Friday, July 04, 2014

If you previously built Windows Phone games with XNA...

I'm still regularly asked what options people have for taking forward the games they originally built for Windows Phone 7 with XNA.
If you're not aware this question is driven by the fact that Microsoft removed XNA tooling and support from Windows Phone 8.

There are 2 main options: MonoGame or Unity.

MonoGame is an open source project that aims to provide the same options and APIs for building apps across platforms as were available for building with XNA on Windows.

Unity is a game developing ecosystem for building apps that work across a wide variety of platforms.

So which should you use?

If you already have a code base (based on XNA) that you want to reuse then MonoGame is the obvious choice.
If you have no existing code base or are happy to rewrite it then Unity is probably the way to go. Microsoft seem to be putting more emphasis on this as a solution for game development as it is popular with many big game studios and has a strong cross platform story. After all why would you build for just Windows when you can reach more potential users for your game by targeting multiple platforms?

Is this how things are likely to remain? Well, I don't see Microsoft changing their opinion about Unity in the short term. They've just bought a company who makes a plugin for Visual Studio to help with building with Unity.


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