Developer helps bring Xbox Live games to iOS, Android

By on June 27, 2011, 10:00 AM

Video games developed with Microsoft's XNA toolkit, the company's game development framework for the Xbox 360 and Windows Phone, may soon be able to run on iOS, Silverlight and Android. An open source tool to do just this has been in the works since the end of 2010 by Aussie coder Andrew Russell, who crowd-funded the project through RocketHub and so far has received more than $10,000 in donations for its development.

The tool in question is known as ExEn, and though it is still in early development, the first public preview was released last week. Right now, ExEn supports iOS and Silverlight. Android support is coming, but the project is currently behind schedule, Russell noted on his blog. It also can only accommodate games using 2D "sprite" graphics in its current form, although the final version is planned to support 3D games as well.

Russell has already successfully used ExEn to produce a port of one of his XNA applications to iOS. Besides providing a cost-effective way for Xbox Live indie game developers to port their games onto Apple's lucrative App Store, and soon Android Marketplace, it will also allow them to promote their games by offering a web-based demo powered by Silverlight on their websites. You can read more about the project here.




User Comments: 9

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princeton princeton said:

XNA to Android?

My mind is full of **** on so many levels.

That thing has to translate DirectX into OpenGL ES 2.

veLa veLa said:

I hope he gets sued. This will just prevent Windows Phone 7 from becoming big.

princeton princeton said:

veLa said:

I hope he gets sued. This will just prevent Windows Phone 7 from becoming big.

How can he get sued? This is perfectly legal software bud.

Scott8090 said:

XNA to Android?

My mind is full of **** on so many levels.

That thing has to translate DirectX into OpenGL ES 2.

Your right...gezz I'd be surprised if the project gets far off the ground. I don't remember many DirectX to Open GL Translations that were worth a dang..Linux anyone lol?

If memory Serves me right Linux Runs OpenGL vs the DirectX for windows. Hell if thats the case..Good luck to him and his team lol...

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Scott8090 said:

XNA to Android?

My mind is full of **** on so many levels.

That thing has to translate DirectX into OpenGL ES 2.

Your right...gezz I'd be surprised if the project gets far off the ground. I don't remember many DirectX to Open GL Translations that were worth a dang..Linux anyone lol?

If memory Serves me right Linux Runs OpenGL vs the DirectX for windows. Hell if thats the case..Good luck to him and his team lol...

This is very different. As far as I could read, it's only one developer, and, apparently, this port will not port the WP7's 3D API (which is heavily used on many of its games) to iOS or Android. It's merely porting the software framework to make it cross-platform. However, by only porting XNA trough MonoTouch, yes, cross-platform game making will be feasible; but 3D, graphical intensive games will not, unless he rewrites the renderer in OpenGL that is used in both iOS and in Android. The Linux comparison is not correct, since any of DirectX's Direct 3D ports to Linux have always been 3D. I'm pretty sure there are 2D games out there that were written using Direct2D's API, that worked fine on Linux, although I don't know for sure... Also, Android is <I>not</I> Linux. It's merely linux-based. Big difference.

The difference here, however, is that XNA's APIs are not only to make 3D games, you can easily make simple, 2D games with the framework (as seen above), and still launch them on iOS or Android (which is what the developer is aiming for, for now at least). But when either of these two OSes tries to launch a 3D application written with the 3D API, such application will be rendered with OpenGL, creating the problem.

Point is, porting XNA's 3D API over to a mobile operating system that natively runs OpenGL seems like a lot of work. I believe he'll have to rewrite the renderer to conform with these two operating systems. Hopefully he'll recruit more people and form a team.

MrAnderson said:

Isn't this just the tools? Like language etc... unless I'm mistaken and someone probably already commented that Xbox Live is a closed system for Windows PC and Xbox. There are parts of the API that are just not open. XNA is the tool base and CLR system with a set of API hooks into Windows/Xbox systems which are not open... so... I'm interested in seeing what happens, but am skeptical at the title of this article is implying.

lawfer, TechSpot Paladin, said:

MrAnderson said:

Isn't this just the tools? Like language etc... unless I'm mistaken and someone probably already commented that Xbox Live is a closed system for Windows PC and Xbox. There are parts of the API that are just not open. XNA is the tool base and CLR system with a set of API hooks into Windows/Xbox systems which are not open... so... I'm interested in seeing what happens, but am skeptical at the title of this article is implying.

What are you talking about? Xbox Live games and Xbox 360 games are two different things. This is a mobile discussion. The developer plans to make Xbox Live game (as in, Windows Phone 7) to be cross-platform with iOS and Android.

Scott8090 said:

What are you talking about? Xbox Live games and Xbox 360 games are two different things. This is a mobile discussion. The developer plans to make Xbox Live game (as in, Windows Phone 7) to be cross-platform with iOS and Android.

Are you certain the term "xbox live game" is correct? I know xbox live, windows live, and live(means all live products) exists but what is the mobile market named o.o? I know windows has plans for such a,matter but wide spread knowledge probally is low lol.

MrAnderson said:

@Scott8090... thank you! The article was confusing for me a bit.

My understanding was the XNA based tool in development will allow developers to work cross platform... mobile yes.

So that means this tool will help developers that developed using XNA Studio to build games for Xbox Live platforms, Zune, Windows Phone 7 (if there is a lot of that yet???), and Xbox will have an easier path to bring there games to mobile platforms other than Windows Phone 7.

I was just wondering about the service feature side of things. The Xbox Live connectivity to my knowledge is exclusive to Microsoft platforms regardless of mobile... Windows, WP7, and Xbox etc. If I'm wrong let me know...

That was all I was saying... if I miss spoke or sounded confusing... excuse I was rushing.

I was wondering what could be done about the lack of Xbox Live like services avaible to the other mobile platforms. Might Microsoft open things up a little, or have they (I don't know)... Apple has Game Center, but I don't know what the parity is with Live... Anyone know more?

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