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Blog entries by jlucard
(jlucard, 20:44:33 - 26 Feb 2013 - / )

C#Perhaps this topic is not as exiting as a tutorial about building a game of some sort. However map and level editors are part of the process, at least for projects complex enough to justify them. A functional editor can save time and effort as well as allow non-programmers to help with level design. The process of building such a tool involves thinking about data structures, file formats, the art pipeline, and other boring, yet essential, aspects of the problem.

(jlucard, 18:44:14 - 31 Jul 2012 - / )

Ever woke up in the morning (ok, more like mid afternoon) only to find out that the world around you had been spinning again and you didn’t even notice. That sort of happens to me a lot during the last few days. First the Olympics arrived and I did not even realise something was up until the mother unit called 5 minutes before the big ceremony begun. A day or so later I decided to go out during daytime to get some supplies and got ambushed by a giant lady Godiva riding some sort of bicycle powered Trojan horse with insufficient panelling.

(jlucard, 22:16:26 - 03 Nov 2011 - )

C#Despite popular belief invisible pink unicorns and amateur game developers are way more similar than most unicorns think. Sure, unicorns are horny all the time and they can run faster because they have two in the power of two legs. However your average unicorn is also a hardcore geek who appreciates binary as much as any of us. In fact the unicorns’ binary nature is what distinguishes them from the more conventional and, let us face it, boring mammals seen on the discovery channel. Think about it, unicorns would like to be pink but at the same time they are invisible, which sort of makes having an obsessive compulsive colour preference a rather pointless exercise in futility. Amateur game developers are exactly like that, apart from not been invisible or having an unhealthy fixation with the colour pink (in most cases).

(jlucard, 01:04:02 - 02 Oct 2011 - )

C#The simple fact is that since most monitors have a 60Hz refresh rate anything beyond that is wasted – then again maybe not. Recently I was trying to scroll a 2D image from left to right in one of my windows C#/XNA application. Oh wait, the other way around. In any case the direction was not the problem. The problem was that the scrolling was not exactly smooth. The sprite seemed to slow down and accelerate at various points during the animation.

(jlucard, 18:27:48 - 21 Sep 2011 - )

C#In the past I published a number of source code files here. I never thought that anyone would complain about that. The fact I post buggy pieces of badly written C# in a website paid for from my unwanted cash pile doesn’t mean anybody out there has to actually use it. In fact most don’t – hardly anybody even reads what I write when it comes to that. Imagine then how surprised this particular dark overlord (me, I will destroy you) was when asked recently if he had a license to give away code for free! Apparently simply posting a source file in a public domain forum and saying “do whatever you fancy with this you kinky handsome bastard” is not enough for some people. There are laws and procedures to uphold. You can’t just go ahead and perform such despicable and extreme acts like being helpful to others nowadays; this constitutes antisocial behaviour. Bad overlord, go eat your dried frog pills now.

(jlucard, 23:41:30 - 21 Aug 2011 - )

Summer time is mostly associated with relaxing at a holiday destination, enjoying the sun, drinking cold beverages and having to care about nothing. That was the original plan anyway. None of my plans ever works but hey, if you fail to plan you plan to fail with no style at all. At least this plan appeared to work for the first 24 hours. See I figured I would avoid the August “rush hour” and take my holidays early – mid June to July.

(jlucard, 22:17:54 - 21 May 2011 - )

C#Previously on GD chaos, our hero demonstrated how he can kill his frame rates by drawing simple (yet expensive in terms of processing) 2D primitives. Today the hero cheats. Imagine a world way more complicated to draw, a world of 2D and 3D shapes of great complexity. Oh the terror of having to calculate everything from scratch for every single frame. No need to panic. Render surfaces are your friends. Render surfaces love you. You see dear reader, not every graphic artefact changes all the time. So if something has not really changed, why re-create it from scratch again and again. A much better idea is to “render” this artefact on a texture, a buffer in the graphic card’s memory, and display that texture instead.

(jlucard, 19:59:57 - 09 May 2011 - )

SkullGames programming is a bit of a dark art. This is not because it is that terrible secret nobody is willing to share with you. When it comes to secrets it is quite the opposite really – game developers are one of the friendlier mobs out there; half the time they are telling you their secrets regardless of whether you want to hear them or not. No, secrets have nothing to do with it. Making games is a bit of a dark art cause of all the cheating like there is no tomorrow needed to make them. You see, you could do things properly, the same way you would for a scientific simulation, and your game would just about run on a huge mainframe with a couple thousand processors. Alternatively you could lie, deceive, evade and compromise ensuring your game would run fine on much more modest hardware.

(jlucard, 15:13:25 - 25 Apr 2011 - )

C#In the previous of my not so amazing C# tutorials I described how to draw 2D triangles. This was a useful exercise since drawing triangles, filled or not, involved interpolating values (we need to go from there to there in that many steps). Interpolation is a useful technique that can be used in a number of situations from moving models/sprites to faking missing data in scientific charts – anything that requires finding a number of intermediate states really. However that was not the only reason for selecting triangles. The author of the previous tutorial (all tremble before my evil goatee) also claimed that triangles are useful for making more complex geometric shapes. Lets put this claim to the test by using our pretty triangles to make a nice round (well, almost) circle. Building circles out of triangles might sound a bit insane as generally speaking triangles are not exactly known for their roundness. This is I guess what makes it fan.

(jlucard, 16:55:22 - 16 Apr 2011 - )

C#Once upon a time when I started XNA programming (not so long ago actually) I remember being annoyed about the lack of basic 2D primitives. There is a perfectly valid reason why – today’s graphic cards are much better at dealing with 3D operations. Doing 2D stuff with them can be rather less efficient which can be considered a major drawback when your main target is a console with less processing power than what can be found on a high-end personal computer.

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