Delta Engine Blog

AI, Robotics, multiplatform game development and Strict programming language

Looking at XNA - Part Two and Vista Experiences

Hi everyone,

Sorry for not blogging much lately, I'm still quite busy writing my book "Professional XNA Game Development".

Rory Blyth (now working at Channel9) did part Two of the Looking at XNA webcast series at Channel 9. The Video is 47 Minutes long and Rory interviews Frank Savage of the XNA Team this time. In the first half of the video Frank shows the XNA Racer Starter Kit I wrote and explains some code, etc. Pretty cool :)

I'm also working on a few new projects and I'm pretty excited about the FX Composer 2.0 release (hopefully soon) and when Nvidia finally releases some useful drivers for Vista and the GeForce 8800 (currently not really useful, Microsofts Vista drivers work still much better, but no support for 8800 yet).

My colleagues installed Vista this week (I can't myself because I still develop XNA and use my Xbox 360 Dev Kit, which both require Windows XP SP2 32 bit) and it works quite nice. The MSDN version is already available, as an enduser you will have to wait to Jan/Feb 2007.

Some programs do not work well, like 3D Studio Max 9, which needs the Windows XP SP 2 Compatibility mode and disabling Aero settings (Right click program -> Properties -> Compatibility). Then it works ok and does not blink like crazy anymore. Other tools like ZBrush (again for Artists) are not supported in Vista right now, but most important tools like Photoshop, 3D Studio, Freehand, Image viewers like IrfanView, etc. work all fine.

Games did run ok mostly, but some games like the really boring and stupid Supreme Commander Beta blink like crazy in Vista and have many graphic bugs, even when running in Compatibility mode. Older games like StarCraft run fine, some games did have some network problems in Vista, not sure why that happend, most things just worked fine.

One annoying thing in Vista is definately the "You need to be an Administrator" nag-box that comes up 3 times per second no matter what you are doing. Maybe it is useful for the end user who just installs programs every other week and does not modify his system much and wants to be safe against viruses, etc. But as a game developer the first thing you have to do is to make sure the security system is disabled (or at least lowered to a lower level, so working makes sense). IE7 looks also fine and has many cool features, but there are not many addons available and I really don't like the many nag message boxes coming up all the time. Using firefox is just a much more enjoyable browsing experience (if it not crashes 3 times like when I wrote this text here, must have to do something with the new extensions I installed today).

Anyway, XNA is coming out soon and I will have a little suprise game up and ready by then :-)