17. March 2015


MonoGame, the popular cross platform spin-off the now dead XNA framework has just released version 3.3.


For the official release notes:


This is a short summary of all the changes in this release:

  • Support for vertex texture fetch on Windows.
  • New modern classes for KeyboardInput and MessageBox.
  • Added more validation to draw calls and render states.
  • Cleaned up usage of statics to support multiple GraphicsDevice instances.
  • Support Window.Position on WindowsGL platform.
  • Reduction of redundant OpenGL calls.
  • Fullscreen support for Windows DX platform.
  • Implemented Texture2D SaveAsPng and SaveAsJpeg for Android.
  • Improved GamePad deadzone calculations.
  • We now use FFmpeg for audio content building.
  • BoundingSphere fixes and optimizations.
  • Many improvements to Linux platform.
  • Various fixes to FontTextureProcessor.
  • New Windows Universal App template for Windows Store and Windows Phone support.
  • Many fixes to reduce garbage generation during runtime.
  • Adding support for TextureFormatOptions to FontDescriptionProcessor.
  • XNA compatibility improvements to FontDescriptionProcessor.
  • Resuscitated the unit test framework with 100s of additional unit tests.
  • BoundingFrustum fixes and optimizations.
  • Added VS2013 project templates.
  • Moved to new MonoGame logo.
  • Added MSAA render target support for OpenGL platforms.
  • Added optional content compression support to content pipeline and runtime.
  • TextureCube content reader and GetData fixes.
  • New OpenAL software implementation for Android.
  • Xact compatibility improvements.
  • Lots of Android fixes and improvements.
  • Added MediaLibrary implementation for Android, iOS, Windows Phone, and Windows Store.
  • Added ReflectiveWriter implementation to content pipeline.
  • Fixes to Texture2D.GetData on DirectX platforms.
  • SpriteFont rendering performance optimizations.
  • Huge refactor of ModelProcessor to be more compatible with XNA.
  • Moved NET and GamerServices into its own MonoGame.Framework.Net assembly.
  • Runtime support for ETC1 textures for Androud.
  • Improved compatibility for FBXImporter and XImporter.
  • Multiple SpritBatch compatibility fixes.
  • We now use FreeImage in TextureImporter to support many more input formats.
  • MGFX parsing and render state improvements.
  • New Pipeline GUI tool for managing content projects for Windows, Mac, and Linux desktops.
  • New implementation of content pipeline IntermediateSerializer.
  • All tools and content pipeline built for 64-bit.
  • New documentation system.
  • Implement web platform (JSIL) stubs.
  • Lots of fixes to PSM.
  • Added Protobuild support for project generation.
  • Major refactor of internals to better separate platform specific code.
  • Added MGCB command line tool to Windows installer.


Monogame runs on Windows, Mac and Linux and is available for download here.  They have also announced that they are going to a more frequent release schedule, something I always view as a good move.

News ,

21. January 2013


This one is a big one.  If you have never heard of it, monoGame started life as a way to port XNA applications to the various Mono targets (including iOS and Android), built on top of OpenGL.  With Microsoft basically retiring XNA, monoGame has basically become the future of XNA.

The biggest and most obvious addition in this release is 3D support, but there are a number of other great new features:image


What's New?
  • 3D (many thanks to Infinite Flight Studios for the code and Sickhead Games in taking the time to merge the code in)
  • New platforms: Windows 8, Windows Phone 8, OUYA, PlayStation Mobile (including Vita).
  • Custom Effects.
  • PVRTC support for iOS.
  • iOS supports compressed Songs.
  • Skinned Meshs
  • VS2012 templates.
  • New Windows Installer
  • New MonoDevelop Package/AddIn
  • A LOT of bug fixes
  • Closer XNA 4 compatibility

    The also added a new installer that will install a binary release of Monogame on Windows for use with Visual Studio.  MonoDevelop users can update with the Add-in Manager.

    Head on over here for the release announcement.


    Nice work Monogame team!

    News , , , ,

    29. November 2011



    First off, the following link is purely conjecture, nothing in it has been confirmed by anyone at Microsoft, that said the conclusions it draws are logical to say the least, and dire.  Microsoft seems to be exiting DirectX/XNA development.  Now, that’s not quite as bad as it sounds, DX and possibly XNA will continue to exist, but they won’t receive nearly the level of emphasis that they currently do.


    The blog post was from Promit a moderator at GameDev.net, a DirectX/XNA MVP and the primary lead on the popular SlimDX library.  Simply put, the man is no idiot.


    Here is a snippet:


    Let’s start with the DirectX SDK, which you may have noticed was last updated in June of 2010. That’s about a year and a half now, which is a bit of a lag for a product which has — sorry, had — scheduled quarterly releases. Unless of course that product is canceled, and it is. You heard me right: there is no more DirectX SDK. Its various useful components have been spun out into a hodge-podge of other places, and some pieces are simply discontinued. Everything outside DirectX Graphics is of course gone, and has been for several years now. That should not be a surprise. The graphics pieces and documentation, though, are being folded into the Windows SDK. D3DX is entirely gone. The math library was released as XNA Math (essentially a port from Xbox), then renamed to DirectXMath. It was a separate download for a while but I think it might be part of Windows SDK from Windows 8 also. I haven’t checked. The FX compiler has been spun off/abandoned as an open source block of code that is in the June 2010 SDK. There are no official patches for a wide range of known bugs, and I’m not aware of a central location for indie patches. Most of the remaining bits and pieces live on Chuck Walbourn’s blog. Yeah, I know.


    In case it’s not obvious, this means that the DirectX release schedule is now the same as the Windows SDK, which always corresponds with major OS updates (service packs and full new versions). Don’t hold your breath on bug fixes. Last I heard, there’s only one person still working on the HLSL compiler. Maybe they’ve hired someone, or I assume they have a job opening on that ‘team’ at least. What I do know is that for all practical purposes, DirectX has been demoted to a standard, uninteresting Windows API just like all the others. I imagine there won’t be a lot more samples coming from Microsoft, especially big cool ones like the SDK used to have. Probably have to rely on AMD and NVIDIA for that stuff moving forward.


    That covers the native side. What about managed? Well the Windows API Code Pack hasn’t been updated in a year and a half so we won’t worry about that. On the XNA front, two things are becoming very clear:
    * XNA is not invited to Windows 8.
    * XBLIG is not a serious effort.
    The point about XBLIG has been known by most of us MVP guys for a while now. Microsoft promised a lot of interesting news out of this past //BUILD/ conference, which I suppose was true. However you may have noticed that XNA was not mentioned at any point. That’s because XNA isn’t invited. All of that fancy new Metro stuff? None of it will work with XNA, at all, in any fashion.


    I highly recommend you read the entire post it is an interesting read to say the least.



    Say what you will about the conclusions he has drawn and you will realize this is actually just the tip of the iceberg. 



    First off, I think its clear to just about anyone watching that the executive team at Microsoft don’t know their head from their….  Anyways, look at the recent attempts to purchase Yahoo for a hundred, trillion billion dollars, followed by an 8! billion dollar acquisition of Skype and it is pretty clear they don’t have a bloody clue what they are doing.  Fortunately for them Office and Windows make so much money they can weather a storm of stupidity.


    But more core to the problem is the recent internal civil war between J Allard and Steven Sinofsky ( more details here ).  J Allard for those that don’t know is the guy behind Xbox ( and frankly a number of failures too ) at Microsoft while Steven Sinofsky is the guy that runs the Windows team at Microsoft and saved it from the debacle of Vista.  Both were highly regarded, both were stars on the rise at Microsoft and they went head to head on the future of tablet computing ( and to a lesser degree Microsoft itself ).  Steven won, Allard is gone.  Thing is, it seems Steven’s win is more far reaching and the future of the OS/Win 8 seems to be calling all the shots, no matter how ill advised they are.


    So, the deprecation of DirectX to simply another SDK in the platform makes sense when viewed through the lens that the guy calling the shots is *in charge of the platform!*.  Sadly, DirectX, Courier and XNA don’t seem to be the only causalities in this story.  Silverlight also appears to be a dead end technology now, either killed by a political blunder by Bob Muglia or in fact on the way out, in support of HTML5/Javascript.  Developer support has always been the corner stone of Microsoft’s success and if they continue down this route, the future seems  a very bleak place.  Personally as a developer, the shift back to using HTML + Javascript is a blunder of epic proportions.


    Frankly, it seems like innovation has died at Microsoft, Developer support certainly seems to have.  Microsoft has, for at least a decade, been known for exceptional developer support, probably the best in the industry.  These days however, may be in the past and I for one am greatly saddened.


    Does this mean you should stop developing XNA apps?  Certainly not, at least, not yet.  Even as it stands now, it is a stable and well developed product.  Should you stop developing Silverlight or WPF applications?  That one is a hell of a lot trickier to determine and the lack of words outside of Microsoft aren’t exactly filling me with confidence.  Should you be boning up your HTML and Javascript skills?  Sadly, yes.


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