After the Last Stand

When the XNA-fuelled fireworks were over at yesterday’s Last Stand in Dublin (literally and figuratively) I was totally lost for words. When does that ever happen?! What I really want to say most is thank you – especially to Clare Dillon, Philip McKeown, Fergal Breen and everyone else at Microsoft, MTUG, IrishDev and beyond who…


Adventures in XNA 6: A Wii Flock of Boids

Here’s a flock of butterflies, brought to you in XNA, which can soar around their environment with the help of the Wii controller. By tilting and rolling the Wiimote, you can control the flight of the lead butterfly.  The rest of the flock sticks together, chasing you wherever your accellerometer-fuelled flights of fancy take you….


Microsoft Robotics Studio, and teaching robotics north of the arctic circle

I was excited to see a good friend, Mona, start blogging about her experience running a science center located north of the arctic circle.  It’s fascinating reading.  They’re designing interactive exhibits and experiments: everything from visualizing DNA to creating 5-meter-high geisers of Coke and computer-controlled Lego greenhouses.  Mona has a background in marine microbiology, she’s an innovative teacher,…


Guitar and Wii Controller into XNA: All Games are Wish Fulfillments

One of my favourite game designers of all time, Tim Schafer (Grim Fandango, Full Throttle, Psychonauts) once hammered home during a talk at the Game Developers Conference that all games are wish fulfillments. That probably explains why I played a lot of Guitar Hero 2 this week.  (I was having trouble with the licks ’til…


Hungry for ''Orcas''? Try the March CTP!

“Orcas” is the codename for the next release of Visual Studio, which will allow you to develop applications using .NET versions 2.0, 3.0 and the up-and-coming .NET 3.5. The .NET Framework 3.5 introduces no breaking changes, but it does include some exciting new functionality. You can explore the new features in “Orcas” using its March…


Watch videos from the Microsoft Research TechFest event

Microsoft Research TechFest provides a forum for Microsoft researchers to connect with the broader group of Microsoft employees and product managers.  The good news is that the Channel 9 video brigade was out in full effect at TechFest 2007, which took place a few weeks ago.  The event featured over 150 new demos and 24 lectures. …


Adventures in XNA 5: The Sharing of Games is About to Begin

An imminent update to the XNA Framework will allow for sharing of packaged XNA Game Studio Express Games. Developers will be able to package their binary games into a single file to share with other users of XNA Game Studio Express.  These files can be emailed or hosted on websites like any other files.  To…


Adventures in XNA 4: XNA Creators Club Goes Live at the GDC

If there’s one thing that the XBox teams seem to nail, it’s the community orientation of sites like the new XNA Creators Club.  It’s the shiny new hub for all things XNA, including samples, downloadable games, video tutorials, developer forums, and more. I authenticated at the site in a few seconds using my Passport and…


Adventures in XNA 3: The XNA Animation Component Library

I’ve mentioned the XNA Animation Component Library in passing in my last two posts on XNA, so I wanted to take a moment to direct you toward the XNA Animation Component Library. I will confess: there is a reason it took me a while to launch myself into XNA.  The original challenge I’d set myself…


Adventures in XNA 2: How Hard is XNA Development, Really?

You probably don’t read the Official XBox Magazine, which is billed as “The UK’s Number One XBox360 Magazine.”  All you need to know is that it’s a magazine written by fanboys, for fanboys.  Impartiality doesn’t seem to be on tap there, but admiration for all things XBox certainly is. So imagine my surprise a few…