SilverSprite Futures **PLEASE READ AND RESPOND**

Coordinator
Jan 22, 2011 at 1:37 PM
Edited Jan 22, 2011 at 2:39 PM

NOTE: It's very important you respond to this thread, if you don't respond you are essentially casting a vote for me to move on to other projects.

Hi all, first I'd like to apologize for my absence over the last few months. I was having a bit of a personal and professional crisis and needed to completely shut down some of my activities to get through it. I'm happy to say that I've sorted it all out and I'm looking to get engaged again. That being said, I'd also like to ask that anyone who is interested in being a contributor please contact me. I especially would like someone to take ownership of the ContentManager piece, but I'll take any help I can get.

I felt that I may have taken silverSprite as far as I could, but a few recent events have changed my mind:

1. Profiling tools have become available from Microsoft and others. There are probably some significant performance improvements that can be implemented, but it's been hard to track them down. Also, the claim that ExEn has significantly improved performance in their library that was originally based on SilverSprite gives me hope.

2. Silverlight 5 looks like it will have an immediate mode 3D API. For those that don't know, XNA 2D drawing support actually draws in 3D under the covers, but hides that complexity away from you. SilverSprite most likely will be able to do the same thing, and finally provide performance results more on par with native XNA. There is also the potential for SilverSprite to add 3D support.

3. More XNA 4 samples are available, which can provide good test cases for moving SilverSprite to XNA 4.0 API compatibility.

So the main questions that I need you to answer are:

1. Do you still care about SilverSprite or do you plan on moving to ExEn?

2. Do you want to help?

3. What would be your top 3 on the wish list for the next couple of months?

Thanks for your support, and I look forward to hearing your responses.

Bill

Jan 22, 2011 at 3:32 PM

I'm also looking forward to 3d api's in silverlight 5.  I'd actually like if msft naturally extended xna to work with silverlight at that point, but alas, doubtful.

 

For ExEn, it may be interesting, when it comes out, but what's great about open source projects is being able to take the best ideas from other projects, like that Andrew guy did from SilverSprite i'm sure :)     Also, ExEn is fairly broad in scope, so I think there is room for your project specializing in silverlight.  features / compatabilities

 

for wishlist, i'd like to see as much feature parity with xna as possible, but biggest wish would be the 3d support,  basic effect emulation.  but of course that's hard to get started on without knowing what are the exact API's that will be available in silverlight 5.

 

If you need help from someone good at multithreading and cpu performance optimization, give me a shout:  jasons aat novaleaf doot coom

Jan 22, 2011 at 5:00 PM

I might be kicking off an xna/silverlight game project soon, so this is actually interesting timing for this to come up :-) I do still care about silversprite as I was considering using it. I wouldn't mind helping if there's something I could help with. My top 3 wish would also be perf ... last time I checked it out it seemed to peg my CPU, so a solution for that would be grand as I'd rather my game not kill a laptop's batter :-)

Jan 22, 2011 at 5:44 PM

Welcome back Bill.

Have 3 sets of 2D games ported to Silversprite. At present I have set up my game projects to be delivered on 4 platforms, Windows, Xbox360, Silverlight and Phone 7. When I started this it was pre XNA 4. and I had anticipated quite a few changes to my basic code in XNA. However I was pleasantly surprised to find that there weren't a lot of changes.

Not sure what direction Microsoft is going but it seems that all the environments will somehow merge. So my crystal ball is a bit cloudy as to the role of Silversprite. Here is what I would like to see:

XNA lacks many of the commonplace things that are in web development such as dropdowns and buttons etc. These are all available in Silverlight. Would like to see the capability of including these in my Silversprite versions.

Silversprite needs to allow for the game to communicate with the Silverlight environment. Took me quite a while to implement a close game window button in my game. Would like to be able to send game info such as high scores to the surrounding website. To have access to user preferences (location, language, etc.) would also allow for better game experiences. If one wants to market games in the social networking this is essential. Don't feel that these capabilities should be in Silversprite but just the interface.

Experienced some problems with state management. when things are initialized is not compatible between XNA and Silversprite. Had to put event management code into the game for it to function correctly.

There also seems to be a conflict between keyboard entry and mouse movement. Could not implement the user dynamically switching between the two input modes.

Downloaded the latest source and was able to resolve most of the issues. I would gladly help. Not a particularly good coder but I can debug and document.

Great work!

Best wishes,

Lionel

Jan 24, 2011 at 10:09 PM

Hi Bill,

1)  I have contributed a (albeit small) sum of money towards ExEn on the basis that any dedicated effort towards making XNA multi-platform can only be a good thing, especially so given ExEn is to be made open source.  That way any optimisations can filter through to both Silversprite and XnaTouch.

2)  I'd love to contribute time to Silversprite, though currently it's not really possible for reasons similar to yourself (I've had to leave me pet project untouched for about three months).

3)  Priorities:  Bugfixes, Optimisations, XNA 4.0 support.

Feb 5, 2011 at 4:25 AM

1. SilverSprite is currently an essential part of a commercial project that I am working on for a client. and its very unrestrictive license is great. I would like to see its continued development.

2. So far I have submitted a patch to fix a drawing method. It is not much, but as I find bugs, I will either report them, or create a patch for them.

3. Mostly bug fixes and adding features that it are missing.

Feb 10, 2011 at 1:18 AM

Hi Bill,

I for one would be really sad to see SilverSprite go--I think it's a great project and I've used it a lot to fill the gaps where built-in Silverlight features fall short.

That said, I'm sure you're busy and other projects beckon and I can't say that I have been any help in keeping it up. I have production code that uses SilverSprite and at the very least I'll probably take the source and move it to SL5 myself adding features as necessary--if you decide to keep the project going I might be able to help some. Microsoft will also most likely be addressing some of the gaps in the functionality of the SL framework, making it possibly less critical to spend your time filling them yourself.

I also wouldn't write off the possibility of Microsoft actually doing a full scale XNA/Silverlight integration (@novaleaf)--I know they're looking hard at it.  

Anyway, I'm very happy with SilverSprite and I'd like to see it keep going, but it seems like there might be multiple replacements on the horizon and if you need to do other things, I'll figure out how to use something else. 

Marshall

 

 

Coordinator
Mar 10, 2011 at 3:58 AM
Edited Mar 10, 2011 at 4:00 AM

First of all I'd like to thank everyone for their responses. Based on how many people say they really depend on this I'll be continuing development on SilverSprite. I'm on vacation in a couple of weeks, but expect some updates soon after that. By then hopefully some news will come out of the MIX conference about Silverlight 5's graphics capabilities and we can figure out how SilverSprite fits in to that picture.

Note that I know as much about Silverlight 5's graphics right now as anyone who saw the Silverlight Firestsarter demo, so not very much at all. No matter what eventually gets into Silverlight 5, it won't be released for at least for a few more months so the Silverlight 4 version will be useful at least until then, and maybe longer based on what shows up in Silverlight 5. This is an exciting time for Silverlight game developers and I hope SilverSprite can play a small part in what's to come.

Bill

Mar 17, 2011 at 6:33 PM

Bill,

First I'd like to personally think you for all your hard work on this project. It has enabled me to release a facebook version of my Windows Mobile Phone game very quickly (http://apps.facebook.com/spritestone   coincidentally the names have a common feature!), and get the ball rolling on my other projects very quickly.

In response to your questions,

1) Possibly. I really like the ease with which I was able to get my project up and running. I haven't seen anything compelling enough to make me switch just yet. The old adage goes "competition is better for everyone", but I don't know if these projects are really at odds with each other. They seem to be focusing on different areas. Moreover, it seems to me that Exen would require a significant investment in money if one wanted to port to iPhone.

2) I'll of course send in any debug reports if I find anything affecting my project.

3) I'm looking to work with 3d in the near future for a project I'm working on, and that definitely interests me. Silverlight 5 capability is a must, because that's where people will be shifting. Another thing that interests me greatly is the ability to leave the current screen intact when not redrawing - in other words, if nothing is happening onscreen (no spritebatch is being redrawn), don't redraw over it with Cornflower blue. This is possible in XNA, but not currently possible in silversprite.

 

Again, more than anything, I just wanted to poke my head in and say thank you.