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Thread: XNA Game Developer compared to C++

  1. #1

    Default XNA Game Developer compared to C++

    This is a question for those with programming experience. Anyway, I just recently obtained A LOT of windows developer tools from my school for real cheap. It's freakin awesome! I actually feel like I didn't waste tons of money on over priced crap I'm going to use for a semester. Anyway, I got these since I'm currently in a C++ class and learning the C++ language. I was wondering, how similar are the XNA (xbox 360) game development languages are to C++. The XNA programs are based on C# language so I'm hoping I could pick it up relatively easily. I'm still a super beginner programmer (I have never been exposed to ANY programming before), but if I could learn a language I'm more interested in and would actually use, that'd be great. Also, how hard is graphical programming? I imagine it must be much more challenging then the super simple console applications we're learning now which seem pretty useless. I don't want to create my own games, but I want to create modifications of games that could be sold over the market place.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by whatshisface View Post
    Anyway, I got these since I'm currently in a C++ class and learning the C++ language. I was wondering, how similar are the XNA (xbox 360) game development languages are to C++. The XNA programs are based on C# language so I'm hoping I could pick it up relatively easily.
    The basic concepts of virtually all computer languages are the same, and the syntax on the very basic stuff often is similar for most major languages.

    That said, while C++ and C# share a similar name, they are different languages. I haven't used C#, so I'm not 100% certain on the differences. Microsoft does have a page that lists differences, which may be helpful.

    You will also need to make sure your IDE can compile C# code. An IDE that can compile C++ will not necessarily compile C#. It depends on whether or not the IDE contains a C# complier.



    Also, how hard is graphical programming? I imagine it must be much more challenging then the super simple console applications we're learning now which seem pretty useless.
    Well, from my experience, Microsoft's documentation (found at msdn.com) is a bit of a pain to wade through and is often confusing. I've found that examples of code are more helpful than reading the documentation.

    And yes, graphical programming is more of a challenge. Ultimately, it would depend on whether or not there is some sort of wizard in the IDE so you can place the graphics visually rather than code it.

    While poking around MSDN, I also found the online documentation for XNA: XNA Game Studio.

  3. #3

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    I've never sat down and used the XNA framework, but I have programmed in both C++ and C#. As HoganHeroes has said, C# is a very different language and is much more similar to Java in it's syntactical elements.



    public class MyClass {
    public static void main() {
    for (int i = 0; i < 10; ++i) {
    Console.out.WriteLine("Int value: {0}",i);
    }
    }
    I didn't find C# hard to learn at all, but I was familiar with Java originally. Graphics programming can be difficult depending on what 'type' of graphics you are trying to do.

    I've only done very little graphical stuff in C#, and it was built using WPF. There was no -game- utility to it, it was an application. But seeing as C# is very similar to Java I imagine that graphics (at least 2D) is quite simple.

    Here is a "Getting Started" tutorial for XNA: http://www.dalemooney.co.uk/papers/startingXNA.pdf

    You can find quite a few C# tutorials at C# Tutorials - Search for C# Tutorials on Pixel2Life as well.

    Good luck learning XNA and C# :3

  4. #4

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    As others have said, when it comes to progamming languages, generally the basics are mostly the same. What differs greatly is the tool stack around them, libraries, and best practices.

    In other words you would be learning two things.

    A new programming language (C#), which depending on how far along you are in your studies will probably not be that hard. A lot of the basic syntax is going to be the same, and a lot of the high level design principles are the same (OOP, design patterns, data flow, structured failure, etc..), you'll mainly be learning the middle bits.

    And more importantly (and time consuming), a new set of tools, community, and framework. You'll find as you build experience, this becomes easier as well. Being able to go from "what the hell is that" to "it's been integrated into our system" is a core skill, so it's actually good to get practice at jumping into something unfamiliar.

  5. #5

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    Learn XNA, study C++ at school or in your spare time. The key to learning how to program early on is to use tools that will keep you interested, and XNA will make programming simple graphical games way easier, and in turn keep you fare more interested. If you go the route of c++ you are going to be using opengl or directx libraries where you have to recreate a ton of simple things XNA handles for you, or you will need to track down an open source library to handle them that will eat far more time than XNA would

    C++ also has some fundamental differences to c# that make it far more annoying to work with, and will drive you crazy if you are trying to learn graphical programming at the same time. No need to overload yourself.

    Modern programming is far more about tools and frameworks than languages. Having a bare bones knowledge of your languages ins and outs is great, but more people will be interested in if you know Spring than if you simply know Java, or in this case if you know XNA. We are at a point where eeking out performance by optimizing functions is less important than having manageable code. When a function under performs you can always go back to work with it and learn more, but a poorly structured program tends to be doomed from the start.

    Also I lied above, the key to programming in general is to use tools that keep you interested, that never stops being the key. If your goal is to make a little platformer or something choose the tool best for that, and at the level you are looking that tool is XNA.

  6. #6

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    I really never decided to go that high level with programming/ scripting. But from what Lobie had posted in C#, it does look a lot like Java, which I am still learning some of the advanced stuff of.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by JATO457 View Post
    I really never decided to go that high level with programming/ scripting. But from what Lobie had posted in C#, it does look a lot like Java, which I am still learning some of the advanced stuff of.
    C# was, more or less, microsofts solution to JAVA. It is a great language that does all the right things that Java does, while fixing a huge amount of the wrong things.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by frillyfoxy View Post
    C# was, more or less, microsofts solution to JAVA. It is a great language that does all the right things that Java does, while fixing a huge amount of the wrong things.
    I am more of a Java man, mostly as it was a bit more effective for my usage. I have used C# as a scripting language with the game I am making, but I will go back to JS for cross-platform reasons.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by JATO457 View Post
    I am more of a Java man, mostly as it was a bit more effective for my usage. I have used C# as a scripting language with the game I am making, but I will go back to JS for cross-platform reasons.
    Java is very entrenched in the corporate world here. Most coding jobs I see are either c# or java, the former having a lot to do with it being microsoft territory.
    Last edited by Trevor; 01-Dec-2011 at 23:29. Reason: removing automerged duplicate post.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by JATO457 View Post
    I am more of a Java man, mostly as it was a bit more effective for my usage. I have used C# as a scripting language with the game I am making, but I will go back to JS for cross-platform reasons.
    Do you mean Java or Javascript (JS)? The two are pretty different - the only thing they really have in common is the word "Java."

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