Sunday, November 04, 2007

Long 'i' Live

Microsoft's XNA program is a strange mish-mash of freeware, indie development and corporate culture.

The biggest complaint is the $100 fee to join the XNA Creators Club, a required step if you wish to develop for the 360. To me, it's a negligible cost for access to great dev resources.

There's another problem, though. If I, as a PC-only developer, wish to join the XNA Creator's Club, there is no way for me to do so without signing up as a 360 developer. That is, I need to have a Live Subscription (which means access to a 360).*

This doesn't make any sense, and it's illustrative of Microsoft's entire approach thus far to their Games for Windows "initiative." Piss-poor, nonsensical, a seeming afterthought. It was only recently that you couldn't sign up for Windows Live without purchasing a game (and even then access was only possible with the game running).

Still, the free SDKs are nice, and they get better and better. My only gripe is that the coding world changes so fast that tutorials are superseded quickly and stuff that is done to make professionals have an easier time can lead to confusion for newbies.

I keep on banking that someday I'll just "get" programming. At this point I understand every single basic concept, but then I look at basic code and it's like "How the fuck did you even find that? How do you know what it does and how to use it?"

Ah well. Dabbling is fun.

*There is a bit of logic here, but only a small bit. The Creator's Club resources are geared toward 360 development, so Microsoft might be trying to avoid complaints from PC developers that the examples don't help them with PC development. But the whole draw of XNA is how easy it is to cross-develop between the 360 and PC (and really, it's mostly just a matter of leaving out the 360 using statements).

No comments: