Geeks With Blogs
George Clingerman       XNADevelopment.com June 2006 Entries
Congratulations to the GWB Game Contestants who made it to the end!
The GWB Contest has ended and the contestants have posted their code to the server. Time to raise our glasses in the air and congratulate each other on a job well done. Just completing and having something to show people to say "I made that!" is a pretty awesome achievement. I'm really excited too because each contestant tackled a different gametype and focused on different types of technologies. Should be plenty of nice examples to improve my own coding skills and have those "oh THAT's how I should ......

Posted On Friday, June 30, 2006 7:52 PM

My Game is officially submitted.
Tonight was slightly stressful. I always get stressed on release days (or nights, whatever). It just seems that no matter how small the release, things always pop up. Well, even with the small things that kept appearing, I still got it submitted and I'm glad. I'm tired. For those of you anxious to take a peak at it before Jeff makes it available. You can grab the project source here or you can just grab the game here (I think it will work, I know the source code will, just not sure about my standalone ......

Posted On Thursday, June 29, 2006 8:52 PM

Refactoring and A.I. improvements
Tonight I spent some more time cleaning up my code and then I spent a little more time messing up the code by adding in some artificial intelligence. The Jellyfish on the Feeding Frenzy level (the Pac-Man clone) just weren't difficult enough so I made them chase Bob a bit more "intelligently". They are also very adept now at avoiding him when they are scared. The A.I. could still use some improvements, but it's a much more challenging level then it was when I started tonight. I really want to take ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 28, 2006 8:38 PM

Everybody has the same computer setup and graphics card that I have right?
I've got the last of the game errors I was planning on addressing fixed, so now I'm just play testing and tweaking the game difficulty a bit. I also spent some time tonight cleaning up the project and removing those classes that I no longer use and I cleaned up some of my unused graphic files from the project directory. The only remaining floating (and concerning) issue is a weird texture issue I've experienced when testing the game on another computer, but I'm not sure what to do about it. All my ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 27, 2006 7:37 PM

The Story transitions have been added, the final bug fixes are being made and a big shout out to Cropper
Tonight I finally added in all of the story transitions for the Story Mode. That I believe is the final "new" development piece for Bob the Fish. There are just a couple of bugs I plan on fixing and then that's all she wrote. I'll be handing it in and breathing a sigh of relief that I made it to the end. After I added the story elements in and went through the levels (in a shortcut fashion, lowering the requirements for each...oh that reminds me I should probably set those back..), it just felt really ......

Posted On Monday, June 26, 2006 8:10 PM

I'm tired, I'm hot but I'm coding
Just came off a weekend filled with a new 6 year olds Star Wars themed birthday activities. And for some crazy reason, the Northwest decided it didn't feel like being a moderate climate and temperature shut up into the upper 90s. We're you're not used to that it can be a bit much. Not much time left in the contest, but I'm feeling ok with where I'm at. There's of course more I could do for each level (there's always more), but I'm being good and just focusing on final tweaks and cleaning up my code. ......

Posted On Sunday, June 25, 2006 5:47 PM

Finishing the Final Boss Battle
I'm not going to have time to add sound, but it looks like I might just be able to get all my loose ends wrapped up and having a fairly functional working game to submit before next Friday (the 30th). I'm just now putting the finishing touches on the final boss battle and then it's just going through each of the game types and cleaning up those little things that I told myself that I would look at later. This whole contest has just been such an amazing experience. To be honest, I wasn't sure I was ......

Posted On Friday, June 23, 2006 7:00 AM

Portland Code Camp 2.0
[Edit: There appears to be something wrong with the Code Camp site, I'm sure it will be up soon, but for now just note that the links I've provided for the Code Camp do not work. I'm assuming that Jason Maeur is on the issue, but so far I haven't heard anything from him.] [Edit: Well, apparently the site has moved servers and it's just taking a while for the changes to propagate. The links should be working again soon.] [Edit: The Code Camp site is working again for me, so it should be for you as ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 21, 2006 1:11 PM

Caverns And Leviathans: The beginning
With today being Father's day, I of course did what every dad dreams of doing. I attempted to program a Gauntlet style game in Managed DirectX with VB.NET using Visual Studio Express. I'm sure most of you did the same. I made some really excellent progress and it felt VERY good. The coding isn't pretty, but this is jut my first pass at it. I code similar to how you are supposed to write a college paper. First I start with notecards (a myriad of sheets of notebook papers with scribbled thoughts and ......

Posted On Sunday, June 18, 2006 6:15 PM

Creating 2D Graphics using Gimp
If you don't have the money for Photoshop and would like to keep that eye-patch off (you do right?) then I would have to recommend that you check out Gimp. This is a free graphics program that is extremely versatile and has quite a community built up around it. All of the graphics that I have for my project I made myself using Gimp 2.2. I'm definitely not a wizard yet using Gimp (or any digital graphics tool) and I still prefer pen and ink on paper still, but I'm really starting to like making digital ......

Posted On Saturday, June 17, 2006 6:31 PM

"Feeding Frenzy" is Complete!
The 4th of my 5 level game is now complete. I just put the finishing touches on Feeding Frenzy tonight. I have a few things that I will come back to revisit if I have time after my 5th level, but I'm going to show remarkable restraint and just let them alone for now. I was a little worried when I finally decided to do the re-write on that level and use a grid style approach for movement, but I like the way it turned out. The movement isn't as smooth, but man o' days is the gameplay a whole lot better! ......

Posted On Friday, June 16, 2006 7:03 PM

2 Steps Back and 1 Step Forward (...I hope)
Well, I've been battling movement in my PacMan level (Feeding Frenzy) for quite a while now. I had it to a fairly decent point with Bob, but then when I started working on the Jellyfish A.I. it just became apparent that the problem wasn't really gone. So I think I'm finally going to have to do it. I've resisted this since I first started working on this level, but I think I'm finally going to have to stop treating it like objects placed on a table and more like objects placed in a grid. If I actually ......

Posted On Wednesday, June 14, 2006 7:16 PM

2D Game Development with Managed DirectX just couldn't be easier
I was a little concerned going into this contest that using Managed DirectX was going to come around and bite me in the butt. I really got concerned when more and more contestants starting saying they were going to avoid MDX and just use GDI+. Well, I have to say that as we are heading into the final stretch of the contest, I haven't regretted my decision at all. Once I got my basic MDX engine written, I don't even really think about DirectX at all anymore. It's there, but I don't really touch it ......

Posted On Sunday, June 11, 2006 5:18 PM

Ub Nob Febbing Goob
It all started on Wednesday night and I've been gone from work since Thursday. My head is just not capable of looking at code right now. Bleh. With a schedule this tight, this is just the kind of thing I don't have time for. The only bright side is that this sickness has been a disgustingly effective weight loss aid. Bleh. Tomorrow (fingers crossed), I'm hoping I'll be with it enough to go through all of my project and take a realistic inventory of what I have left to do. Then I can prioritize it ......

Posted On Saturday, June 10, 2006 4:23 PM

What is wrong with Visual Studio Express?
Nothing. I have been coding with Visual Basic .NET Express since May 19th now and all I can say is that I just can't believe it's free. If you are one of those developers that "borrow" a copy of Visual Studio from work, you really just don't have any excuse at this point. It's time to finally rip off that eye patch and become legit. I've worried for years what would happen when I finally worked at a company that didn't provide a development environment for me at home (so far I've been lucky and every ......

Posted On Tuesday, June 6, 2006 8:04 PM

I've got sunshine, on a coding day...
The rain clouds have come and gone. My fingers might be numb from carpal tunnel syndrome, but progress has been made (and you guys aren't really concerned about my health anyway right? SHOW MEh TeH GAME!!1!11!) I'm not ready to post the code yet, but I finally got the "following" code for "Follow the Leader" working correctly (almost....). There's one final glitch that I'm trying to track down, but I'm so pleased with where it's at right now I don't care if that glitch haunts me the rest of my life. ......

Posted On Monday, June 5, 2006 7:29 PM

6-Year Wedding Anniversary Trumps Game Development
This weekend is my 6-year wedding anniversary (June 3rd) so I'm guessing that won't mean a lot of forward progress on the game. We are actually going to be kidless (we have 3 boys) for the next 2 nights so I imagine we won't take advantage of that by tweaking and refactoring code in the Bob The Fish. I did work some today with Rick in figuring out how to properly get Bob's kids to follow him and with the suggestion made by thorkia (thanks for that!), I have implemented a system that I think will ......

Posted On Friday, June 2, 2006 12:59 PM

A Night of Frustration
Tonight was just one of those nights. I just couldn't seem to wrap my mind around any of the little game glitches I was trying to iron out tonight. It seemed like the simplest things were just causing me major amounts of headaches. One of the issues I was trying to figure out tonight was how to get Bob's kids to follow him properly in the "Follow the Leader" level. I had it working, but the fish were kind of jumpy and Bob was always in constant collision with the first two of his children so I was ......

Posted On Thursday, June 1, 2006 7:00 PM

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