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News Bob Taco Industries is an ISV focused on game and app development for Microsoft platforms headed up by Michael B. McLaughlin. Mike is a Microsoft Visual C++ MVP (previously an XNA/DirectX MVP from 2011-2013), a developer, a writer, a consultant, and a retired lawyer. If you're a developer who is just getting started, consider checking out the BTI website's section for developers for links to code samples and other helpful sites.
Bob Taco Industries Blogging Division August 2010 Entries
WCF and XNA on WP7 – Hack Free
Update 1 (Sept. 17, 2010): While the part below about using SLSvcUtil.exe to generate the service reference undoubtedly still works, it is no longer necessary. The RTM version of the Windows Phone Developer Tools now properly supports right-clicking on your game project's "References" item in the Solution Explorer and adding a Service Reference that way. ChannelFactory and related methods remain unsupported. For more details see http://msdn.microsoft.com/e... (Networking ......

Posted On Monday, August 30, 2010 7:36 PM

Properly Exiting Silverlight-based WP7 Games
Anyone who has read the Windows Phone 7 Application Certification Requirements (PDF) knows that a WP7 game can never be more than two taps of the Back button away from quitting the game. In XNA this is easy since the Game class provides a method called Exit that can be called with relative ease. In Silverlight nothing quite so easy exists. One clever hack that’s been making the rounds is to create a new instance of the XNA Game class and call its Exit method. However this solution, clever though ......

Posted On Sunday, August 22, 2010 4:38 PM

XNA and WP7 Load Times
This is going to be more of a high-level post. But it’s important, especially for my fellow XBLIG developers who are now targeting WP7, since it highlights some things you need to really think about before writing your game (or while porting it). In order to provide a great user experience, all programs (games and apps alike) must display their first screen within 5 seconds of launch and must accept user input within 20 seconds of launch. (See: Windows Phone 7 Application Certification Requirements ......

Posted On Friday, August 20, 2010 9:42 PM

Update on App Submission - NO FEES! :)
As promised, a new post with the updated info on app submission. The following link is the official policy: http://windowsteamblog.com/... In relevant part, Annual registration fee of $99 No limit to the number of paid apps submitted 5 free apps per registration, $19.99 each after that I am sorry if I alarmed anyone (I was alarmed, myself). My other criticisms stand, but I am very glad that the other link ......

Posted On Thursday, August 19, 2010 2:45 AM

How to pin your game or app's tile in the emulator (and I still love you WP7!)
I came across this by accident the other day and thought it was really neat. So I wanted to share it to help karma balance my last post (more on that at the end). As I’m sure you know, Silverlight apps install automatically in the application menu. For XNA games, you need to use this handy workaround. Once you do, after you’ve deployed your app or game, it stays installed for the duration of the emulator session. “Yes, yes, we all know that,” you say. Ah, but did you know you could tile your app? ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 18, 2010 11:15 PM

WP7 Questions, Concerns, and Disappointments
Update 2: Excellent news! The $99 per app was wrong. See: http://windowsteamblog.com/... Thank you, Fred! Update 1: It's possible that somebody who didn't read closely looked at the old WM 6.X app cert docs, saw the $99 per app fee there, and thought it applied to WP7. I know people who "know people" and are investigating it. I'm very hopeful it's a mistake - see the end of my next post for how someone might ......

Posted On Wednesday, August 18, 2010 2:18 PM

IndieNerds.com and Xbox LIVE Indie Games: a Great Combination!
One of the toughest things for an Indie game developer is getting exposure. For many Xbox Live Indie Games (“XBLIGs”), the time they spend on the “New Releases” list is critical to their success (or failure). Most games can expect a couple of days to a week before dropping off the end of the list. At that point, if they haven’t jumped up to either the “Top Downloads” or the “Top Rated” list, they will often fall off the radar of many gamers. Recently, though, a very fine gentleman from Germany, Mr. ......

Posted On Saturday, August 14, 2010 2:22 AM

Size Apps and Games Properly Using the WP7 Emulator
For Windows Phone 7 developers, one of the more important pages on the MSDN website is the Design Resources for Windows Phone page. In particular, the UI Design and Interaction Guide for Windows Phone 7 (PDF) found there is something that every developer should read (and sooner rather than later unless you look forward to major redevelopment work at the end of your product’s development cycle). If you read it a while ago, check it out again as it’s now at Version 2.0 (updated and expanded quite a ......

Posted On Friday, August 6, 2010 2:28 AM

Tutorial: Turning a Solution into a Template for XNA 4.0 (and Visual Studio 2010 In General!)
One of the new features of XNA 4.0 is the Content Project. Those of us who’ve worked in XNA 3.1 and earlier are familiar with the old Content folder, which was simply a folder inside your game project into which you’d place your raw content and from which your game would load the compiled XNB files. In theory it could be named anything since one of the things you would do in the constructor for your game is specify the name of the Content folder. XNA 4.0 has moved content (i.e. game assets like music, ......

Posted On Thursday, August 5, 2010 5:36 AM

Making a MenuEntry in XNA 4.0’s GSM Sample Look Like a Button
In this post, I’m working with the GameStateManagement Sample for Windows Phone 7. All source code not a part of that sample is Copyright 2010 Michael B. McLaughlin. If you wish to use it, you may do so provided that you agree to the terms of the Microsoft Permissive License, available here. If you do not agree to those terms, you may not use this source code (and should probably stop reading now). Since this code is built upon the GameStateManagement Sample, you will also need that and thus will ......

Posted On Monday, August 2, 2010 9:27 AM

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