• Cornflower Blue

    Basic Game Engine Structure

    • 13 Comments
    I've seen a couple of posts on the forums asking what the best way to structure a game is. For what it's worth, here's a structure I've used in a few of my games. The design itself isn't too complicated, but it's pretty flexible, and will keep your code...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Foreach, Garbage, and the CLR Profiler

    • 16 Comments
    I've been doing a lot of thinking lately about foreach, and in what situations it may or may not create garbage. There have been some posts on the forums asking about it, and I recently found out that for some types, the enumerator that is created is...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Alpha Blending (Part 1)

    • 5 Comments
    When I was first learning game programming, I remember alpha blending being a bit of a mystery. I wanted to use alpha blending to make transparent particles for some cool explosions. Sounds simple enough – but as anyone who’s tried it before can tell...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Alpha Blending, Part 3

    • 5 Comments
    Ok, in this post I'll talk about additive alpha blending. This time for sure, I promise. In part 2 I talked about disabling depth write, and how that could give okay-ish results. It'll come in handy with additive blending, so if you haven't read that...
  • Cornflower Blue

    First Person Shooter Cameras

    • 4 Comments
    So, it's been a long time since my last post. Sorry about that. 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. Anyway...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Alpha Blending, Part 2

    • 3 Comments
    Rough Sorting Last time I explained how “normal” alpha blending works, and why the objects should be drawn back to front. Sorting the objects can be a hassle, though. If it suits your game, you could just try controlling the order your draw calls happen...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Opaque Data From Max and Maya

    • 5 Comments
    This post is kind of a brain dump from notes I made to myself, so apologies in advance if it's not very readable! In both Max and Maya you can set opaque data, which will be exported in fbx and then brought through the content pipeline. We do this in...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Quick N Dirty Tutorial: Making Nice Explosion Sprites

    • 2 Comments
    When I was working on the alpha blending posts, I found myself in need of a texture to demonstrate how additive blending could be used to make an explosion effect. When I worked on a shooter a few years back I learned a little bit about how to do that...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Audio input and output formats

    • 2 Comments
    We've had some questions about what audio formats the XNA content pipeline can take as input, and what formats they are converted to. Now that the 3.0 beta has shipped, I figure it's a good time to get some of that information out there. So, to be clear...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Foreach and Garbage, Part 2

    • 1 Comments
    As promised, here's a bit more about foreach and garbage. Last time I wrote about the Windows Desktop CLR. This time I want to find out if my results hold true on the Xbox 360 as well. What did I find out last time? "When doing a foreach over...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Useful Content Pipeline Links

    • 2 Comments
    As I wrote the other day, I'd like to help out people that are having trouble understanding the content pipeline, and I'm planning on writing some blog posts about it. I don't have a lot of time right now to dedicate to this, but I was digging around...
  • Cornflower Blue

    SoundEffect APIs in the CTP

    • 0 Comments
    We've just released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Game Studio Version 3.0. If you haven't read the post on our team blog yet, check it out here . One of the coolest new features (I'm a bit biased ) in version 3.0 is the SoundEffect API, which...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Optimizing for Readability

    • 1 Comments
    About a week ago, Shawn wrote a post about different types of code , and how he designs them. In a few categories, he mentioned optimizing for readability. Today OldNewThing has a post about optimizing for readability . It's an interesting read, and the...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Extending the ContentManager for Models

    • 1 Comments
    I don't know about everyone else, but usually the first thing I do after loading models is loop over their effects and set up their lighting. (Check Shawn's blog to read more about the standard lighting rig and per pixel lighting . ) The other day I thought...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Content Importers

    • 1 Comments
    If you've thumbed through the links in my last post on this subject, hopefully you'll have a bit more of an understanding of what problems the content pipeline is trying to solve, and what constraints it has. I'm going to start off by writing a bit about...
  • Cornflower Blue

    LostGarden

    • 1 Comments
    One of the blogs I read regularly is LostGarden . It’s got a lot of great info about game design, and every now and then there’s a “Game Prototyping Challenge,” where Danc posts a bunch of graphics and design doc, challenging his readers to see who can...
  • Cornflower Blue

    Oops!

    • 1 Comments
    A reader pointed out that I had made a mistake in my last post about game structure. I suggested that GameScreen have a GameComponentCollection. However, the constructor for that type is internal, so that's not going to work. Sorry guys. Fortunately,...
  • Cornflower Blue

    SwampThingTom on Performance Analysis:

    • 0 Comments
    Interesting read on SwampThingTom's blog today. I'd never heard of the NProf tool before, but the information it gives seems to be very similar to what you can get from much more expensive tools. Definitely worth reading.
  • Cornflower Blue

    What's the Most Confusing Part of the Content Pipeline?

    • 0 Comments
    I've started to look through some of the feedback from our recent survey, and noticed that there's a lot of you out there who are having trouble understanding the content pipeline. Documentation was a frequent complaint, and a few people mentioned a lack...
  • Cornflower Blue

    You are hearing me talk.

    • 1 Comments
    The powers that be have just posted slides and WMA audio recordings from GameFest! Here’s some links. Mitch ’s presentation, What’s New In XNA Game Studio 3.0 Frank ’s perf talk: XNA Game Studio Performance 2008: Multithreading and GPU My Content Pipeline...
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