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Unreal Tournament 3 vs UDK: What Should I Choose?
Many people in the mod community were very excited to see the release of the Unreal Developer Kit (UDK) a few months ago. Along with generating excitement into a very dedicated community, it also introduced many new modders into a flourishing area of indie-development. However, since UDK is free, most beginners jump right into UDK, which is OK though you might just benefit more from purchasing a shelf-copy of Unreal Tournament 3. UDK UDK is a free full version of UnrealEd (the editor environment ......

Posted On Friday, March 12, 2010 8:23 AM

Unreal Engine Tip: Room Surroundings
Here's a quick tip that you can add to your map to make it much more realistic and make the player "Oooo" and "Aaahh"! When building a map or environment, consider adding areas the player can see but not go to. This gives your map a feeling of depth and that it is a location inside of a larger world and not a predefined layout. For example, my current map, DM-Grime, is set within a dark, dingy basement. After I built my walls, added some static meshes, and tossed in a few lights the map was looking ......

Posted On Monday, March 1, 2010 4:12 AM

Game Trick: Randomizing Colors
A cool trick to add to your game is to randomize a color and slowly fade to that color during gameplay. This can be used as the draw color for sprites, the screen background, or anything else that takes a Color. The code is pretty easy and only takes a few minutes to implement. First, lets create a two variables; one to hold the new randomized color and one to hold the current color that is fading: Color futureColor = Color.CornflowerBlue; Color currentColor = Color.CornflowerBlue; We'll set it to ......

Posted On Wednesday, January 6, 2010 10:13 AM

Learn XNA: Useful Types
There are numerous useful types available in XNA that will significantly help you design and build your next game. Here are two of the most useful (in my opinion) and how you can use them in your game (I will focus on mostly 2-dimensional uses). Vectors Vectors are amazing! They are seriously, probably one of the coolest types on the block, especially when taking into account that they are used for almost everything in games. The most common forms of Vectors used in XNA are the Vector2 and the Vector3, ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 11, 2009 8:05 AM

LINQ to Objects: VB TextBox Edition
Here's an example of looping through Form textboxes using VB LINQ and disabling the boxes: Dim formBoxes = From formControls In Form.Controls _ Where formControls.GetType() Is GetType(TextBox) _ Select formControls For Each oBox In formBoxes CType(oBox, TextBox).Enabled = False Next ......

Posted On Friday, June 20, 2008 10:34 AM

Grouping in Dynamic Excel Sheet
Lets say you have some code built to dynamically build an Excel report for your company. You've got a header record with tons of detail records and want the ability to hide the detail records. Add the following to select and group rows dynamically in ASP .NET (VB Code Shown): xlWorkSheet.Rows.Range("B4", "B7").EntireRow.Group() This will select rows from 4-7 (in this case in the B column) and group them together. In this case, you would either have your details go from 4-6 and your Header at 7 or ......

Posted On Thursday, June 5, 2008 9:47 AM

Development Diary: Pong RPG
I have been hard at work recently porting Pong RPG from a PC-only XNA game to an Xbox 360 game in the hopes of potentially releasing it on the Xbox Indie Games Marketplace. Pong RPG (PC) was a great success in my mind because even though it was flawed, it was a full game product that I created from scratch (almost all by myself) since my days in High School (which was when I first created a full game). While it was great to finish the game, the code was extremely difficult to read and very static. ......

Posted On Friday, November 6, 2009 5:31 AM

Learn XNA: Starting Development
Game development is a great career but we all can't be the next John Carmack. And let's be honest, even though you've got a great resume and a smashing portfolio, the odds are slim you'll get that coveted game programmer job. To sharpen your skills and expand your portfolio why not take a look at Microsoft's XNA Game Studio? XNA Game Studio is a library built on top of the DirectX framework to ease game development for students and hobbyists while still providing enough flexibility to create games ......

Posted On Wednesday, November 4, 2009 7:34 AM

Intro to SVN: Trunk, Tags, and Branches
Subversion (SVN) is a popular tool used by many development teams as their primary way of versioning their code. Here are some of the basics to SVN. Possibly one of SVN's best aspects is the ability to work on a shared code base. This shared code base is called the Trunk. This is typically where the full, buildable code resides. It may depend on your team, but this code may be the code you work on daily and commit to. This leads into the idea of commits and updates. To illustrate this, let's imagine ......

Posted On Wednesday, September 30, 2009 3:59 AM

Intro to Scrum Development
Recently I read a portion of a good book ('Agile Software Development with Scrum' by Ken Schwaber with Mike Beedle). I read this book in order to understand the Agile/Scrum development style used at my new workplace. I took a course last semester in which we used a Scrum development style based on the input given by a student who worked where I've just started and while we seemed to grasp the idea of Scrum, we had it often incorrect according to the book. This is some of the basics of what I learned ......

Posted On Thursday, May 28, 2009 1:38 PM

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