Geeks With Blogs

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 wp7 Posts about programming for Windows Phone 7.
Nokia vs. The World
I’m looking forward to the launch of the Nokia Lumia 920. Why? Well, it stacks up better than the competition for one thing. Then there’s also that security problem that certain other phones have. Mostly, though, it’s because I love my Lumia 900 and the 920, with Windows Phone 8, will be even better. Before I got my Lumia 900, I just took it as given that smart phone cameras couldn’t be good. The Lumia taught me that smart phone cameras can be good if the manufacturer treats them as an important ......

Posted On Saturday, September 29, 2012 10:42 PM

Dream.Build.Play 2012 Registration Now Open!
Registration for this year’s Dream.Build.Play competition is now open! Head over to https://www.dreambuildplay.... for more information and to register. This year’s DBP includes not only Xbox 360 games but also Windows Phone games as well. So you can develop for either or both! Like last year, I’ve created an unofficial countdown clock for the end of the submission period. Check it out here: http://www.bobtacoindustrie... . But don’t wait until the last minute to submit ......

Posted On Monday, March 5, 2012 3:24 PM

Dxt Conversion Content Pipeline Extension Sample
I’ve been slowly creating a new WP7 game over these past few months. In the process, I began experimenting with Dxt compression. It’s a very nice feature, especially on the phone where high DPIs make Dxt’s artifacts less visible. One thing I didn’t like, though, was the way that XNA’s default Texture Processor handles resizing to power of two. When using Dxt compression with the Reach graphics profile, you need to use textures that are power of two sized (e.g. 32x64). Dxt itself requires that the ......

Posted On Monday, August 1, 2011 10:24 AM

WP7 Games: Recommendations on Resuming
I realized that I’ve given several people recommendations on how to deal with resuming a game from tombstoning on Windows Phone 7 over Twitter in the past month or so. So I figured I would write up my thoughts on it. There is no perfect and objectively correct solution. But there are certain common sense things that I believe will help make every gamer’s experience great. First: Read these: and ......

Posted On Thursday, April 14, 2011 11:44 PM

Windows Phone 7 Developer Launch Events
Be there or be square! Click the banner image to register. Live events in multiple cities and a web simulcast of the Mountain View, CA event on October 12, 2010 starting at 8:45am PDT (GMT -7). NOTE: THE TIME HAS CHANGED. This event is now scheduled to begin at 8:30am PDT (GMT -7) and run to 1:30pm PDT (GMT -7). Sorry for the short notice, I just received an update email on this ......

Posted On Monday, October 4, 2010 1:41 PM

Using WP7 Themes In Your XNA Game
If you’ve played around with the WP7 emulator, you may have gotten into the settings screen and may have noticed that there are these things called “themes”. The emulator’s default is the “dark” background with the “blue” accent. However the phone can also have a “light” background, and supports the following accents: “magenta”, “purple”, “teal”, “lime”, “brown”, “pink”, “orange”, “blue”, “red”, “green”, and an eleventh optional color that the manufacturer of the phone can set. Most people naturally ......

Posted On Thursday, September 16, 2010 6:26 PM

WP7, XNA, and XAP Size
This is just going to be a quick post on some techniques for getting your XAP size down when creating games for WP7. It is by no means exhaustive. First, XAP files are basically zip files with specific requirements re: mandatory content and directory layout. So any solutions that would involve zip-style compression will almost certainly result in a larger XAP sizes due to added code. So those type of solutions are off-the-table. But if you can shrink your source input in ways that zip compression ......

Posted On Thursday, September 2, 2010 1:40 PM

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 (Networking ......

Posted On Monday, August 30, 2010 7:36 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

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

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