Fourth Pack of Tutorials

I’ve made a beta of a download page, where you can access all of my video tutorials. Let me know if you have an idea for a better layout.

I’ve put up both WMV videos, and SWF videos.

The WMVs are for Windows Media Player, and are the ones you should use – the file sizes are smaller, the quality is better.

The SWFs are in Macromedia Flash format, and are mostly an alternative if for some reason the WMVs don’t work for you – I’ve had requests from Macintosh people for this format.

For once I did not download them myself, to do a checksum. Since it has been okay every time so far, I’m guessing I’ve just been paranoid.

As for the side bar to the right, with links to tutorials and other sites, it will be gone next week. I’m currently tweaking a new theme, with a menu bar at the top instead. The layout will be much cleaner.

After that, time to finish up the forum. Sigh… Not looking forward to PHP.

As always, LearnXNA is kind enough to mirror my tutorials. Thank you, Greg.

Cheers!

Weekly Update

New Projects

BrownBot is sketching(?) 😉 out his next XNA project, Eraser, and it looks to be a very fun indie game.

XNAdev, the guys behind the XNA Physics API, have decided they have the time to work on a 3D engine as well. It will be a scene-oriented engine, DBM.

I’ve talked about Visual3D.Net before, which will be a 3D engine fully integrated into XNA. They just announced the closed beta has started, and the public beta will start in December, probably a bit after the official release of XNA. It will be free for non-commercial use.

QP is just starting out, yet he has already published a the project file of of a simple Black Jack game. He wants feedback.

Interesting Code

Shawn Hargreaves has a truly excellent post about XNA’s Model class hierarchy. He then follows it up with some bone optimizations.

Interesting Reads

XNA Rockstar has a great post with a path to becoming a professional game developer. Do read the comments as well.

Attorneys Gabriel M. Ramsey and Michael W. Trinh take a look at the potential intellectual property conflicts which can/will arise in the XNA community, just in all other homebrew/hobbyist communities.

Interesting Talks

Interview with Boyd Multerer, revealing a bit of background on XNA, like the name.

has put up a much better video of his XNA Racer. His computer is down at the moment (maybe he’s playing ArenaWars), but you should be able to grab it later on.

Video of a Torque Game Builder game running on Xbox 360. I guess this means the TorqueX beta is pretty far along. (Live with the advertisement.)

Scott Hanselman talks bout next generation games in general, and uses XNA as a great example.

Beta 2 Upgrades

has updated the entire XNAdevelopment.com site to Beta 2. He has also added a Tetris clone, with source and everything. I’m sure he’s going to bed now.

has also converted Arkanoid to beta 2, making it playable by non-developers in the process.

is finished with his series of XNA tutorials for beginners for beta 2. He’s now moving on to “chapter two”, where he will actually create a playable game.

is also improving on his Air Legends. It’s actually kind of playable right now, so do check it out.

has also updated to beta 2, which is especially nice since his BitmapFont class is recommended. Now you can also expand the padding between glyphs with a simple pad option.

has converted Time Pilot ‘82 to beta 2.

We thought he’d moved on to stuff that actually pays the bills, but he just quit his daytime job to start his own development company. His company will does not do XNA, but XAML/WPF (which will be HUGE), but it does mean he will have time to bring us more nice tutorials.

Considering his output in the past, make sure to subscribe to his XNA blog regularly. His “private” blog is usually a great read as well, although not XNA related.

Three New Tutorials in the New Series

As you may have noticed, I’m starting over. There were some changes between the betas, and I’ve more on the clear with what structure XNA wants to have. Hopefully, these three will get you off to a good start.

The first set of tutorials deals with installation. If you have already installed,. you can skip it. 27 minutes and 43 seconds in my player.

The second batch of tutorials gives an introduction to the C language, and an introduction to the first class in the Solution – Program.cs. 45 minutes on my machine.

The third zip of tutorials tries to sum up object oriented programming, and goes over the structure of the XNA Game class, by inheriting from it. 42 minutes and 47 seconds in Classic Media Player.

I put links to the right. The old ones are still there (not for long), but you have to dig out the links to them from my old blog posts.

Logo

I’ve also designed two logos, but I made them myself, so I can’t decide which one I like more. My wife is leaning towards the checkered one, because it is not as “heavy”. I talked to Mark Coffman, and he suggested the black one.

Update: Tim was nice to send two variations. A green one and a red one. I’ve primed the votes for them, to give them equal footing.

What do you think?

I was considering doing the top part of the page green, so the logo would have a light-green background.

If you don’t like them, send me a new one! (c:

Weekly Update

Ahh, I fixed Feedreader. Now I can get my fix of news. (c:

Three Good Sources

is really back with regular posts. I guess making SpaceWar took a lot of time. Feels good to get regular XNA news from him again.

also has one of those XNA newsfeeds which doesn’t just report what others say, but dig a bit deeper.

also has an excellent XNA feed, seeing further.

If you subscribe to these three guys, they paint a beautiful triptych of the XNA world. You almost don’t need to spam your feedreader with all the others, including me. (c:

News

for example, took the time to scan Amazon for upcoming books, and found Microsoft XNA Game Studio Express Creator’s Guide, which will be released in May next year. has a book in his drawer as well, but no release date or name yet. also has a book coming, see below.

has also collected all the XNA videos at YouTube. I couldn’t log on yet, but I sent an email to find out what’s up. I’ll let you know. The group is now public.

posted that he is converting his Entombed project to XNA. It is a Dungeon Master clone – one of my all-time favorites. What he has done so far is simply beautiful!

XNAList is a new community site, listing XNA resources such as tutorials, game demos, code snippets, and XNA programmers. They don’t host anything, just links, which makes the site lean and fast.

had been busy posting. He notes common mistakes when adding things through the Content Pipeline, and why the native format is necessary. He also has a great post on maximizing performance when mixing 2D and 3D.

has posted another math tutorial. Comment, please. He has also reopened his XNA forum.

XNA forum needs visitors too.

posted a video about the Xbox Live Marketplace. There’s a section about Gears of War too, which is a really cool game.

Our future guru? He made XNA Racer in four weeks, and he got flown to Seattle to touch it up as a starter kit. Earlier he made Rocket Commander for Managed DirectX.

His blog is readworthy too (gotta try polynapping some day), and he has a book in the pipeline as well. It is called Professional XNA Game Programming, and will come out in April next year.

New Code

has a new tutorial on how to extract the color from under the mouse cursor.

Greg has a post about extending the string library of C by using the one for PHP. Lot’s of method goodies.

Luke Trainor presents a way to apply a custom effect on a model.

Beta 2 Conversions

has also converted his tutorials to beta 2. Do these topics sound good? “Framework, Scene Graphs and Object Framework, Shaders and Cameras, Camera Movement and Simple Input logic, The building of a simple Skybox.”

Not an Artist?

has beautiful 2.5 isometric sprites for you. They are freeware, even for commercial games, if you put Reiner “Tiles” Prokein in the credits.

has collected a lot of graphics as well, under various free or semi-free licenses.

has also a nice collection of graphics.

A great amount of art links can also be found at GM Resource.

Not News

Windows Vista was Released to Manufacturing, and the .Net Framework 3.0 was released.

The Resource Refactoring Tool extracts hard coded strings from the code to resource files.

Back to shooting the new tutorials. Have to work tonight, but a batch is coming real soon now, a few days away.

Got the statistics, just as I move from beta 1 to beta 2. The old tutorials have been downloaded over 40 000 times! Yay! Thank you all. I promise that the new series will be longer and even more popular.

Cheers!