XNA Team Blog News Feed 
Thursday, September 10, 2015  |  From XNA Team Blog

Celebrating the past and embracing the future of indie gaming

By: Chris Charla and Andy Dunn

Post Time: Wednesday, Sept. 9, 5:17 p.m. PT


At Xbox, we have seen firsthand the magic that independent developers can bring to gamers worldwide. The reception to ID@Xbox on Xbox One has been fantastic, with more than 1,000 developers with kits in hand working on the next generation of games for Xbox One and Windows 10. As much as we are excited about what is ahead, it is important to us that we acknowledge and celebrate the path it took to get here – while taking the next step forward together with the community.

Today we communicated to developers that we’re beginning the sunsetting process for the XNA Creator’s Club and Xbox Live Indie Games (XBLIG) on Xbox 360. We’re working to ensure the process is as smooth as possible and to minimize any impact for developers who are still working on XBLIG games for Xbox 360.

  • As of today, we’ve stop taking new subscriptions or membership renewals, but we’ll ensure that current members who are still working on games have any memberships that expire “topped off” until September 9, 2016. After that date we’ll no longer allow new games to be published. All creators with a valid subscription as of today will receive a free lifetime Windows Developer account (normally $99).
  • In September 2017, we’ll stop selling XBLIG games, close the store and pay out all money earned by developers. Of course, players will still be able to re-download games they own and continue to play the games they own.
  • Longer term, over the next two years we’ll be working with game conservationists and creators to preserve the legacy of XBLIG content. We look forward to sharing more details in the future.

XBLIG is where many great developers got their start, and “diversity” doesn’t even begin to describe the incredible variety of games that creators made on XBLIG. So seeing the end come into view is definitely bittersweet. But it’s also a great time to reflect on the legacy of XBLIG. Not just what it accomplished, but how far the game industry has come in the nine years since the first beta of XNA Game Studio was released in August 2006.

In 2006, video games – especially console games – were a closed shop. You needed to work at a company and know someone to even have a chance of seeing a dev kit, never mind releasing a game. At Xbox, we started with the vision that anyone could create console games. XNA and XBLIG were our first attempts to open up the closed console world – to let students, hobbyists, and anyone with a great idea make games and publish them without needing a studio or even a business license. Over the last nine years, we have seen many great developers get their start in XBLIG and we are very proud of all that has been accomplished. Developers who came from all backgrounds and all walks of life and were able to make console video games.

As I look back, I feel the vision of the original creators of the program has been completely proven out by subsequent events. Games are a hugely important art form and the torch of democratizing game development has been carried on with amazing tools such as Unity, GameMaker, and Unreal Engine.

On Xbox and Windows 10, ID@Xbox is a spiritual successor of XBLIG, offering platform and Xbox Live access on console and Windows 10 to independent creators of all sizes and scale. Anyone today can sign up for a Windows Developer Account and start making games today using the tools I mentioned earlier and more. Creators have more platforms they can ship on today than ever before, and more and better tools to help them every day – and our priority is ensuring that we give independent developers the support they need to take the next step with us towards the future of gaming.

The last word in this blog belongs to Andy Dunn of ZBuffer, who has done more for the XNA and XBLIG community than anyone on earth, from the earliest days to the present. He’s been a Microsoft MVP supporting XNA and XBLIG for years, wrote several of the early demos, a couple of indie games including “Kissy Poo” and just released what might be one of the final XNA XBLA games “Guncraft: Blocked and Loaded”:

I remember being asked to come into Microsoft for a possible contract job. It was a C# gig for the Xbox team and I wasn’t really interested. I had recently quit Microsoft to make games and I knew that nobody used C# to make games on consoles. A friend told me he couldn’t say any more, but it would be worth my while, so I went along. I suspect I then sat with my mouth wide open when they told me that not only could I use C# to write Xbox 360 games, but there would be a storefront to sell your games. Remember this was 2006 – there was no concept of an open App Store and certainly nothing like it on a console. “Why yes of course I was interested in writing some demos and starter kits… of course I can keep it secret till August.”

The last nine years of my career all started from that meeting. I’ve worked with lots of people besides Microsoft using XNA; and since then, I’ve had the opportunity to speak at conferences, teach at universities, make games and meet some (hopefully) lifelong friends. And tens of thousands of others had the same opportunities. Careers have been founded, millions have been made and in at least one case, a marriage occurred! The XNA/XBLIG community is easily the best set of people I’ve had the pleasure to be on the internet with. The forums were full of Microsoft employees and knowledgeable experts mixing with total n00bs wanting to write their own MMO. I know the mods were not always popular but we made sure they were a great place for almost everyone.

We’ve known the end was coming for a while, and thankfully two years notice is plenty of time for those still in progress. Many of the XNA people have moved onto Unity, Unreal and other gaming tools. The XNA style of programming lives on cross platform with MonoGame for those who wish to continue, and the knowledge we all
got is still a valuable skill.

Thanks for the good times Microsoft - we may not all have an
XNA tattoo, but XNA and Xbox Live Indie Games were a huge part of many people’s lives. 

Tuesday, April 30, 2013  |  From XNA Team Blog

We are trying to create an updated list of users who are having issues logging into their XBLIG account or need other
technical support.  If you are running into a technical or billing issue with XBLIG please send an email to
creators@microsoft.com using one of the subject lines listed below. 

Please use ONLY one of these three subject lines, as we will use these to filter responses. If you have
multiple issues please send one issue per email:

  • PAYMENT PROBLEM - <Username>

In the body of your email include your XBLIG username and any relevant information. Prior to emailing, please be sure to review the Indie
Games FAQ as it may help in resolving your issue as well: http://xbox.create.msdn.com/en-us/home/faq


Tuesday, March 12, 2013  |  From XNA Team Blog

If so, it would help to send better art work to us. A common reason we cannot feature certain titles is due to low resolution or poorly captured box art or screen shots. The recommended specifications are: High Res Layered Key Art – 4:3 format/minimum
300 dpi/no text or logos. Also, no cropping if possible.

If you would like to get ahead of the game (pun intended), please send your art to creators@microsoft.com


Wednesday, November 14, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

Microsoft has launched a developer contest called 'Power
Up'. The competition is aimed at UK Inide Developers who want to develop and
publish awesome games for Windows 8.   If you are using XNA today to
develop Xbox Indie titles why not port your existing titles or create a new
ones for the Windows 8 “Power Up” competition and be in with a chance to win
some “money can’t buy” prizes.   We have worked with Monogame in the
UK recently at a University hack to port existing XNA games to Win8 RT and then
develop those games to be published in the Windows 8 Store.  You can read more details here.


You can download Monogame for free at http://Monogame.codeplex.com,
Visual Studio Express for Windows 8 and Windows 8 evaluation for FREE from http://dev.windows.com.
For a step by step guide of how to migrate your XNA assets to Windows 8 see http://bit.ly/S3UuGK.


If you’re the winner of ‘Power Up’ you will win some amazing
prize, including a free PR campaign, mentoring with industry leaders drawn from
the Boards of UKIE and TIGA and a commercial trailer for your awesome Windows 8
game app. You simply need to ensure game is published in the UK Windows 8 Store
before December 14th.  Full entry details, terms and conditions
can be found at www.ubelly.com/gaming


Prizes range from free PR for a month, mentoring by industry
veterans, Nokia smartphones, Visa Gift Cards from YoYo Games to name but a few.


The competition is open now and you have until December 14th,
2012 to enter.

be in with the chance of winning one of our fantastic prizes, after
successfully submitting your app to the UK Windows 8 store, follow the steps
below to enter the competition.

the following details to Andrew Webber, UK Marketing Lead for Indie Game App
Builders at andrew@microsoft.com

  • Your name
  • Studio Name
  • Email Address and Phone
  • Name of the Game App
  • Include a copy of your
         Store Certification email for the App you are submitting.

is no limit to the number of entries, all entries need to be received by
11.59PM GMT 14th December 2012.

Friday, October 12, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

There was an issue today with people not being able to submit, or edit games within the site.

We have found out that a new Terms of Use was posted. Since then, a user has to:

Login to the Xbox LIVE Indie Games portal

Go to the Membership page at

Click on Join Now

When you get to xbox.com, re-accept the TOU

Manually navigate back to the
Xbox LIVE Indie Games portal

We are working on a way to fix this in a more global sense, but in
the meantime, this should fix the issue.

Thanks for your

Friday, August 31, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

Meet the 2012 Dream.Build.Play Challenge winners! Thank you for your hard work, congratulations on your awesome accomplishment, and welcome to the Dream.Build.Play universe.

Go here to see the winners: https://www.dreambuildplay.com/main/winners.aspx

Wednesday, August 22, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

The games received for this year’s competition were phenomenal. Congratulations to the 40 finalists (listed in alphabetical order).

Xbox 360:

A Pixel Escape


Apple Jack 2

United Kingdom





Chibis Bomba


Chompy Chomp Chomp

United Kingdom

Dead Pixels

United Kingdom

Diehard Dungeon

United Kingdom


United Kingdom

Face-Plant Adventures



United Kingdom

Graveyard Shift


Imagine Earth


Moon Cheese


Ninja Crash

South Africa

One Finger Death Punch



United Kingdom




United Kingdom

Wyv and Keep

United States

Windows Phone:

Air Soccer Fever

United States

Akane the Kunoichi


Alter Ego

Russian Federation

Bots n’Things


Brutal Chase 3D


Cradle To The Grave

United States

Digital Divider


Dotty 2




I, Zombie




Pirate Cat


Pixel Blocked!


Sidekick: End of days

United Kingdom







Sparks – The First Light


Super Voltage


Valgards Fate


Monday, August 06, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

App Hub is currently offline.  We expect the downtime to
last less than 24 hours.  Rest assured our teams will be working as
quickly as possible to minimize the impact on you.  Once the developer
portal is back online, you might still encounter an occasional hiccup as we
complete the back-end work over the next several weeks.


We appreciate your patience during the upgrade work.

Monday, August 06, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

FYI all,

Beginning Monday, August 6, App Hub will be taken offline and two separate developer portals will be launched – one for Windows Phone apps and games and one for Xbox LIVE Indie Games. This is exciting news, as Xbox LIVE Indie Games will return to having a dedicated developer portal (a la Creators Club).

•         App Hub will be down on Monday, August 6, for up to 24 hours.  We will be working as quickly as possible to minimize the disruption to developers. 
•         When create.msdn.com is brought back up, developers will see a redirect page that allows them to continue to either Xbox LIVE Indie Games or to the Windows Phone developer portal.  

Wednesday, January 04, 2012  |  From XNA Team Blog

Welcome to 2012! We’re eager to see what our developers have in store for Xbox LIVE Indie Games in the coming year and to kick things off we have an exciting announcement regarding some changes to App Hub that make it a good time to be an Xbox LIVE Indie Games developer.

Higher maximum CCGAME size

Since the start of Xbox LIVE Indie Games, CCGAME bundles submitted for Xbox LIVE Indie Games were limited to a maximum size of 150MB. We’ve heard all the great feedback on this subject and today we are pleased to inform you that developers are now able to submit CCGAME bundles up to 500MB through App Hub for publishing on Xbox LIVE Indie Games.

New limit for 80 point games

Another area we’re adjusting today is the requirement that titles larger than 50MB be priced at either 240 or 400 points. After raising our maximum size we’ve decided to also raise this limit. Starting today you can apply the 80 point price to any game with a CCGAME size under 150MB, which is three times the current limit of 50MB.

More titles per developer

The last change affects a fewer number of developers, but we still believe it’s an important update. Originally developers were limited to just eight titles on Xbox LIVE Indie Games. When Creators Club became App Hub, we raised the limit up to ten. We’re happy today to let you know that we’re again raising this limit up to twenty titles per developer.

We’re continuing to watch our developer base and adapt the system to the needs of our creators. We hope you’re all as excited as we are to kick off 2012 with these great updates to the App Hub to enable our developers to make even better content for Xbox LIVE Indie Games. If you have any questions or want to discuss these changes, feel free to post in our forum thread.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

Microsoft’s Dream.Build.Play Challenge is back in 2012!  This annual contest is sponsored by Microsoft to inspire independent developers to create games for Microsoft platforms.  Developers will have the opportunity to compete for over $100,000 in total cash prizes.  Like this year’s Challenge, finalists in the 2012 Dream.Build.Play Challenge will also have the chance to show off their fun and innovative game to thousands of enthusiasts during PAX 2012 in Seattle.

We’re excited to announce that new for 2012 is the addition of a category focused exclusively on games created for Windows Phone, opening the contest to a new set of talented developers.  The Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge attracted developers from around the world, amassing 250 game submissions from 27 countries. All four of the 2011 winners are now available for players to download and play from the Xbox LIVE Indie Games marketplace.

As in previous years, finalists in the Dream.Build.Play Challenge are judged by a panel of game industry professionals from Microsoft. Games are evaluated on three criteria: Innovation, Fun Factor and Production Quality.

Details about the Dream.Build.Play 2012 Challenge, including registration, will be available soon. In the meantime, general information about the contest and past winners can be found on the official Dream.Build.Play web site and the Facebook fan page.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

Today is exciting. Why? Because today we welcome the newest update to the Xbox 360 dashboard.  

What does this update mean to you, Xbox LIVE Indie Game developers? To start with, it means a new user interface and organizational and functional changes.

The new user interface uses the Metro style, the same style used by Windows Phone and Windows 8. There also are organizational and functional changes not only to improve, but to enhance, the game experience. 

Today, we want to tell you about changes to the Xbox 360 dashboard we believe will most affect Xbox LIVE Indie Game developers and customers.

Rating from the game library

In the new dashboard, rating a game is easy. There now is a Rate button on the overview page for games that gives gamers quick access to rate the game's content.

The removal of the rate button from the game library in an earlier update generated considerable feedback. Its removal reduced the number of ratings given for Indie Games. We believe the permanent display of the rating button on game overview pages will increase the likelihood that your players will rate your games.

Indie exposure in the game marketplace carousel

When navigating into the game marketplace in the games section, you’ll notice the rotating carousel in the center contains an item for Xbox LIVE Indie Games. Selecting this item takes users to an Indie Games experience containing the Kotaku’s Favorites and Contest Finalists lists, as well as Indie Game specific New Releases and Most Popular lists.

This carousel item will help to push your games to even more customers by exposing Xbox LIVE Indie Games from the top level of the marketplace experience. 

Bing search

Over the years, Xbox has become about more than just games. Users can now find music, movies, and television programming on their Xbox 360 consoles. With all this great new content, Bing was added to make it even easier to find what you’re looking for. Users can use Bing search to find marketplace content, including Xbox LIVE Indie Games.

The algorithms and index of content are still being improved, but we believe this exposure of Indie Game content through the Bing search engine makes it even easier for customers to find specific Indie game content without having to manually navigate the dashboard in search of the gem.


Another way Xbox is helping customers find great new content is through smart recommendations. Customers viewing a piece of content can now find recommendations for related games and content that might interest them.

Smart recommendations will help customers find Indie games related to games they already own and enjoy, which should translate into more opportunities for Indie developers.

We are sure each of you is as excited as we are about the new dashboard and can see all the great new ways Indie games have been exposed to our millions of Xbox LIVE subscribers. If you have feedback regarding the dashboard, please use the official Xbox.com forum.

Thursday, July 07, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

Today, two brand-new educational items are available on App Hub for XNA Game Studio game developers, as well as a set of Visual Basic updates to our popular Windows Phone Mango educational items. Check out the Game Development educational page on App Hub to download these and other great educational items. Here’s what you’ll find there:

Compiled Content Format (XNB)

This article documents the format of the compiled data files (.xnb) produced by the XNA Game Studio 4.0 Content Pipeline build process, and includes a sample parser written in C++ to illustrate how to work with the format.

Windows Phone Localization for Games

This article provides a step-by-step guide and recommended practices to ensure a Windows Phone game project made in XNA Game Studio is localizable, using the Catapult Wars Lab as an example.

Visual Basic Updates to Mango Samples and Articles

Several of the popular Windows Phone Mango samples and articles have been updated to include Visual Basic support. Get in and try out the new VB versions today:

All of these items are also available on the Game Development education page.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

This is a friendly reminder that the submission deadline for the Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge is rapidly approaching. The submission period closes next Tuesday, June 14, at 1:59 p.m. CDT.

Developers tend to submit their games at the last minute, so avoid potential delays or timeouts while you upload your game by planning ahead and completing your submission at your earliest convenience.

Good luck! We look forward to seeing the awesome games you've been working on.

Visit Dream.Build.Play 2011.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

Today, along with the release of the new Windows Phone Developer Tools for Mango, we are proud to announce a set of new and updated samples and articles tailored for Windows Phone game developers to get up to speed on Mango changes quickly, all free, and all on App Hub!

To jump right in, see the new and improved Game Development page on App Hub with a section just for Windows Phone OS 7.1 and the Mango Tools.

Here's a full list of the new and updated samples and articles:


What's New for Games in Mango
This high-level article calls out a few of the changes in Windows Phone OS 7.1 and Windows Phone Developer Tools that affect game developers.

XNA Game Studio or Silverlight - Which is Right for Me? (Updated for Mango)
This article, which discusses the differences between Silverlight and XNA Game Studio on Windows Phone, has been updated to include information about the new combined Silverlight and XNA architecture in Mango.

Migration Guide: From the Game Class to Silverlight/XNA
This article explains why and how to move your Windows Phone game to an architecture that integrates Silverlight with the XNA Framework.

Visual Basic Support in XNA Game Studio
Beginning with XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh, the XNA Framework expands programming language support to include Visual Basic (VB). This article introduces basic XNA Game Studio programming concepts for Windows Phone in VB.


Game State Management (Updated for Mango)
This popular sample, showing how to manage the transitions among menus and gameplay states, has been updated for Mango to handle the new Fast App Switching feature in Mango.

Paddle Battle
This new sample shows a very basic game written on top of the new Silverlight/XNA application model.

Model Viewer Demo
This new sample showcases a complex application built on top of the Silverlight/XNA application model, leveraging full 3D rendering, Silverlight’s animation engine, and the use of dependency properties to act as the proxy between Silverlight UI and the XNA Framework based rendering system.

Silverlight/XNA Game Components
This new sample provides an implementation and demonstration of a GameComponent system for use in games leveraging Silverlight and the XNA Framework.

Check out these samples and many more in the Education Catalog on App Hub!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

The registration deadline for the Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge is quickly approaching. The contest closes its registration on Tuesday, May 17 at 1:59 p.m. CDT, and then starts accepting submissions. You have 29 days after registration closes to submit your final polished game; the submission period ends on June 14 at 1:59 p.m. CDT.

Also, don’t forget that @XNACommunity will be hosting a Twitter chat tomorrow, May 11, from 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. PDT. This is a great opportunity for Dream.Build.Play contestants to get their questions answered by the XNA Game Studio team. Tune in on the conversation by following the hashtag #devchat.

Monday, May 09, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

We're excited to announce a new feature on App Hub that we have added to the peer review system for Xbox LIVE Indie Games. Based on developer community feedback, we have enabled developers to control the release of their games that have passed peer review. This feature will help developers to better coordinate social networking, press, and other opportunities for the release of their titles on Xbox LIVE Indie Games.


How Does it Work?

By default, games will automatically be published when peer review is complete. This change adds a check box that developers can check if they want to control their games' release.

If the developer checks this box, the game will stay in a "ready to publish" state after passing peer review. The developer can then return to the game's page and click the "Publish Now" button, which sends the game to the Xbox LIVE Indie Games channel on Xbox LIVE Marketplace within 24 hours.

This system works in a similar way to the Windows Phone Marketplace, which allows developers control over their app releases.

We expect this new feature will better equip you, our Xbox LIVE Indie Game developers, to create buzz and excitement for your great games prior to their release. If you have any questions or would like to discuss this feature, please reply to our forum thread on App Hub.

Thursday, April 28, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

The registration deadline for the Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge is almost here. Are you ready to submit your prized project? Looking for some last minute tips on polishing your entry? Still haven’t nailed down a name for the game you’ve been working on for months?

Join @XNACommunity and your fellow XNA Game Studio developers for a #DevChat on Twitter on May 11 from 5:00 – 5:30 p.m. PDT as the community discusses final preparations for the Dream.Build.Play 2011 Challenge. Members of the XNA Game Studio team will also be available to chat and answer questions. Keep track of the conversation on Twitter by following the hashtag #devchat. We recommend using TweetChat during the dev chat to easily follow the discussion.

Monday, April 25, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

To our Xbox LIVE Indie Games Community:

We have recently made changes to the way games are chosen and sorted in the Xbox LIVE Indie Games top downloads channel on the Xbox 360 Dashboard.

Previously games were selected and ordered based on the previous day’s sales information. This caused an illusion of the channel being frozen if sales data was delayed as well as exposing an instability in the channel due to occasional daily spikes.

To improve this experience, we have changed the time interval from daily to rolling weekly. What this means is that the top downloads channel will show games based on the previous week’s data each day.  Though it will be slightly more difficult to get on the list in the first place, the top downloads channel will be more reliable and less likely to be affected by daily delays or issues.

We believe this change will make for a more stable and correct top downloads channel for Xbox LIVE Indie Games providing users with a better view of the top downloaded titles and developers with a better opportunity to maintain their spot on the top downloaded channel. Visit the Top Downloads forums thread to discuss this change with the community!

Monday, April 18, 2011  |  From XNA Team Blog

To our Xbox LIVE Indie Games Community:

We’ve heard your feedback and have made some changes to the ratings system on Xbox.com. Starting today, only users with Xbox LIVE Gold subscriptions will be allowed to rate content on the Xbox.com website. By implementing this change, we believe our customers will experience more consistent ratings and a significantly reduced potential for abuse across the entire Xbox catalog. We have also investigated rolling back suspect votes, however, we determined it will not be possible to do this.
In addition, we are investigating users who may have violated their user agreement during this series of events. Violating user agreements may result in actions up to and including banning from Xbox LIVE, removal of currently posted games, and loss of ability to post games in the future.
We appreciate everyone’s patience on this matter and are excited about the fantastic games being posted to Xbox 360 through the Xbox LIVE Indie Games program.

 XNA Team Blog News Feed 

 LearnXNA News Feed 
Sunday, May 27, 2007  |  From LearnXNA

Its been a while, work is more takes less of my time so time to dust off the site and try to bring it back to life

Thursday, January 18, 2007  |  From LearnXNA

iFactor is an XNA game that has so far come out with downloads that will run on 360, and I have not yet had the time to install it  (I blame work, or Burning Crusade). The game looks nice and it takes advantage of the both of the 360’s analog sticks.

Sunday, January 14, 2007  |  From LearnXNA

Bobbit Push from the maker of Bobbit Dash is what may be the first commercially released XNA game. This game is much like most other puzzle games where you push blocks to a goal, but the twist in the game is that there is roaming enemies you have to avoid. You can download the demo and if you get addicted and are looking for more buy the full version. You never know we may see this one on XBL one day. 

Friday, December 29, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

If you keep up with gaming blogs you should have read about this game, and if you have not let me introduce you. Rocket Commander XNA can be described as a space racer made by Benjamin Nitschke and his team at ExDream Entertainment. Other than being a cool game that can run in 1080p they are offering up the code for the community to study and learn from.


If you read the whole announcement post you can read a comparison of XNA and Managed DirectX. This comparison takes a very honest look at XNA and points out things that were done better and other that may still need work.

Thursday, December 21, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Congrats goes to out to Alex the creator of Wildboarders the winner of Xbox360Homebrew.com’s Developers contest. Check out the other winners on the site, great job to all who entered.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Today’s game XNA of the day is Called Ball Race, from Nuclex. The game allows you to make custom levels, and even includes the source.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Channel 9 has posted a new video from the XNA launch party, they talk with George Clingerman (XNA Development), Andy Dunn(ZBuffer), and Major Nelson along with some others. If you weren’t there in person or even if you were check it out.

Thursday, December 14, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

To celebrate the launch of XNA Game Studio Express Microsoft is announcing a contest. The “Dream-Build-Play” will be open both Windows and 360 programmers who use XNA, with a grand prize of your game getting published on Xbox Live Arcade. Not much more information has been announced about the contest but check out www.dreambuildplay.com for more information in the future.

Monday, December 11, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

The official 1.0 Release of XNA Game Studio is not out and can be downloaded from Microsoft. If you want to run your games on 360 you need to subscribe to the XNA Creators Club.

Sunday, December 10, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

In less than 24 hours you will be able to play games that you have made your self on Xbox 360. If you got some time to kill go check out the final documentation on MSDN

Wednesday, December 06, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

A few weeks ago when we put up the news about the official launch of XNA we asked where the party is going to be and we now have the answer. The party (open house) is on December 11 at 6pm at Microsoft’s “Millennium” campus in Redmond, WA. I am sorry to say that I will not be there but if you are in the area you can get more information at the XNA Team blog.

Sunday, December 03, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

XNAtutorial has released 2 more videos, they cover graphics and making a custom mouse cursor. You can download them from the links or read more on the site.

XNAtutorial.com Pack 4 - Using Graphics

XNAtutorial.com Pack 5 - Mouse Image

Saturday, December 02, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

XNAtutorial has an interview up with Mark Coffman of xbox360homebrew.com some interesting insight into a member of the XNA Community. I have a feeling that there are more interviews on the way.

Saturday, December 02, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Gary Kacmarcik creator of XNA Extras is no longer with Microsoft, so he will not be working on XNAExtras any longer. He is working with Microsoft to open up the code and get it on Codeplex, let’s hope this happens. Just in case I suggest you hit the link and download XNAExtras just in case it goes away. Good luck at Google Gary.


P.S. I don’t think the community would mind if you kept doing work with XNA on your own.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Been some time since a game of the day, to get back on track I give you Elves Revenge a Christmas themed game. The game has plenty of levels and seems pretty polished.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

Channel 9’s look at XNA part 2 is now up and ready for viewing, looks like in this video they talk with Frank Savage and deploy a project to the 360.

Friday, November 24, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

It’s been a long time since I have run through the news so here are some things I found:


This weeks MajorNelson Podcast does talk some about XNA they mention that the Microsoft employees are using the Creators Club, from the way it sounds if you are in an XNA game you can still use the 360 button, voice chat and other features.


Shawn Hargreaves has had a good number of updates (XNA GSE must be about ready to ship if he has that much time to post) Many posts about working with meshes with bones and a few about sprites. They might look like boring posts but it’s some very useful information.


The XNA Team Blog has a post talking about using XNA GSE with Windows Vista.


ThreeSix Box has a 3DS viewer with a great looking demo up for download; they also have a great download section to browse too.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

The site has been down because there were some server hardware issues. Let’s hope it’s all fixed now other wise it’s a may be good my hosting plan is up soon.

Sunday, November 19, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

BitbmapFont part of the XNA Extras package has been released, this is good news to people like me who have been waiting for this package to really work on games. Gary says we should expect the update for the rest of the package soon (“later this week”).


Sorry for the late update on this site was down last night for some unknown reason.


Friday, November 17, 2006  |  From LearnXNA

XNAtutorial.com has posted 3 video tutorials for Beta2 of XNA Game studio as before we at LearnXNA.com are mirroring their video files. You can find all of the here or at one the links in the description.

The XNAtutorial.com Pack 1 - Installation deals with installation. If you have already installed,. you can skip it. 27 minutes and 43 seconds in my player.

The XNAtutorial.com Pack 2 - Code Structure of tutorials gives an introduction to the C# language, and an introduction to the first class in the Solution - Program.cs. 45 minutes on my machine.

The XNAtutorial.com Pack 3 - tries to sum up object oriented programming, and goes over the structure of the XNA Game class, by inheriting from it. 42 minutes and 47 seconds in Classic Media Player.

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 The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind News Feed 
Saturday, September 07, 2013  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

I just picked up a copy of the new HLSL Development Cookbook. The book is a great continuation of the very basic shader set up I have implemented in the XNA tutorial engine, but goes into much more complex and deeper shaders taking full advantage of the new possibilities provided by DirectX 11. The book [...]

Friday, September 28, 2012  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

For a short while now I have been working on porting over most (if not all quite yet) of the functionality of the tutorial HMEngine to a DirectX 11 and C++ version of things that I have been calling “Haze”. Recently, quite a few changes have been occurring that greatly affected how I have been [...]

Monday, January 02, 2012  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Just finished up a detailed technical edit of the new Visual Basic version of a book I reviewed previously. The new Visual Basic version with my edits included is now available from Packt Publishing. Check it out! XNA 4.0 Game Development by Example: Beginner’s Guide – Visual Basic Edition Also available from Amazon

Saturday, December 03, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Malts Color (Lovibond) Amount (lbs) 6-row 8 Vienna 3 1 Crystal 60 1 Chocolate 350 1 Hops Alpha % Amount (oz) US Goldings 5.7 2 Willamette 5.7 2 Yeast Edinburgh Scottish Ale WLP #028 (Pitchable Liquid)

Saturday, December 03, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Malts Color (Lovibond) Amount (lbs) 6 Row 6 Crystal 10 1 Flaked Maize 1 Hops Alpha % Amount (oz) Mt. Hood 7.8 4 Mt. Hood 7.8 2 Yeast California Ale WLP #001 (Pitchable Liquid) German Lager WLP #830 (Pitchable Liquid)

Saturday, December 03, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Malts Color (Lovibond) Amount (lbs) Pale 2-Row 6 German Munich 6.5 4 Roasted Barley 500 0.5 Chocolate 338-432 1 Belgian Special B 114 1 Crystal 60 1 Hops Alpha % Amount (oz) Saaz 1 Saaz 1 Yeast Dusseldorf Alt WLP #036

Saturday, December 03, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Malts Color (Lovibond) Amount (lbs) Bamberg Pilsner 5 Crystal 10 1 Wheat Malt 1 Hops Alpha % Amount (oz) Chinook 13.1 2 Willamette 4.5 2 Yeast California Ale WLP #001 (Pitchable Liquid)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

At work when we do bug fixes we always create a numbered branch matching our ticket number off of our current production code: git checkout -b [ticket number here] production This makes for incredibly simple merging and passing bug fixes around. I come across the issue a lot where I will have about 5 bug [...]

Monday, September 26, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

2011 October 7 – 2011 October 17 I will try to get photos on the map as well as we are travelling. If I’m having too much fun to add photos you’ll just have to wait until we get back to see them! View Ireland 2011 in a larger map  

Thursday, August 25, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Just a quick note about some small changes I made to the terrain object in Haze. Originally its initialization code just created a single quad made of two triangles with an index buffer in the form {0, 1, 2, 2, 3, 0}. Since then I have updated the constructor to take in an initial size [...]

Thursday, August 18, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

As an exercise in learning Hull and Domain shaders with DirectX 11, I decided to whip up a quick (or what I thought would be quick) height mapped terrain demo that only sent a single quad to the video card and handled everything else in the shader. Aside from some minor problems remembering to use [...]

Monday, July 18, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

To try and expand my programming horizons a bit, I am working on a version of the HMEngine (codenamed Haze for the moment) using C++ and the latest DirectX version. It has been a while since I have coded anything large in C++ so I’m sure there will be a bit of a curve getting [...]

Thursday, June 16, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Tabs. Period. If you think spaces are better, you are stupid. I can’t set a space width on my editor to deal with your stupid 2 space indents. You can use tabs and set your editor to show tabs as 2 spaces though. So why don’t you stop being stupid and just use tabs so [...]

Thursday, June 16, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Tabs. Period. If you think spaces are better, you are stupid. I can’t set a space width on my editor to deal with your stupid 2 space indents. You can use tabs and set your editor to show tabs as 2 spaces though. So why don’t you stop being stupid and just use tabs so [...]

Monday, February 14, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

I recently got a copy of the  new 3D Graphics with XNA Game Studio 4.0, which (complexity wise at least) is a good follow up book for the previous XNA GDBE I just finished going through. This new book skips entirely over the 2D aspects of XNA game development and dives straight in to getting [...]

Saturday, January 22, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Continuing on with the quality from previous chapters that I have now come to expect , Kurt dives right in to getting his impressive graphics straight to the screen. He starts in straight away with many of the utility classes needed to put together a standard top down space shooter and gets the basics of the [...]

Tuesday, January 18, 2011  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Just a quick message to say there will be a little downtime in tutorial update and book review posts while I move my source over to git and github. My reasons are many, but much of the background information and research I have done on the topic is well summed up in Linus Torvalds’ talk [...]

Thursday, December 09, 2010  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Chapter 2 of Game Development by Example goes into making a small but very impressive tile flipping puzzle game with chapter 3 adding the polish and finishing touches to the completed game. The project hits on sprites and spritesheets; it puts a little design work into place that separates the game into more classes than [...]

Saturday, November 06, 2010  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

So far the book is turning out to be a pretty good read. I was excited to see how quickly the author jumped into coding and getting to work on putting together a simple game. I am a big believer in learning by doing so this super quick introduction is exactly what I think the [...]

Monday, November 01, 2010  |  From The Ramblings of a Hazy Mind

Just grabbed a copy of a new XNA 4.0 book by Kurt Jaegers over at xnaresources.com that was recently released through Packt Publishing and am going to take a stab at going through it over the next week or so and see what I think. Other than updating the tutorials here to the 4.0 framework [...]

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Thursday, November 06, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

For those lucky enough to be a part of the NXE beta the first 3 approved games hit the community games channel this week. I put this screen shot:

Community Games
up earlier this week but now thanks to my new toy I can show the whole process on video.

If you have Silverlight then here is the hi res version. Or download the WMV here

<embed src="http://images.video.msn.com/flash/soapbox1_1.swf" width="432" height="364" id="8nn6fb78" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" flashvars="c=v&v=e5705824-7941-459f-b6fd-763358b65112&ifs=true&fr=msnvideo&mkt=en-US"></embed><noembed>Video: The 1st XBL Community Games from XNA Game Studio</noembed>

I didn't have time (or any software - anyone suggest some decent free/cheap video editing package) to do any fancy editing, add commentary or callouts... but here is a quick index:

  • 0:00 New NXE 'home page'
  • 0:06 Community Games
  • 0:24 Game info pages - downloads, screen shots, details
  • 1:00 Playing Fruit attack - CG splash screen, game demo
  • 2:00 Zman sucks at video games! (He's old!)
  • 3:17 Hello Machaira....
  • 3:33 Unlock game screen from dashboard
  • 4:15 The computer kicks my ass (bear with me I'm waiting for the trial to end)
  • 5:12 Trial period ends - standard buy screen appears
  • 5:28 I spend 400 points!
  • 5:49 Game continues as if nothing had happened
  • 6:20 Wow this is getting boring
  • 7:00 End game - notice its not in trial mode any more. Notice that when you quit it doesn't go back to the Community Games page. Seems odd.
  • 7:46 Cubage demo
  • 10:00 Space Combat Demo

Thursday, October 30, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

The new 3.0 release is out as well as the updated forums and Community Games submission process.

Some new things:
new countries for submissions from creators

A playtest mode (see the Game state drop down)

New rich text editor in the fourms

Localised website in several languages

and many many more...

So lets see who is the 1st to get their game uploaded....

Wednesday, September 24, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

For the 3 of you who don't read the XNA team blog....Xbox Live Downtime and you

Note that once XBL comes back up there will be no more submissions or reviews.. right now there are a LOT of really great games from the DBP competition awaiting your review and feedback (needs a logged in account with Creators club to see reviewable games). So get on over to the review site and lets get that list down to 0 items by the 29th

Wednesday, September 24, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Can't afford the time or money to go to school to learn Video Games and XNA? Well the Georgia Institute of Technology has put up one of their Game Development lecture classes for anyone to watch. Best of all its mostly (? I've not watched them all) using XNA for the code sample.

MPG 2008

  1. Introduction
  2. History of 2d
  3. History of 3d
  4. 3d rendering (part 1)
  5. 3d rendering (part 2)
  6. 3d Rendering (part 3) - sorry video missing see slides
  7. 3d rendering (part 4)
  8. 3d rendering (part 5)
  9. 3d rendering (part 6)
  10. 3d rendering (part 7)
  11. Intro to XNA Game Studio
  12. Game loops and XNA Content Pipeline
  13. Drawing Models and primitives with BasicEffect
  14. Guest speaker no video - see slides
  15. Walkthrough of an XNA 2d Game
  16. Coming soon
  17. Coming soon

Lecture slides and course details and more background information can be found on the class web site

Wednesday, September 24, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

With Dream Build Play and the Community Game beta wrapping up its time to take stock of your games and decide what you could have done better ready for the final Community Games release whenever that is. Having a post Mortem is a gret way to look at what to do differently next time.

Gamasutra has just published such a post mortem of Schizoid - the first (and currently only) XNA based game on XBox Live Arcade. Its worth a read, XNA Game Studio makes it into the bad and the good and the note about TCRs should make all of you wondering about community game realise how easy you are going to have it.

This are a couple of particularly damning especially from a team who praised the ease of prototyping and ease of C# over C++ - Jamie actually said something like 'I hope I never have to go back to C++ at gamefest 2007'

A lot of times the natural expressions you'd want to use when programming in C# will cause unseemly hitches when garbage collects on the 360, and you're probably going to want to multithread what would, if you had written in C++ in the first place, probably run fine entirely on one core.

The end result is the time you save prototyping and getting up-and-running in the first place can be lost in working around performance later.

Hopefully those comments will raise the GC and other perf issues on the XNA teams agenda for future releases... of course few of us will ever tax things as much as Schizoid but the joy of c# for me has always been that I dont have to worry about things like memory too much because the GC is so damn good at sorting things out... on the Xbox that's just not true

Of course there is still some praise

If it wasn't for XNA Game Studio making it so easy to get a prototype up-and-running and in front of people, Schizoid would never have happened.

XNA Game Studio was so easy to use that we didn't have to write a single tool to make the game

Tuesday, September 23, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Due to the server issues this week the DBP has been extended till 11:59:59 CST on Sept 25th. Heck thats enough time to write an entire game!

See Dream Build Play rules

The contest website experienced a technical difficulty that prevented successful game uploads. In the interest of fairness we have extended the entry deadline for all contestants to September 25th, 2008 at 11:59 PM Central time (CT)

There's also an interesting addition to the rules appeared:

Xbox LIVE Community Games will be launching holiday 2008. To help celebrate the launch, we are extending a special opportunity to Dream Build Play entrants. Although Xbox LIVE Community Games will only be available to developers in specific regions, if you submit a compelling entry, the Xbox LIVE Community Game Team may extend a special invitation to any Dream Build Play entrant to submit a Dream Build Play entry for inclusion on the Xbox LIVE Community Games service. If you receive an invitation, you could be one of the first to sell your game on Xbox LIVE Community Games.

There is some speculation in the forums as to what this actually means... see the discussion

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

XNA Game Studio 3.0 beta updates

The following table lists all of the API changes between 2.0 and 3.0. There
are changes to internal structs and other things but I'm not listing them here
unless it seemd particularly interesting - the public interface changes are
quite enough to digest. The changes are based on the Windows versions of the
assemblies. Maybe I will compare the others at some point.

I know its not very readable... I will tidy it up a little later on

InstancePlayLimitException *new*
SoundEffect *new*  
SoundEffectInstance *new*  
SoundState [enum] *new*  
VoiceState [enum] *new*  
ContentReader *changed*  
  public Color ReadColor()  
SpriteFontReader *changed* Something about default
ErrorHandler [internal] *changed* New error cases for:
NotInvited, InviteeNotSignedIn, TrialMode, NetworkNotAvailalbe
GamerPresence *new*  
GamerPresenceMode *new* Big enum of 'things you are
doing'... some fun ones including 'CornflowerBlue' and 'StuckOnAHardBit'
GamerPrivileges *changed* AllowOnlineSessions now
returns false if you are in trial mode
Guide *changed*  
  void ShowGameInvite()  
  void ShowMarketPlace()  
  bool IsTrialMode  
  bool SimulateTrialMode  
GuideState [enum] *new* IsGuideVisible,
IsNetworkCableUnplugged, IsTrialMode
KernalCallType [intenal] *changed* Interesting values that
refer to Achievements and Leaderboards !!!
ParameterValidation [internal] *changed* Ditto values about
Leaderboards - probably nothing to get excited about
SignedInGamer *changed*  
  GamerPresence Presence Presence information
Color *changed*  
  Color(float, float, float)  
  Color(float, float, float, float)  
  Color(Color, byte)  
  Color(Color, float)  
  R Now has Set{} no longer readonly
  G Now has Set{} no longer readonly
  B Now has Set{} no longer readonly
  Color Lerp(Color, Color, float)  
DisplayMode *changed*  
  Rectangle TitleSafeArea  
SpriteBatch *changed*  
  DrawString(*) Throws exception if text is null
  void DrawString(..., StringBuilder, ......)  
SpriteFont *changed*  
  SpriteFont(...., char DefaultCharacter)  
  Vector2 MeasureString(StringBuilder)  
  ReadOnlyCollection<char> Characters  
  char? DefaultCharacter  
  int LineSpacing Now has Set{} no longer readonly
Texture2D *changed*  
  Texture2D(GraphicsDevice, int, int) Now you can make an
empty texture
Viewport *changed*  
  UnProject Looks like the subtle bug has been fixed - see
if you can spot it!
  Rectangle TitleSafeArea I'm guessing different
implementations on Windows/Zune and 360. Windows does nothing!
Buttons [enum] *changed*  
GamePadButtons *changed*  
  ButtonState BigButton  
GamePadCapabilities *changed*  
  bool HasBigButton  
GamePadType [enum] *changed*  
Media - whole namespace is new
Album *new*  
AlbumCollection *new*
Artist *new*  
ArtistCollection *new*  
Genre *new*  
GenreCollection *new*  
MediaLibrary *new*  
MediaPlayer *new*  
MediaQueue *new*  
MediaSource *new*  
MediaSourceType [enum] *new*  
MediaState [enum] *new*  
Picture *new*  
PictueAlbum *new*  
PictureAlbumCollection *new*  
PictureCollection *new*  
Song *new*  
SongCollection *new*  
VisualizationData *new*  
InviteAcceptedEventArgs *new*  
NetworkGamer *changed*  
  byte Id  
  bool IsGuest  
NetworkNotAvailableException *new*  
NetworkSession *changed*  
  EventHandler<> InviteAccepted
  IAsyncResult AddLocalGamer(SignedInGamer)  
  void BeginCreate(..., IEnumerable<SignedInGamer>, .....)  
  IAsyncResultBeginFind(...., IEnumerable<SignedInGamer>, ....)
  IAsyncResult BeginJoinInvited()  
  NetworkSession Create(..., IEnumerable<SignedInGamer>, ....)
  NetworkSession EndJoinInvited(IAsyncResult)  
  AvailableNetworkSessionCollection Find(....,
IEnumberable<SignedInGamer>, ....)
  NetworkGamer FindGamerById(byte)  
  NetworkSession JoinInvited()  
PacketReader *changed*  
  Color ReadColor()  
PacketWriter *changed*  
  void Write(Color)  
SendDataOptions [enum] *changed*  
  Chat Does this mean text chat is now unencrypted and
StorageContainer *changed*  
  StorageContainter(...., bool AlloweTransferBetweenPlayers...)
Interesting - explicit file charing between profiles I think.
BatteryChargeStatus [enum] *new*  
FrameworkDispatcher *new* Something we can use?
FrameworkResources [internal] *changed* More stuff about
Helpers [internal] *changed*  
  InstancePlayLimitException New exception called from here
MathHelper *changed*  
  float WrapAngle(float)  
PowerLineStatus [enum] *new*  
PowerStatus *new*  
Rectangle *changed*  
  Point Location  
  Point Center  
  bool IsEmpty  
  Rectangle Intersect(Rectangle, Rectangle)  
  void Intersect(ref Rectangle, ref Rectangle, out Rectangle)
  Rectangle Union(Rectangle, Rectangle)  
  void Union(ref Rectangle, ref Rectangle, out Rectangle)  
TargetPlatform [enum] *changed*  
Game *changed*  
  Protected ShowMissingRequirementMessage If you need to
change the message when the device isn't good enough
  void SupressDraw()  
  ContentManager Content Now has Set{} - no longer readonly
Resources [internal] *changed*  
  NoAudioHardware message  
  NoSuitableGraphicsDevice messages  

Wednesday, September 17, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Micael Klucher just announced over Twitter that the bits are being pushed to download.microsoft.com and it should be ready 'in an hour or so'.

The announcement page is up and ready and has the link to the download. Make sure you read the readme first eh? Aaron has enough installer questions to answer without you adding to the volume

Download XNA Game Studio 3.0 Beta

XNA Game Studio 3.0 ReadMe

XNA Game Studio 3.0 FAQ

Monday, September 08, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Summer is over and the user groups are picking up again.

Its time for our friends 'up north' to have a meeting about the content pipeline. Matthew Randall (aka EvilDed/Dedilus from IRC) will be speaking as as the author of QuickXap he's a good guy to be speaking about it.

Full details on the XNACALUG page

Thursday, August 14, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Chris Williams may love the sound of his own tweets a little too much and he may have more tattoos than your grandma but apparently he did enough bad things in his previous life that he feels the need to give back...

So on September 24th in Bloomington Minnesota you can help him and the rest of the Twin Cities XNA user group raise some money for a good cause.


Friday, July 18, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Yes even shorter notice than Tuesdays talk announcement... so I'll just give the link and you can work it out yourself.

Turns out The ZMan needs to be able to read dates properly (it doesn't help that after 12 years I'm still not quite cool with having the month go first!). The talk is actually AUGUST 21st. So in fact you have over a months notice! New XNA MVP Joel Martinez will be giving the lowdown on XNA Game Studio

XNA at ONETUG. Orlando City Hall, Orlando, Florida

Thursday, July 17, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Yes even shorter notice than Tuesdays talk announcement... so I'll just give the link and you can work it out yourself. New XNA MVP Joel Martinez will be giving the lowdown on XNA Game Studio

XNA at ONETUG. Orlando City Hall, Orlando, Florida

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Whiplash from PHStudios has a 10 part video and 55 page document walking you from start to finish of a pong clone called Paddles.

Paddles video tutorials

DVD quality is available for everyone and the quality seems just about good enough to read the code window. HD versions are available for paying subscribers

They also have some c# and Photoshop tutorials

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Digital Tutors has a new training video out for XSI and XNA Game Studio. I've not actually seen any of these videos so I'm not sure of the quality but the preview seems quite watchable.

If you have used any of the digital tutors stuff let me know what you think of it

Shader Pipeline with XSI and XNA

Looks like they have some other XNA related videos too

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Can't find a copy of the conference just yet but it seems like GameSpot will have a copy to watch soon

So yesterday was the big Microsoft press conference and there were a few things that caught my eye from a game development point of view. (though I only caught the last hour so I may have missed something)

  1. XNA Community games got a very short mention. They showed a video that had some of the current community games as well as few that I seem to remember from last years Dream Build Play. The 'date' mentioned was Fall which might sound different to the Holiday 2008 we have been hearing but since Winter starts December 21st I guess they technically overlap. No new news announced here.
  2. New dashboard - I missed this bit so I don't know if this will affect the Community games part of the dashboard.
  3. Avatars - similar to the avatars on other consoles you can customize a look alike (or not look a like) and have it appear in games. Lets hope the XNA Framework allows us access to these models as some point.
  4. Some new fun stuff to do with the Xbox camera. The new Viva Pinata game uses the camera to read trading cards and You're in the movies records your actions while you play fun games and then edits the footage into short little movie clips. Seems like some fun things to do with the camera... maybe one day we will get some access to that.
  5. Finally a couple of new controllers - an improved Guitar Hero controller which should hopefully just map to an standard XInput device and a new Microphone for the Lips karaoke game which, like the Rock Band microphone will need special drivers and a new API.

So looking forward to some announcements at GameFest where maybe we will learn if any of this new stuff will be available to us

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Can't find a copy of the conference just yet but it seems like GameSpot will have a copy to watch soon

So yesterday was the big Microsoft press conference and there were a few things that caught my eye from a game development point of view. (though I only caught the last hour so I may have missed something)

  1. XNA Community games got a very short mention. They showed a video that had some of the current community games as well as few that I seem to remember from last years Dream Build Play. The 'date' mentioned was Fall which might sound different to the Holiday 2008 we have been hearing but since Winter starts December 21st I guess they technically overlap. No new news announced here.
  2. New dashboard - I missed this bit so I don't know if this will affect the Community games part of the dashboard.
  3. Avatars - similar to the avatars on other consoles you can customize a look alike (or not look a like) and have it appear in games. Lets hope the XNA Framework allows us access to these models as some point.
  4. Some new fun stuff to do with the Xbox camera. The new Viva Pinata game uses the camera to read trading cards and You're in the movies records your actions while you play fun games and then edits the footage into short little movie clips. Seems like some fun things to do with the camera... maybe one day we will get some access to that.
  5. Finally a couple of new controllers - an improved Guitar Hero controller which should hopefully just map to an standard XInput device and a new Microphone for the Lips karaoke game which, like the Rock Band microphone will need special drivers and a new API.

So looking forward to some announcements at GameFest where maybe we will learn if any of this new stuff will be available to us

Tuesday, July 15, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

Sorry for the short notice - I only just found out about this myself.

If you are close to Dallas then head along to the SMU Guildhall tonight at 7pm. Check out the details on Chris Koenig's blog

Thursday, July 03, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

There's plenty of threads in the forums with people who get the 'The project type is not supported by this installation' error. In fact due to a brain fart I even got it myself last week. Generally this error happens when you try to open a project written in a version of Game Studio (Express) in a version of Visual Studio that doesn't have that GS(E) installed. Most commonly because you don't have that GS(E) installed at all but one case I have seen is when you try to open a v1 file by clicking the .sln and it opens the non express version of VS. Since GS1 didn't work with VS Pro or above you can NEVER open that project unless you have express installed.

So here's how to tell which version a project is:

  1. Open the project file (NOT the solution file) in notepad
  2. Find the lines with <XnaFrameworkVersion> and <XnaPlatform>. This will contain v1.0, v2.0 or v3.0 and Windows, Zune or Xbox 360

In addition you can check the Project type Guid as this is what VS is checking when you get that error message

  1. Find the line with <ProjectTypeGuids> ignore the 2nd GUID (FAE04EC0-301F-11D3-BF4B-00C04F79EFBC) as its always the same and represents that these project types are for C#
  2. Look in the table below to find the one that matches

Project type Guid Project type GS version
D399B71A-8929-442a-A9AC-8BEC78BB2433 Zune Game or Game Library 3.0 CTP
6D335F3A-9D43-41b4-9D22-F6F17C4BE596 Windows Game or Game Library 2.0 (VS2005)
3.0 CTP (VS2008)
2DF5C3F4-5A5F-47a9-8E94-23B4456F55E2 360 Game or Game Library 2.0
9F340DF3-2AED-4330-AC16-78AC2D9B4738 Windows/360 Game or Game Library 1.0 & 1.0 Refresh*

* These projects MUST be opened in VC# Express 2005. Sometimes even though you have 1.0 refresh installed the .sln files will open the non express version and give you the error

There are some Vista registry issues which can be fixed by reading this blog http://brianpeek.com/blog/archive/2007/11/29/weird-vista-registry-issue.aspx which on occasion also seem to cause this error message.

Thanks to Aaron for checking and adding some detail and Stephen for pointing out the very obvous verison and platform tags that I had missed!

Wednesday, July 02, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

If you are not a forum regular you probably missed the following job announcements. Microsoft is a great place to work and the XNA team seem like a great bunch of folk (well the ones I have met - the team is getting too big for me to know everyone these days)

Web Developer

Technical Program Manager

UZ Designer

Tuesday, June 10, 2008  |  From The Z Buffer

User groups are starting up everywhere. Even the Canadians want to get in on the game now.

So if you live near Calgary, Canada and you have any kind of interested in XNA Game Studio then you need to visit their website and find out when and where.

XNA Calgary User Group

When: June 11th 2008, 7-9pm

Where: SAIT Main Campus in the Heart Building, Wing 'D', Room 201 (MD-201).

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Kitchen Island Table Design should be in the decorative shapes with the latest design of the furniture style. Talking about the kitchen table, it is important for us to show that the good decoration of the tables will give the strong point to the kitchen decoration. If you have so many application of the kitchen […]

Monday, July 27, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Kitchen Island Ideas are really applicable for the large size of the room. If you build your house in the large size, of course you have to get the large application of the kitchen too. In this case, we should remind you that having the large kitchen must be followed with the right application of […]

Monday, July 27, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Kitchen floor tile design belongs to the kitchen decoration which is focused on the flooring ideas. There are so many jobs which you have to do if you are making the interior design for the kitchen. One of them is the flooring idea which you have to do. We should give you several advices related […]

Sunday, July 26, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Farmhouse kitchen design ideas will offer the different look of the interior design of the kitchen. As you know that actually there are so many kinds of kitchen designs which may select. But in making the best selection, you have to see the concept of the kitchen which you desire to have. That can be […]

Sunday, July 26, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Kitchen design layout is needed before the interior designers are dealing with the job for making the interior design of the kitchen. If you are dealing with the job for making the interior design for the kitchen, making the lay out will be the first thing which you should do. It belongs to the starting […]

Saturday, July 25, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The Kitchen ideas deal with how to make the best decoration of the kitchen so that you can have the cooking time in the good environment. As you know that if the kitchen is nice and interesting, the cooking time will be the nice activity too. So, having the good decoration of the kitchen is […]

Friday, July 24, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The Variations of the bedside table lamps can be found easily today because of the change in the act of looking into the bedroom function. Sleeping is something important for keeping the healthy body. Because of that, composing the table lamp ideas for supporting the comfortable situation in the bedroom is important for today. You […]

Friday, July 24, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Updating your furniture is the last thing can be chosen for making your room or your house as the comfortable place for living. One common kind of furniture to be noticed is the table lamp. It is simple and small but it can influence so much the whole appearance of the room through its design. […]

Thursday, July 23, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The glass table lamps are designed in unique appearance. It combines the modern and the classic style in one design. The use of this table lamp can be the appropriate one for your living room. In contrary, it will be the inappropriate one to be used in your bedroom. The glass table lamps for living […]

Thursday, July 23, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The Use of crystal table lamps can give you the elite sense since this one is commonly offered in high price. Because of that, you must consider carefully the idea for using this one. It means that since it is the high priced one, you need to prepare the high budget too and sometimes that […]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The modern table lamps can have double functions instead of for lighting only. It also can offer the better appearance of the room where the table lamp is placed. Because of that, the design of the table lamp in modern style can be found in so many artistic appearances. For choosing the appropriate one, you […]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The stained glass window panels are commonly small based on its function too. The different aspect can be noticed from it is the thickness of the material composition used. Of course it also can be found in some variations for today. You can use for example the type of the framed stained glass window panels […]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The use of the stained glass lamps especially in the form of table lamp can be noticed as something common for today. It can be use for the living room or more exactly for the bedroom. Using the stained lamp can give your calm condition, and so the bedroom is the best place where you […]

Tuesday, July 21, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The composition of the stain glass stirs into its interesting aspect primarily. People can like to use the decorative style of their part of the house like the window and that can be served perfectly through using this thing. Of course the composition of the stained glass also can be influenced by the stain glass […]

Monday, July 20, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Today, the stained glass patterns become something popular. You can get the patterns freely from some sources. The variations of the enlarged free stained glass patterns can be mentioned today for example are the natural style, the religious style, and the geometric pattern style. One of them can serve your desire as the appropriate choice […]

Monday, July 20, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The minecraft is one of the commonest game themes that often used as the background for people home decoration. That can be found as the main theme for the stained glass style too today. However, composing the idea about stained glass minecraft for your house needs more careful consideration because it is a little different […]

Sunday, July 19, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Before deciding utilizing wall mounted mirror to adorn your dwelling, you have to know how to arrange it well. More than that, it should be decorative yet entertaining too. Some ideas you found might be ordinary and it isn’t matching with your room décor. However, you need not to be afraid of it since I […]

Sunday, July 19, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Beside is for evoking larger ambience to the space, wall mount mirror can be able to use as the wall decorator. This is reasonable because mirrors nowadays are created extremely fashionable. Moreover, the sizes we can suit with the room dimensions so it would complement each other. Then, the wall mount mirror designs could be […]

Saturday, July 18, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

The bathroom wall mirror is one important aspect of bathroom décor. Today you can choose so many options about its appearances. Of course the first thing must be considered for you in the time of choosing the style is the appropriateness between its design and the function in the bathroom. The mirror must be functioned […]

Saturday, July 18, 2015  |  From Let's Kill Dave!

Having the mirrored walls in your house can increase the sense of the contemporary design. The mirrored wall idea is the product of modern mind. Because of that, composing the idea must be started by careful consideration about some details. Making its perfect appearance can be harder than if people compose the idea about the […]

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 XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information News Feed 
Saturday, March 20, 2010  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

It is always nice to see someone pick up one of our tutorials and share their own work with the community, and Lance Zimmerman contacted me last week to share a project called Base Defender that he has been working on using the XNA Resources Star Defense tutorial as a basis for an extended game. He has added a radar at the bottom of the screen, terrain features and buildings, new enemies, and is working on different kinds of enemy AI behavior.

The source code for Lance's evolving project, as well as his project page, is up at https://sites.google.com/site/gamesbylancezimmermaninxna/ Have a look!

Sunday, January 24, 2010  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Ok, so the Steam Holiday Sale (http://www.steampowered.com) hit my free time pretty hard :) I picked up a number of games, and have been enjoying Dragon Age, Borderlands and The Witcher quite a bit since the holidays.

That said, I haven't been completely idle on the XNA front. I've got another mini tutorial almost ready to go, and I've been working on a brand spankin' new Tile Engine that supports square, hex, and isometric tile maps. No real timeframe on that, as I still have the upcoming Mass Effect 2 to deal with :)

Friday, December 11, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Better late than never! :)

This has actually been hanging around on my hard drive for quite a while, but with upgrading my PC to Windows 7 and other various things that have cropped up over the last few months, I haven't had time to get it properly formatted and posted up as a tutorial.

But now here it is. This is the second of my "mini tutorials", and covers a quick project I put together to experiment with both my Text Handling class, and doing things on the Zune. Fair warning: There isn't much of a practical use to this project as is. The tutorial takes you through building an app for the Zune (works on Windows as well... and no real reason it wouldn't work on the XBox) that lets you browse through text files on your Zune device. Due to the restrictions associated with the Zune, however, the only way to get text files on the device is to include them as content objects in your project.

That said, there are some useful things covered here, including building a Visual Studio solution that contains a project for both Windows (for testing purposes) and a project for the Zune (for deployment purposes). We do things like add a scroll bar to indicate how far along in the text we are, and save the location we were last at in a file so we can come back to it later using Storage Containers.

You can find the tutorial here.

On a side note, I've gotten a couple of e-mail questions about tile engines and the like. I do have some newer material on this front, and hope to put some of it together in the near future.

Saturday, July 11, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I finally decided to pick up a Zune, and grabbed the Zune 120, with 3.2in screen and 120gb hard drive. I've been playing around with transfering some of my XNA projects to the Zune, and it's kinda fun to see my games running on the portable device.

Jason and I have been playing around with a few different projects, including a 3D conversion of Star Defense (which won't run on the Zune, as the Zune supports 2D graphics only) and a tile-based RPG engine that I've been playing with as a PC project. I added a few lines to resize the display and compiled the project for the Zune and it works fine without further changes.

I've also been putting together a small new tutorial on building a class to make handling text with XNA a bit easier. The class and tutorial write-up are finished, I just need to reformat the Word document to the format the site uses, so expect it to show up in the next few days.

Saturday, July 11, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I noted in my entry earlier today that a new tutorial was in the works, and I had some time this evening to do the formatting, so it is up faster than I had expected! :)

This code comes from a project I have been working on, for which I decided that I needed a simpler way to handle text output, and especially needed a way to change the font/color of text being output at arbitrary points in the string without using a bunch of different calls to SpriteBatch.Draw(). This tutorial walks through building a C# static class to automate some of the work in drawing text to the screen in XNA, and includes a couple of nifty features like rudimentary formatting codes, a "console"-type printing mode, word wrapping, and automatic font loading.

You can find the link on the Tutorials page, or jump there directly.

This class should work on Windows, the XBox 360, and the Zune without changes, and is really just the basics of what this class could be expanded to do.

Sunday, June 21, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Recently I decided that I really wanted to delve into 3D with XNA, so I started looking for reading material on the subject. There are a number of good XNA books out there now, but I've had trouble following many of them when trying to work with 3D graphics because they jump right in and start talking about Quaternions and such before giving a good introduction to the concepts involved. (Maybe I'm just dense, but the whole 3D math thing has always made my head hurt).

Not so with Learning XNA 3.0 by Aaron Reed. The author teaches game programming using XNA, and the book itself is set up much like a class you would take to learn how to develop games using XNA. There is a measured, built up approach to the concepts that I found very easy to follow while demystifying the arcana of 3D graphics programming.

The book starts out covering the basics of 2D rendering with SpriteBatch (ok, I'll admit I skipped those chapters) and then moves on to develop a 3D game throughout most of the chapters. The game includes moving 3D models, a 3D camera, particle explosions, sound effects and music, and combining 3D with 2D overlays and text display.

Overall, I found the book to be a great introduction to 3D game programming. So much so that I have started reworking a certain 2D game that appears as a 12 part tutorial on this site in to a 3D game, using 3D models for the objects and particles for the special effects. If you are looking to get your feet wet with 3D graphics in XNA, Learning XNA 3.0 is a great place to start.

Saturday, May 02, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Just a quick note to let everyone know that I'm still here... I've just been a bit busy the last couple of months and haven't had time to do much with XNA development for a while.

I have been spending small amounts of time revisiting a few games like Legend of Blacksilver and the Questron series on my Commodore 64. These were some of my favorite games back in those days, and I would dearly love to develop an updated game along these lines. Maybe something like this for the Zune if I can ever get around to getting one :)

Anyway, I hope to have some more content in the relatively near future. Until then, keep coding!

Sunday, January 04, 2009  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I've uploaded a new five-part tutorial in which I expand the sprite engine we originally created in the Star Defense tutorial. The new features include:

Multiple animations per sprite, including looping and "fire and forget" animations

Sprite Targets - Sprites that move at a given speed towards a target point

Sprite Auto Rotation - Sprites that can rotate based on their current and previous positions

Sprite Paths - Sprites that can follow a defined path of points

Examples are included, as is a download of the full project at the end of the series. Enjoy! And remember, comments and questions are always welcome.

Start with Part 1

Wednesday, December 24, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Merry Christmas! The weeks leading up to the hoiday have been a bit crazy, hence the lack of updates, however after the new year I hope to have some new goodies for you, including some items from my new 2D game project.

Happy Holidays!

- Kurt

Sunday, November 02, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I've run through all of the Star Defense tutorials and found that no changes were necessary for the upgrade to XNA 3.0. I did update the ZIP file in Part 11 with the converted XNA 3 file for simplicity's sake.

Additionally, Part 12 is done! In the final segment of the series, we add sound effects to our game events to wrap things up for the project.

I'm working on a summary/wrapup post for the Star Defense series that I will post in a few days. I've also started working on a few other projects, one of which will likely end up as my next tutorial series. No details yet, but it combines a rewrite of my old Tile Engine system with some advanced versions of the concepts developed in Star Defense.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Today marks the release of XNA Game Studio 3.0! I've got the download and will be installing in and running through the Star Defense tutorials this weekend, updating them where needed to work with 3.0, and adding the Sound installment as well.

Saturday, October 18, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Ziggyware is running an article contest from October 12th to November 30th for XNA Development articles to be features at http://www.ziggyware.com.

They have some nice prizes too!

First Place

XBox 360 Elite (USA NTSC)

Extra Wireless Controller

One Year subscription to the Microsoft XNA Creators Club

Milkshape 3D License

1600 MS LIVE Points

Second Place

One Year subscription to the Microsoft XNA Creators Club

Milkshape 3D License

1600 MS LIVE Points

Third Place

Milkshape 3D License

1600 MS LIVE Points

Instructions and rules are available on the site.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I have uploaded the final pieces of the XNAResources.com Star Defense tutorial, all available from the Tutorials page.

In Part 10, we cover adding a game screen overlay to the game and writing text to the screen such as the player's score, lives left, and the like.

In Part 11, we add Power Ups to the game, modifying our existing gameplay as the player gathers power up barrels.

Part 12 is currently a placeholder for the Audio system. When XNA 3.0 is officially released I'll be updating this section.

There will also be a post in a day or so covering suggestions for expanding the game, adding new features, and the like.

Please feel free to leave comments, suggestions, and questions about the series on this post.

Sunday, October 05, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

The next installment of our Star Defense tutorial series is now online.

In Part 5, we add a Bullet class to our project and modify our game to allow the player to fire bullets all over the place.

In the next two parts (I haven't decided on the order yet) we will add enemy ships and an explosion class.

Friday, October 03, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Part 4 of our continuing Star Defense tutorial series is now up and live. In this installment, we add the player's star fighter to our game, as well as handle player input for movement and how it impacts our scrolling background.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I found myself up early this morning, so I've uploaded Part 3 of the Star Defense tutorial series.

In this installment, we add a multi-layered scrolling background to our game. Check out Part 3 from the Tutorials page.

In Part 4, we will be adding the player's star fighter.

Saturday, September 27, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I have just uploaded parts 1 and 2 of my new Star Defense tutorial series.

Part 1 covers the design of the game and gives an overview of what we will be coding and what art resources we are going to need.

Part 2 begins implementation by putting together an AnimatedSprite class which will handle virtually all of our drawing in the game.

Both parts are accessable via our Tutorials page. Give them a look, and please leave comments and or suggestions (especially if you have any troubles with the code) on this blog post.

The next several segments are well along in being written up, so expect part 3 in a few days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Just a quick update to let everyone know that the Star Defense tutorial series is progressing nicely, and I hope to put the first two parts up over the weekend. The first installment will be a mini "design document" laying out what we are want to accomplish and what resources we will need.

The second will begin to implement our game by setting up our project, a few resources, and putting together an AnimatedSprite class that we will use throughout the game to draw things to the screen.

Sunday, September 07, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

Ok! After getting everything set up nicely and digging back through my old XNA code, I've decided that I'll be putting together a tutorial series on writing a 2D arcade game.

I've got the game all in working order back from the Beta 2 days and updated it to the XNA 2. (It runs and everything works, but I need to redo some things to reflect changes to XNA since Beta 2) I'm working on refactoring it into a more managable form and will then start writing the tutorials for it. It will take me a couple of weeks go get the first part up, but here is an overview of the game:

Side-scrolling "shooter" game, similar to the old Defender and Stargate arcade games

Paralax Scrolling backgrounds

Multiple independant "enemies"


Better ship handling

Faster shots

Dual cannons

Extra Lives

Extra Superbombs

Score keeping

"Waves" (Levels)

"Super Bombs" that destroy all enemies on the screen

Title-screen vs Gameplay Screen

Wednesday, August 27, 2008  |  From XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information

I know it's been a LONG time since we've seen anything around here, but I've recently picked XNA back up and have been playing with it again. It is nice to see the progress that has been made since the pre 1.0 version we were working with.

I'm playing around with a couple of new ideas for XNA work (and I even have an XBox 360 now!) and while I can't promise a bunch of speedy updates, I am planning on resurrecting XNAResources and adding some new tutorials and the like.

 XNAResources.com - XNA/GSE News and Information News Feed 

Last edited Dec 7, 2006 at 11:16 PM by codeplexadmin, version 1


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