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XNA

Game Development

All about my game development experiences (mostly with .NET)
Here are a bunch of links for BUILD material related to Game Dev. Go Nuts, Be Awesome. Downloads: Windows 8 Developer Preview Visual Studio 11 Developer Preview MSDN: Direct3D 11.1 DXGI 1.2 WDDM 1.2 Feature Level 11.1 DirectXMath Channel9: Direct3D PLAT-751T 3D Graphics for Metro Style Apps and Games PLAT-752T Tuning GPU usage for any form factor HW-218T: Understanding the Windows 8 graphics driver model TOOL-761T: A lap around DirectX game development tools XINPUT PLAT-754T: From touch to gamepads: ......

When I was at TechEd 2011 in Atlanta, I had the pleasure of meeting a bunch of the DevExpress folks and working out some of the details for a series of Windows Phone Development webinars. Here they are, for your viewing pleasure: #1 Introduction to WP7 Development with Silverlight and XNA - http://tv.devexpress.com/#W... #2 Deeper Dive Into XNA on Windows Phone - http://tv.devexpress.com/#W... The source (in C# and VB.NET) for the demos in this talk can be found in my book, or ......

This is how it should work: In your game project, set a project reference to Microsoft.Advertising.Mobil... (This will point to whatever folder you installed the SDK to!) Next, add a using statement at the top of your game: using Microsoft.Advertising.Mobil... Next, add these variable declarations at the class level: AdManager adManager; Ad bannerAd; Next, add some constants (also at the class level) to store your Application ID and Ad Unit ID from the pubcenter.microsoft.com site. (You have ......

In 24 short days*, my (along with the awesome George W. Clingerman) first book will be released: Professional Windows Phone 7 Game Development: Creating Games using XNA Game Studio 4 (or as we like to call it, that damned 550 page monstrosity that nearly killed us) Weighing in at 552 pages and featuring a foreward by the legendary James Silva (Ska Studios, creator of The Dishwasher: Dead Samurai, The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile, I MAED A GAME W1TH Z0MB1ES 1NIT!!!1, and more...) this book gives thorough ......

I have a talk submitted to the Heartland Developers Conference. It's called: Developing For Windows Phone 7 Series with XNA 4.0 Here's a description: Forget Droid, Windows Phone 7 Series is the iPhone killer. If you want to learn to build killer touch-based apps for this next generation mobile device then this is the session for you. We’ll go over phone specific features and how to leverage those features with XNA 4.0 and C# I need your votes in order to give this talk. Please go here: http://www.heartlanddc.com/... ......

I'm going on tour... talking about WP7 & XNA. (Dates below) XNA Games on Windows Phone 7 DESCRIPTION Chris G. Williams will be presenting 'A Tour of Windows Phone 7 and XNA 4.0'. In this talk, he'll cover what's new in XNA 4.0, especially as it pertains to Windows Phone 7. He'll cover phone features, using the emulator and how to take advantage of the various sensors (like the Accelerometer) and features (MultiTouch, Gestures, Push Notifications, etc) in your games. Rumor has it, he may even ......

A while back, I submitted an XNA talk to the South By SouthWest Music/Film/Interactive Conference (also known as SXSW) and it's currently up for voting in the Interactive category. I'd really appreciate some votes in order for my talk to get selected. You can click this link or the image to the left to go to the site and vote for my talk. You will need to register on the SXSW site to place a vote, but there's no charge for that and it's quick and easy. Be sure to leave a comment with your vote so ......

I'm starting a new RPG project, using XNA and targetting the XBOX 360. I'll be doing the project in C# although I'm leveraging a lot of the code and work I did in VB.NET & Heroic Adventure. I got some interesting ideas from the RPG in a week page (here: www.gamedev.net/reference/a... though I won't be doing mine anywhere near that fast. I spent a few hours over the weekend doing some basic design and coding the inital data structures. So far things are going pretty smooth. ......

Are you a math whiz? Maybe you love Math so much you majored in it in college, or maybe you just really "get" it... Maybe you aren't a math whiz but you know someone who is. Either way, the Twin Cities XNA User Group could use your help. We'd like someone to come in and give a talk (about an hour, maybe more) on 3D Math as it relates to graphics and game development. If interested, please contact me ......

http://creators.xna.com/en-us/3.0beta_mainpage



http://creators.xna.com/en-us/3.0beta_mainpage

so a few of you (including my parents) have been wondering what this "big idea" of mine was. It's not another game store, although don't rule that out permanently. It's not a video game studio, although again... never say never. No, this is something truly magnificent. I give you the Charity Fragathon. www.charityfragathon.com The Twin Cities XNA User Group is throwing their first ever charity event! Admission to this event is $10 (ten bucks!!) and that covers entry into what just might be the biggest ......

If you're a 3D kinda guy, which I'm not (well, I'm getting there, but it's a slow journey) then you might be interested in this. Apparently, Caligari is giving away their trueSpace 7.6 product for free for a limited time. Here's the marketing fluff: What you may not expect is that we are making trueSpace7.6 available to everyone at no charge, in a giant step forward to bring high-end 3D authoring tools to all who want them! trueSpace7.6 is far more than a SketchUp-style 3D architectural modeling ......

Big announcement today:

http://creators.xna.com/en-us/XboxLIVECommunityGames

http://www.torpexgames.com Microsoft and Torpex Games announced today the release of Schizoid for Xbox LIVE Arcade. Billed as "the most co-op game ever", Schizoid creates a new category of action gaming where teamwork equals survival and players must protect each other from waves of glowing enemies. Available for download now, Schizoid is the first-ever Xbox LIVE Arcade title built using Microsoft's XNA Game Studio. Microsoft's Schizoid page: click me I am really really excited about this. It's great ......

This month is kind of a big deal (to me) here in the Twin Cities. We're launching not one, but TWO developer related groups. The first one is my own project, the Twin Cities Developers Guild. (www.twincitiesdevelopersgu... Our kickoff meeting is on Tuesday, July 8 at 6pm (with our Kickoff Cookout starting at 5pm) at New Horizons of Minnesota (in Edina) and features Jason Bock (Magenic) speaking on "Writing Better Code." Later in the week, on Thursday, July 10 at 5:30pm, the Twin Cities Languages ......

A couple weeks ago, Jeff Brand and I sat down and talked about XNA on his Spaghetti Code podcast. We had a good time, as usual, and discussed various aspects of the XNA experience, and what's new in the XNA 3.0 CTP. Here's the link: XNA Podcast ......

I have a nephew who is wicked smart. Actually, I have 4 nephews and 4 nieces in total, but this is about one nephew in particular. Anyway... he's fairly young, but he's always been interested in software development. By software development, I mean games of course. He doesn't just play them though, he's taught himself Java. Then I showed him C#. (Yes, I suppose I could have showed him VB... but he already knew Java, so C# was the logical choice.) Along with C#, was XNA. He really grok'ed XNA. One ......

I've been playing with ClickOnce at work lately, and I like it, so I decided to publish HA! with it. HA! really is the perfect application for it, since there are no external dependancies (other than .NET 2.0) and it doesn't care where you put it. I'll also be able to tap into the ClickOnce On-Demand API (which you can't do unless its running under ClickOnce) and pull down updates automatically in the background. The project along with all the sourcecode, bug tracking, etc is all still hosted on ......

Along with a new look and feel, the creators.XNA.com site has some pretty big announcements: The GDC 2008 presentations are now available. Additional information has been posted about The Democratization of Game Distribution (AKA YouTube for Games.) The Role-Playing Game starter kit has been released (which I am VERY excited about.) I spent a couple hours on this last night. Also, there's a new video on Game Development for the Zune available over at Channel 9 ......

Sorry, but I'm calling bullshit on this one. The parents aren't right. Nintendo isn't responsible. It's a GAME. Say it with me... IT'S A GAME. One more time, in case it didn't sink in: IT'S A GAME. It might be a great idea, it might even help kids get in better shape, but at the end of the day, it's just A GAME, produced by a company that MAKES GAMES. If you want serious health and fitness evaluation software, don't buy it from the people who brought you SUPER MARIO. Duh people... take some responsibility ......

So I'm getting a PSP here soon, from a good buddy who doesn't want his anymore.

Those of you that have PSPs... what are the good RPGs? 

Blog post: http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/a... Download: http://www.microsoft.com/do... Why are you still here reading this?? Go. Download. Now ......

Did anyone NOT see this coming? http://blogs.msdn.com/somas... Noteworthy quotes: You can start with a known collection of game templates that are already built in and customize and share them, or start with a fresh idea and a clean canvas and build your own game. Casual games created using the Game Creator will have all the same attributes that Mashups and webpages built with Popfly have – they can be rated, shared and embedded as Windows Vista sidebar ......

Check out this video on Channel 9 that talks about the soon-to-be-released CTP for XNA games on the Zune.

http://channel9.msdn.com/ShowPost.aspx?PostID=400948


This is the first in what will hopefully be a series where I ask NINE Questions of various Interesting People in the Technical Industry. My first victim is Andy Dunn of www.thezbuffer.com. 1. Where are you from? I’m from a town called Halesowen, just outside Birmingham in the UK. I’ve lived in the USA for almost 12 years. 2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product? I work for myself. I have no products besides my own abilities. You are buying ......

Next month, on May 15th, the Twin Cities XNA User Group is hosting a very special guest. Shawn Hargreaves (Microsoft, XNA Team) has agreed to come present TWO sessions to the user group in one night: Session 1: Defeating the Network Game Gremlins The speed of light. Quantum uncertainty. Parallel universes. Bandwidth that for some reason never turns out to be good as the advert from your ISP claimed it would be. When you set out to write a networked game, you have to worry about these things. This ......

If you're reading this, you're probably not at IMGDC right now. Why not? If you're in the Twin Cities and interested in Massively Multiplayer Online Game Development, then close your laptop and head over to the Minneapolis Convention Center RIGHT NOW, before it's too late! This is the second year of the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference, and it's got an even better lineup than last year. Check out THIS schedule! It's loaded with industry veterans. I mean, seriously... Richard Bartle pretty much ......

Hey everyone, I've got some an agenda change today along with info about upcoming meetings. Also, if you haven't RSVP'd for this week's (3/20/08) meeting, please do so ASAP so we can order enough pizza, etc. Unfortunately, Nick Landry is unable to join us this week, due to work demands. The good news is that INETA has managed to line up another speaker on very short notice (as of this morning.) The new speaker is Martin Shoemaker and the topic is "Voice-Enable Your Vista Games with MSAPI" and I realize ......

Tonight's the Twin Cities XNA User Group meeting.  Unfortunately, INETA speaker Nick Landry couldn't make it, but we were lucky enough that INETA was on the ball and quickly found a replacement.  Martin Shoemaker is doing a talk on "Speech Enabling Your Games On Vista."

I see much potential in using this for HA!  (more on that later.)

I added a calendar to the Twin Cities XNA User Group website.  Check it out, here:  www.twincitiesxnausergroup.com

Now you can see brief details for previous events as well as upcoming events.

And of course, if you're in the Twin Cities area, there's a meeting next week. Be sure to RSVP via the site.




I've been struggling with how to properly pay my respects to someone I never met in person, but that had such a tremendous impact on my life. I've looked at all the various tributes and cartoons, and I've heard the stories about people getting together in WoW and City of Heroes (and even City of Villains), setting aside their weapons and talking about what a huge effect Gary Gygax and D&D had on their lives. 3 days later, I'm still at a loss for words. You know, how to really express how unbelievably ......

Twin Cities XNA User Group - March 20, 2008 3D Game Development March Guest Speaker: Nick Landry This session quickly skims over the basics and takes you through an iterative approach towards building your first 3D game: a remake of the Space Invaders classic! Using live demos we’ll discuss the structure of a game, including the game loop, game time, initialization and workflow, explore the managed code libraries that form the XNA Framework, work with the XNA Framework Content Pipeline that allows ......

From the DF wiki: Dwarf Fortress is an ASCII game which includes both a roguelike adventure mode, and the more popular Dwarf Fortress Mode, which focuses on the creation and survival of a small dwarven settlement. It has a very steep learning curve, partly due to its ASCII graphics, but also due to the fact that it is one of the most complex games ever released. Dwarf Fortress is completely free. Before you play, you must generate a world to play in, which persists until you create a new one. World ......

http://jobs.gamesondeck.com... The XNA Developer Connection (XDC) is looking for software engineers with a strong interest in game technologies who are passionate about helping the world's leading game developers with tough development issues. Engineers in this position will support internal and external game developers directly, debug and analyze game development problems and develop responsive solutions, as well as write sample code and technical ......

http://jobs.gamesondeck.com... Do you want to work with world class game studios responsible for hit titles like Gears of War, Halo, Viva Piñata, Forza, Jade Empire, Fable, Age of Empires, Project Gotham Racing and others? Like the idea of getting your hands dirty on next-generation games like Mass Effect, Alan Wake and the forthcoming Marvel MMO? Microsoft Game Studios is looking for seasoned developers to join the high-powered publishing engineering ......

Take-Two rejects Electronic Arts takeover bid Video game publisher says rival’s $2 billion offer undervalues company http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id... Personally, I say "good for them." I don't really see EA's bid as a positive thing for Take-Two or the game industry as a whole. How much "marketing muscle" does an "eagerly awaited" game actually need, anyway? It's an opportunistic move on the part of EA, and while it's already an undervalued offer, it's made even worse by EA's horrid reputation ......

"Microsoft will start offering the XNA Game Studio 2.0 development tool kit for free, which lets people develop software games. While anybody can do it, Satchell acknowledged that you will need some expertise in writing software code. The games can be written in Microsoft Word and then migrated to Xbox." http://www.foxbusiness.com/... Start offering XNA for free? Start? Microsoft... Word... W.T.F?!? There's so much wrong with ......

If you're a VB.NET geek like me, and you're working on something fun or interesting in VB.NET, I'd like to hear about it. If you're doing samples in VB.NET for a technology that only shipped with support for C# (for example), I want to know about that too. If you need project, blog or forum space for your VB.NET work, I have you covered. Come by www.ILoveVB.net and I'll get you all set up. No charge, No monthly nonsense. If you're looking for XNA VB Code Samples, we've got that. If you're looking ......

This is the email newsletter I send out each month for our local XNA User Group. If you want to get on the list, just drop me a line at XNAEvents@gmail.com and I'll be happy to add you to it. Hey everyone, I've got some potentially HUGE XNA news today, from the GDC. Keep reading. Also, if you haven't RSVP'd for tomorrow nights (2/21/08) meeting, please do so ASAP so we can order enough pizza, etc. 2008 UG Calendar February 21st - Game AI Techniques (THIS IS TODAY!!) March 20th - INETA Guest Speaker ......

If you're in the Twin Cities area, be sure to stop by for tonights XNA UG meeting.  This month we are focusing on Game AI and have some interesting talks lined up.  We'll also be showing some of the DBP warmup winners.

www.twincitiesxnausergroup.com

This just might be the best week ever, or at least the best one in a long time... Sunday I watched the new Knight Rider which was a lot of fun. I hope they make it a series. My tablet finally showed up yesterday and its working GREAT. My XBOX 360 has been repaired and is on it's way. (edit: FedEx says it will be here tomorrow.) I just finished tech editing a (IMO) terrific VB 2008 book for O'Reilly. Yesterday I got a nice letter from Microsoft, not just informing me about my MVP status & benefits ......

OH HELL YEAH! If you aren't watching the GDC video... you're missing huge news. 10:56 am PT -- It's changing today. For the first time, community games will be distributed through Xbox Live. 10:57 am PT -- "'Xbox Live Community Games' will give creators a huge audience to share their creativity with. Game distribution will be democritized, allowing the community to control the content. Create, Submit, Peer Review, Play are the four key steps." "We want creativity to flow through this pipeline," says ......

I recently posted the VB.NET Mersenne Twister code (rewritten from C# courtesy of Paul Vick) over at ILoveVB.NET. If you haven't looked at it before, it's pretty neat stuff. It wasn't even possible in VB.NET 1.1 because of a lack of support for unsigned integers, with VB.NET 2.0 that problem went away. If you don't know what a Mersenne Twister is, or why I would want one over, say, System.Random or System.Security.Cryptograph... then you may want to read this fine piece of ......

HA! 0.1.6f hit CodePlex tonight after a very long period of no activity on my part. The main purpose of this update is to provide a couple minor bugfixes and most importantly a working build again. I'm not sure how it happened, but HA! sat in a broken state for a long time. I would occasionally try to fix it, but there was a good bit of code "missing." I eventually found it all again, and got it working. Once that was taken care of, I actually found myself in the mood to work on HA! again and spent ......

Thanks to Jeff Brand, Microsoft DE and self-proclaimed .NET Sex Symbol, for making this happen!! Spaghetti Code Video: http://www.slickthought.net... Spaghetti Code Podcast: http://www.slickthought.net... The sound on the video is a little low in some spots, but hey... I look fabulous. ;) ......

March 29 & 30, 2008 Just a little over two months left until the Indie MMO Game Developers Conference, right here in the Twin Cities! There are some pretty interesting people lined up to speak, including Richard Bartle and Gordon Walton (BioWare!!) From the website: IMGDC is a venue for Independent designers and developers to come together to share ideas and learn in all areas related to MMOGs. IMGDC 2.0 has positioned itself to be an even larger venue with three fantastic tracks covering design, ......

If you're using XNA and would like to provide some feedback to Microsoft, take this very brief survey on Connect: https://connect.microsoft.c... And if you're among the proud, the few, using XNA with VB... well, you know what to do. There's a spot on there for you too ......

This is something I'm pretty excited about. The xna3way gang is proud to announce: The Community Games (using XNA Game Studio) DVD Project! This project is a showcase of work being done by people in the XNA community. It doesn't matter if you are a professional developer, hobbyist or student. As long as your game is complete and playable, and you don't mind sharing the source code then there's room for you on the disk(s). This is a living project, so there aren't any hard deadlines. Once enough projects ......

The Twin Cities XNA User Group meeting is coming up this Thursday. The topic for this month is TorqueX. When: Thursday, January 17th at 6PM Where: Magenic Training Room If you're in the area and would like to attend, please visit http://www.twincitiesxnause... and click on the RSVP link (bottom left) to register. February meeting features talks on various AI techniques. March meeting features Nick Landry, courtesy of INETA ......

If you're working on something cool with XNA, check this out...  http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/archive/2008/01/07/calling-all-games.aspx

Send them your info and you might get some attention for your game.


Level one is completely done. Boss fight scene is done, Jason is working on Boss fight code now. Level two scene is done. Just need to set up the hazards. All the sounds are done, Andy is working on the XACT project. We're still using the dragon animations from the starter kit for our character, instead of the XNA3WAY guys, but hopefully we'll get those from George before too long. I have a basic splash screen done, although it's not great. Maybe Georgie will hook me up with a better one. What's ......

Since today is my birthday, we took a break for dinner and went to one of my favorite places to visit in Seattle: GameWorks. I was pretty excited because I still had a bunch of credits on my card leftover from the MVP summit. Well, we got in there and the place looked really different. Apparently in the last 8-9 months, they have rearranged things a bit. So we work our way upstairs and grab a table. The food was good, but my mixed drink was terrible. (Jason, Andy & Jolene with with me. Jason ......

Today's been another crazy day. Level one is done (I think I said that earlier, but I was wrong) from my end. I've handed it off to Jason and he's been making playability tweaks here and there, and getting stuff working properly. We grabbed some Taco Bell for lunch and kept right on working. Andy showed up not to long ago, and he's been helping out as well. George was a real lifesaver this morning, providing us with a fair amount of art and sounds that we sorely needed. He's been shooting me stuff ......

Today was super productive. I've just about finished implementing level one (and making a few design changes along the way as I tested placement and jump distances, etc.) Jason's been busy working on adapting any necessary functionality and when I hand off level one to him, he'll be adding that functionality to the various conveyors, bouncers and controllers in the level while I start implementing level 2. Andy comes over tomorrow (Sunday) and we'll be working on voiceovers mostly Sunday. It's currently ......

woke up early. really early. Still functioning on Central time. checked email for a bit then got up and started working. First thing we did was talk about level design for a bit. Captured a little video and then we made a quick trip out to pick up some Woodchuck (cider), Peach Fresca and a large drawing tablet so I could work on some rough sketches for the level design. I also had an opportunity to have lunch w/ some of the VB team from Microsoft, specifically Paul Yuknewicz, Amanda Silver & ......

aka "What you get when you lock 3 developers, 3 laptops, a keg of woodchuck, a 5 gallon bag of Pizza Rolls and a microwave in Jason Olson's basement" aka Game Coding Butt-Numbathon 2008 aka My Birthday!! I leave tomorrow afternoon and fly (First Class, thank you American Airlines Gold Status: Free Upgrade) to Seattle. I arrive pretty late Wednesday evening, ready to kick off nearly 96 hours of game coding madness. We've already hit one speedbump (sorry Georgie, next time though, for sure) but we're ......

I just noticed this on Amazon a few minutes ago... Learn Programming Now! with XNA Game Studio Express and C# Express Edition (Link to Amazon here.) No big deal, except the cover prominently mentions C# 2008. (Last time I checked, XNA didn't support 2008) Apparently the guy that wrote it is a devices MVP in the UK. Looks like it's published by MS Press. Here's the odd thing... Amazon says it has a CD containing Game Studio Express (which means it's 1.0 refresh at the latest) and another CD containing ......

I've run into a bit of a snag in some of the conversions I've been doing. C# has this thing called Anonymous Delegates that VB.NET doesn't. I don't really understand what they do, and as I said, VB.NET doesn't have them, so I don't have a clue how to convert them. I've done some googling, but haven't found anything that really jumps out as the right answer. So any suggestions or help would be appreciated. The code in BOLD ITALICS is what I'm having trouble with. /// <summary> /// The constructor ......

The last few days have been incredibly productive for me, in terms of cranking out VB.NET XNA samples. Not only did I post several new conversions, but I also managed to wrap up two that had been giving me trouble since day one. The Bloom PostProcess sample and the Billboard sample have both been a real pain to convert, and I had pretty much given up on both of them until just recently. I've learned a lot from converting some of the recent samples (I've learned something from all of them really) ......

One of the earlier XNA samples I tried converting from C# to VB.NET was the Bloom PostProcessing sample (original sample here.) After converting the code, I fought with it nearly every night (after work) for several weeks trying to debug it and get it to perform properly. It seemed I was plagued with problems and eventually shelved it, writing it off as one of those things you just can't do in VB.NET. After I knocked out several more samples, and learning a lot more about what works and what doesn't, ......

Last year we tried and failed. (Ok, we had a LOT of fun, and got a lot done... but we didnt finish.) We were too ambitious, we tried to do too much (we quite possibly also hit the pub and drank too much) and most importantly we let Jason get a little carried away with the whole Framework thing... This year things are going to be different. I've got a plan. We're using TorqueX... We're using the Platformer Starter Kit... George is doing graphics. Jason and I are doing programming and I'm helping George ......

We had our second meeting last night and it went really well. Everyone that could make it did a terrific job and we got to see some really impressive stuff. A big thank you to Microsoft and Magenic as usual for providing swag, pizza and a terrific place to meet. Currently, the plan for January 17th (3rd Thursday) is to focus on TorqueX. Chris Williams will be speaking and demoing some beginner TorqueX stuff and we're going to see if we can get someone to do a second, more advanced session the same ......

If you're interested in XNA Code Samples, Starter Kits and Tutorials then the XNA Creator's Club Website is a fantastic resource. Unless of course, you're looking for samples in VB.NET... Fortunately, all is not lost. Yours truly has been very busy this holiday season, converting the various Code Samples and Tutorials to VB.NET just for you... I've still got a long ways to go, and I haven't touched the starter kits, but I have finished converting the 2D Collision code. (This includes all three examples ......

The December meeting for the Twin Cities XNA User Group is tomorrow night at Magenic.

If you're in the area, come check it out.  Just be sure to RSVP so we have enough pizza!

Please visit the site for more details.


I've been messing with this in my occasional free time for a few weeks now. If you havent heard of it, it's a fairly high end 3D graphics authoring environment specifically for Game Devs. There's also a lite version, which this review focuses on. The full version is about $300 and the "lite" version is free. From what I can tell, the lite version offers a decent subset of the full package. Less polygons and less export formats to choose from, no plugins, a watermark and no real support to speak of, ......

Recently HA! got mentioned on DotNetRocks.  (If you're interested, it's here at around the 30 minute mark.)

The whole show, about Open Source, is actually quite good. So even if you don't care about HA!, give the show a listen.

 


http://creators.xna.com/Education/GettingStarted.aspx

yay...

Ocasionally I get people who email me and ask why HA! doesn't have all the gnarly graphics of, oh I don't know, Diablo or some other kickass game. Read this and get back to me. (Thanks to my artist buddy George who pointed it out to me.) In this case, I was actually aiming for a specific style (that of the Roguelike game) but the advice to "Build a game that fits your level of art skills" is certainly valid. It's why you don't see me trying to crank out a 3D game. and for the record, I LIKE the way ......

The December 20th meeting of the Twin Cities XNA User Group promises to be a good one. We've got the following members presenting some projects they have been working on. Be sure to visit the website and RSVP so we know how many people to expect. Member Projects Justin Chase will show us Drop In, a 1 or 2 player game featuring a simple MinMax algorithm for AI. The object of the game is to get five pucks of your color in a row by dropping pucks into a column and by rotating the game board. Greg Wurm ......

So yesterday was the big day at St. Mary's. We did another mid day session, and then last night was the final judging for the senior game projects. There were some pretty interesting concepts on display and it was obvious an amazing amount of work had been done (by SOME of the teams) in the time given. It snowed pretty much all day, so we were a bit worried about what kind of turnout we would have, but since almost all of the students live on campus, we had a great turnout! Thankfully we had plenty ......

I'm having a difficult time imagining what will come from this. Good, bad or other. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/... Huge fan of Blizzard. Not a big fan (at all) of Activision. I guess if you take things that rock and combine them with things that, well, don't... you should prepare for mediocrity. Part of what makes Blizzard great is the ability do the right thing, without bowing to pressures to ship an unfinished game. I don't see that staying intact with Activision. I'm being unfair, ......

In about an hour, I'll be heading to the airport to catch a flight to DC, and then ride to Maryland (St. Mary's City) to St. Mary's College. Andy "The ZMan" Dunn will be meeting me in DC and riding out with me. We'll be talking about XNA, hanging out with some students, evaluating some final projects, etc... should be fun. I'll be out there Tuesday and Wednesday, and then fly back early Thursday morning ......

By now, if you read the main GWB feed, you've probably noticed a few posts mentioning the www.ILoveVB.NET community. One of the perks of being a Microsoft MVP is that you occasionally get free software and services from various companies. This give me an opportunity to try new things and experiment without a big investment up front. The I Love VB.NET community is one of those experiments. So, what's it all about? I suppose you can think of it as a safe haven for VB.NET developers. When I first registered ......

Crossposted from the VB.NET XNA Project blog at www.ILoveVB.NET First... how to cause the problem. 1. Create a new C# Windows Game 2.0 project in VS2005. If you take a look at this point, in the Configuration Manager, you will see 2 entries. One is for the Content project and the other is for whatever you named your new project. So far, so good. 2. Add a new VB.NET Class Library project to your solution. (Make sure to add it to the solution, not create a new one.) Take a look in the Configuration ......

Depending on where you live, December can be a tough month for user groups. In Minneapolis, that's no exception. Several of my area groups are forgoing the technical content and opting for "Holiday Socials" instead. But hey, at least they're still meeting... right? December 4th: MN.swf (Minnesota Flash/Flex Programmer Group) - progress continues on the scorched earth game, December meeting topic & location are TBD. December 6th: Twin Cities IGDA (International Game Developers Association) - Holiday ......

If you're getting a strange error in XNA Game Studio 2.0 like this: Error loading "whatever". This file was compiled for the wrong target platform. Be sure to check your content project's build platform. Even when you create a Windows Game, there's a bug that points it to the 360. https://connect.microsoft.c... The fix is easy enough, just change the target platform back to x86 and recompile, you should be good. update: This has been fixed ......

Everyone is blogging about VS2008, and that's great. I certainly don't have to. SO what am I so excited about? Well duh... XNA 2.0 of course. See the announcement here: http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/a... and here: http://creators.xna.com/bet... and of course here: http://www.ziggyware.com/ne... Yeah it's only a beta, but it's still chock full of Game-Devy Goodness. Why are you still reading this ......

http://blogs.msdn.com/xna/a... If you're too lazy (or excited) to click, keep reading: XNA Game Studio 2.0 Beta Available Soon Michael Klucher Program Manager - XNA Community Game Platform It's been a while since we posted on the upcoming XNA Game Studio 2.0 release. The good news is that there will be a XNA Game Studio 2.0 beta available for you to download very soon! This beta is considered "feature complete." This means that while we still ......

I know you're probably sick of reading about how awesome it is here in MN... tough! We had snow today. Not a lot, and none of it stuck, but it was definitely snow. Awesome. As a point of reference, it was 76 degrees today in Greenville. No snow there. Moving to the home office was the smartest thing I ever did. Not only is there enough work here in town that I'll practically never have to travel (unless I want to) but it gives me the opportunity to do all the fun, awesome community stuff I love to ......

Sometimes the first impressions you get about someone or something are 100% bullseye accurate. For example, Gil Gerard really is a flaming pusbag, Dairy Queen Frozen Hot Chocolate is every bit as bad as it sounds, and moving to Minnesota has been the smartest thing I ever did. On the other hand, sometimes first impressions are horribly wrong. Jason Olson is an excellent example of this, since we pretty much hated each other when we first met and now he's one of my closest friends. Another bad first ......

If you are planning on attending and haven't registered already, please do so now to ensure an accurate count for pizza and refreshments.

http://www.twincitiesxnausergroup.com/

Just hit the RSVP link at the bottom left of the page.

See you there!


If you want to display some text on screen in your XNA game, the easiest way is to use a SpriteFont. The cool thing about SpriteFonts is that you can use any TrueType font and XNA will render it into an *XNB file and allow you to use it in your game. You can distribute the game without worrying about whether people have the font installed on their machines. (edit: XNB files can be opened using the XNB Viewer, downloadable here, although it doesn't seem to work on Vista.) So, anyway, to do this... ......

When working on my latest XNA game project, Super Mega Brick Smash, I decided to give it a go and do all the art myself. After all, how hard can bricks be to draw? Keep in mind, I'm no artist. There's a reason HA! never had any graphics and it isn't just for nostalgia's sake. So the rectangle bricks came out ok, although not terribly flashy, and the ball was simple enough. I did both of those, and the paddle in MS Paint. Ball: Brick: Paddle: (If you're curious about the magenta background, it's a ......

How did I just find out about this today?? This is cool. *Looks at calendar* ...AND it's on a weekend, awesome! This keeps getting better. Richard Bartle, Gordon Walton (of Bioware)... $99 until 11/15 Very cool. update: I've been talking to the guy running it, and I'm helping out some now. They still need sponsors and speakers, so if you're interested... drop me a line ......

While I was at HDC, Jeff, John and the PodcaStars gang were there and I sat down for a few minutes to rap with them a little bit about XNA and Game Development, among other things. You can find it here: Listen to Chris discuss XNA and Game Development ......

I'm asking, not offering. The offering part comes later. :) I'm looking for sponsors for the Twin Cities XNA User Group meetings. Magenic was awesome enough to offer a place to meet and occasional pizza, but in order to really crank things up a notch, I need swag and lots of it. If you're a book publisher, contact me and I'll get your books into the hands of folks that will read and review them. If you're a software tools publisher, let's chat. I'd love to get your product in front of my members. ......

The Twin Cities XNA User Group has a website finally.

http://www.twincitiesxnausergroup.com

We're still tweaking things here and there, but it's coming along nicely.


It's official. The Twin Cities XNA User Group has been born. We're signed up with CodeZone and we have a place to meet and a date for the first real meeting. Where: Magenic (www.magenic.com for directions) When: 6:00PM November 15th (3rd Thursday of each month) Pizza: Provided by Magenic Guests: Steve Loethen (Microsoft) and Andy (The Z-Man) Dunn The first meeting will mostly be a "getting to know you" session. People are encouraged to bring what they're working on, or to talk about what they'd like ......

Catch it here:   http://channel9.msdn.com/Showpost.aspx?postid=343704

Steve Loethen is one of my (semi-)local MS guys up here in the Twin Cities and puts on a mighty fine Halo 3 party.


Hey if you're into XNA, be sure to check this out: http://msevents.microsoft.c... My buddy Glen Gordon is hosting a MSDN Webcast with Nick Landry. In this installment of geekSpeak, bring your questions about Microsoft XNA game development for industry expert Nick Landry to answer. "ActiveNick" is an accomplished author and speaker on topics like XNA and mobility ......

If you've been playing with XNA but haven't tried TorqueX, or maybe you tried it but didn't find it intuitive, or thought it was too hard, or whatever... I'm pleased to say that the super secret beta tutorials I've been testing are done and publicly released. You can grab them here: http://www.garagegames.com/... They are well worth the time it takes to work through them, especially for the TorqueX novice. enjoy ......

I've got two Code Camp presentations coming up next month, so I've been spending some spare cycles playing with XNA and TorqueX, working through tutorials and fiddling with my slide decks. The XNA deck is VERY intro and has been pretty much writing itself. I'm not diving very deep on that one. The TorqueX session is a bit more advanced, and shows how to knock out a quick game using XNA Game Studio Express (GSE) and TorqueX Builder (TXB). One of my biggest hurdles so far is coming up with decent looking ......

Spent a few hours this weekend making some tweaks to the Dungeon Generation code in HA!. Specifically, I added 4 new SquareTypes to the room generation code so that room & passage corners would be explicitly defined instead of just using the more generic Wall square. While there is currently no difference in gameplay (hopefully) or appearance, it will make the dungeons more graphics friendly for those folks using the dungeon generator for things other than HA!. I'll update the DunGen source code ......

yo. check this out - http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/05/14/moolas-interesting-business-model/

you want it, I want it... is it real or fantasy? Who knows...


I've been playing around with AJAX/Atlas lately and it's no surprise that you can pull off some pretty cool stuff with it. We've all seen the Virtual Earth and Outlook Web Access examples, but I'm interested in seeing “who else” is doing “what else” with it... specifically in terms of game development. Shoot me a line, send me some links (you can't post links in comments unfortunately, too much spam) and tell me about what you are doing with it. Some pretty cool ideas are ......

Interesting article over at GamaSutra http://www.gamasutra.com/features/20051004/sylvester_01.shtml

YES!! I've got my registration confirmation in hand.
*Happy Dance*  I'm goin to Meltdown!!! Yeah!

Maybe I'll get that new tattoo after all...
Pixelicious


One of the fun things about working on HA! is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Annnnd, one of the downsides of having ADD (not AD&D) is all the neat ideas I come up with while coding. Today was a good example of both. I was working on the overland encounters code for HA! and was getting pretty deep into the factors that determine whether you... {Edit: ADD in action, I just stepped away to grab a drink of water and then I watched about half a game of "Ticket to Ride, sold a guy ......

This post is about two things. 1. I'm getting out of game development for a while. As much as I was actually into it in the first place, that is. I'll still be working on HA! in my spare time, at my own pace, but that's pretty much it. No new projects. I just don't have the time to keep fiddling with XNA, or the $$ to keep buying absurd amounts of books on Game Dev, etc. FWIW, I always said I'd rather be NEAR the game dev industry than IN it, and lately too much of what I've tried to do has felt ......

Garage Games has released the latest edition of the TorqueX game engine for XNA.

Grab it here.

They've also set up forums, which you can visit here.


I give to you, Lego Batman...

FULL STORY HERE


If you're too lazy to type in a name when creating a character in HA! I give you one randomly chosen from a list. Sometimes it's the name of a friend, like Robin, or it's androgynous, like Pat. Sometimes it's just silly, like TinkyWinky or IneedaName. So lately, in an effort to test and refine the autowalk feature, I've been creating a lot of characters that I didn't care much about. As with most manual testing, you often discover stuff along the way, while focusing on something else entirely. I've ......

In roguelike games, like HA!, there is a feature called "autowalk" that is part timesaver and part AI. When your hero is walking down a long (and possibly curvy) hallway, instead of hitting the arrow keys 40-50 times to get where you are going, most Roguelikes let you hit "w" and a directional key. The intent is that your character will walk in the direction (including making corridor turns) until it reaches an obstacle. These obstacles can be anything from a door, an intersection, or an encounter. ......

This weekend has totally rocked so far. George and Jason arrived late Thursday night, and we headed straight for the local pub. A few pints (each) later we were on our way to Reality Check where we threw down in an impromptu Worms deathmatch on the GC. Friday we spent the first part of the day in design mode, writing all over the walls in our self-imposed isolation. After lunch we began slinging code and George commenced designing the art assets. Let me just say, George rocks. It was a terrific opportunity ......

New HA! prerelease build. This one includes the updated character generation UI.

Get it here


As your friendly neighborhood INETA Membership Manager for North and South Carolina, I'm happy to announce that South Carolina is getting their second Code Camp!! This one will be in September (just like last year) and is in the Greenville/Spartanburg area. This is a TWO DAY code camp and while the exact location is still TBD, the dates are set: 9/16 & 9/17. The call for speakers is open and you can find information (along with the speaker submission form) at the Greenville Spartanburg Developers ......

For those of you who don't like to read announcements: xna3way.com A few months ago, 3 of us got together and decided to form a team of game developers. Each of us bringing our own specific talents to create something greater than the sum of its parts. We're like a superteam of game developer friends... the superfriends of XNA, if you will. The really great part is that we've been working on some truly amazing stuff. One of those amazing things is Paradox. Paradox (par·a·dox) -noun: 1. an apparently ......

Nuff Said!

Get it HERE!


I got this the other day. Looks interesting... Hello Casual Game makers, Sorry if this is an inappropriate place to do this, but I just wanted to let some casual game developers know that AdultSwim.com is now taking original game pitches. More information can be found here: http://www.adultswim.com/ga... Adult Swim will be a home for independent games. We know that there are talented artists and programmers looking for someone to pay them to do what they do best: make fun games. ......

First, if you don't know what line rider is, you have to check it out. This is the kind of fun little game that just breaks my wannabe game dev heart. So simple in appearance and execution. There's a fair amount going on under the hood of course, but it's incredibly easy to learn and play with. It's also hideously addictive. http://www.deviantart.com/d... Now, if you had never seen that before, and managed to make it back to this page in less than 20 minutes... I'm impressed. At this ......

Since adding HA! to CodePlex, I have been averaging roughly 1000 hits and 20 downloads per week. That might not sound high to most of you, but for HA! it's a big leap. The original heroicadventure.com site probably averaged about 1/20th of that with the occasional bump now and then. Currently I've got one other guy on the team and 1 contributor that will most likely end up on the team fairly soon ......

The HA! code is uploaded and the CodePlex project has started. Feel free to visit the project at CodePlex. Just to clarify, you don't have to be "on the team" to download the source. Anyone can do that. I've already had a few people ask to be put on the team right off the bat, and I want to talk about that for a moment. Being "on the team" actually confers a lot more rights than I am willing to give a complete stranger. Please feel free to download the code, check it out and make suggestions or even ......

New release (0.1.6d) of HA! available here: http://www.codeplex.com/Rel... Also, as you may have noticed above, my CodePlex project has finally been created. You can visit (and join?) that here: http://www.codeplex.com/Wik... I haven't updated the wiki yet, but I will. So what does all of this mean? Basically, as I stated before, I'm taking HA! the shared source route. The source isn't up there yet because I'm still downloading the huge ......

This years game dev conference (Microsoft Gamefest) is gonna rock, and I hear from an undisclosed source that there will be some interesting and previously unannounced XNA news at the conference. Now I just need to get there... I've heard from at least 3 other people that will be attending, including my friend George. I wonder if my buddy Jason is ......

...but I still can't wait to go!

I'm especially stoked about the XNA sessions.


Yesterday, when I mentioned the possibility of taking HA! open source, I got some terrific feedback (more than expected, in fact) in my comments section and also some private emails. One of the emails suggested I look into the Microsoft Shared Source Initiative instead of some of the more restrictive Open Source licensing options I had mentioned previously. (FYI: The licenses published on this site are intended for people using MS source code, but it wouldn't take much tweaking to adapt one of them ......

maybe. I'm honestly considering it. Not because I don't have time for HA! anymore (just the opposite in fact, I've spent more time on it lately than I have in months.) I'm considering it because I actually have a renewed interest in working on it and improving it and (gasp... finishing it!) I'd like to open up the source code, and get some help. I don't expect my little game to ever become the next Crawl or Nethack (google as needed) but I would like to see it realized. I know there is some really ......

Ok, here's the pitch... get ready... it's a tank game, without tanks... oh I already told you that? Ok, how about this, you're a wizard fighting another wizard with spells and monsters. (ok technically the monsters come from spells, but you get the idea.) Screen/Display: You're in a 2D maze (topdown view) with no entrance or exit. (This is not Room-Passage-Room like HA!) This is arcade style, not turn based (like HA!) Actions: - You can move and cast spells. - Some spells summon monsters (which will ......

As I continue to dive into the code of Managed Chaos, my Tank-like game without tanks, I pause a moment for thought... At the same time... far across the country, my "friendly rival" consults his elders for advice ......

While my buddy phat bastard is trying to grasp the subtler points of hello world and paying homage (pronounced Oh-Mahj) to one of the dumbest movies of all time, I was busy actually writing code that does something. So far I have the basic game board designed, along with a random factor to improve replayability. No, it's not HA! 2.0 or anything like that, although I'm certainly applying some of what I learned there. If anything, it's closer to something resembling a Tank Warfare type game (oh no ......

Deep in the lair of my arch-nemesis... It's going to take more than curly-braces and wishful thinking if you want to win THIS contest. Let's face it... 42* days from now, VB.NET will be the clear winner. * yeah, that's right... I said 42. The magic number. The answer. Move along ......

Looks like my arch-nemesis* Jason is jumping into the GWB GameDev contest with both feet. It also looks like we have two completely different approaches to what is going to win this contest... Jason is all about pretty code, adhering to standards, best architecture, blah blah blah and that's all fine if you have time and a team of developers, but we have 43 days to get this done. I'm a lot less worried about what the game will look like internally and more about whether or not it's playable, complete ......

Seen it, in it, gonna win it.

In case you don't know what the heck I'm talking about, check out Jeff's announcement post RIGHT HERE and get the full scoop. The rest of you punks can go back to your boring lives now.  ;)

L8r,

BlogusMaximus


Thanks for getting me hooked on THIS crack-like substance...

(link capitalized for my hypertextually-challenged friends)


I was chatting with my friend Andre, who happens to be working on a gesture-based game for the experimental gameplay competition. I like Andre (obviously, since I call him my friend) but... I hate gesture based games. Seriously. *I can't count the number of times I screwed up and accidentally slapped my pet in Black & White when I meant to praise him. Ruined a perfectly good game, in my opinion. One of the earlier Elder Scrolls games, don't recall which one, used gesture based combat... try playing ......

I've opted not to renew my World of Warcraft subscription. I didn't even play two hours in the last month, because I'm just too busy with work and side projects. I'm keeping my City of Heroes / City of Villains account for now, but I almost never play that either. I just don't have the time. Of course, this: www.dungeonrunners.com looks kinda interesting... so (go figure) I signed up for the private beta. (I might as well, since I beta'd D&D Online, City of Villains, Auto Assault and countless ......

Do you live in the SouthEast US and have a fun or interesting project you want to share with others? Whether you wrote it yourself or just built upon it, we have a track especially for you at the South Carolina Code Camp 2.0 this coming September 16th & 17th. In addition to an all day Game Dev track (ending with a Game Dev Q&A panel), we also have a “Coding For Fun” track, put together especially for the casual/hobbyist programmer to show off a bit. For more information, visit ......

EA labor suit settled, Identity of “EA Spouse” finally revealed...  http://www.gamasutra.com/php-bin/news_index.php?story=9051

For those of us living in the US, Andre Odendaal might just be the hardest working guy you never heard of. For the last few months, Andre has been working hard to establish a game development community (dare I say, Industry) in South Africa. Jason and I first spoke to Andre, via an introduction by Julia, several months ago when he was just getting started. I caught up with Andre this morning over GTalk and chatted him up a bit. Turns out he has been one busy fella. Not only has he established a web ......

Please please please let the powers that be release a community/express version of XNA Studio... Check out this post on the XNA Framework ... yes... managed code on the XBOX 360.

Microsoft has updated the XNA page with some presentations, a CTP of XNA Build and some tutorials for XNA Build!! Check it out here: http://www.microsoft.com/xn... Also, if you missed the GDC (like I did) there is a web version of the XNA DVD that the attendees got. You can check that out here: http://www.microsoft.com/XN... Finally, if you haven't seen it before, the XNA Forums are here: http://forums.microsoft.com... ......

yes I know this post is a little over a month old, just file it under better late than never... Brian Keller (Product Manager on the XNA team) has an interesting post about how XNA Build will help developers manage their game asset pipeline and potentially reduce game sizes. This is especially interesting given the constant debate over whether Microsoft should have adopted a more expansive media format for the DVD drives in the XBox 360 ......

It's called Mono and it's a bit hard to describe. Kinda like Asteroids, except with powerups, techno music and a trippy psychadelic pulsing lavalamp style background. It's pretty addictive stuff.

Download it here!!

Interestingly, it was written in DarkBasic. Pretty cool. (You can check out DarkBasic here while you're clicking on stuff.)


Yes you read that right

Yesterday at the Consumer Electronics Show, Michael Dell unveiled a new project that he and the gang at NVIDIA have teamed up on that until right this minute, no one had heard a peep about in the industry.

NVIDIA is introducing a new video card with TWO 7800 GTX 512 GPUs on it with two PCBs. Oh, and these new cards will sport 1 GB of total memory as well.

Read the full article here.


New series of C# game dev webcasts coming up in January: http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/msdnvideodev.mspx

I probably won't catch them when they air, but I'm sure they'll be available on demand.


Can someone please explain this to me? I have a class that contains a loop that should execute anywhere from 8 to 12 times (it's random.) In this loop, I set some values in a two dimensional array. I have a test program (a console app) that uses this class, executes this loop, and displays the results. Here's where it gets weird... If I run the test program with no breakpoints, it displays results that indicate the loop is only running once (or VERY RARELY twice) If I set breakpoints and step into ......

edit: make that idiot rapper... Rapper 50 Cent speaks out on why his (rated M) XBox game, Bulletproof, is a valuable teaching tool for children. Umm, yeah... riiiiight. My new absolute most favorite quote ever: "you can grab an enemy and steal all of his valuables, leaving both his ego shattered and his pockets empty. Then, you can beat him over the head with your sawed off shotgun until he tells you everything he knows, freeing him of any remaining dignity. Lastly, you can choose to boot him away, ......

XBox360 Starts Console War...


Autodesk, Inc, creator of noted 3D graphics creation tool 3D Studio Max, has announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Alias, a privately held developer of 3D graphics technology and the creator of major rival 3D graphics tool Maya, for $182 million in cash.

Clicky the linky for the full story.


There's an article in The Escapist talking about "Casual Fortunes" and how much money casual game developers are earning. Not sure I agree with it, but it's a good read.

read it!

BTW, the navigation buttons are well-hidden down in the bottom right corner.


Crossposted from my Apress blog... I am, among other things, an upcoming Apress author. I’m currently working on a vb.net book titled Beginning Role-playing Game Development with VB.NET 2005. Writing games is pretty easy. Writing a book about writing games is not. Wow, was that the understatement of the decade, or what? Don’t get me wrong… I’m thoroughly enjoying the experience, and I can’t wait to get it published. I really really can’t wait, because it means ......

Great article, reposted without permission, from here: http://vision.pcvsconsole.c... is it folks. The beginning of the end.The winds of changeThe winds of change are in the air. Can you feel it? I know I can, and so do millions of other gamers. It’s the looming arrival of the next generation of consoles, and the winds are powered by the approaching hurricane known as the Xbox 360, fresh off the heels of the mighty little tornado known as the Nintendo DS.Tornadoes and hurricanes ......

Rory Blythe, who I met at the Portland Code Camp this summer, writes about backwards compatibility on the Xbox 360. Hysterical!

http://neopoleon.com/blog/posts/16512.aspx

there are “a few” dirty words, but it's worth it.


We're expecting around 150 people... although we do have a few seats still open, so (Sign up here!) So far, we have... an XBOX an iMate SP3 Smartphone Visual Studio .NET Enterprise Architect 3 copies of the Code Magazine CD (5 years of articles) 2 copies of Developer's Assistant (from Method Factory) a veritable buttload of VS 2005 beta 2 DVD sets Infragistics NetAdvantage Toolset a large pile of Tshirts (20-30 with more coming...) 20+ books from Apress 15+ books from O'Reilly 15+ books from Addison ......

The Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) meets on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 6:00pm at Blackbaud on Daniel Island. Our next meeting is September 8th and features an APRESS speaker (Les Smith) and of course pizza and sodas will be provided. Also, we are having South Carolina's 1st Code Camp on September 17th. Registration is free, but necessary for a proper head count. Please visit our Code Camp site: http://www.gcnug.org/codecamp for more info. We also have informal coffee meetings ......

Ok, time to party...

I just got the ISBN number for my book... :)

Hey!! Stop yawning Tobin (and Bill and Andrew)... this is a big deal to me. ;)


For those of you who have downloaded HA! or any other roguelike game, such as Nethack or ADOM, this link is my gift to you!

Enjoy!


I got an email the other day from a guy who found the dungeon generator code I wrote for HA! and wanted to know if he could use it in his own game, and could I possibly send him the updated source. No problem... I send it off along with a request that he keep me in the loop to any changes, bugfixes or enhancements he makes along the way. Naturally this is purely optional, but I like knowing where my offspring end up and how they look once they get there. ;) So he replies with a fairly lengthy email ......

I'm a beta tester for the new D&D MMORPG called D&D Online: Stormreach (http://www.ddo.com) and while I'm not at liberty to disclose any specifics about the game, or the beta experience, I can say this: It appears to be built upon the .NET Framework. I know this because I saw the .NET runtime executable (dotnetfx.exe) in the list of files being uncompressed by the installer. I wonder if they used the 1.1 or the 2.0 Framework (I'm guessing the 1.1, but you never know), and if they are using the Managed ......

Sometimes, interesting things pop into my inbox... This link from an email I received on the IGDA Casual Games mailing list is a good example: http://www.copyright.gov/fl... The real points of interest are below: The idea for a game is not protected by copyright. The same is true of the name or title given to the game and of the method or methods for playing it. Copyright protects only the particular manner of an author’s expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. Copyright ......

CAMRA Bill Introduced in House of Representativeshttp://www.g... “Children and Media Research Advancement Act to study the effects of various forms of media, including movies, music, television, and video games, upon children“ Regardless of any personal feelings I might have about the CAMRA bill, can anyone explain to me why it would fall under the control of the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)? I realize Mass Media is evolving at a tremendous ......

as seen on Gamasutra.com... Abstract Computer games have grown considerably in scale and complexity since their humble beginnings in the 1960s. Modern day computer games have reached incredible levels of realism, especially in areas like graphics, physical simulation, and artificial intelligence. However, despite significant advances in software engineering, the development of computer games generally does not employ state-of-the-art software engineering practices and tools. This thesis describes ......

Ok, everybody already knows the default Random Number Generator in .NET stinks for anything other than really simple usage. If this is news to you, take a moment and go read this article first, then come back here. In HA! I use a C# implementation of the Mersenne Twister for RNG, but there is another option. After seeing John Lunsford's excellent Crypto presentation at the Columbia, SC .NET User Group, I decided to start playing with the RandomNumberGenerator class in the System.Security.Cryptography ......

I've started playing with Generics some lately (as if I needed something else to keep me busy) and they really aren't that hard to figure out with the right examples. (Start simple...) A lot of folks have been using the Swap example, which is simple enough to be fairly obvious when you look at it. (If you haven't seen it, I'm not going to pilfer it, just go look here and come back... I'll wait.) So anyway, that got me thinking about more complex implementations, such as in Game Development. Specifically, ......

Some days, this is all I feel like doing: I'm probably the busiest I've ever been, and more projects keep lining up. I'm actually at a point where I may have to start turning down work. Wow. It's amazing how productive you can be when you only get 3 hours sleep a night. (That was sarcasm...) The downside to all of this is that projects that pay actual money take priority over the fun stuff that pays nothing. That's just a weak excuse for why there hasn't been a HA! release in forever. There will ......

Ok, I've been slacking on the HA! development lately. Certain people have been busting my chops lately about not updating the game, ESPECIALLY in light of the fact that I said I was going to quarterly releases. That means the latest HA! release would have been at the end of August. Heh... In my defense, I can honestly say that unlike some people, I have NOT been sitting on my ass playing World of Warcraft. (Ok that, wasn't fair. Apparently he's actually been working on a new OS... which is definitely ......

I recently (tonight) installed the Release Candidate for VS2005 (I believe it was the September CTP.) After an absolutely PAINLESS install process, I fired up the HA! code and started taking a look around VS2005. (I have been using the betas all along, but I was curious about some of the features I don't normally use. That's when I stumbled across the "Run Code Analysis on..." menu option. So I ran it on HA! and came up with some interesting results. Not necessarily surprising, mind you, but interesting. ......

from gamasutra.comhttp://www.gam... North American electronics and game retailer Best Buy is testing the sale of used video games in a handful of its stores, according to a report by Piper Jaffray analyst Anthony Gikas, and is considering rolling it out over a larger subsection of its 870 retail outlets. This move is particularly notable because Best Buy has around 14 percent of the new video game market in North America, according to recent surveys - only ......

Here's the short version: Blizzard adds in a new instance to their MMORPG World of Warcraft. This instance is named Zul'Gurub. Inside is the god of blood, Hakkar. When you fight him he has a debuff called Corrputed Blood. It does roughly 250-350 damage to your character and affects nearby player characters. The amazing thing is some players have brought this disease (and it is a disease) back to the towns, outside of the instance. It starts spreading amongst the general population including NPCs, ......

Thank you Julia Lerman for finding this one and returning it to me after it got lost... The title of my book was done ages ago, I'm writing the actual book now. It's just slowwww going. I have a full time day job of course, and a chronic inability to say no to extra projects. In addition to my day job, I'm also: - working on a fairly lucrative sideproject for a local company - teaching programming a couple nights a week at the local high school - preparing to deliver a weeklong vb.net MOC course ......

Man... writing a book is freakin' hard! My kudos to all of you who have finished one (or more) already. Yes, even the really crappy ones. No David, that wasn't meant towards you. ;) (Besides, I have a newfound appreciation for your book. It got a lot better in the later chapters.) Yes I'm still working on my title, and yes I knew all along it wouldn't be easy. I just had no idea how hard it would be at times to regain momentum after you've stopped for any length of time longer than a bathroom break. ......

Last night (actually early this AM) the ZMan sent me this link to an interesting snippet of article where John Carmack talks about how the AI scripting in Doom was very limited, despite many player's theories and rationalizations to the contrary.

The full article can be found here.


Seems like someone is working on a second edition of Gearhead.

GearHead 2 announcement

He plans to support ASCII and OpenGL. Interesting choice.


Just noticed this... I'm glad he enjoyed it.

my session at code camp

Never seen this site before, but I think I'll be adding it to my list of sites to read. Pretty interesting stuff over there.


I blogged about this a while back, when I was writing it, but my first *paid* article finally got posted today.

www.informit.com

Hopefully if I get some good feedback on this one, I'll be able to do more... maybe a series!


While I was giving my talk on creature AI at the Portland Code Camp, I mentioned not overcoding your AI and how (unless you are deliberately making an AI simulator) you should only code what your players will be able to notice. At that point, Andy Dunn mentioned a paper by the Halo guys where they talk about how they did AI in Halo. Here's the link: Halo AI paper And here's the page where they talk about how nobody noticed some of the very subtle AI they put in: subtlety Thank you Andy for sending ......

UT2K7!! http://www.epicgames.com/ http://www.unrealtechnology... Especially interesting is this quote: We are authoring most character and world normal maps and texture maps at 2048x2048 resolution. We feel this is a good target for games running on mid-range PC's in the 2006 timeframe. Ohhh mama... job listings ......

Vacation is over, time for life to resume. The Portland CodeCamp was fun, and Meltdown was a blast but I've been neglectful of other projects while tromping all over the Pacific NorthWest. The Jacksonville Code Camp is coming up in a few weeks... The next release of HA! is scheduled for end of August. that is followed by Dragon*Con and then the Charleston Code Camp (both in September) I also have to get back in the habit of writing each night since I have chapters due before too long. David Weller ......

Hit the Portland Code Camp this past weekend, which was a great event. 2 days full of excellent sessions. The game dev track went especially well and I feel like my talk was well received aside from a few minor demo problems. This week, I've been up in Seattle for Microsoft Meltdown, which ends today. It's been a great time and I've had a lot of fun while learning a lot. Met some terrific people and caught up with some friends. Tomorrow I fly back to South Carolina, then back to work on Friday. I'm ......

Instead of talking my friends into moving east... maybe I'm the one that should be moving!!

The Indie Games Con is October 7-9, 2005 in Eugene OR.

Hey Jason... where is Eugene? Is that reasonably close to you? (I'm geography impaired.)


Looks interesting...

It's a week after the Portland Code Camp, and just a few days after Microsoft Meltdown. If you're in the Portland area and interested in game development, why not check this out?

The Christian Game Developer Conference - July 28th - July 30th, 2005

It's a shame all the Game Dev conferences are out west... Maybe Jason can go check it out?


This news is a couple days old, but I hadn't seen anyone else talking about it, so... Marvel MMO to be on XBox 360 This news is a little older, but still interesting: Sony Online has recently announced that it will be creating a DC Comics-based MMO, targeting a fourth-quarter 2007 release for the PC and unnamed next generation consoles, which would likely not include a Microsoft platform release. Thus, although far away, the stage seems to be set for a Marvel versus DC massively multiplayer game ......

If you're into game development...  You don't want to miss Microsoft Meltdown

There's only 5 days left, but my trip begins a lot sooner than that. I'm hopping on a plane tomorrow to head to the Portland Code Camp this weekend, then driving up to Seattle on Monday.

I can't wait! It's also my first trip out west. (note to self: bring a camera!)


Jason has pushed out the latest version of his MDX opus... Tanks! Source and Binaries available here:

Right Here!

I definitely need to check this out sometime soon, maybe while I'm on the plane.


Jason Olson and I get interviewed on the latest GeeksWithBlogs Podcast Studio The Podcast I had a great time talking with John and Jeff and Jason of course. My audio is a little low, but that may have been my crappy cordless phone. All in all, I think Jeff and John did a great job! Way to go guys! I'm looking forward to hearing many more podcasts. Keep me in mind when you start hosting other folks podcasts ......

This is gonna rock!! I can't wait. I definitely want to catch the Keynote (Blizzard!!) and I'm also really looking forward to catching the tracks on: Best Practices for Windows Development Speaker: Chuck Walbourn Developing games for the Windows platform means more than just using a few DirectX APIs. This talk covers a broad range of topics that game developers should take into account during design and implementation to ensure their titles work well on current and future versions of Windows. Optimization ......

Jay Miller recent blogged this post about using the Dungeon Mapper from HA! The really cool thing is that I've never met Jay or discussed HA! with him (as far as I can recall). He found the code on my site and managed to integrate into his game in about an hour... and his game isn't even in VB.NET, it's C#... As Jay says... "how cool is that?" I love .NET! His post absolutely made my day ......

The Portland Code Camp is coming up in less than 2 weeks, and I'm pretty excited to be a part of it. Not only is it my first Code Camp that features a Game Development track, it's also my first trip "out west"... Yes folks, that's right... the mighty worldwide explorer (I sailed the Atlantic, the Persian Gulf, the Mediterranean & the Caribbean) has never set foot west of Texas... oh the shame! Anyway... these are a couple of the tracks I definitely want to hit... A Business Developer's Journey Into ......

Mykre at Inner Realm was kind enough to set me up with some forum space for HA! The new forums are located here: Heroic Adventure Forum Feel free to submit bug reports, suggestions or just stop by and talk about your experiences playing HA! so far. If you aren't familiar with Inner Realm, it's a cool site devoted to .NET Game Development and Managed DirectX. You should check it out. It's where all the cool kids are this summer ......

The latest build of HA! has just been uploaded. Two towns (Fincastle and Stonegate) are now available, although not currently populated. Lots of internal stuff added and/or modified.

Get it here... new build


The wikipedia defines refactoring as: part of code maintenance which doesn't fix bugs or add new functionality. Rather it is designed to improve the understandability of the code or change its structure and design, and remove dead code, to make it easier for human maintenance in the future. In particular, adding new behavior to a program might be difficult with the program's given structure, so a developer might refactor it first to make it easy, and then add the new behavior. Ok so... it turns out ......

It's not impossible, but it's probably a lot less likely than most folks realize. Certainly not as simple as downloading an XDK or paying a license fee. Ya know... it's hard to get experience developing for consoles if they expect you to have experience developing for consoles before you can participate in the program. From the Xbox site... Xbox Developer Programs We have created several programs to support the efforts of publishers, developers, tool makers, and hardware vendors who want to bring ......

A number of folks (especially recently) have asked me if I want to eventually get a job in the computer game industry. I always answer the same way... I'd rather be near the industry than in it. (Pretty much exactly where I am now... doing it because I love it, not because I have to) The answer doesn't always make sense to everyone, but I hope this does... EA: The Human Story I know many of you have read this already... but many more of you probably haven't. It's a good read ......

20 days remaining until Microsoft Meltdown!! w00t!

So... who all is going?

We need to all get together Monday night for a party. Place and Time: TBD

Reply to this post if you're interested...

edit: I am the uber-dork. The welcome reception is Monday night. For some reason I was thinking it was Tuesday night. So nevermind on the party... we're covered. So anyway... who all is coming?


When you're creating terrain features (such as buildings), on a tile-based map, doing each tile manually is a royal pain and a waste of time. Here's an alternative.

New article:  http://geekswithblogs.net/cwilliams/articles/45539.aspx

 


For those of you interested in seeing what I've been doing with HA! lately (and don't want to wait until August 31), you can download the latest build of Heroic Adventure! 0.1.7 here: Latest Build Please keep in mind, this is NOT a release. It's a build. The very latest build. Things might not work as expected. Things may disappear from one build to the next. Things may not work at all. Repeat after me... it's a build, not a release, not even a release candidate. It's only a build. If you require ......

TRS-80 Color Computer I It was 1982, I was 12 years old, she was... oh I dunno? 1 year, maybe... Oh sure, I had seen other computers before then. Even played on a mainframe one summer at UVa. But this one was mine, all mine. I spent hours (possibly days) typing in code from Rainbow magazine. Mostly games, but sometimes utilities. I bought every conceivable expansion known to man. *sigh...* Good times. thank you Z-Man for this trip down memory lane ......

I'm a good coder and a decent game designer, but I'm a downright lazy bastard when it comes to documentation. So... in the spirit of true laziness, I'm foisting the grunt work off on someone else. Here's the deal: Download Heroic Adventure! 0.1.6 Play it. Play it some more. Play it a lot. Send me emails. Ask me questions. I'll tell you pretty much whatever you want to know (about HA!) Write some kick-ass documentation and/or a FAQ. Send it to me. I might send it back once or twice. (My prerogative) ......

I'll be speaking at the Portland, Oregon Code Camp on July 23/24 (not sure which day I'm speaking). Portland Code Camp If you're in the area, come check it out... it's gonna rock! This is actually extremely cool for me, since I've never been west of Texas before. I'll be hitting Oregon and Washington in the same week. I've hit pretty much every state from Texas to Maine, but never anything west of that (somewhat crooked) line ......

This is an interesting demonstration of ragdoll physics. You can drag her around and let go. I don't know how accurate the physics model actually is, but it does make for an interesting example.

http://www.izpitera.ru/lj/tetka.swf


blogging this so I can find it when I need it...

Aaron's article on Projectile Physics. Too bad it's in C#. Easy enough to port though. :)


I've spent the last few hours working on the overland map for HA! and I'm happy to say the initialization routines are done. FWIW, they didn't take as long as I thought, but still longer than I would have liked. If you're interested in what the overland looks like, when actually represented, you can go here, but keep in mind that some (maybe a little, maybe a lot) of it will change as I implement it. Currently though, that's it. So anyway, now I have the overland map data loading at the beginning ......

Funny thing is... I'm pretty much on top of my game right now. I know that sounds arrogant, but it's true. I have a kick-ass job, good friends, awesome professional contacts and a book deal in the works. I'm in the best health I've been in over 10 years and I'm happy. I've got my MCAD, MCSD.NET & MCT certs, and I'm being considered for MVP (no guarantees). The user group is going well, we have a code camp coming up and I'm speaking all over the southeast US at code camps and user groups. Not bad ......

Any of you uber-geeks ever use SphereXP? http://www.hamar.sk/sphere/ I'm considering trying it, unless someone fills my head with horror stories.

got mentioned in the Z Buffer... ZBuffer

linked 3 times in one post... heh


This started as a semi-private convo, based on one of my blog entries, but I wanted to open it up to you guys. Naturally I asked permission, because that's just the kind of guy I am. Dan: (original post here: Dan's Post) Mewell yeah... #1 does kinda make the rest of it pretty pointless.As for #2, you neglect to mention that the bootleg Bnet also does not do any serial key validation, which means it's wide open for piratedcopies to play all they want. Pretty sure Blizzard has the right to defend against ......

Recently joined the IGDA... if you're into game development then I encourage you to check these guys out. They have several membership rates, ranging from $48/year for regular members, $30/year for students and a free (limited access) membership. The biggest advantage to joining is the networking, of course... which the free membership restricts a bit. No matter which level you sign up at, you get the IGDA newsletter. Depending on your goals, $48 is a steal... it's cheaper than some of the books ......

Registered... CHECK! Hotel Accomodations... CHECK! Plane Ticket... pending ok, so anyway... in a subtle twist of fate, I happened to be liquidating a substantial portion of my old comic book collection anyway... so if you're not feeling the need to sponsor a semi-starving developer in his quest to gamer geek Mecca, perhaps you want something of value for your money... Feel free to bid on some of my loot. All proceeds will go to funding my plane ticket to Seattle (and back of course, sorry Charles.) ......

Send me to Microsoft Meltdown and I'll even get a tattoo of one of the Meltdown superheroes...

I'm kinda partial to this one...

          Or this one (if I have to)...


Blizzard... very cool!

Ok, the *revised* story so far... RPG Dev book proposal is being considered by Publisher 1 - I sent 3 ideas - They requested a proposal on 1 of them (although they are considering possible 2nd idea) - I submitted detailed proposal - They're sending me a contract!! OMFG! (I have roughly 6 months to write it)Mobile Game Dev book proposal (of no interest to Publisher 1) is being considered by Publisher 2 - I sent ideas - They requested a proposal (strong interest in one idea, maybe others) - I submitted ......

I sent this to my favorite book publisher... wish me luck!Top 10 Reasons your company name Should Send Me To Microsoft Meltdown http://www.microsoftmeltdow... July 26 & 27, 2005 10. It gets really hot here in South Carolina in July. 9. I'm (hopefully) writing a .NET Game Development book (still in the works) 8. I'll do pretty much anything your company name wants! 7. I've written numerous articles (some even paid) on .NET game development. 6. I'll do anything... seriously! 5. I'm tech-editing ......

I would saw off my left arm to go to this...  http://www.microsoftmeltdown.com/

I need a sponsor... I'll do anything. (ok almost anything... ok fine, anything!!)


Ok, the story so far... RPG Dev book proposal is being considered by Publisher 1 - I sent 3 ideas - They requested a proposal on 1 of them (although they are considering possible 2nd idea) - I submitted detailed proposal I'm waiting on feedback from that proposal. (Should be today or tomorrow)Mobile Game Dev book proposal (of no interest to Publisher 1) is being considered by Publisher 2 - I sent ideas - They requested a proposal (strong interest in one idea, maybe others) - I submitted detail proposal ......

The Bungie.net site is the online companion to the wildly successful Halo 2 video game for Xbox, released in November 2004 by Microsoft. The site also acts as the community hub for all things related to Bungie games. Built with the Microsoft .NET Framework, Bungie.net serves up more than 4 million pages per day, accumulating 300 gigabytes of online game statistics per month from more than 1 million games played daily. Deemed "Most Innovative Design" by IGN Entertainment in 2004, the site provides ......

wow... more good words about HA!

http://weblogs.asp.net/lhunt/archive/2005/06/20/413940.aspx

Looks like I better stick to my release schedule.


about my little pet project... Heroic Adventure!

http://www.panopticoncentral.net/archive/2005/06/17/9565.aspx

This is PURE MOTIVATION for me to keep plugging away!


more good words about HA!

http://blogs.msdn.com/brada/archive/2005/06/16/430024.aspx

Good feedback (ok... any feedback) is always appreciated!


Of the three submissions, #1 & #2 were both appealing. No mention of #3 at all.

#1 (the Home Automation book) may be overlapping with another project they have in the works, they are looking into it.
#2 (one of the Game Programming books) was the most appealing to them and they have requested more info from me to "kick things off".

Here I go feeling cautiously optimistic... :)


I submitted 3 book proposals yesterday (2 on Game Development, 1 on Home Automation).

First Attempt... wait and see


http://blogs.msdn.com/dwell... (scroll down) Take a good look at the picture and tell me what's missing... (for those just tuning in, the photo is of David Weller's bookshelf/collection of good game programming books. ISBN 1-59059-401-0 is noticeably absent... guess he knows something I didn't.) my rant/review (Believe it or not, I don't have anything personal against Mr. Weller, I'm just really annoyed at having wasted good money on such a crappy book. I'm sure he's ......

After a great (although short) discussion with Theo Moore I've decided that at least basic support for the magic system will be included in HA! 0.1.7. This will definitely complicate the game balance issue, but I'm confident it will result in a more playable early game, fleshing out some of the other character types. I don't plan on pushing back the date (8/31) any, so I'll just have to spend more of what time I have on it. Of course having some help (Theo) won't hurt either. More info to follow, ......

Spent a little time this weekend working on HA! 0.1.7 It was mostly minor stuff, like Davis' request for a random race & class selection option. I also toned down the trap frequency a bit (it was already low IMO, but some people died too often) and reduced the duration of the confusion trap. While I was at Tech*Ed, I managed to work on some of the code for the character information display (just press @ of course) which I need to reintegrate back into my source tree. (I did that on my laptop at Tech*Ed, ......

Hey alright!! Somebody likes HA! (and he's at Tech*Ed this week, so maybe we'll chat) http://blogs.msdn.com/brian... I'm a proud papa! (and thanks Tobin for letting me know about it!!) update: OMG!! I'm on the MSDN Coding for Fun page!!! http://msdn.microsoft.com/c... (Anyone remember that scene from “The Jerk” where he sees his name in the phonebook for the first time? Yeah that's me right now... http://www.garnersclassics.... ......

I used the VS 2005 BETA 1 cleanup tool, and I have to say it defintely made the transition smoother and easier. Now I don't know if it's responsible for whacking my source control plugin, but everything else worked fine. I'm going to try reinstalling the VSS client when I get home and see if that fixes it. (see earlier post for more info) Still considering making the switch to SourceGear Vault. we'll see. I do like their bug tracking piece (Dragnet) too ......

it's amazing how one little post can stir up so much controversy... :)

If I didn't know better, I'd think I enjoy it a little too much.

Heroic Adventure! (HA!) 0.1.6 release announcement on Rec.Games.Roguelike.Development newsgroup

hehehe
C.


XNA Studio looks interesting, what little I've been able to find about it. From what I understand it's basically VS2005 with some game related stuff bolted on? Maybe the XDK or something? I dunno... I want more info...

I installed VS 2005 BETA 2 tonight. The install went very smoothly. So I load up my project from VS2005 BETA 1 and I get this... Followed by this... and this... The project eventually loads, but I can't find anyway to bind it back to VSS and bring it under Source Control. I've been considering tossing VSS in the trash and using SourceGear Vault, and now seems like an opportune time (although I don't know if that would fix THIS problem) *sigh* why can't I ever be an early adopter of something that ......

So I'm at favorite bookstore and this Game Programming book catches my eye. Ok, the title was interesting, but it was actually the 40% off sticker that REALLY sucked me in. Hmmm I think to myself... a game programming book that focuses on VB.NET, from one of my favorite publishers, and 40% off?? Well, needless to say, $30 later (do the math) I'm flipping through my newest acquisition. Preliminary opinions are not good. (There will be a review, and the tech editor will be crucified...) However, I ......

So I've been thinking about applying a license to HA! (there currently isn't one at all) Unfortunately, not being able to speak legalese with any degree of proficiency, I have a few questions about licenses. I've never really followed them and for the most part I don't know anything about their differences. A recent post to R.G.R.D mentioned looking at http://www.opensource.org/l... and I did, but I still don't really get it. I haven't found anything that just summarizes the different open source ......

My latest game development article is posted here, with code samples...

Object Oriented Inventory & Item Management in Role Playing Games

Feel free to comment.


Some of you have likely seen this before... but it's still funny!

 


Dana Dill has posted a link to an extremely interesting article on the new XBox architecture here.
(The actual article link is here.)

There's also a mention of XNA and a built-in Media Center Extender! Sounds like some stuff worth getting excited over.


One of the things I mention in my CodeCamp talk is why you should instantiate your objects before passing them in as params. I was surprised to find out most people in my sessions had never realized why... Look at it like this: myObj.SomeMethod(new OtherObject(param1, param2), variable, variable) By doing the above, instead of creating a variable to contain OtherObject and passing the variable in, you lose the ability to Dispose of it when you are done. Garbage Collection will grab it eventually ......

Just stumbled upon this...

http://www.microsoft.com/events/series/msdnvideodev.mspx

Looks pretty cool!


This is a cool idea... http://www.dotnetolympics.org/ I'd REALLY like to see the Carolinas do something like this as well. We have numerous user groups. (It's funny... GC.NUG is doing the Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo, which ends in July. When we first came up with the idea I wanted to include other Carolina groups to make it a bigger event and more fun. The primary opposition to that suggestion ended up dropping out of the contest after a couple months, quitting the company I work at ......

Installed SourceSafe 2005 (just the client tools for now)... nice and easy. picked up my existing 6.0d server no problem, and all my SourceControl bindings in HA! are working peachy again. I guess I'll wait a while longer on implementing Vault. Now I just need a decent bug tracker. My wife is getting tired of me writing on the wall (ok technically it's a big whiteboard that I never erase) I'm DL'ing the Speech SDK as I type this, along with Win XP Media Center Edition 2005 (CD1 & 2) I see the XNA ......

It's time to upgrade or find a new direction. All my HA! code is sitting out in VSS 6.0d Aside from the obvious (backing up my database)... are there any other suggestions for making the transition from VSS 6.0d to VSS 2005 a smooth and painless one? Has anyone here done it yet? I'm still tempted to use SourceGear Vault, except for the fact that it requires SQL Server... yes I have SQL Server, but it's just one more potential POF to deal with. I don't exactly run on the NEWEST of hardware... ok well ......

So far I'm seeing “end of 2005” as a tentative release date. With 2005 probably shipping around 3rd quarter, early 4th quarter... I'd be surprised to see XNA by 12/5 but you never know. Here are some links to more info about XNA Studio: This article is from last month: http://www.gamingnexus.com/... is the “official” page from MS: http://www.microsoft.com/xna/A Gamasutra article about XNA: http://www.gamasutra.com/gd... ......

and there was much rejoicing: http://www.heroicadventure.... (ok perhaps not much rejoicing, but I'm pretty happy about it.) What's new? Skills, Traps, Secret Doors, new monsters, etc. IMHO the game is way too hard, but most of that will be mitigated once I add more magic items and finish the code for missile weapons, wands and spells. Currently there are no magical weapons or armor, just regular. Take advantage of the healing potions! I've decided to try adhering to a quarterly ......

I had a great weekend! I spent a good part of Saturday working on the skills system for HA! It looks like I'm still on target for pushing out 0.1.6 at the end of the month. Wrapped a few more bugs as well. Things are starting to come together. Spells (and ranged combat) will definitely be in 0.1.7. Sunday was D&D day. My 9 year old son is learning to play, and yesterday was his first game. I think it's safe to say he had a blast. The best part of the day however, was before the game actually ......

13 days to go, and HA! is still on schedule. Spent the weekend grinding away on bugfixes and enhancements. Here's what got done: - Floor traps are finished. - Skills are closer to being done (but still need much work). - [S]earching works now - some doors are less obvious than others - Elves are slightly more appealing to play now - Combat messages are better, made a few logical tweaks. - Dark rooms occur a little less often - healing is a little slower, I may change that That was pretty much my ......

20 days to go once again, I spent a good portion of the weekend working on HA! on and off. Most of the cosmetic & logic bugs on my list are done (still a couple left) and I'm happy to say the traps system is complete (needs more testing of course). Skills are not done yet, may not be by my deadline, but they are in progress. A few of the items on my wishlist may make it in after all, which would be nice. I think door traps probably will, since they will reuse many of the routines from the floor traps. ......

27 days to go spent most of the weekend working on HA! on and off. I have a reasonable list of bugs/issues and subsystems I want to complete in order to push out the 0.1.6 release. I have given myself a deadline of April 30. I can do it. I have a LOT of stuff going on over the next month, but if I focus 8 hours per week on HA! then I'm pretty sure I can meet my deadline. Floor traps are about 60-70% done (maybe more) Skills need a lot more work, but that will be an evolving system anyway. Inventory ......

I'm trying to port some code from C# to VB (mostly just for fun, but also to learn c# better) I've got these lines in c# private const uint MATRIX_A = 0x9908b0dfU; private const uint UPPER_MASK = 0x80000000U; private const uint LOWER_MASK = 0x7fffffffU; private const int MAX_RAND_INT = 0x7fffffff; and I can't figure out how to write them in VB. Yes I know the obvious syntactical differences, but I'm clueless on what to do with the hex numbers. So basically I have this... Private Const MATRIX_A As ......

The way you access your array data can have a big impact on how efficiently your CPU cache does it's job (which, in turn, affects your game/app performance).

http://www.geekswithblogs.net/cwilliams/articles/27363.aspx


I've had a few folks ask me why I implemented a custom Random Number Generator (Mersenne Twister) in my game, Heroic Adventure! This article explains why far better than I could. From the Rec.Games.Roguelike.Develop... FAQ, section 37: What's wrong with the random number generator that came with my programming language?Almost all programming environments come with random number generators that suck. While they may be okay for casual use, the use of random numbers in roguelike games is anything but ......

The D&D Online (MMORPG) Developer Roundtable #1 has been posted.

http://www.ddo.com/index.php?page_id=66&pagebuilder[module]=article&pagebuilder[display_item]=24

 


Story here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/7544701/

This looks interesting:  http://msdn.microsoft.com/coding4fun/

Hmmm... MSDN's new Coding For Fun site might just be somewhere I can get some MSDN cred.

C


I got a fair amount done on HA! yesterday. Fell asleep at the computer, which is something I hadn't done in ages. I kinda miss those days. Woke up on the couch, not sure how that happened. :) floor traps are coming along well, and should be done in a few more hours of coding (barring any enhancements, revisions, bugfixes, etc). Haven't started on door traps yet, but those should be trivial to add once I get the basic code in place. skills are coming along nicely too. some are granted automatically ......

took today as a floating holiday... which means time for working on HA! spent most of the morning unfixing some "fixes" I made a few weeks ago that managed to wreck the LOS code and the walkover code. All of that is working again so I'm feeling pretty good about things at the moment. since then, I've been working on traps, which are almost done. skills are pretty far along and should be done soon. I'm still not willing to set a date for 0.1.6 but it shouldn't be too far off. Once I get the things ......

I don’t know whether to laugh or cry… http://www.wizards.com/defa... (sad thing is, I'll buy it no matter what... that's just the way I am) ......

Today I got a call from ErgoDex (www.ergodex.com) They are sending me a loaner DX1 unit to review. Don't know what that is? Read this excellent review at Toms Hardware: http://www6.tomshardware.co... This is gonna be fun, although it totally sucks that I have to give it back afterwards. I'm looking forward to it. Naturally, I'm interested in seeing how it fares in my favorite games, but the real reason I want to try it out is to see what it can do in Visual Studio 2005. ......

For the total VB.NET newb, Betsy Aoki of the MSDN team offers some tongue-in-cheek advice.

http://msdn.microsoft.com/vbasic/default.aspx?pull=/library/en-us/dv_vstechart/html/VSFreakOut.asp


ok here's irony... it seems every time I promise to get something done on HA! by a certain time, inevitably I can't live up to that promise. Well now the inverse is true... This weekend, after stating in a recent blog entry that there was no way I'd have time to work on HA! for at least a few weeks, I found myself in front of the computer with a few hours to kill. So I spent it in the HA! code. I fixed about 5 or 6 bugs, and wrote some new code for the trap routines. Also, I was supposed to be doing ......

Recently I found myself working on some player messages (for HA!) and was less than thrilled with how words were getting chopped in half on the linebreak. I came up with this fairly tidy vb.net solution: 1. Build the sentence(s) as normal, with proper spacing and punctuation, and store them all in one long string variable. Dim strMessage As StringstrMessage = "The smelly kobold swings his broken dagger at you. You see a door opening. You cleave the smelly kobold in two." 2. Dim a string array and ......

Tonight is the Greater Charleston .NET User Group (GC.NUG) meeting, which contrary to certain people's opinion is NOT pronounced GC NOOJ. :) Anyway, we meet at Blackbaud at 6:00 and tonight's meeting features Doug Turnure of Microsoft, who will be talking about Indigo and SOA. He's also graciously offered to spring for the (Papa John's) pizza. In addition to Doug's presentation, we will be officially kicking off the 2005 Open Source Mobile Game Programming Expo, which runs from today until the July ......

I've done a lot of googling lately, looking for articles on .net compact framework game development for the pocket pc (Windows Mobile 2003). I've found quite a few, unfortunately everything I have found so far has been for C#. Now I can read C# a lot better than I can write it, so I'm dying to know... are there ANY articles or samples with a focus on VB.NET? C'mon Microsoft.... throw me a frickin bone! C. (I realize this might just be the excuse I needed to spend a weekend in bed with a C# book, ......

For those of you interested in game development, this short article talks a little about the random dungeon generation I did with VB.NET when writing a roguelike game. If anyone has any specific questions about the source code I refer to (not included in the article, for brevity sake) let me know and when I revamp the article I'll include code snippets along with answers to your questions ......

My local user group http://groups.yahoo.com/gro... is having a Game Programming contest. Starts in January, ends in July. We've already got some cool prizes lined up, with hopefully more before long. So far we have an XBox, 1 year of PocketPC Magazine & VB.NET Standard as prizes. I've been thinking about what I want to do, and whether or not I can finish it in 6 months and have it look fairly good. I'm thinking I'll do a card game. Something other than solitaire though. Something with a ......

Rec.Games.Roguelike.Develop... (my favorite newsgroup) has this interesting thread going on:http://groups-beta.googl... If you are a game developer, or just interested in random dungeon (or other terrain) generation, this is a good one to read. My own experiences with it were fun but extremely frustrating at times. The VB.NET code I wrote is available for free download to anyone who wants it at http://www.heroicadventure.com ......