Tag Archives : XNA


Morning Coffee 148

  • As I predicted yesterday, Microsoft announced that “For the first time, community games will be distributed through Xbox Live.” I haven’t seen a press release yet, but it looks like this will allow any XNA developer to publish on XBL. Joystiq has a few details. According to Major Nelson, six community games will be available on XBL later today. Also, it looks like you’ll be able to make XNA games for your Zune as well. Details to follow.
  • Speaking of yesterday, I referred to President Bush as “President 30% Approval”. This was incorrect. From now on, I’ll refer to him as “President 19% Approval“.
  • Speaking of politics, two more big wins for Obama yesterday. The Clinton camp, looking more desperate every day, unveiled a new website purporting to provide the “facts and myths about the race for delegates”. Memo to HRC: “Florida and Michigan should count” isn’t a fact, it’s an opinion. I can’t see how this site helps her cause.
  • Joel on Software, who used to work on the Excel team, provides a facinating look into why the Office File Formats are so complicated. Nothing more to add, I just thought it was an interesting discussion of “real-world” complications to something that seems like it should be simpler.
  • Scott Guthrie provides a client product post .NET 3.5 roadmap, much like he did for web products a few months ago. Unlike the web roadmap, which includes exciting stuff like Silverlight 2.0, IIS 7.0 and ASP.NET Extensions (including MVC), the client roadmap includes: better setup, better perf for WPF, better memory utilization and startup time, WPF designer improvements, and some new WPF control. Color me under whelmed.
  • My old team recently launched the Software + Services Architecture Center. S+S guru Gianpaolo Carraro recently wrote about the different perspectives this new site is trying cater to. S+S hasn’t been on my personal radar, but it’s something I really would like to dig more into.
  • In a recent charity hockey game, Team Cure beat Team Hope 2,250 to 2,223. No, that’s not a typo. The two teams of twenty faced off for 240 straight hours of hockey in sub-zero weather to raise $300,000 for cancer research. That’s frakking dedication to a cause.

Morning Coffee 147

  • My son Patrick turns five today. The big treat was his cousin Jack coming up for a visit. Here’s a picture of the two of them at Patrick’s party on Saturday. My wife has all the details on her blog. Update: My wife just posted a whole slew of Early Patrick Pictures.
  • If my son is five, it means this blog is also five – I started this blog about a month before Patrick was born. I never remember to mark the occasion until Paddy boy’s big day comes around.
  • Major props to the House of Representatives for growing a backbone and not caving to President 30% Approval on telecom immunity…yet. Personally, I’d like to see the House bury the measure completely, though I’m not holding my breath. But given that even the right-wing Washington Times reports “Analysts say FISA will suffice“, maybe the House Dems will do the right thing.
  • After tearing it up since Thanksgiving, the Caps have gone a little cold. 5-4-1 in their last ten and 2-2-1 in their last five. In the month of February, they’re 1-3-1 against SE division opponents. Good news is that they’re still even with Carolina (two points behind with two games in hand), half a game up on Atlanta, a game and a half up on Florida and two and a half games up on Tampa Bay.
  • Bill Gates announced a new program called DreamSpark to provide college students access to all of Microsoft’s developer and designer tools, including Visual Studio, Expression, SQL Server, Windows Server and XNA Creators Club membership. This looks like an outgrowth of the MSDN Academic Alliance program. I think it’s a great idea. Update: Looks like high-school students will be able to access the DreamSpark program too. However, since they’re minors, they have to get the software via their teachers. (via LiveSide)
  • The winners of the XNA Silicon Minds contest have been announced. Of the five winners, Specimen looks the coolest to me. I wish I had more time to get into game development. (Via LetsKillDave)
  • Speaking of game development, this week is the Game Development Conference, so be on the lookout for lots of game-related news. Xbox Live VP John Schappert is giving a keynote on “Unleashing the Creative Community”. XNA GM Chris Satchell said last year they would “announce full details on, and … vision for, opening XNA creations to the community” sometime this year. I’m guessing this is said announcement.
  • Speaking of Xbox, there’s a rumor that Microsoft and Netflix will announce this week that Netflix is bringing their Watch Instantly service to Xbox 360. If true, sign me up!
  • Grigori Melnik announces the GAX/GAT February 2008 final release. Key feature is VS08 support. Is it just me, or does calling it the “final release” make it sound like they won’t be upgrading GAX/GAT further?
  • Speaking of p&p, Grigori also announces the Feb 2008 CTP of Unity, p&p’s new IoC container. I’ve seem lots of folks echoing the announcement, but not much in the way of specifics on Unity itself. For example, Chris Brandsma describes IoC and mentions Unity, but he doesn’t cover any Unity specifics. :(
  • MSIT EA Nilesh Bhide has started blogging. His first post is on Customer perception of Service Quality in S+S/SaaS. I’ve worked closely with Nilesh in the past two years, so I’m excited to see him take to the blogosphere. (via Nick Malik)
  • I don’t know how I missed it, but the MSDN Code Gallery launched last month. As Charlie Calvert explained, this is logical successor to GotDotNet’s user samples area. Between Code Gallery and CodePlex, GotDotNet has finally been shuttered for good.
  • Telligent, makers of the very popular Community Server, have released Graffiti CMS, which looks like a more flexible content platform than Community Server. (via DNK)
  • In somewhat unexpected news (at least, unexpected by me) Microsoft has released specs for the Office binary file formats. I’m not sure why this is happening now, rather than say when we released the specs for the Open Office XML file formats. (via DNK)

Morning Coffee 139

  • Big news on the WGA strike front: the AMPTP reached a deal with the Directors Guild last weeks. Initial reaction from United Hollywood is mixed, but I’m hopeful this will at least get the AMPTP / WGA talks started again.
  • Speaking of new media, Xbox 360 Fanboy has a rundown of 45 short films from Sundance that are getting released on Xbox Live Marketplace. That’s pretty a-typical content for XBLM. Typically, new content on XBLM has been from “Hollywood Heavyweights“. I’m pretty excited to see them branch out content wise.
  • Speaking of Xbox 360, seems they had a good year. Congrats!
  • Still speaking of Xbox 360, everyone gets a free copy of Undertow this week.
  • Scott Guthrie announces the availability of the .NET Framework Source Code. Shawn Burke has instructions for how to use it with VS08. So far, they’ve made the core base class libraries, ASP.NET, Windows Forms, WPF, ADO.NET and XML available. LINQ, WCF and WF are expected to become available “in the weeks and months ahead”.
  • Ted Neward wonders if Java is “Done” like the Patriots, or “Done” like the Dolphins? If you want my opinion (I’m guessing yes, since you’re reading my blog), definitely done like the Dolphins. OpenJDK was a desperation move to make Java “cool” again, but it won’t work. People who want an open source stack are using LAMP and language wonks who saw Java as mainstream SmallTalk have moved on to Ruby. The question will be if Sun buying MySQL will make Sun cool or MySQL uncool by association. I’m guessing the latter.
  • Speaking of Ted, he’s got a great post about the relevance of game programming to the mainstream or enterprise developer.
  • Speaking of game development, David Weller points to all the new XNA GS 2.0 content up on Creators Club Online.
  • There’s a new version (1.9.3.14) of F# out, but no announcement from Don regarding what’s new. I reviewed the release notes, seems like this is primarily a bug-fix release with only very minor feature additions.
  • Speaking of F#, Don points to Greg Neverov’s implementation of Software Transactional Memory in F#. This immediately reminded me of Tim Sweeney’s Next Mainstream Programming Language talk. Tim suggested said language would need to support a combination of side-effect free functional code and software transactional memory. F# is looking to be closer to that language all the time.
  • Still speaking of F#, Don Syme’s Expert F# book is out. I read the draft version – it rocks – but I’m still going to get my own real copy. You should too.
  • With their win Saturday, the Caps are back to .500 for the first time since late October. Since Thanksgiving, the Caps are 15-7-4. Only four teams in the league have a better record over that time span. We play one of them tonight – the Penguins – and it’s on Versus, so I’ll even get to see it. In HD no less.

Morning Coffee 130

  • Michael Klucher announces the release of XNA Game Studio 2.0 and Major Nelson points to the press release announcing the release. You can get the bits from XNA Creators Club Online (the XNA dev center has yet to be updated).
  • Speaking of XNA, David Weller points out the warm-up challenge for Dream-Build-Play 2008. I assume networking will be a big part of this years’ entries, but the warm-up challenge is to “Create a new and innovative use of Artificial Intelligence in a game”.
  • Still speaking of XNA, Gamasutra has an interview with XNA GM Chris Satchell where he hints at a publishing channel for XNA games on the Xbox 360, with “full details” coming sometime in the new year.
  • The Capitals beat the Rangers in overtime last night. Since changing coaches on Thanksgiving, they’re 6-3-1. That’s great, but they’re still five games under .500. The good news is that even though the Caps tied for last in the league, they’re only six points out of a playoff spot with about fifty games left in the season.
  • My old team puts on an event every year called the Strategic Architects Forum. It’s invite-only, but they’ve posted some of the videos, slides and transcripts from this year’s event.
  • J.D. Meier discusses the new Guidance Explorer release. They’re now up to 3,000 “nuggets” of guidance and they’ve moved the guidance store to MSDN. (via Sam Gentle)
  • Arnon Rotem-Gal-Oz explains further why arbitrary tier-splitting is bad. I’d also suggest reading Chapter 7 of PoEAA which provides another version of the same story: You can’t take an object that’s designed for fine-grained local access and make it remote without really screwing yourself up.
  • Eric Lippert thinks immutable data structures are “the way of the future in C#” so he’s written a series on immutability. Posts include kinds of immutability, an immutable stack, an immutable covariant stack and an immutable queue. As I’ve discussed, immutable data structures are HUGE in functional programming. Eric’s immutable stacks and queues are similar to F#’s native list type. (via Jomo Fisher)

Morning Coffee 125

  • So I wasn’t quite as close to the end of Dead Rising as I thought I was. Those who’ve played the game thru will understand.
  • After their promising start, the Capitals lost yet again. At the 20 game point, they’re now 6-13-1 for a league-worst 13 points. I think we’re at the point where they need to fire Glen Hanlon. Nothing personal Glen, but it’s not getting done. The only problem is who you would replace him with? Bob Hartley? Uh, no thanks. I think most Caps fans want Dale Hunter, but I think he’s too involved with the London Knights – he’s co-owner, president and head coach. But if we could get Dale, I’m guessing Glen would be gone in a heartbeat.
  • The XNA team blog announced that XNA Game Studio 2.0′s beta has released. The download is available from Creators Club Online. The big new feature in this release is network support, and they’ve shipped a new starter kit to get you started.
  • In addition to shipping VS08 & .NET FX 3.5, a new CTP of SQL 2008 shipped yesterday. I couldn’t find a good overview of what’s new, but the SQL Express team has a post on what’s new in just their corner of this release. (via Jesus Rodriguez)
  • In more “I know it’s Thanksgiving week, but we’re shipping anyway” news, the Ruby.NET folks have shipped v0.9 – the first release since transferring control to the community. Does it run Rails? Not yet, but apparently they’re “close to getting Ruby on Rails to run successfully”. One thing that caught my eye is that it includes VS integration. Nice.