If broken it is, fix it you should

Using the powers of the debugger to solve the problems of the world - and a bag of chips    by Tess Ferrandez, ASP.NET Escalation Engineer (Microsoft)

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  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Introduction

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    Since I am done holding my breath waiting for XNA to make a return I have decided to start developing 2D games in DirectX instead. To get things started I sat down with my friend Johan Lindfors at Coderox to port my XNA walkthrough and in this series will basically be a direct copy of that walkthrough but using DirectX/DirectTK instead of XNA. The game we are going to implement is a subset of my game BizzyBees which you can download and play for Windows Phone for free. It’s also available for...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 2

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. In order to have something to draw we’ll have to create some assets (Sprites/Direct Draw Surfaces for images and SpriteFont for fonts to draw text) I have drawn all my images in Expression Design which you can download for free. It’s an excellent vector drawing tool, kind of a light weight PhotoShop version, so it’s great for drawing logos or small images. If you don’t...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 1

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    This post is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. File/New Project For the purposes of this walkthrough we’ll be creating a blank Windows Phone Direct3D app in Visual Studio. If you want to add menus and other items you can also try the Windows Phone Direct3D with XAML App which allows you to add in XAML pages for menus etc. but I’ll leave that as an exercise for later:) Also, I would sincerely recommend that you...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 5

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. Animating objects in DirectX is just as simple as in XNA. In the update method we just change the position of the objects and since they are drawn every frame with their respective positions they will start moving. If you want to create some more advanced animations, like if we would want the bees to flap their wings, you would create sprite maps with images of the various states...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 4

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. The next step is to start adding some flowers to the screen, and the way we will do this is by creating 5 columns that each hold a set of flowers. The reason we do this is so that each column keeps track of moving the flowers downwards and generating new flowers and also later on when you tap on a bee and then a column it will match the bottommost flower in that column to the bee to...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 3

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. Drawing the Scene Now we have all our assets and it’s time to draw them on the screen. In order to draw something we’ll need a) something to draw – which is going to be our dds sprites (or textures) b) a start position In our game we’ll draw the following things on the screen The Background at 0,0 where 0,0 is the top left corner The Flowers...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 7

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. The final step to make the game playable is to add some user interaction. Capturing the users input In DirectX the user input is event based so what we need to do is to add a method to the BizzyBeesGame class called HandleInput and call this from BizzyBees::OnPointerPressed 1. Add a public HandleInput method to BizzyBeesGame void HandleInput(Windows::Foundation::Point position...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 6

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    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. The bees will be placed in the empty area at the bottom of the screen right under the columns. For this we need the individual bees (a class called Bee) and a class that handles generating and replacing bees (BeePicker). Similarly to the flowers, the bees are only drawn as sections of a sprite map which we have already loaded in the project. 1. Let’s start with adding...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees XNA to DirectX/DirectXTK – Part 8

    • 1 Comments
    This is part of a blog series… if you came here directly you might want to read the introduction first. Now we have a fully functioning game, but we need to add some final touches to it to make it just that little bit better. The things we are going to do are: Add lives – so that you can fail 3 times before it’s game over Add some bees to the HUD to represent the lives and animate these bees Add a little rainbow flower to the HUD to make things prettier ...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Displaying HTML Content in a RichTextBlock

    • 3 Comments
    [This post is a part of a series of posts about the Social Media Dashboard Sample . For an introductory blog post with information and links to the Social Media Dashboard sample click here ] When you want to display HTML content from a blog RSS feed or other sources in a Windows 8 app you can display this in a WebView but the problem with the WebWiew is that you can’t use your own background or disable zooming which means that you will have a rather crude UX experience. One thing you can...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Great Swedish games in the Windows 8 store and the Windows Phone Store

    • 6 Comments
    Lately I have been focusing a lot on games and education apps and I have been working with a lot of great Swedish game developers so I think it’s about time I gave them a shout out. This is by no means a complete list of Swedish games in the store but just some that I want to recommend.  Click on the Pictures to get to the store and try them out Ahh, but first a quick message about a Swedish Competition… We are running dev.battle where you can win a Nokia Lumia 820 or an Acer Iconia W510 if...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Prisjakt The Story - Writing a Windows 8 app in JavaScript/HTML

    • 2 Comments
    [Prisjakt – The Story is a series of blog posts about our experiences helping Prisjakt/PriceSpy to write a Windows 8 Metro Style App using HTML/CSS/JavaScript.] Introduction Prisjakt/PriceSpy is web site for searching for/comparing products and getting the best price for a product. Prisjakt/PriceSpy is currently available in four countries: Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom and New Zeeland We at Microsoft DPE in Sweden has helped them to write a Windows 8 Metro Style app. We will post a...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix (XNA Walkthrough)

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    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up We have two steps left before we have a fully functioning game. We need to add some bees to match with the flowers and we need to add some user interaction to be able to match the flowers and the bees....
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 6: User interaction (XNA Walkthrough)

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    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up The last step in the series is to add som user interaction so we can actually play the game. Catching the users input in the Update method The user interaction consists of taps and you can basically...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 7: Rounding it up (XNA Walkthrough)

    • 1 Comments
    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up A few issues in the game – left for you to fix If you try to play the game a few times you may notice a couple of things 1. When the game starts, there may not always be a matching flower and...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 3: Adding flowers (XNA Walkthrough)

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    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up Now we have set the scener for our game, it’s time to add the “players” or rather the flowers to the scene. The first thing we need to do is to add two classes, Colum and Flower (you...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 4: Making things move (XNA Walkthrough)

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    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up Animating objects in XNA is extremely simple. To move something we just change the position of the objects in the update method. To resize an object we can add a variable for scale that we can update in...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    XNA for Windows Phone Walkthrough–Creating the Bizzy Bees game

    • 9 Comments
    About a year back I wrote my first XNA game for Windows Phone. The game is called Bizzy Bees and you can download and play it for free from the Marketplace . The idea of the app is quite simple… the goal is to collect as many rainbow flowers as you can before all the flowers hit the bottom. You collect flowers by matching flowers and bees, so a yellow flower matches with a yellow be, a pink flower with a pink bee etc. and all bees match up with rainbow flowers. In this series...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 1: Setting the stage (XNA walkthrough)

    • 0 Comments
    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up The architecture of a game with a gameloop XNA is very different from winforms applications or Silverlight apps in that it is not eventdriven but rather uses the concept of a GameLoop where you update...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Bizzy Bees Step 2: Drawing the scene (XNA Walkthrough)

    • 0 Comments
    This is part of a walkthrough series on creating a game (Bizzy Bees) in XNA Overview Step 1: Setting the stage (projects and assets) Step 2: Drawing the scene Step 3: Adding flowers Step 4: Making things move Step 5: Adding some bees to the mix Step 6: User interaction Step 7: Rounding it up Getting something on the screen In order to get anything on the screen in XNA you need to actually draw a texture from code every frame in the Draw method, as opposed to dragging and dropping something...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Kinect SDK for Windows – Hover Button / Hover Control

    • 15 Comments
    This is part of what will be a series of posts on Kinect SDK demos and howtos, go here to see the whole list . In this post I will talk about how you can create a simple and versatile Hover Button / Hover Control for Kinect with a Metro look. The control is largely based on the Kinect Buttons from Shai Raiten, so all cred goes to him, this is just a customization of his work. Hover button UI The HoverButton control can have either an image or text or both and can be resized to fit your needs...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Kinect SDK for Windows–Extensions Methods

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    This is part of what will be a series of posts on Kinect SDK demos and howtos, go here to see the whole list . Every time I create a new Kinect SDK demo I find myself doing the same setup so I created a few extensions methods that I use in my projects to make life easier. I figured I would share them here since I will be using them in my blog posts about Kinect in the future. The extension methods are SetSmoothTransform, which sets the smoothing parameters on the skeleton to stabilize the skeleton...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Kinect SDK for Windows – demos

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    Lately I have been working quite a bit with the Kinect SDK for Windows, which you can install and use on your computer from our research department Geting started The only thing you need to get started is a computer running Windows, a Kinect device (must be the one with a power chord, but you can buy the power chord separately very cheep at most stores where they sell Kinect), and the Kinect SDK. Once you have everything installed I suggest you go to Channel9 and watch the QuickStarts to...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Entering geek territory or exiting geek territory? That’s the question…

    • 23 Comments
      After 12 years in support I decided to lift my head above the WinDbg window and take a look at what the rest of the world has to offer… In fact, I decided not only to have a look but take a long long jump to the other end of the software spectrum, miles away from “My ASP.NET app hangs” to the world of “This new stuff that will be released in 2014 is soooo cool I’m gonna die”, and believe me, it’s a scary leap For the next two months I’ll be working in a team at Microsoft called DPE (Developer...
  • If broken it is, fix it you should

    Reader email: Need help troubleshooting perf/memory issues

    • 7 Comments
    I get several emails every day (through the blog) with urgent requests to help troubleshoot memory issues or memory related performance issues. Some just say “we have a memory issue, how do I troubleshoot it?” and others are far far more detailed with links to dumps and everything:) I love getting emails, but since I have a day job too (troubleshooting such issues:)) I unfortunately have to ignore most such requests through the blog:( to have time to help the customers that contact...
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