With the release of the XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta, some of my colleagues have started posting information on their blogs about some of the new features available in the 3.0 beta. Here are links and brief summaries for the posts that have been written so far:
- From Shawn Hargreaves, a great article about using trial mode in XNA Game Studio 3.0. It includes information about detecting trial mode, up-selling your game when it runs in trial mode, and testing trial mode. You can find this article at http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar/archive/2008/09/17/trial-mode-in-xna-game-studio-3-0.aspx.
- Also from Shawn Hargreaves, an article about using invites and join session in progress functionality in networked games created with XNA Game Studio 3.0. You can find this article at http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar/archive/2008/09/18/invites-in-xna-game-studio-3-0.aspx.
- Also from Shawn Hargreaves, an article about incorporating rich presence into networked games created with XNA Game Studio 3.0. Rich presence strings can be used to display more detailed information about the game you are playing when your friends look at your gamer details on their friends list. You can find this article at http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar/archive/2008/09/18/rich-presence-in-xna-game-studio-3-0.aspx.
- Also from Shawn Hargreaves (wow, he's been busy this week), a post about improvements made to the FBX importer in XNA Game Studio 3.0. You can find this post at http://blogs.msdn.com/shawnhar/archive/2008/09/18/fbx-improvements-in-xna-game-studio-3-0.aspx.
- From Michael Klucher, a post about the new Zune Games System Media Control that is available in the 3.0 firmware and that can be controlled by a new API in the XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta. This control allows you to change system volume, shuffle songs and select playlists to listen to while playing games on your Zune. You can find this post at http://klucher.com/archive/2008/09/14/new-xna-game-studio-feature-zune-system-media-control.aspx.
- Also from Michael Klucher, a post about the new screen capture functionality available via the XNA Game Studio Device Center. This feature allows you to capture a screen shot from your game while it is running on your Zune or Xbox 360 as long as you started running the game from within Visual Studio. You can find this post at http://klucher.com/archive/2008/09/15/new-xna-game-studio-feature-screen-capture.aspx.
- From Stephen Styrchak, a useful tip to reduce the noise that gets reported in the output window in Visual Studio when debugging games on a Zune device. This isn't technically a new feature in the beta, but it is a handy tip so I decided to post a link to it here as well. You can find this post at http://badcorporatelogo.spaces.live.com/blog/cns!43EB71B104A2D711!321.entry.
- I wrote a summary of the improvements made for Windows game deployment scenarios, including enabling ClickOnce publishing and creating a Visual Studio bootstrapper package for the XNA Framework Redistributable 3.0. You can find this post at http://blogs.msdn.com/astebner/archive/2008/09/18/8957968.aspx.
<update date="9/20/2008"> Added links to a few new posts that team members have written over the past couple of days. </update>