Microbes: emergent behavior and "fake" antialiasing with XNA

I was playing around with particle behavior algorithms using XNA and came up with an app that’s fun to play with, so I thought I’d share it.  Getting code ready to post on my blog forces me to simplify it and clean it up, kind of like having to clean the house before having guests…

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A painless introduction to PIX for Windows

For those interested in game development technology, it’s been a great week of product releases! Monday we saw the 1.0 release of XNA Game Studio Express. Wednesday brought the release of the December 2006 version of the DirectX SDK, which includes the product I work on, PIX for Windows. Friday, Visual Studio 2005 SP1 was…

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MikeMatrixVisualizer: A VS debugger visualizer for XNA Matrices

One thing that surprised me (in retrospect) about my last sample was that it doesn’t make a single reference to a Matrix.  All my other apps use tons of matrices.  It’s hard to do much in 3D graphics without them.  Even if you’re writing 2D programs with XNA (as I have been, so far), I…

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Feedback: Creating chaos with render-to-texture

I had heard that XNA does render-to-texture a bit differently from native DirectX, so I spent some time playing with that part of the API tonight.  Not surprisingly, it was designed in a nice clean manner and it was a snap to use. In case you’re not familiar with render-to-texture, the basic idea is to direct the…

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A helper class to show video "safe areas"

In this brave new world of XNA, we need to think about how our programs will look when displayed on televisions, as well as on computer monitors.  One new issue to be aware of is the concept of the safe area.  When your game runs on a console, the user’s television may not show every…

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Wendybrot 1.1: Faster, more support, cleaner code

I didn’t intend to post an update to my XNA-based Mandelbrot set explorer quite this fast, but I felt bad that those without an Xbox 360 controller couldn’t use the program.  So I spent some time tonight adding keyboard support, doing some performance work, and tweaking a few things.  I added a fallback technique to the…

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Wendybrot 1.0: A Mandelbrot set explorer written with XNA GSE

Ah, the Mandelbrot set.  How does such a simple algorithm produce such intricate, beautiful pictures?   There’s a seemingly endless variety of patterns and colors.   I got the urge to write my own Mandelbrot set explorer a few days ago.  XNA makes it pretty painless (under 1000 lines of C# and shader code for…

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Introducing my PIX / XNA / Game Programming / etc. blog…

Hey there.  I’ve created this blog so I can post some (hopefully interesting) code and commentary about some topics related to game programming.  I work on the Windows version of the PIX Direct3D analysis tool that is part of the DirectX SDK.  In my spare time I’ve been playing with XNA Game Studio Express and I’m…