isn’t an issue: just hit F5 in Visual C#, and the project builds, squirts itself across the network to the 360 and starts it running with a remote debugging session.

The API seems a bit kid-glovesy – it hides a lot from you – but it still exposes things like shaders and the like; it mainly just removes the need to mess around with devices and allocation of vert buffers and the like. This means you won’t be able to wring huge performance out of it, but it also means you can get things on the screen in a matter of minutes rather than fucking around with DirectX arcanery for hours to get a rotating yellow triangle (anyone who’s written any Direct3D code knows exactly what I’m talking about here).

Anyway, after an hour or so of messing around (and Naomi tutting and getting bored), I had a sort of jap-shooter style bullet pattern thing up and running:

More pictures here and there’s a video of it in action here.

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