• Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Windows Phone MIX10 presentations

    • 17 Comments
    Videos of the Windows Phone 7 Series presentations from MIX10 are now available online. For an introduction to the platform, start with Joe Belfiore , Charlie Kindel , and Istvan Cseri . If you want to make games (or apps) using XNA, start with Michael...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Breaking changes in XNA Game Studio 4.0

    • 72 Comments
    I was relieved when the comments on my earlier post about backward compatibility agreed with the approach we chose for XNA Game Studio 4.0. Banjobeni summed up the general sentiment: "If you break it, break it good." The initial motivation for...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Charles Petzold: Programming Windows Phone 7 Series

    • 9 Comments
    This makes me feel old, and at the same time like a small boy who wants to run in circles shouting “yippee!” Back in 1993 I had just finished high school, and got a summer job where, for the first time ever, I was paid to write computer programs. The...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Roll up, roll up, get your CTP here!

    • 7 Comments
    At the MIX keynote this morning, we announced the Windows Phone Developer Tool Community Technology Preview, which includes Visual Studio 2010 Express for Windows Phone, XNA Game Studio 4.0, and the Windows Phone Emulator, and is available as a free download...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Reach vs. HiDef

    • 64 Comments
    I must confess, I oversimplified when I labeled the yellow circle in this post as “Windows laptop”. Sure, the Reach profile in XNA Game Studio 4.0 does correspond to what features are widely available across different Windows machines (which makes it...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    XNA Game Studio on Windows Phone

    • 25 Comments
    I set out to write an article about the unique features of XNA Game Studio on Windows Phone 7 Series, but while trying to populate my outline, I realized, wow, there actually aren’t many things different about Game Studio 4.0 on the phone compared to...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    In which hints become facts: XNA Game Studio 4.0

    • 69 Comments
    Today we announced what I've been hinting at this past few weeks: XNA Game Studio 4.0 is coming soon * to a phone near you! Quick summary: New platform Windows Phone 7 Series New features Integrates with Visual Studio 2010 Dynamic audio output Microphone...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Backward compatibility

    • 35 Comments
    If you've been paying attention to my recent posts, you probably noticed I have been thinking about ways we could improve the XNA Framework API. Which begs the question: how much is it possible to clean up an API while maintaining backward compatibility...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    DirectX 10 helps people who are still using DirectX 9

    • 10 Comments
    It's all very well to say we could simplify caps management by looking at what is actually supported by real hardware, then bucketing everything into just a few of the more common combinations. But there is an obvious flaw in this logic: we can only examine...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Collapsing caps

    • 15 Comments
    Optional features with hundreds of caps bits do not a great developer experience make. How do I know which caps I need to check on which hardware? What do I do if they are not set? Some of the caps we have today are just silly. How is a 3D game supposed...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Some platforms are more equal than others

    • 11 Comments
    There are many reasons for differences between platforms , and several ways an API designer can try to rationalize such things. Some features fundamentally don't exist, and are not practical to emulate. Earlier Radeon graphics cards do not support TextureAddressMode...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Why portability matters

    • 10 Comments
    The XNA Framework runs on more platforms than people tend to realize. There is Xbox 360, and Zune, and Zune HD, and Windows with an NVidia DX9 GPU, and Windows with an AMD DX10 GPU, and Windows with an integrated Intel GPU, and... I found it interesting...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Pop quiz answers

    • 10 Comments
    Congrats to Jamie, who got my quiz basically right, although missing some subtleties on the Windows side. Full answers:   Windows Xbox 360 Zune OcclusionQuery Yes , except for Intel DX9 cards, where IsSupported returns false (exception if you ignore...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Pop quiz

    • 5 Comments
    On which platforms and hardware can you use the following Game Studio features? OcclusionQuery SignedInGamer GraphicsDevice.VertexTextures MediaLibrary.Pictures TextureAddressMode.Border XACT SetFrequencyOfInstanceData For bonus points, what happens if...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    See you at GDC?

    • 9 Comments
    Any of you fine folks going to GDC this year? I’ll be there all week, and am speaking at the Microsoft Game Developer Day on Wednesday, then again on Thursday. Feel free to drop by and say hi - I’d love to sync up!
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Simple APIs are good for experts as well as beginners

    • 18 Comments
    A couple of commenters on my previous post felt the Game Studio API is already sufficiently easy to learn ( thanks guys! ), and pointed out that we can never hope to make it easy enough for everyone. True that. The sarcastic British part of me wants to...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    The State of the XNA Framework

    • 29 Comments
    I am tremendously proud of what we have achieved with XNA Game Studio over the last few years: We opened up Xbox 360 game development. For the first time in history, anyone who cares to do so can create and sell games for a major console, including features...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Predicting the Future

    • 6 Comments
    I often blog about existing or recently announced XNA Game Studio features, and also more general graphics and game programming techniques. Sometimes I write about ancient history , but I rarely discuss the future. There are two reasons for this: The...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    3D math: temporarily on hold

    • 5 Comments
    I was going to finish up these 2D vs. 3D posts by linking to some articles about vector math. But upon looking for good articles to link to, I found myself thinking " ho hum, I could do better than that ". So I want to write more about this stuff. Gonna...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Doing math in 2D vs. 3D

    • 5 Comments
    I find it interesting how some kinds of math work pretty much the same regardless of the number of dimensions. For instance vector and matrix code hardly changes when you move between two, three, or higher dimensions. You just alter the number of components...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Comments on 2D vs. 3D

    • 12 Comments
    Some great comments on my previous post . A popular theory is that our affinity for 2D could be an artifact of the displays we are using. JeBus says: "If we had holographic technology, where the game objects actually appeared around the player in...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Why do 2D worlds make sense?

    • 15 Comments
    It makes sense that our brains have evolved to be better at calculus than probability . This is a survival trait: calculus is necessary any time you want to kill a rabbit with a sling, but you can get by with only crude estimates of probability ( see...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Shawn is a twit

    • 6 Comments
    For a guy who spends his life working with, thinking about, and talking about technology, I'm actually a bit of a luddite. Can you believe I didn't own a cellphone until 2006? My friends make fun of me because my car has no AC, and you have to physically...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    Angles, integers, and modulo arithmetic

    • 14 Comments
    These days most people represent angles using degrees or radians, but many old-skool game programmers preferred a binary integer format where a full circle is 65536. To convert: short ToBinary( float degrees) { return ( short )(degrees * 65536 / 360...
  • Shawn Hargreaves Blog

    MotoGP: AI coordinate systems

    • 6 Comments
    I occasionally get requests to write about game AI, especially the AI from MotoGP . I have resisted this topic for the simple reason that I never worked directly on AI code, so I don't really know much about it. But hey, this is the Internet, right? You...
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