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Ice on the XBox 360?

pchapinpchapin Vermont, USAMember Peter C. ChapinOrganization: Vermont Technical CollegeProject: Education
Hello! I'm a faculty member at Vermont Technical College. I'm working with a small group of students who are planning to build a network oriented game this coming summer. They are planning to use C# and Microsoft's XNA Game Studio for this project. They are also planning to use Ice for network communication.

One of the interesting aspects of the XNA framework is that it allows one to target both the PC and XBox 360 architecture from the same code base. My students are interested in this possibility. We are trying to understand if it is possible to use Ice on the XBox 360.

From what we understand the XBox 360 is using the Compact .NET Framework on top of a custom "windows-like" operating system. Right now, however, we don't understand the architecture of either Ice or the XBox 360 well enough to say if such a combination is possible or feasible. I'm wondering if anyone here might have some insight. Should we be looking at Ice-E?



  • slypeteslypete Member Pete SylvesterOrganization: Coconaut StudiosProject: iPhone/iPod Game ✭✭
    I commend you for introducing Ice to your students. I certainly wish my Professors were more interested.

    We did a multiplayer XNA game about a year ago. However, it did not run on the XBOX. The limiting factor was the physics engine, and the networking. Now that XNA has the built-in XBOX Live stuff, you may want to consider using it. This way, if your students make a nice game, they can release it to the world through the market place.

    If it's more of an educational middleware project, you may have to target Windows. I'm pretty sure you'll need a 360 dev kit to do any socket programming on the 360.

    If you determine otherwise, please let me know!

  • bernardbernard Jupiter, FLAdministrators, ZeroC Staff Bernard NormierOrganization: ZeroC, Inc.Project: Ice ZeroC Staff
    Hi Peter,

    It's a great idea to develop games with Ice!

    Ice consists of libraries/assemblies for your favorite platform. There are actually 3 full implementations of the Ice core communications framework: one in C++, one in Java, and one in C#. We also support a number of other programming languages (Python, Ruby, PHP, Objective-C) by "wrapping" the Ice C++ runtime.
    And, in addition to this core communications framework, there are number of Ice services (Freeze, IceGrid, IceStorm...) that help you create distributed applications. All except Freeze are separate programs or daemons implemented in C++, and supported on many platforms.

    The Ice for C# implementation targets the .NET 2.0 (or higher) framework, while the Xbox 360 supports a version of the .NET Compact Framework. Unfortunately, Ice for C# won't work "as is" on the Xbox 360. I am not sure how difficult adapting/porting Ice for C# to this version of the .NET Compact Framework would be.

    Ice-E is a compact version of the Ice core libraries, and is currently available only for C++ (we discontinued support for Java Micro Edition in our last release). I am afraid Ice-E won't help you if you want to develop in C#.

    Best regards,
  • pchapinpchapin Vermont, USAMember Peter C. ChapinOrganization: Vermont Technical CollegeProject: Education
    Thanks for your replies and for the clarification. After some discussion we've decided to put aside the XBox 360 port of our game for now and focus instead on the PC platform. Porting the C# Ice runtime to the .NET Compact Framework isn't something we want to tackle just now.

    But hey, who knows what we might try in the future!
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