Wednesday, February 28, 2007


The guys from Cartoon Brew have posted a link to a mp3 clip of a funny situation in a voice recording session (from "The Howard Stern Show").



Kukyona is back with a cute gift: a terrain experiment with shaders!

From the bolg's post: "While I was in my computer-less vacation I had plenty of time to rethink and come up with new ideas from my terrain component and also some ideas for games I'd like to work on.  Since a few ideas that I'd like to try out would mean backtracking and taking a new path with my terrain component... I've decided rather than just letting the current code go to waste I ought to release it, as is.  I believe there's a lot in there that can put to good use, and as with the last bit of source code I release, I have to apologize for the poor commenting."

The source code is available here.


There's a new entry revealed for DBP's Warm-Up Challenge ... from the creator of the game named "Warriors of the Shining Star" here it comes "SpaceWar Tactics" ... a mixture of "Advanced Wars" and "Asteroids".

Not only you may find a screenshots of it but you will also find a binary build for downloading here.

Place your existing fighters in the "space field", build your army as you play and choose your battles against your enemies!



"TheZBuffer is not to be considered dead until I say so", the Zman said. Thus, this is throwing away any speculation over the IRC.

Not a believer? Just browse to TheZBuffer's site and read all the avalanch of new posts published these last days.

There's an interesting read about the future of managed code and DirectX, plus a whole summary of posts, entries and articles regarding threading in games.

Also you may find a link to a discussion of Home Brew Platforms at Pensive Gamer - XNA's competition ("Barriers and Predictions").

Happy read!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Wow, man, Benjamin Nitschke's on fire!

He's recently published a very long but yet helpful post about "Skeletal Bone Animation and Skinning with Collada Models in XNA". I wonder what happened with that "... The blog posts will not be as long as before ..." ;)

Is that it? Heck no!

Benny has recently announced that he will be attending this year GDC (March 5-9, San Francisco) and will be joining XNA's "Dream Team" so as to face the following superhuman XNA challenge: build a game at the conference!

Benny's idea: a Zelda-like multiplayer RPG. In 3-4 days? Yeap. I have only one question: are you out of your mind?!!! ... :)

Go Benny go!


Yes, Kobingo's has announced that "Bullet Hell Tactics" game will join this year's Swedish Game Awards compo -Sweden's largest game development competition.

So, good luck!


Yes, Will has revealed a teaser of his entry to the warm-up chalenge. So repeating his words, "If anybody is curious" just browse to this link to see a two-days old screenshot of the game.

Peronally, I have been working on my entry for only 3 days now from scratch, so I don't think I get it on time, but no matter what, I'll post my version of the Spacewar game when finished.



The guys from have published their Weekly Update summary of XNA announcements, workarounds, source code, reads and so on.

Quite helpful contribution, don't you think?


Monday, February 26, 2007


Lawrence has released a new build of the 'Air Legends' game.

Among the new features we will find music, collision detection optimization, and a fix to the screenshot-saving functionality.

Also, now everything is packed and delivered in a single installation file (created using "Wix").

So, where shall I download the build from? Impatient, ugh? Just go to this page and grab it form there.

See ya.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


Gamey Little Hacker had promissed to post comments related to development of 'RPG Zero'. Remember?

Well, according to this new post things are going better and better as you can see in this awesome video:

Ok, no skeleton-based animations yet. Who cares? The eye-candy is there, the gameplay seems really catchy and it is data-driven.

So GLH, just keep up the good work!


Lately, for a little while, things had gone a bit quite in Sharky's blog.

Well, silence is now gone and a new update of the source code of the three-part tutorial is available here.

What's new: optimizations, basically. For instance, you can pass the ModelMesh’s original BoundingSphere to run a proximity test, in order to avoid checks on every frame for the rest of bounding spheres.

Nice Sharky!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


Benny's back! Yeap, it's true ... he has given his blog a new look plus he plans to post more often.

From his blog: "Well, I was posting less and less on this blog and this gonna change now. From now on I will try to post often, maybe even daily. The blog posts will not be as long as before, I will just talk about what's on my mind each day. Initially this blog was started as a little diary for me and I will return to that initial idea."

In addition to his projects, Benjamin plans to comment on FxCop stuff, CgFX, using Collada in XNA, and so on.

Welcome back!


On previous posts I commented that GLH had published some handy source code and tips for data-driven games, in particular, RPG ones.

Well, GLH is back with an awesome demo video of a starting RPG project:

From GLH's site: "When I started writing about game programming here last month, I really did want to practice a little altruism and share some stuff with the community. I'm afraid the vanity levels on this project however, make it wholly unsuitable to share as good practice. The sheer self indulgence in the code should warn people away. I really can't in good conscience recommend anyone learn anything from this... the scripting language is an own rolled, interpreted, prefix notated, reflection driven nightmare for pete's sake!

I would like to share though. So if anyone is interested in watching, I'll post the goings on in my RPG land."

So, what do you think? Should we be interested?

C'mon! Pay a visit to this site and let GLH know that you are interested ... I did ... ;)


A new framework built on top of XNA has arrived: 'Game Maker Studio .NET'.

You can check the author's blog, visit the forums, view some screenshots, browse the Wiki and of course, download the latest version of the framework.

From GMS .NET's site: "Through working with RMXP building scripts and seeing the limits of the engine I left RMXP to build a new editor and engine. I had an idea for a good system for building 2d games or at least 2d RPG games. So I asked around and found people willing to help with the project. But sadly they have all left one way or another. That forced me to rethink the development since I was depending on some of these people for different parts of development. I changed the direction of the project and went away from ruby as my programming language and away from developing an in-house graphics package and maybe from a graphics package all together. When this process was working itself out I found the XNA framework the brain child from MS for a simple and easy way to develop games. Well in truth it does make life a lot simpler in terms of lower level control but lacks a great deal of higher level control and content control. The idea struck. Build an editor to layer over the XNA framework. But the hard part was how to do it away that lets the user and community develop the product’s future. So I designed a shell in which new elements can be added to a project and thus changing the editor the engines and the game. Thus through community development this product can be changed to model the needs of the community. It was at this point that Game Maker Studio .Net was born and The Game Wizard died."


Remember this awesome game?

Well, the author's has announced that beta 1 is planned for next March, so stay tunned to his site.


At last! The new name for XNA Magic framework has been announced: Blade3D.

So don't forget to update your favorites with the new link.

Congrats to the winner!


Hi, everybody! After a couple of days off I'm back on track with my "coding stamina" up high again ... :)

Checking Ziggyware's rss feed I've found plenty of news posted this last "long" weekend.

Also, pay a visit to Ziggy's Weblinks -which are grouped by categories- where you'll find lots of links to interesting sites related to XNA.

Later ...

Thursday, February 15, 2007


The guys from have published their Weekly Update summary of XNA announcements, workarounds, source code, reads and so on.

Very interesting and handy as usual.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007


From DPS's site: "Welcome to the Warm-Up Challenge in the Dream-Build-Play competition. It is the precursor to the main event in Dream-Build-Play, which will begin upon completion of the Warm-Up Challenge. This challenge not only sharpens your skills but you can also win cool prizes and bragging rights! ..."

The challenge: to create a videogame based on the 'Spacewar Starter Kit' before the end of this month.

The prize: "... The contest starts now with our Warm-Up Challenge. We’re awarding $500 (USD) to the top five entries! ..."

You will find more information on the site.

So, c'mon, let's go for it! ... there are 4 remaining places for you ... ;)


As we wait for news and updates related to the Dream.Build.Play contest, there are a couple of sites worth checking (imho).

On one corner we have Visual3D.NET. A public CTP had been announced, but last time I visited the forums, someone asked, but no news were added.

On the other corner we have XNA MAGIC. Two things: i) the "Naming Competition" is over, so the new name for this framework (and the winner of the Pro license) may be announced soon, and ii) information about the beta 1 can be found on the "Beta One Development Roadmap" page.

Both look very promising but none has revealed the price for commercial licenses, thought ... :(

Thursday, February 08, 2007


I'd like to thank the Blogger Support Team for resolving the bug that had been recently affecting the "Blog Archive Widget" (at least, in my case).

If you'd tried to browse my post from the "Blog Archive" panel located at the right side of this page, you should have noticed that the labels were mixed up a little bit.

Well, everything is fine now, so I believe I must express my gratitude to the Team: "Thanks guys!" ...


Wednesday, February 07, 2007


First things first: Sharky has released the latest build of Air Legends, so go, download and test it for stability.

Having said that, on the post that announces the build there's an interesting question (read Sharky's third comment) about the do's and dont's of chosing proper texture sizes for videogames.

It'd be nice to count on thoughts & suggestions -by more experienced user than me in the field- in order to answer it, accordingly.

So if you feel like sharing your experiences either from your technical background or "code-warrior" tales, just pay a visit to Sharky's blog, browse to the above-mentioned post and drop your comments.



Continuing with this latest series of "reminders", a week ago or so Eli (etayrien) posted this handy tutorial about FPS cameras.

Well, if you found it useful -like I did, and you want to go deeper in the field you'd then better go and check Eli's recent comments on the use of "quaternions".

From Eli's comment: "... I would use a quaternion based camera in two situations:

a) if the camera needs to orient in an arbitrary direction: ie any combination of roll, pitch, and yaw. Otherwise you can get gimbal lock. You'll have to web search for more information on what that is; I don't have the math background to explain it properly :)

b) quaternions also have the handy ability to interpolate between different orientations.

This can be very useful for third person cameras ..."

BTW, read between lines: "... but like you guessed, we've been really busy ..."

... something is being cooked ... something is being cooked ... ;)


Do you remember the second part of the series "Deploying Games To The 360 Without Sharing Source Code" -related to obfuscation of .NET assemblies?

Well, if you're not interested in the subject just skip this post. Otherwise, read on ...

I have searched the Internet for some obfuscators and this is what I've found so far:

Some of the vendors' sites do include comparison charts but unfortunately I couldn't find "user-made" comparison charts. Thus, like usual we all end up in a "try the demo-before-you-buy" scenario to get the one that properly fills our needs for code protection.

BTW, the list above is meant to be as a "dynamic" reference, so if I happened to miss one obfuscator -sorry about that, just let me know and I add it to the list a.s.a.p.

Also, if you know well one/some of these apps -because you use or used it/them- and want to share your thoughts you're welcome to post your comments.

Hope this helps!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007


The second trailer of this amazing movie has been released.

After watching the trailer, it's becoming more and more clear to me that in the future, at least for certain kind of films, companies will only look for voices to produce movies. What do you think?


As we wait for more details on the DBP contest, there's at least one task that may be currently accomplished: your registration.

After registering, you will get one important piece of info right away: the Final Entry Deadline.

I did register, meaning, I know which is the final entry deadline ... Want to know? ... I won't tell ya, so go and register ... ;)


The XNA Team wants to meet "the people that use XNA Game Studio Express" at the Game Developers Conference, which will be held this year in San Francisco (March 5-9, 2007).

What is more, given the success of the XNA Game Studio Express launch party (open-house) the Team is considering hosting another informal event in San Francisco.

So, will you be there?

Friday, February 02, 2007


There's a new tutorial at Cornflower Blue's blog which explains in detail how to create a FPS camera with XNA.

From etayrien's post: "... We've been busy lately, which should put smiles on all your faces. I like my job, so I can't give any specifics, but we've got some stuff coming up we think you'll be excited about. ".

Told ya!!! ... something is being really cooked by the XNA Team ... does anybody know anything else about that "some stuff coming up"? What could it be? Hummmm ....

... well, cannot wait ... ;)

Thursday, February 01, 2007


In line with what he had explained for the matter, Stephen Styrchak has added some important information regarding obfuscation in general, and for the 360 platform in particular.

From Microsoft's forums: "Whether you want to obfuscate or not is completely up to your own discretion. It seems like a lot of people share the false impression that being able to decompile/disassemble binaries is a new thing that is possible with managed assemblies. It is not. It is just as easy to run a decompiler/disassembler on native binaries, and that technology has been around for decades.

That being said, yes, it will certainly work for assemblies compiled for the Xbox 360. Obfuscation is a post-compilation step that takes an assembly as input, and generates a new (obfuscated) assembly as output. The obfuscated assembly is functionally equivalent, but the instructions and functions have been rearranged in a way that makes it harder for humans to understand.

An obfuscated assembly is no different than an unobfuscated assembly in that it makes no difference to the JIT compiler and runtime if an assembly is obfuscated or not (which is why it will work on the Xbox 360). Similarly, assemblies for the 360 are not special assemblies; they are produced by the same C# compiler as the Windows assemblies -- so no special obfuscator is required to use on them.

Note that obfuscation just makes it harder to read disassembled assemblies, not impossible to read. With a more sophisticated disassembler, I believe you could effectively undo most of the obfuscation. You'll have to check with your obfuscation tool vendor to understand just how "secret" they can make your code. From my understanding of obfuscation, the efficacity also depends on the complexity of the software you are trying to obfuscate. That is, an algorithm in a single function will probably remain almost completely unchanged. However, an algorithm that requires dozens or more functions would be very well hidden. The trick is in hiding what functions are being called an what data is being passed around. The instructions doing the work (loops, branches, etc) are otherwise the same.




Lately, many of us have been worried because the 'Register' section of the Dream.Build.Play competition only shows one country: the US (and not all of the states).

Well, Dave Mitchell has confirmed that the D.B.P. is a global competition.

From Microsoft's forums: "The site is live and yes we realize there are a few things that haven't quite propped properly. We've got people looking to get these fixed asap.

To be clear, yes you will be able to register outside the US as this is a global competition. And yes, the missing states will be re-annexed shortly.

Apologies for the wrinkles in the rollout.

Just let's give the guys the due time to set up things properly, shall we?


Shawn Hargreaves has posted a technical article with relevant advice on how to debug and diagnose Direct3D-graphic calls both on Windows and XBox360.

From Shawn's post: "For debugging Xbox graphics you have to rely on less scientific techniques, such as tea leaves, entrails, or a visit to the local palm reader..."

Say no more, a must read ... ;)


By the time I publish this post, I guess this update is old news if you -like me- are suscribed to many XNA Community blogs.

The Dream.Build.Play website is being updated and in turn, relevant information is starting to be published. So far you will find information on some sections -like "Home", "About XNA" and "Register"- until the week of February 5th, 2007 when the rest of the information -like "Prizes" and "How to Play"- will be unveiled.

So, what's next? Just direct your browser to the site and start by registering if you want to get in the compo (what I assume you do).

And remember: "... Besides worldwidefame and recognition, you could also win some fantastic prizes!" (just show me the money! show me the money!)