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  • Blog Post: XNA Game Studio Released, just in time for the holidays

    Vista has launched here in Ireland, and I'm long overdue for writing about that (soon, soon)... but what better way to wrest myself away from Gears of War than to say that XNA Game Studio Express has been released , and now you can author your own games for the XBox360 in C#! So much for free time...
  • Blog Post: DirectX demos still get my juices flowing

    On Tuesday I attended Mike Pelton's session about how to choose between WPF and DirectX for rendering 3D graphics. He began by illustrating WPF's strengths, and specifically called out data binding, the similarities between the 2D and 3D APIs, and the ease with which WPF developers can perform common...
  • Blog Post: XNA Video Montage shows nascent indie games (and XNA Studio Beta 2, with Content Pipeline!)

    I'm impressed by the diversity and quality of the nascent indie games featured in this XNA Video Montage , which was released on Major Nelson's blog in a format which is optimized for the Zune.* XNA Game Studio is a set of tools based on Visual C# Express 2005 that allow students and hobbyists to...
  • Blog Post: Students ask the most interesting things

    Last Wednesday I gave a presentation to SkyNet , the University of Limerick Computer Society. About 30 undergrad and graduate students turned up for Atlas, Vista and pizza, in that order. What I showed them was basically a riff on my ASP.NET "Atlas" presentation from ApacheCon Europe , but I also...
  • Blog Post: Tame the CLR: Expect game-quality real-time performance from managed code

    Game developers may be skeptical at first that the CLR's managed environment can provide consistent, exceptional, real-time performance, but personal experience has shown me that for most situations it can. Working within .NET's managed environment provides numerous advantages and eliminates particular...
  • Blog Post: F# - a functional programming language, in more ways than one

    [Another in my continuing series on the innovative Microsoft Research projects I had a chance to check out in Cambridge...] I had the good fortune of meeting Don Syme at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, who introduced me to his brainchild, F# (which is pronouced "F Sharp," and that's Don on the left...
  • Blog Post: ASP.NET, Atlas, Windows Forms and WPF - how do they fit together?

    .NET offers so many choices for your presentation layer. Windows Forms is mature, reliable, tried and true. You can use it to build smart clients like Outlook or Word. ASP.NET gives you reach, and makes it easy to write rich, data-driven web sites . Atlas promises to do for Web 2.0 what ASP...
  • Blog Post: Flight Simulator 2004: The Physics, the Clouds, the Random Friday-afternoon Encounter

    Totally random: I met a gentleman today who is part of a government body that investigates air traffic-related accidents. They have found Flight Simulator 2004 to be very effective simulator for re-creating particular accidents - and in some ways, because of its detailed rendering and physics, more...
  • Blog Post: MSDN Webcasts on 3D and 2D Game Development in Managed DirectX

    I love Managed DirectX. I thought I was going to stop loving it as Windows Presentation Foundation fermented, but I love it just the same now. WPF - Avalon - is not a games engine. Avalon is about ease-of-use. About abstracting you away from hard stuff. About opening new worlds of integrated graphics...
  • Blog Post: I may buy a games console yet (but don't bet on it, I'd weep for my weekends)

    Last week, Micahel Dell told us that his screaming new gaming laptops will lay waste to the "so-called high-definition" Xbox 360, and take their place at the "center of the home entertainment experience." To which I say: I had high hopes on Sunday for a binge through the new Prince of Persia...
  • Blog Post: 'Tis the Season to be Coding! (More Sudokus, More X-Box 360 Shenanigans, and the WinFX December CTP!)

    Cormac O'Brien pointed me to his brother's .NET Sudoku Solver that uses a rich Windows Forms interface to show you each step it takes to solve the puzzle! And Don Box has festively raised the stakes of what can be done using .NET and an X-Box 360 Controller, by adding a dash of SOAP and -- wait for...
  • Blog Post: Tablet PC + XBox 360 Controller == Rumbly Pub Shenanigans

    Don Box posted some code that lets you communicate with a wired XBox 360 Controller that's plugged into your PC using Managed DirectX . Too cool! I don't have an XBox360 (yet), but I own an XBox360 controller now ;) On the way into town last night, I coded up a simple app for my Tablet PC that lets...
  • Blog Post: Photos of the brain-computer interface from the Dublin Visual Studio and SQL Server launch event

    At long last, I've posted the photos of some of the many participants who tried out the Mind Balance brain-computer interface at the Dublin launch event. I previously chronicled the story of the resurrection of Cerebus, our wireless brain-computer interface, prior to the launch event. Many participants...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 RTM and are available to download for MSDN Subscribers!!

    Visual Studio 2005 and SQL Server 2005 have been Released To Manufacturing! They're available to download now for MSDN Subscribers: http://msdn.microsoft.com/subscriptions/ Redistributable packages, such as the final .NET Framework 2.0 , are also publicly available. Let the downloading begin...
  • Blog Post: The little-known Windows Image Acquisition (WIA): images from devices to XP in a few lines of code

    One of my projects in a former life involved streaming video data off a webcam in real-time to make pretty things happen. I used DirectShow at the time, but yesterday I was introduced to Windows Image Acquisition (WIA), a little-known interface that makes it very easy to capture still images from...
  • Blog Post: Precomputed Radiance Transfer, DirectX 10, and other awesomeness

    Hey Scott -- How's it going, man?! I'm still here at the PDC in Los Angeles. Remember the last time you and I were at this convention centre? Participating in the graphical extravaganza known as Siggraph 2001? Yeah, those were the days. There were two PDC talks here yesterday on the future of DirectX...
  • Blog Post: Updated code for Tom Miller's Managed DirectX Kickstart book

    One of the books that became part of our .NET Academic Library was Tom Miller's Managed DirectX Kickstart . It's still a very useful book, and great to learn from, but the Managed DirectX API has changed a little bit since it was written. Enough so that quite a few of the code samples from the book no...
  • Blog Post: Visual Studio Express: the preferred Half Life 2 modding platform

    Today, at Tech Ed Australia, Microsoft announced that Valve, makers of the exquisite game Half Life 2, have declared Visual Studio 2005 C++ Express Edition to be their preferred platform for developers to use when writing "mods," or modifications, to the game. Check out the Half Life 2 page on the...
  • Blog Post: TechEd Europe - let's synchronize our blogging efforts!

    [Aside: Have you signed up for the localized MSDN Flash yet?] There are more than 80 representatives from Ireland and Northern Ireland planning to attend TechEd Europe next week! Great stuff. Clare and I will be there as well (not to mention Ciaran ), along with the many developers, architects...
  • Blog Post: At Track Level with Team Doom on the warpath in Scotland

    A couple of weeks ago I had the chance to meet Team Doom, the Irish winners of the local Dare to be Digital competition. The five lads - four from Ballyfermot College of Further Education , and one from Dundalk Institute of Technology - are now competing on behalf of Ireland at the international Dare...
  • Blog Post: Want to teach/learn computer science? Try game development!

    It’s a big week for computer gaming. Tomorrow, everyone from Frodo to Snow Patrol will be out to see the X-Box 360 hit the streets on MTV . But here in Ireland, the other half of the story is how game development is turning around the recent decline in applications to Computer Science degree programs...
  • Blog Post: Game Development in C# Webcast series

    Now this is a Webcast Series after my heart: Video Game Development: Learn to Write C# the Fun Way These will take place through May, and cover everything from basic programming concepts all the way to sprites, animation and sound effects. This would be perfect for students. And I wish it had...
  • Blog Post: gamedevelopers.ie

    Last Friday, Clare and I attended the gamedevelopers.ie meeting in the Digital Hub. They've got quite an impressive and diverse community there, and I'm encouraged about the future prospects for the Irish games industry! It would be fun to have a discussion at a gamedevelopers.ie meeting about XNA ,...
  • Blog Post: John Carmack explores mobile game dev

    I'm back in Dublin and juggling a bunch of things: follow-up from this month's ASP.NET talks, preparing for next month's wave of talks, and generally trying to get things done and avoid shaving yaks . But I'm still an AI and graphics geek at heart, so I can easily get sidetracked by something like John...
  • Blog Post: News from Game Developers Conference 2005

    News continues to pour in from this year's Game Developers Conference , which is taking place this week in San Francisco. Here are some Microsoft tidbits: J Allard announced details about the Next-Gen XBox . The XNA Studio game development suite, an extension of Visual Studio that is tailored for video...
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