XNA 2d Framework

I’ll just come out and say it: I really enjoy 2d games. I love it when game companies license classic IP, like from the SNES era, and revamp it with HD graphics and modern gameplay, while keeping it 2d (or 2.5d). When going from 2d to 3d, it often changes the gameplay so significantly that it’s no longer the same game, it’s just the same brand.

Consequently, I plan to focus on 2d games for the foreseeable future. All my current ideas are 2d, and the people who appreciate the sort of gameplay 2d offers are my peeps.

I already have a game started with all my own code, but as I build one reusable component after another, I can’t help but think these same objects have been written hundreds of times before me. For example: sprite sheets, animation, a “SceneItem” base class, etc. I found that there aren’t any maintained 2d frameworks for XNA right now. There are plenty of 2d engines that want to do everything for you, and some 3d engines. But nothing (that I could find) that gives a developer full source and says, “here’s a great base, now go forth, programmer!”

What to do? I’m not a game programming expert, but I’m an experienced enough developer to know that reinventing the code wheel is not a good way to spend time (DRY principle, except at a higher level). So I started looking around and found IceCream. IceCream is a 2d XNA framework with its own GUI even, called MilkShake. I haven’t been able to actually run it yet though, because it’s targeting the XNA 3.1 framework (downloading now). Building the source targeting XNA 4 leads to many (many) errors, that I’m thinking about fixing. If I can get it working in a few evenings and get all that usable code, it’ll be worth it. I’ve just emailed the author to find out what license the code has been released in (I think MS-PL) before I spend time on it.

4 thoughts on “XNA 2d Framework”

  1. Did you convert the code to XNA 4.0 or do you have any informations about the license?

    I discovered IceCream today by accident and the project seems to be dead but it looks very interesting as it is.

  2. Hi Rahvin,

    One of the original authors is who converted it to XNA4–you can find the code here: http://www.assembla.com/spaces/IceCream/trac_subversion_tool I got one response via email about the license, from Loïc Dansart (Epsicode) which was: “The license is simply do whatever you want with the lib, as long as you don’t re-use it for a public derivative editor/engine.” I have written again recently to further clarify the license but have not heard back. I would prefer that they put an official license file in the source repository to make it official, and hopefully use a known license that has clear terms explained.

    I hope this helps. Let me know if you contact them (Epsicode or conkerjo) and what you hear!


    1. Thanks for you fast answer :).

      I downloaded the version for XNA 4.0 but there are some issue with the templates. It seems that they are not converted to XNA 4.0.

      Do you know if IceCream is still developed or is the project dead?

      1. You’re right that the templates are not converted to XNA 4.0. The IceComponent still works, but the project template does not.

        The code has not seen a commit in quite awhile. I personally would like to contribute to the project and get it active again, but I did not hear back from Epsicode when I asked him about opening the svn repository to me, or forking it. It’s possible my email just got lost in the shuffle. I have not yet tried emailing again (this was 2 or 3 weeks ago).

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