Hi Jason,
While you made some very good points on the subject of C++ verses .NET there is perhaps some other things here maybe you haven't considered. When it comes to supporting multiple operating systems like Mac OS, Linux, and Windows it is certainly true supporting all three platforms won't dramatically improve the developer's sales and number of customers. However, there is more to writing games than just making money. There is the customer's freedom of choice, and his/her right to use something other than Windows based software. I know that Josh, from Draconis Entertainment, has for all intents and purposes switched over to Mac OS. He is very supportive of that operating system and Draconis Entertainment's new titles will run on Mac OS natively as well as Windows. While he could write Windows versions and run them through some kind of virtual machine that still isn't as good as writing a native version for the operating system itself. Virtual machines are nice, but only a quick fix for a much larger problem. That being that many companies, developers, and so on tend to see that Windows is the biggest source of money out there, create Windows specific software for it, and ignore everything else. Since they are responsible for restricting the number of applications for Mac and Linux people are less likely to use those operating systems. It is simply a vicious cycle of Windows is the biggest software platform out there, companies write software only for Windows, in turn making Windows all the more important to have. Like Josh I also don't use Windows regularly. I have MS Windows installed on this laptop, but my main desktop doesn't use Windows at all. It runs Ubuntu Linux complete with the Orca screen reader, Open Office, Evolution for E-mail, Firefox for the web, etc. All of it is free cost effective software which means I don't have to pay Microsoft, Freedom Scientific, or anyone else huge amounts of money to keep that computer up to date and running. Not to mention the ability to install the operating system from scratch using speech. For all of these reasons I choose to use Linux, not Windows, for most of my computer work, and I truly wish more accessible games were available for Linux. So part of my reason of switching from .NET to C++ is so that I'll have the choice and ability to begin creating games for Linux. Not because of money, but because I personally use that operating system more than Windows. Weather I make one cent off my Linux versions of the games is less important to me than my right to choose not to use Windows if I don't want to. That's the difference between me and some of the other game developers out there. Regarding .NET security it is true these days obfuscation is pretty good and secure. Still weather someone will try and disassemble the code and reverse engineer it remains to be seen. There may not be many here with the ability or desire to do it, but it still needs to be considered. I will say if you don't use a good obfuscation program it is very easy to disassemble a .NET executable and convert it back to readable source code. Which is not good, and requires a bit of extra money to secure your program from a hacking attempt. As far as the XNA Framework I haven't kept up with development of that API, but when I looked at it last I wasn't too impressed with it. Plus I really can't find anything for .NET that truly satisfies me. Yeah, I could use FMOD, Irrklang, or SlimDX, but I could write the same application in C++ and still use those APIs directly. By the same stroke I can create Linux and Mac ports as well. So I really see very little advantage for me in sticking to .NET for future game development. Bottom line, I think a lot of this is what the developers goals are. If you only want to support Windows, Windows based APIs, then using .NET is probably ok. However, if you are like me, using Linux instead of Windows, then using non-Windows based solutions is ultimately more important. In C++ I can create a program in C++ using SDL for input and OpenAL for audio that will run on Mac, Linux, and Windows equally well. It is true that I will lack some of the functionality of XNA or DirectX, but I'll still be able to pick my operating system of choice. It comes down to choice of what is important and not important to you as a game developer.


Cheers!


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