From games to telephones

From games to telephones

  • Comments 44

After six years working on XNA, I decided it was time to take on a new challenge.  I am moving to the Windows Phone team, where I will be working on things I'm not sure how much I can say about here  (leaking future business plans on MSDN might not be the best way to endear myself to my new boss :-)

Writing this post is a bittersweet moment for me.  I'm excited by what the future holds for Windows Phone, and looking forward to my chance to be part of that, but also sad to leave a team and product that have given me so much satisfaction.  There'll be no going back once I hit that Publish button a few minutes from now...

I feel an urge to wax nostalgic about some of my favorite times with XNA:

  • Staying up all night to watch Michael purchase the first ever Creators Club subscription.

  • The first Dream Build Play competition, when we got to see the first actual games made with our technology  (Dishwasher FTW!)

  • On stage with Mitch at Gamefest, where I wrote a network game 'from scratch'  (if you ignore some minor snippet cheating :-)  in less than an hour.  I'm still blown away by the fact that our APIs were simple enough to make this possible.  Also amazed that the demo actually worked, considering what an unstable early build we were using!  Unfortunately there is no video of this, and the slides don't do it justice since the whole point was the live coding demo.

  • On stage once more at MIX, demonstrating XNA graphics on the new Windows Phone with a frighteningly last minute demo cobbled together just a few days earlier using a hot-off-the-presses build of XNA on an even more experimental frankenbuild of the phone OS.  Then rushing back to my hotel room to blog about the new features coming in XNA 4.0  (which, modesty aside, I still think is some of the best design work I have done to date).

  • Trying to decide, of all the lines of code I have written in my life, which one has been executed the most times?  I think it must be the default SpriteBatch pixel shader.

  • Last but not least, spending time with y'all on forums and this blog, where I got to know so many great people and see the amazing things you create.

I'm not yet sure what this means for my blog.  I want to keep writing, but will probably cover more general graphics and game development topics, and will obviously no longer have inside scoop on XNA implementation details.  I'm also not sure how much time I will have for writing, especially in the early months as I settle into the new job, but I will do my best.

Ok, I'm off now to meet some new people and learn my way around a whole new product.

<nervously excited>

  • Nice work on XNA, Shawn, and these blogs.  I refer people from the AppHub forums to your blogs so many times I have lost count.

    I'm hoping you will enjoy your time on Windows Phone and have a good impact on the future of those wonderful devices.

  • best of luck Shawn!

  • Thanks Shawn for these many years of great posts and support of XNA, best of luck in the new role!

  • It's been a pleasure experiencing what you have created Shawn. You've been a great inspiration for me.

    Thank you, very sincerely.

  • Thank you Shawn for an excellent library and all the excellent behind-the-scenes information you've given us over the years! We'll miss you :)

  • Yeah, totally saw this one coming.

    And this is why I stopped working on my Xbox-only XNA game.

    Maybe some new MS platform will attract me in a few years, but phones? No thanks.

  • Shawn, Good luck with your future endeavors. You've been a great inspiration to me and the rest of us @ Creators Club.. forever grateful.

  • Wish you best of luck Shawn!


    Uditha Bandara.

    South East Asia`s First XNA/DirectX MVP

    (Microsoft Most Valuable Professional)

  • Looking forward to hearing more of whatever it is you're moving on to sometime in the future. For now, for XNA, it's been fun and you will be missed!

  • Good luck for your new job, Shawn.

    The XNA community will miss you :-(

  • All the best, sad to see such an awesome pillar of the XNA ecosystem move on.

    Good luck.

  • Thanks for an excellent framework and many informative write-ups.

    Best of luck.

  • Thank you Shawn for your work on the great XNA framework. Your 'blog index' webpage is so amazing : it has so many answers for game development specific problems.

    Too bad you're leaving for windows phone development. Maybe in a few years there'll be many phones sold, and it will be attractive for developers.

  • Thanks for all the contribution you did with XNA! What this means for XNA? Does it have a future or is it a secret?

  • Not to do any of your colleagues a disservice but for many of us, you were XNA. All the best!

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