The way is shut

I suppose I ought to mention the bad news at some point…


The Content Pipeline won't be included in the XNA Framework beta that we are releasing on August 30.


Ouch! I just looked at my calendar and that date is really close now. I'd better stop wasting time typing in blog posts and get back to work 🙂


One of the things that is very different at Microsoft from places I worked in the past is just how many checks and balances you have to go through before you can release code to the public. Back in the day I used to throw a final build together late on a Sunday night, then see it on shelves a week later. Not here! After the coding is finished, we have testers to test the product, documentation writers to document it, and setup developers to make sure everything gets set up properly.


All of this takes time, and unfortunately the Content Pipeline came in slightly too late to make it through the process in time for our beta release.


But fear not! The pipeline feature team is still hard at work getting everything finished up so we can get this into your hands as soon as possible.

Comments (15)

  1. On the MSDN XNA forums I noticed a post saying that the XNA Content Pipeline would make the first beta…

  2. JudahGabriel says:

    Shawn, I know you’re not allowed to talk about specifics of when something is going to be released. Can you instead give us some rough idea — i.e. is it likely to be released this year?

  3. I can’t commit to any specific dates, but rest assured we’re doing our best to get this out to you sooner rather than later!

  4. According to Shawn Hargreave’s Blog, the Content Pipeline is not ready to be released with the XNA Studio…

  5. Jamezilla says:

    Great blog, can’t wait for XNA (tomorrow?)


  6. NotASenator says:

    I’ve come into the XNA camp a bit late, but not too late.

    Can’t wait to start cranking out content with this.  

  7. XNA Diaries says:

    Michael (another PM on the XNA team) has followed Mitch’s lead and bypassed his blog to add…

  8. XNA Diaries says:

    Michael (another PM on the XNA team) has followed Mitch’s lead and bypassed his blog to add…

  9. JudahGabriel says:

    Shawn, I’ve downloaded XNA Studio Express and started playing with some stuff. I’m looking at importing some .x files into my scene, but it appears I need to get them in the .swm format?

    How can I do that without the content pipeline?

  10. The .swm format is just a temporary thing used by the Spacewar demo until the real Content Pipeline becomes available. It will be removed as soon as we have the real system ready to release.

    In the meantime, we’re looking into the possibility of releasing the code we used on Spacewar to convert .x into .swm format: Michael will post something as soon as we have any info on that.

  11. JudahGabriel says:

    Ok, just to be clear, there is no way of getting 3d models into XNA scenes right now unless they’re in the temporary .swm format?

  12. You can load models from any format, but you have to do it "by hand", reading all the individual bits (vertex data, textures, indices) and constructing the appropriate type of graphics object for each. There is no higher level loading code or mesh type in the beta framework.

    The Spacewar game, however, does contain source for a higher level mesh type, which loads from the temporary .swm format. So if you copy that code out of Spacewar, then you can easily load .swm files (such as the ones included with Spacewar).

  13. JudahGabriel says:

    Mmm, that’s no fun. :-p We had easier mesh loading in plain old DirectX.

    Man, I want that content pipeline! 🙂

    Could you maybe post a piece of the content pipeline on your blog, like a "here’s a .x file loader example to hold you over till Content Pipeline arrives"?

    I want to start writing a small XNA 3d game with some simple .x files, but to have to write my own importer is enough to scare me away. Care to post a little .x file importer code?

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