AppWeek 2010

Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come. We shipped Game Studio 4.0, so have no more need of checkin poetry. And we have conclusively solved the riddle of the animal names. It is now time to install our product and try using it ourselves. Yes, you heard right, AppWeek has returned to the XNA Game Studio team!

This time around, my 'game' was actually more of a musical instrument. It is a modular synthesizer, with a UI that lets you connect waveform generators, envelopes, and signal processing operators to create strange electronic noises, then control the resulting sounds with an Xbox gamepad. I wanted to experiment with our new dynamic audio feature (worked great, with pleasingly low latency) and also try using our WinForms Graphics Device sample to build the designer UI (also worked fine, although this particular control would have been easier to implement with a more appropriate technology such as WinForms or WPF, rather than rolling everything by hand with SpriteBatch 🙂

This screenshot shows a drum machine with kick (at the bottom), snare (lower middle), and hihat (the four sine operators in the middle) sounds. Different beats can be programmed by connecting the eight delay slots along the top to the three trigger nodes:



But wait, that's not all! Other people made cool things too...

If you are an XNA team member wondering why your game is not included here, well hey, you should have sent me a screenshot when I sent around that email asking for them, now shouldn't you?  🙂

Cooper gets an honorable mention for his Beers of War. I have no screenshot because he ran out of time to finish the graphics, I suspect because he spent so long recording so many ridiculously funny voiceovers. Who needs graphics when your sound is good enough to have the whole room in stitches?


Nick made an FPS with some beautifully lit levels, courtesy of DualTextureEffect and lightmaps. If I was Nick, I'd be hard at work on some blog posts explaining how he built these. I bet many folks would be interested.



Reza experimented with deferred lighting and instancing, managing to render a crazy amount of stuff. A magical, peaceful scene, until you realize the goal is to wander around and smash as many lights as possible with your bat:



Eric made Shape Shooter, which looks a little basic when screenshotted but is mesmerizingly beautiful when you see it in motion:



Xiaoyue created a surreal puzzle / shooter hybrid involving cartoon shaded bananas:



Ito, chronic overachiever that he is, spent most of his time on content creation, building models and editing camera paths in LightWave to produce a rail shooter with more background scenery than I would have had the patience to even dream about making:




Shannon cunningly avoided any content creation problems by designing Pixel Wars to need no models or textures at all:



Marc, Brett, Aaron and Mike created a strange simulation of mid level management during a zombie attack, titled CEOZ (Crunchy Employee Offerings for Zombies):



Finally, Jace is the uncontested winner of our "Most certain to instantly fail peer review, but hey, you can do what you like as long as it's in private, right?" award. In his own words:

Games these days have way too many buttons. I like to keep things simple.


The game begins!


The man on the left has good reason to celebrate.


Wait for it.






That’s right folks, we have a winner!


Comments (8)

  1. Jeff Brown says:

    Haha! Gibbed avatars = definite winner.

  2. MikeBMcL says:

    I wonder how many people would buy XNACC accounts just to be able to play the secret, underground game "Avatar Kablamo"?

    I don't suppose Jace could submit that to playtest. You know, just so we could verify that it would fail peer review. (Yeah. Verify that it'd fail peer review. We'll go with that.)

    Seriously, though, those games all look great – and I'd buy Reza's just off that one screenshot alone!

  3. Ultrahead says:

    > Most certain to instantly fail peer review, …

    Indeed 🙂

  4. DaWalden says:

    Great work guys.

    I wonder if/when we could take a look a the code. I'm specifically interested in Shawn's Synthesizer, because I'm builing an App, that includes audio-visualization.


  5. Damyan Pepper says:

    Love it!

  6. Rim says:

    Nick's project looks really neat, but in the end a 5 word alliteration is just made of pure win 🙂

  7. JohnTron247b says:

    Love it!

Skip to main content