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Robert Burke's MSDN Weblog
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Adventures in XNA 6: A Wii Flock of Boids
Here's a flock of butterflies, brought to you in XNA, which can soar around their environment with the help of the Wii controller. By tilting and rolling the Wiimote, you can control the flight of the lead butterfly. The rest of the flock sticks together, chasing you wherever your accellerometer...
25 Apr 2007
Guitar and Wii Controller into XNA: All Games are Wish Fulfillments
One of my favourite game designers of all time, Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, Psychonauts) once hammered home during a talk at the Game Developers Conference that all games are wish fulfillments . That probably explains why I played a lot of Guitar Hero 2 this week. (I was having trouble...
13 Apr 2007
Adventures in XNA 5: The Sharing of Games is About to Begin
An imminent update to the XNA Framework will allow for sharing of packaged XNA Game Studio Express Games. Developers will be able to package their binary games into a single file to share with other users of XNA Game Studio Express. These files can be emailed or hosted on websites like any other files...
20 Mar 2007
Adventures in XNA 4: XNA Creators Club Goes Live at the GDC
If there's one thing that the XBox teams seem to nail, it's the community orientation of sites like the new XNA Creators Club . It's the shiny new hub for all things XNA, including samples, downloadable games, video tutorials, developer forums, and more. I authenticated at the site in a few seconds...
5 Mar 2007
Adventures in XNA 3: The XNA Animation Component Library
I've mentioned the XNA Animation Component Library in passing in my last two posts on XNA, so I wanted to take a moment to direct you toward the XNA Animation Component Library. I will confess: there is a reason it took me a while to launch myself into XNA. The original challenge I'd set myself was...
28 Feb 2007
Adventures in XNA 2: How Hard is XNA Development, Really?
You probably don't read the Official XBox Magazine , which is billed as "The UK's Number One XBox360 Magazine." All you need to know is that it's a magazine written by fanboys, for fanboys. Impartiality doesn't seem to be on tap there, but admiration for all things XBox certainly is. So imagine my...
27 Feb 2007
Adventures in XNA 1: Mind Balance Reborn
I sank my teeth into XNA last week and have both the rings under my eyes to prove it, as well as a complete game running on my XBox360! I've heard the XNA vision articulated as "enabling the YouTube of Games." XNA has opened up the XBox360 game console to enthusiast developers and designers, who can...
26 Feb 2007
A week in the arctic (.NET, AI, Photography, Moose)
In the spirit of five things you didn't know about me comes thing #6 you were blissfully unaware of: #6: I spent a summer north of the arctic circle, in Tromsø, northern Norway and #6a: I was up there again last week! Here's stuff from my trip along the themes of this blog: .NET and AI: ...
25 Jan 2007
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...
12 Dec 2006
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...
9 Nov 2006
Dave and Rob's Top 5 Tips for Free Microsoft Support and Learning Resources (and the Best of the Rest!)
Dave and Rob ’s Top 5 Tips for Free Microsoft Support and Learning Resources 1. MSDN Forums – http://forums.msdn.com Looking for answers to your toughest technical questions? The MSDN forums are regularly visited by members of the product teams, MVPs, influencers, and experts. Broken out...
20 Sep 2006
XNA Studio Express Beta now available
I just got word (through my free subscription to the Connect program) that XNA Game Studio Express Beta is available for download at the Microsoft Download Center from the location at this link . You may be interested in a discussion in the XNA Team Blog about the XNA Framework Content Pipeline ....
30 Aug 2006
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...
24 Aug 2006
XNA Game Studio Express
" XNA Game Studio Express is a set of tools based on Visual C# Express 2005 that allow students and hobbyists to build games that target both Windows and Xbox 360." To all the enthusiasts, hobbyists and students who have ever asked me if they could develop apps for their Xbox 360, this is the news...
14 Aug 2006
Microsoft Research, in graphic detail, at Siggraph 2006
While I was away in Canada last week, Siggraph 2006 was taking place down in Boston. Many of the papers from that enormously engaging conference on graphics and interactive techniques are now available on the web . During the conference, I enjoyed reading Ben Constable (of the Microsoft Max team)...
9 Aug 2006
3D Tools for Windows Presentation Foundation - for WinFX Beta 2
Oh baby, there goes my evening . Daniel Lehenbauer has updated his community-driven 3D Toolkit for the Windows Presentation Foundation to WPF Beta 2. WPF, of course, is part of WinFX, which reached Beta 2 last week. ( Details & install info here. ) This collection of tools is designed to help...
30 May 2006
RoboCup tournament at the National College of Ireland (and dancing robots in general)
While scanning through the papers this weekend (over some Taiwanese High Mountain green tea that was relayed to me by the thoughtful and multilingual Eric Fish ), I discovered that robots had invaded the National College of Ireland on Friday ! NCI had hosted the annual RoboCup competition, which features...
16 May 2006
Microsoft Research in Cambridge: Applied Games Group visit
I had the good fortune of spending Thursday and Friday last week at Microsoft Research in Cambridge. I had been invited to visit by Ralf Herbrich and Thore Graepel, the leaders of MSRC's newly-formed Applied Games Group . Before starting the Applied Games Group, Ralf and Thore were members of the...
2 May 2006
Seen on a newsstand as I was leaving Las Vegas: Cover of Time: "Are Kids too Wired for their own good?" Cover of Wired: "Guest Editor Will Wright's new World of Games." I bought the Wired :) *Will Wright is the esteemed creator of The Sims and Sim City, and his upcoming game Spore looks...
23 Mar 2006
GDC06: XNA Framework == C# on the Xbox 360!!
News from the Game Developers Conference: C# on the Xbox 360 ! In a previous life, I had a very positive experience writing a graphics engine end-to-end in C#. All I can say to this announcement is: awesome . Here is the XNA page on MSDN . Here's another thoughtful discussion of this news. ...
21 Mar 2006
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...
3 Feb 2006
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...
19 Jan 2006
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...
9 Jan 2006
'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...
20 Dec 2005
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...
14 Dec 2005
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