Archive for September, 2006

Thursday, September 7th, 2006

I’ve barely had time to look at XNA, but one of the first hurdles I’ve seen so far is loading a mesh in the traditional .x format.

In the past the DirectX SDK’s Managed DirectX libraries contained support for using the .x format. However XNA does not…well, not yet at least. XNA was supposed to include something called the “Content Pipeline”, which would have supported the .x format. However, at the last minute Microsoft held back on including the Content Pipeline. I guess it wasn’t ready for public consumption.

It does support some other format .swm, which appears to be propriatory. Until the Content Pipeline is released (hopefully soon), the work around seems to be to convert your .x format meshes into this .swm format.

I see over at XNA Spot that there is now a converter. It’s on their samples page. I haven’t tried it yet, but fingers crossed I’ll have the ol’ Spitty rendering real soon.

Oh yeah, and I have to learn HLSL too. That’s “High Level Shader Language”.

eeek!!! ;)

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 216 user reviews.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2006

I saw over at Total Battlefield 2 that the much anticipated BF2 v1.4 patch has finally been released.

Usual story.  A full patch and a smaller incremental one.  Traditionally, general opinion has been that incrementals can cause “issues”.  I’ve never had a problem myself, so if you can be bothered go for the full patch.

Lots of places to download from, but I plan to go straight to the source and get it here.

Here is the Changelog…

New content

  • New level: Road to Jalalabad (Conquest 16-32-64, Singleplayer, Co-op)
  • New Server Option: No Vehicles mode

Fix List

Front End:

  • Front end – Fix server browser issues with updating info
  • Front End – Multiplayer & Co-op – Players on server list can include Bots instead of human players
  • Multiplayer Internet Server maps size filter not working
  • Fixed an issue in the front end where pressing tab twice in the IP window would cause the cursor to skip to wrong box

Game Server:

  • Increased server stability
  • All levels – Co-op – Crash after reviving player without a kit- 1st attempt Server – Linux 32 Dedicated – Server crashes when trying to rotate maps in Special Forces Co-op Mode (fixed on SUSE only. Still present in Red Hat and Fedora)
  • Adjust the minimum number of players to start the round.The new values for 16, 32 and 64 players are 6, 6 and 8 respectively.
  • Re-enable unlocks on unranked servers
  • Ranked server forces unlocks i.e. have to have unlocks selected.
  • Coop – Local Server – If Server Host is kicked and banned although they do not actually get kicked, no other players may join the server after that point.
  • Fixed a dedicated server crash which was occurring when the user held “CTRL” and “SHIFT” while selecting a map
  • Fixed a crash which would occur when c4 was placed on a flag pole and the server rotated maps
  • Vehicle drop crash related bug (missing icon)
  • Co-Op bot console commands do not function on local servers.
  • Client / Gameplay:
  • Red/Blue nametag bug –Fix to the issue where players would show up with the wrong color name tag
  • Introduced a delay from proning to standing to help reduce exploiting
  • Adjusted C4 to make throwing more difficult
  • Fixed the issue where a red distance marker appears on the ground
  • Fixed the issue that caused players arms to become invisible after switching weapons when using throwable items
  • Made adjustments to reduce the damage taken by vehicles when driving
  • Adjusted the tire material on the muscle car to reduce the issue with this vehicle taking too much damage.
  • Commander options no longer available whilst dead.
  • Fixed the issue with a spawn point showing up as selected when a player has spawned in during preview round
  • Fixed the issue that would cause infantry players to be revived with no kit.
  • Fixed several rare graphics crashes.
  • Fixed issue with players crashing while clicking “Join Game” in the front end
  • Car-Drop: Made adjustments to the car drop feature to prevent players from exploiting into buildings.
  • Discovered and repaired an issue tied to projectiles which would sometimes allow tanks to fire two shells, support to fire multiple rounds, and other issues (all maps).
  • Fixed bug where after 2 rounds on the same map, the top player stars are awarded to the wrong people in the menu
  • Transport Helicopters – Increased the armor of all transport helicopters

Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 272 user reviews.

Monday, September 4th, 2006

Howdy all.

I’ve been a bit slow on the blog front for the last few days.

Basically gaming too much in the evenings, with a pinch of procrastination mixed in.

In the weekend, I finally got the fancy new XNA stuff installed and started looking at the sample game.  Looks real nice, and the plumbing code looks a whole lot tidier than how my code has evolved as I’ve learnt stuff.  Helped by the fact that the XNA framework itself looks a lot cleaner than old-school Managed DirectX.

With that in mind, I’m definately going to migrate my code to use the XNA framework next. Pretty easy decision – would be dumb not to really.  Besides, it would basically make my game multi platform, Windows and XBOX 360.  I was about to refactor and tidy things up anyway.

So I’m back to basics for a bit while I learn how to write for XNA.

There is one catch with me migrating to XNA. 

Some of you with older/less fancy hardware (Video card)  may have difficulty getting an XNA version working at all.  This is because with XNA, microsoft have removed support for something called the “fixed-function pipeline”.  I’d never even heard of it until a few days ago (although I was probably using it!).  Basically they are looking forward and figuring game development has been moving away from this “fixed-function” thingy for some time.  So instead of bloating things with support for old-school stuff, they’re cutting clean and forcing us to do things the new and cool way. 

The new way is done entirely with Shaders!  Now I don’t know the first thing about Shaders, so I guess there’s another new thing for me to learn.

“How does that effect me?”, I hear you say…

Well basically if your video card doesn’t support Shaders (I think it’s minimum v1.1) then it’ll probably not work at all.    :(

Stay tuned for more as I learn more.

Average Rating: 4.5 out of 5 based on 268 user reviews.