Mar 242010
 

I’ve recently rekindled my interest in development using the XNA platform after rifling through some old project files and finding a game project that has gone unfinished.  I had great plans for this game as it was a contender in the 2008 Imagine Cup competition for game development.  We did pretty good.  Team CTW was awarded 3rd place nationally and we were able to showcase our game prototype to many people.  But, as is the case for many projects, it died shortly thereafter.  With impending midterms and graduation for some of us, Team CTW quickly disbanded as well.  As I said, I always had plans for this game.  With that, I’ve been given a spark of motivation as of late to actually finish it.  This would entail a tremendous overhaul of the base game framework and some more art.  For now I guess I will tackle the easier of the two tasks and fix the code base.  Hopefully, with little resistance, I can convince the old team to get back together for one final shot at finishing this game right.

In my browsing I also came across and old DVD with some rudimentary tutorials for 2D and 3D programming using XNA.  The video tutorials in the XNA Beginner’s Guide DVD and the supplementary information provided therein were pretty helpful.  I would recommend the tutorials to any novice or beginner interested in learning the XNA framework having no previous programming experience.  The video tutorials do a good job of easing you into programming with C# and XNA.  If you can’t get your hands on the physical DVD with all the tutorials and resources you can find the tutorials (and resources) here; at the XNA Creator’s Club website.  Here is a listing of the tutorials found on the DVD that are also hosted on the website:

The Creator’s Club website (http://creators.xna.com) is also a great place to find more tutorials and support that go beyond the concepts presented on the DVD.

Thanks for reading.

Sep 222009
 

I’ve taken a short break from web design and its related study for the pursuit of knowledge within the realm of game programming.  I picked up an old book that I bought quite a while ago (and when I bought it, it was old).  The book was published way back in 1999 but I’m sure the knowledge within its pages is worth something.  In any case its a start.

The name of the book is “Tricks of the Windows Game Programming Gurus – Fundamentals of 2D and 3D Game Programming” – Written by Andre LaMothe.  I read through the first chapter and after a bit of a struggle I got the 10-year old code (originally designed for an earlier version of DirectX and VC 6.0) to finally compile and got to enjoy about 2 minutes of a classic breakout clone called “Freakout.”

The first chapter details the basic concept of a game loop and “good” programming practices to make code more efficient.  I am a little skeptical of the practices, however, as they emphasize the simplification of certain structures reducing the overall readability.  It also suggests in some cases to reduce the amount of inheritance between classes, limit the length of input variables (in favor of global variables and void functions)  and to actually place dummy variables in structures so that the object will adhere to an overall size of 32 bits.  I’m all for enhancing the efficiency of code wherever possible but, not at the expense of good design practices.  Also, as hardware technology is getting much and much better I’m having a hard time  believing that the same rules would apply 10 years into the future.

Next, in the book I am to tackle some Win32 programming concepts.  I have limited knowledge thus far of any kind of Win32 programming.  So this should be a load of fun.  Thanks for reading, and check back often to see what I’m up to.