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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 March 2011 Entries
Preparing Myself For XNA and VB
For anybody who might have missed the news, XNA is coming to Visual Basic. I’ll admit that my first reaction was to groan and grumble and mumble. But this is actually a very good thing. While nothing’s ever certain, the fact that Microsoft has spent time making Visual Basic a supported language in XNA Game Studio is a further sign of Microsoft’s long-term commitment to XNA. (Note that VB.NET with XNA is not an immediately available thing; it’s still a few months off as the original blog post notes). ......

Posted On Thursday, March 31, 2011 5:55 PM

Drag and Drop in a Windows XNA Game
XNA Games in Windows are hosted within a Windows Forms Form. This allows you access to many special Windows-only features, such as drag and drop, provided that you know the right code to put in to get access to that form. Someone on the App Hub forums had asked earlier today about how to enable drag and drop for a Windows-only XNA game. Since it sounded like a neat thing to learn how to do, I coded up a quick sample to display it. As always, the code is heavily commented so that it should be easy ......

Posted On Sunday, March 27, 2011 2:05 PM

Musings on the Possible Future of Zune (Hardware)
For the past few weeks now there’s been a persistent “Zune is dead!” rumor. There was one a few months ago as well speculating about the name itself. The most recent one focuses on the hardware. It’s been “we have nothing to announce”-ed by Microsoft, which is Microsoft code for… having nothing to announce. As tech companies go, Microsoft doesn’t really go in for the whole rumor mill thing. The merits of that policy is a different discussion. I don’t have any insider knowledge. I don’t know anyone ......

Posted On Friday, March 25, 2011 3:53 PM

Sprite Padding Using Guides in Gimp
Lately I’ve been doing a lot of drawing. A lot of it has been creating sprite animations for XNA projects. From many years of using it, I work primarily with Gimp. Some aspects of it frustrate me (mostly its awkward window management in Windows), but it suits my purposes well enough and lets me do things that other free solutions don’t. One thing I learned quite some time ago was that when including multiple items in a single texture (i.e a sprite sheet), you want to have some separation between ......

Posted On Thursday, March 24, 2011 3:43 AM

AccelerometerInput XNA GameComponent
Bad accelerometer controls kill otherwise good games. I decided to try to do something about it. So I create an XNA GameComponent called AccelerometerInput. It’s still a beta project but you are welcome to try it, use it, modify it, etc. I’m releasing under the terms of the Microsoft Public License. Important info: First, it only supports tilt-style controls currently. I have not implemented motion-style controls yet (and make no promises as to when I might find time to do so). Second, I commented ......

Posted On Thursday, March 17, 2011 11:02 AM

Tips for XNA WP7 Developers
There are several things any XNA developer should know/consider when coming to the Windows Phone 7 platform. This post assumes you are familiar with the XNA Framework and with the changes between XNA 3.1 and XNA 4.0. It’s not exhaustive; it’s simply a list of things I’ve gathered over time. I may come back and add to it over time, and I’m happy to add anything anyone else has experienced or learned as well. Display · The screen is either 800x480 or 480x800. · But you aren’t required to use only those ......

Posted On Thursday, March 10, 2011 10:03 PM

CheckMemoryAllocationGame Sample
Many times I’ve found myself wondering how much GC memory some operation allocates. This is primarily in the context of XNA games due to the desire to avoid generating garbage and thus triggering a GC collection. Many times I’ve written simple programs to check allocations. I did it again recently. It occurred to me that many XNA developers find themselves asking this question from time to time. So I cleaned up my sample and published it on my website. Feel free to download it and put it to use. ......

Posted On Tuesday, March 1, 2011 11:30 AM

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