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Sponsored Feature: 'What's New in XNA Game Studio 3.0'

In this sponsored feature, part of Microsoft's XNA microsite, the company's Frank Savage documents the new features in XNA Game Studio 3.0, its crossplatform indie, hobbyist and academic tool for making Xbox 360, Windows, and Zune games.
In this sponsored feature, part of Microsoft's XNA microsite, the company's Frank Savage documents the new features in XNA Game Studio 3.0, its crossplatform indie, hobbyist and academic tool for making Xbox 360, Windows, and Zune games. This latest version of Game Studio is based on Microsoft's Visual Studio 2008 integrated development environment, taking advantage of Visual Studio's new features: "Some of the most obvious and immediately useful features available in Visual Studio 2008 are the C# 3.0 language features. This includes things like the LINQ syntax you can use to drive queries of game data loaded into any game's object model. Extension Methods enable you to extend the existing XNA Framework with additional functionality. This functionality can be specific to your game or it can be shared as a general purpose library by your game community. Lambda Expressions, Expression Trees, and Partial Methods are included as well as implicit types and anonymous types. Windows, Xbox 360, and Zune all provide these features; cross-platform functionality continues to be a cornerstone of Game Studio development." Game Studio 3.0 also includes a couple of major improvements in the Content Pipeline, such as the ability to associate multiple content projects with your main game project: "This makes it easier for multiple artists or designers to work on the game at the same time, since you can split the content across multiple projects. You could store and build all of the textures in a single content project. You can have all of the audio content built out of a second content project. You could also store platform-specific content in a single content project, and then build that content project only for the platform you need. This makes it easy, for example, to have a game with shaders that can still draw and play on the Zune. The shaders would be included in the Windows- and Xbox-specific content projects in the solution, and the Zune-specific content project would contain art and data only for Zune." You can read the full sponsored feature, which also covers XNA framework improvements, games for Zune, and Xbox Live community game support (no registration required, please feel free to link to this feature from other websites).

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