Converting to Unity

So in case you guys missed the memo (entirely possible unless you closely follow the Xbox Live Indie Game scene) Microsoft has announced they are sunsetting XNA.  They will accept game submissions for the next 10 or so months, and then after that they will leave the service on for another year before turning it off.

We’ve invested a lot of time and energy into creating this game in XNA specifically so we could release on the XBLIG platform.  The reasons for this choice were twofold.  First, it’s just satisfying to have a game on a console, as that’s what many of us grew up playing.  Second, by releasing on a console you are guaranteed the user has a twin stick game pad, so you can code and design for that input scheme.

However, with the sunset of XNA upon us, we realize we need to move to another platform.  MonoGame seemed the obvious first choice, as it is an open source implementation of XNA that has the bonus of being cross platform.  In theory most of our code should be pretty easy to port over to that.  Theory and reality, however, do not always go together.  Some initial attempts showed there were some issues that were difficult to overcome.  Not impossible, and probably doable with enough time and effort, but they were still very much roadblocks.

It was decided instead to move over to Unity.  The reasons for this are many:

  1. Unity it very widely used and thus has a wealth of documentation, tutorials, forums, and avid users to turn to for assistance as needed.
  2. It’s cross platform.
  3. It allows for rapid development and prototyping.
  4. Code can be written in C#, the same as XNA, so some code can be more or less directly copied over.
  5. The engine handles many aspects that we had previously built ourselves, but with the efficiency of a professional commercial engine (read: they wrote it better than I did).
  6. It would give us more experience with Unity, allowing us to make more and better Unity based games in the future.

The only downside here is we won’t be on any of the major consoles unless we shoot for a large quality improvement, which is not practical with our small team.  However we are dedicated to bringing RGX to market come hell or high water (or both, in which case it will be like a nice sauna).  So hang in there.  We’re still hammering away, have made good progress on the port, and should be back up and running in no time.

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