MDX, XNA, My Book, and My Job

Well, it's been a while, hasn't it?  It's been many moons since my last inane post about problems I had with PC games.  Well, I set out many years ago to try to fix some of these issues, and lately I've had some success.

Before I say anything else though, I want to address the topic of my book.  Yes, it is on Indefinite Hold, at least with me at the helm.  The reasons were many-fold, but the primary reason is that MDX 2.0 never shipped.  The API on which I'd based my entire book is deprecated, which obviously made the book somewhat irrelevant.  Perhaps someday I'll return to it and finish what I started, using a technology that might be called MDX's Conspicuous Successor.

I am very sorry for everyone who was looking forward to this book.  Nobody is as disappointed as I am, but there's really nobody to blame.  The Managed Game Development world has take a very radical turn, which is, of course, the XNA Game Studio.

For years I was a test developer working on the original MDX 1.0 and 1.1 products.  A few strange years later I took over a new (on Windows) tool called PIX.  For those of you unfamiliar with the tool, I highly recommend giving it a whirl if you do any D3D9 development at all.  Later I'd take on test for all of PIX for Xbox 360.  The combination gave me a great opportunity to learn about the inner workings of Windows graphics and XBox performance.  The knowledge domain is immense, and I am a far better graphics developer for the experience.

However, just a few weeks ago, I passed the PIX torch, and I took on a new position. I am now a developer with the Games Technology Group and I'm specializing in the XNA Game Studio products.  For me, this is like coming home.   This means I'll once again be interacting professionally with the very community we've been building for 5 years with MDX.  The XNA Game Studio product is like a dream come true for me.  It's the realization of a dream shared by very few back when we started this Managed game programming business.   Back then we'd already figured that managed had the potential to be a cross-platform framework for making games on PCs and Consoles.  It wasn't until lately that that dream has been realized, and in grand fashion.

I know many of you are excited about the opportunity to create games on your XBox 360.  I have friends who went out and bought a 360 in anticipation of the XNA Framework.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!  As new XNA products and services come online, the potential for new ideas, new talent, and new technology grows exponentially.

These are very exciting times to be a managed developer.  With the XNA Cat out of the Bag, I'll be back on my blog, and I'll be surfing the XNA forums on MSDN as much as I can.  It's great to be back, and I'll be on the front lines trying to make the XNA developer experience a good one.