Archive for October, 2006

My rewritten for XNA game build is finally here!

Tuesday, October 10th, 2006

G’day folks.

I’ve finally uploaded the latest build on the Latest Build page.

Feel free to try it out.  Remember it is a work-in-progress, and not a complete game yet.

Right now you can fly around, chase and shoot at another plane (albeit another Spitfire for now).

There’s no collision detection yet, so don’t expect any explosions or high scores yet.  ;)

The Latest Screenshots page now contains a small teaser screenshot of the newly rewritten game, and I will be uploading some proper screenshots soonish.

:)

XNA & HLSL Tutorials – what would you like to know?

Friday, October 6th, 2006

Many people discover my blog while searching for XNA & HLSL Tutorials.

To be honest, I’m probably as much a beginner as most of you.  I do know your pain though – it’s damn hard to find an HLSL tutorial pitched at a beginner’s level.  That is why I blogged when I finally discovered some promising resources.

I’m planning to update this blog occasionally with whatever HLSL learning’s I uncover.  They will likely fall short of what you’d call a tutorial.  More likely they’ll be sporadic little journals sharing my HLSL findings as my own understanding grows.

I’ve also been in contact with the operator of the Riemers site. I’ve linked to his HLSL tutorial before and no doubt a few of you are finding it an excellent resource.

He plans to update or include more beginner’s level HLSL tutorials and has welcomed any feedback or ideas from me.  

I’ll be giving him my own wish list at some stage.

If you have any particular ideas or wishes, please leave a comment here, and I’ll be sure to pass them his way.

So what would you like to see in a beginner’s level HLSL tutorial?  Go ahead and comment!

And the official (?) Battlefield 2142 Demo release date is…

Thursday, October 5th, 2006

Well, the official word is the 5th, but that is for EADownloader pre-order customers only.  Plus, it seems GameSpot members have an early peak too.

For the rest of us, this is the most detailed info I could find…

On BF2142Fever they are reporting:

First on Thurdsay the 5th October 9am CET, the users who preordered with the EA Downloader will be able to download it.

On Friday the 6th October 9am CET, subscribers to Gamespot compelte will be able to start downloading it.

On Saturday the 7th October 9am CET, everyone else will be able to get the demo and play it.

By my calculations, well TimeAndDate’s actually – the ”everyone” release in New Zealand time would be Saturday 7th, 8pm (NZT).

Or, if you like countdowns, here’s one!

Battlefield 2142 Demo this week???

Tuesday, October 3rd, 2006

I see on the grape vine, there’s rumor of the Battlefield 2142 Demo coming out this week.

Nothing official as far as I can tell, but the unnamed sources sound reasonably solid.  The timing would be about right too, as the full game comes out this month.

See this thread at Total2142.

How to *legally* distribute an XNA (beta 1) game

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

With my game (or at least work in progress) now rewritten for the XNA Framework, I thought I’d better look into how to distribute it.

Distributing the game build itself is nothing fancy.

However, an XNA game simply won’t run unless the XNA framework is installed also.  No surprise there.

Here’s the catch

Currently, while XNA is still in it’s Beta 1 phase, there is no easy way to redistribute the XNA framework dll’s along with your game build.

Sure, you could possibly try an identify the required Dll’s and through trial and error eventually get it to run.

But, you’d be violating the XNA beta 1 EULA.

This is just a temporary thing, as I believe a full (non-beta) release of XNA and Game Studio Express is planned before the end of 2006.  Don’t worry.  Microsoft most definitely wants people to be distributing their games.  That’s the whole idea!

The solution!!!

Until the full version comes out the only legal way to get an XNA game running on another machine is a bit annoying.

On the target machine you must first install the following:

  • .NET Framework v2.0 – no surprise there.
  • Microsoft C# Express
  • Microsoft Game Studio Express (beta 1).

Yep, it’s a bit of a pain to be sure.  Still, it is a “beta” remember. Mustn’t grumble. 

More details in these two MSDN threads: here & here.

Anyway, I plan to put up my first XNA build for download soon.  Unfortunately, you’ll need the above  stuff installed, which pretty much rules out all but the most motivated, or those already tinkering with XNA.

My game rewrite for XNA is COMPLETE!!!

Monday, October 2nd, 2006

That’s right, all done. WHOOHOO!!!

What this really means is that I’ve caught up to where I was before XNA came on the scene.  Managed DirectX is a distant memory, but a useful stepping stone nevertheless. 

Far from a complete game, but a playable concept to build on and up!

I’m very happy with the end result. 

  • The code is much more maintainable than before. 
  • So maintainable in fact, that it was relatively simple to throw in the option of the ”Dusk” sky & mood lighting I mentioned earlier.
  • And while subtle, I can tell the graphics look a whole lot nicer too! 

I have not updated the screenshots & build for the XNA version yet.  But stay tuned.

p.s.  JD, I sped up the bullets too!  ;)