XNA Game Studio Released, just in time for the holidays

Vista has launched here in Ireland, and I’m long overdue for writing about that (soon, soon)… but what better way to wrest myself away from Gears of War than to say that XNA Game Studio Express has been released, and now you can author your own games for the XBox360 in C#! So much for…

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DirectX demos still get my juices flowing

On Tuesday I attended Mike Pelton’s session about how to choose between WPF and DirectX for rendering 3D graphics. He began by illustrating WPF’s strengths, and specifically called out data binding, the similarities between the 2D and 3D APIs, and the ease with which WPF developers can perform common activities like hit testing. But then he…

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XNA Video Montage shows nascent indie games (and XNA Studio Beta 2, with Content Pipeline!)

I’m impressed by the diversity and quality of the nascent indie games featured in this XNA Video Montage, which was released on Major Nelson’s blog in a format which is optimized for the Zune.* XNA Game Studio is a set of tools based on Visual C# Express 2005 that allow students and hobbyists to build…

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Students ask the most interesting things

Last Wednesday I gave a presentation to SkyNet, the University of Limerick Computer Society.  About 30 undergrad and graduate students turned up for Atlas, Vista and pizza, in that order. What I showed them was basically a riff on my ASP.NET “Atlas” presentation from ApacheCon Europe, but I also spent some time talking about the…

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Tame the CLR: Expect game-quality real-time performance from managed code

Game developers may be skeptical at first that the CLR’s managed environment can provide consistent, exceptional, real-time performance, but personal experience has shown me that for most situations it can.  Working within .NET’s managed environment provides numerous advantages and eliminates particular kinds of risks, but I won’t lie to you: to tame the CLR, it…

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F# - a functional programming language, in more ways than one

[Another in my continuing series on the innovative Microsoft Research projects I had a chance to check out in Cambridge…] I had the good fortune of meeting Don Syme at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, who introduced me to his brainchild, F# (which is pronouced “F Sharp,” and that’s Don on the left of this photo.) …

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ASP.NET, Atlas, Windows Forms and WPF - how do they fit together?

.NET offers so many choices for your presentation layer.  Windows Forms is mature, reliable, tried and true.  You can use it to build smart clients like Outlook or Word. ASP.NET gives you reach, and makes it easy to write rich, data-driven web sites. Atlas promises to do for Web 2.0 what ASP.NET did to Web 1.0: provide just…

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Flight Simulator 2004: The Physics, the Clouds, the Random Friday-afternoon Encounter

Totally random: I met a gentleman today who is part of a government body that investigates air traffic-related accidents.  They have found Flight Simulator 2004 to be very effective simulator for re-creating particular accidents – and in some ways, because of its detailed rendering and physics, more effective than custom in-house simulators! They were apparently…

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MSDN Webcasts on 3D and 2D Game Development in Managed DirectX

I love Managed DirectX.  I thought I was going to stop loving it as Windows Presentation Foundation fermented, but I love it just the same now. WPF – Avalon – is not a games engine.  Avalon is about ease-of-use.  About abstracting you away from hard stuff.  About opening new worlds of integrated graphics and visualization…

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I may buy a games console yet (but don't bet on it, I'd weep for my weekends)

Last week, Micahel Dell told us that his screaming new gaming laptops will lay waste to the “so-called high-definition” Xbox 360, and take their place at the “center of the home entertainment experience.” To which I say: I had high hopes on Sunday for a binge through the new Prince of Persia game, powered by…

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