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Future of DirectX

This is a discussion on Future of DirectX within the Tech Board forums, part of the Community Boards category; Having just bought a couple books on DirectX programming and considering switching from SDL to DirectX, I came upon a ...

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    Future of DirectX

    Having just bought a couple books on DirectX programming and considering switching from SDL to DirectX, I came upon a disturbing link.

    Game From Scratch | It

    Not having read the blog itself, but the excerpt of it surely looks as if I would be wasting my time devoting any effort down this path.

    Does anyone here have any opinions on its future or anything I could gain by foraying into DirectX as a learning experience?

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    The conclusion is a bit less dire than it sounds.

    There very much was a civil war at Microsoft, and the person that won really doesn't seem to be as developer friendly as the person that lost ( the man behind the Xbox, for one ).


    You can see part of the change already. After some ill chosen comments, many Silverlight developers are thinking the platform is a dead man walking, with SL5 being the final version. Worse yet, Microsoft's actions have done nothing to quell the fear. Go to the Silverlight forum and you will see what I mean!

    Then on the XNA/DirectX front, experiences are pretty similar. Look at the branding of XNA studio already... now its called something something Windows Phone something something... the XNA brand was already being de-emphasized then. That BUILD came and went without a single mention of Silverlight, XNA or DirectX... not a good thing for developers. Then there is Metro and the move towards HTML5+JS, which is vaguely defined but not exactly inspiring developer confidence.

    On the other hand, with the move to a programmable pipeline, frankly DirectX11 made future versions a whole lot less... relevant. In the age of DX9 and earlier, where you needed to release a 9a 9b, etc... release to support new features, that age is mostly behind is. To a developer, DirectX becoming just another SDK... well, other than a bit less educational material being produce, frankly, its a non issue. Direct X will continue to be supported, developed and bug fixed, and the only real question is going to be the amount of support and branding behind it.


    Now XNA and Silverlight. I was tempted to start a Silverlight project, that is now on hold. Microsoft really dropped the ball there. As tot he XNA team, I don't really know what is going on there. Silverlight and XNA are both guaranteed a future, on the simple basis they are the unpinnings for Windows Phone 7. Other than that, I wouldn't bet the farm on either. However, in many regards XNA is leagues better than anything else like it, so even if they stopped development tomorrow, it would still be a pretty awesome product for years to come.

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    Super Moderator VirtualAce's Avatar
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    I do not think things are as bad as that article makes it sound. DirectX has been for some time nothing more than Direct3D which I cannot see going anywhere for the time being. But for input, sound, networking, etc. there are better solutions out there than what was in DirectX to begin with.

    Moved to Tech.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 12-09-2011 at 05:48 PM.

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    DirectX has got to be as solid as VBA. So many applications talk about dropping VBA support but won't because too many people use it. Way too many programs/games use DirectX.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Epy View Post
    DirectX has got to be as solid as VBA. So many applications talk about dropping VBA support but won't because too many people use it. Way too many programs/games use DirectX.
    It's unlikely it will be removed or stop working... nothing else has... they just won't be updating it anymore.
    (If what I read is correct)

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    I seriously doubt they will stop updating it completely.
    Epy likes this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CommonTater View Post
    It's unlikely it will be removed or stop working... nothing else has... they just won't be updating it anymore.
    (If what I read is correct)

    I don't think Direct X 11 is going anywhere, it is just going to become "yet another part of the Windows API". This to a degree makes sense, as with the move to a programmable pipeline, the need for new releases with each hardware refresh has basically gone away. The downside to this de-emphasis though, would be the amount of support it gets. Don't be surprised to see less new code samples, articles, etc... Then again, is Direct X 11 really missing anything all that much? I remember waiting for DX 8 to ship so new hardware features could be used, at this is why we had multiple point releases of direct X 9, but now... there isn't much point.



    It's XNA I would be worried about. It just doesn't seem to have the level of support it used to, and having XNA as a product not get new development, that would suck, as even though its based around DX, there was still a ton of features added per release. XNA is a wonderful product and it would suck if Microsoft abandoned it. Lets hope we see a Game Studio 5 and Indy gaming is a big part of the next Xbox, but I'm not holding my breath.

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    Quote Originally Posted by VirtualAce View Post
    I seriously doubt they will stop updating it completely.
    Which, DX11 or XNA?

    As the first I agree with completely, the later, I could see it being abandoned in a heart beat if accountants at MS thought that was the way to go, especially as the guy behind it's conception is no longer with the company.

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    I thought XNA was DOA from the start which is why I did not get into it nor use it professionally. It is seriously doomed for failure if no large studios use it for serious game development. There is no way that MS is going to continue to pour money into XNA just to support a few indies and some hobbyists. I mean think about this seriously. So you are a large successful game studio and for your next release you want to essentially work on a brand new project while at the same time use a brand new language that most of your devs do not know well and will need training on. Not to mention that with pure C++ and HLSL it is hard enough to eek out the frames you want and you are considering moving to a known slower API? Granted, slower for small games is fine and not noticeable but when you start to tax the limits of what a card and a system can do XNA just is not going to cut the mustard.

    C# is fast enough for applications, WinForms, WPF, ASP . NET, etc.,etc. However those are far different beasties than some game that is attempting to fry your video card everytime you turn around. I say XNA is great for 2D and some simple 3D but not much more. And with the advent of DX11...who would ever use XNA instead of the raw horsepower that is in DX11? Simply put if you know DX9 in and out (and if you are a large studio you will) then moving to DX11 that is known to have more power and more features why would anyone ever seriously move to XNA after having devs that are DirectX 9 gurus? That is to say nothing of the studios that are still using OpenGL. It does not make business sense to transition to XNA for the AAA studios but it does make business sense for indies to use it (and some games have and are available on Steam).

    But sorry I cannot for the life of me ever imagine a game like Skyrim or Just Cause 2 or Microsoft Flight to ever be coded in pure XNA. I could be wrong....but I just do not see it.
    Last edited by VirtualAce; 12-26-2011 at 11:55 AM.

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