One of the blogs I read regularly is LostGarden. It’s got a lot of great info about game design, and every now and then there’s a “Game Prototyping Challenge,” where Danc posts a bunch of graphics and design doc, challenging his readers to see who can come up with the most fun game. Definitely worth…


Audio input and output formats

We’ve had some questions about what audio formats the XNA content pipeline can take as input, and what formats they are converted to. Now that the 3.0 beta has shipped, I figure it’s a good time to get some of that information out there. So, to be clear, this information is all true for the…


You are hearing me talk.

The powers that be have just posted slides and WMA audio recordings from GameFest! Here’s some links. Mitch’s presentation, What’s New In XNA Game Studio 3.0 Frank’s perf talk: XNA Game Studio Performance 2008: Multithreading and GPU My Content Pipeline presentation! W00T! Real World Content Pipeline Examples Shawn’s Content Pipeline presentation: Building Worlds with the…


SoundEffect APIs in the CTP

We’ve just released the Community Technology Preview (CTP) of Game Studio Version 3.0. If you haven’t read the post on our team blog yet, check it out here.  One of the coolest new features (I’m a bit biased ) in version 3.0 is the SoundEffect API, which allows you to drag and drop wav files…

Content Importers

If you’ve thumbed through the links in my last post on this subject, hopefully you’ll have a bit more of an understanding of what problems the content pipeline is trying to solve, and what constraints it has. I’m going to start off by writing a bit about content importers, since (as we’ll see) the importer…


Useful Content Pipeline Links

As I wrote the other day, I’d like to help out people that are having trouble understanding the content pipeline, and I’m planning on writing some blog posts about it. I don’t have a lot of time right now to dedicate to this, but I was digging around the other day trying to see what…


Quick N Dirty Tutorial: Making Nice Explosion Sprites

When I was working on the alpha blending posts, I found myself in need of a texture to demonstrate how additive blending could be used to make an explosion effect. When I worked on a shooter a few years back I learned a little bit about how to do that, but couldn’t really remember the specifics….


What’s the Most Confusing Part of the Content Pipeline?

I’ve started to look through some of the feedback from our recent survey, and noticed that there’s a lot of you out there who are having trouble understanding the content pipeline. Documentation was a frequent complaint, and a few people mentioned a lack of a high level overview. To remedy this, I’m considering starting a…

Extending the ContentManager for Models

I don’t know about everyone else, but usually the first thing I do after loading models is loop over their effects and set up their lighting. (Check Shawn’s blog to read more about the standard lighting rig and per pixel lighting. ) The other day I thought of a neat way to tuck this code away…


SwampThingTom on Performance Analysis:

Interesting read on SwampThingTom’s blog today. I’d never heard of the NProf tool before, but the information it gives seems to be very similar to what you can get from much more expensive tools. Definitely worth reading.