Pixel perfect collision detection using GPU occlusion queries

Ladies and gentlemen, I hereby present my final joke of 2008: Q: what do you get if you cross a stencil buffer with an occlusion query? A: pixel perfect collision detection! Ok, the joke sucks. But I think the technique has merit: Temporarily disable writing to the color buffer Draw a shape into the stencil…

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Zune battery versus hard drive

I made it back from a fantastic vacation in Thailand to find Seattle covered in snow. I’m pleased to report that my attempts at making a battery efficient Zune game worked out pretty well. On the return flight I listened to music for 8 hours, while playing my Freecell game for at least 2, yet…

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Zune landscape mode

My Zune Freecell game runs in 320×240 landscape mode, rather than the default 240×320 portrait orientation. Unfortunately, the XNA Framework does nothing to help you render rotated scenes. Fortunately, you can do this rather easily by drawing everything to a rendertarget, then rotating that as a postprocess. But unfortunately, copying the entire scene via a…

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Zune battery efficiency

I’m going on vacation to Thailand tomorrow (touch wood). But I’m more worried about the flight itself than the current political unrest. My partner Tracy is prone to fidget, plus she has a major Freecell addiction. Combining a 14 hour flight with suddenly going cold turkey on Freecell doesn’t strike me as too good an…

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So many buttons on the gamepad

My girlfriend (not a gamer) is addicted to Word Soup. I (also not much of a gamer) am enjoying browsing through the many Community Games, admiring their tremendous variety, creativity, and (at least in some cases polish. But here’s the thing: too many of these games don’t respond when I press buttons on my controller!…

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