Star Defense Part 3 is now Live

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.

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Star Defense Tutorial Series - Parts 1 and 2 now Live!

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.

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Star Defense Tutorial Series Update

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.

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Upcoming Tutorial Series

Star DefenderOk!  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"
    • Power-Ups
      • 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


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From the Ashes...

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.

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XNA 1.0 Refresh is out!

The 1.0 refresh is out!!! Jump over to and grab it while its hot!!

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XNA DevTags Launched!

We have just launched a new feature here at!  After launching our new link directory we have a great opportunity to give users a way to show off their XNA developer credentials!  We are calling the new feature DevTags!  They were designed to be just like the XBOX Live GamerTag but instead of showing your gaming skills they show your development skills!  All you need to start using the new DevTag is to register in our link directory and add links to your resources in our directory... those resources will make up your DevTag!  Over time as users rate your listings in our directory those ratings will make up your DevTags rating!  We currently have 2 versions of the DevTag available that you can embed on any website... one it HTML based and one is IMG based for areas that don't allow you to post script data...
So what are you waiting for??? Go register in our directory and get your new DevTag setup and start showing off your XNA to everyone!  If your already registered just login and update your profile and grab your DevTag code!

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XNA WindowSystem Initial Release

Aaron over on Aaron's Blog has release the first version of his XNA WindowSystem, a complete GUI toolset for XNA.  The system is implemented as multiple XNA Game Components, is skinnable, and features the following controls:
Check Boxes, Combo Boxes, Dialogs, Icons, Images, Image Buttons, Text Buttons, Labels, Menus, Context Menus, Message Boxes, Radio Buttons, Radio Groups, Vertical Scrollbars, Text Boxes and Windows.
Aaron has release the source code, so head on over and check it out.  (And I recognize those tile images from his testing application! :) )

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Today is an exciting day at the XNAResource network!  Today we launched!  The second site in our XNAResource network of sites!  The site was formerly known as The TextureBin and already has over 1700 seamless high resolution textures! is membership based though... we offer 3 types of membership:
  • Free 15 day Trial - Same as the standard below but limited to 15 days.
  • Standard Membership - Access to all the content on the site in lower resolutions (500 pixels wide).
  • Premium Membership - Access to all the content in the standard membership AND full access to high resolution versions of all the textures as well as bump maps, alpha maps, and games sized versions (powers of 2) of the textures in high resolution.
The Standard membership carries a ONE TIME FEE of $25 and the Premium membership carries a ONE TIME FEE of just $50... you never have to renew your membership and you get access to all the content on the site!
We are charging for our memberships because the hosting costs are just too large to offer the content free of charge... the one time fees will help us to maintain the hosting for the site and offer our visitors a premium collection of seamless textures that just keeps growing and growing for a small one time cost that is nearly half the cost of  regular texture cd with a fraction of the textures.
Take a look at the site we have some sample texture packs for download and you can register for a free 15 trial and the only information we ask for is a valid email address.

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XBOX 360 Elite... Some speculation...

Well... we just find out today that the new XBOX360 Elite is in fact a reality!!! I started looking at this and my mind started running off in various directions on whether or not this is something the 360 needed to have done to it and how this brings the price closer to the PS3 and started to wonder if that really added anything positive for the 360s position in this next gen war... and then I suddenly came to a realization!!! This Elite 360 has nothing to do with gaming at all... it has EVERYTHING to do with the Video Marketplace!  Lets take a look at a few things that we already know and have heard in the past about the 360 and Microsoft...
  • Microsoft has never really been crazy about either of the new next gen HD media formats...
  • They didn't include one of those new media formats in the Elite...
  • The hard drive is a HUGE jump from the tiny 20 GB drive we have now to the 120 GB drive...
  • Even though they added the 1080p update to the 360 there are not really any games that support it...
  • The Elite has an HDMI port most likely for HD content... like movies and TV shows...
  • About a year ago we heard about a "deal" between Microsoft and DirecTV and it was going to have something to do with a new black XBOX 360...
  • The LIVE service just got a huge upgrade that brought all site down as well as the service for almost a full day...
Now... lets take a minute to "dream" here... we all know that Microsoft wants the 360 to be a centerpiece in the entertainment center providing more than just a great gaming experience... what if the plan here is take the first jump in offering consumers an alternative to a normal cable of satellite subscription??? What if they are going to try to offer a "pay only for what you want and watch" type of service?  If you do the math with the current pricing on the VMP you can figure out a few things... I currently have a $99/month subscription to DirectTV... I will use that as my basis for this assumption... lets take the $99 a month and spend it on video content on the Marketplace... we will take half of our montly allowence and spend it on TV shows... and half on Movies:
$50 / Month gets us:
- 25 SD TV Shows a month ... or...
- 16 HD TV Shows a month
the other $50/month gets us
16 SD movies per month... or...
8 HD movies per month
Now... you could always allocate that money however you want... if you watch more TV than movies you could easily fit in all the tv shows you currently watch in any give month and of course in the tv "downtime" you could alway just not spend the money each month and save yourself some bucks on your subscriptions!  You wouldn't have to worry about commercials... or watching your shows when they are actually on... just buy the content and watch it whenever you want!  Of course movies would be the exception... since you only have 24 hours to watch them... but the TV shows can be saved as long as you want... Think of how cool it would be if you could setup rules on the VMP like we have on Tivo... and "Season Pass" a TV series and have it automatically buy the new episodes and download them for you...
The one hitch here would be sports and shows that you would have to watch right away... like Survivor or some other results based show where if you don't watch it when it airs you could be spoiled as to what happened before you watch it... that might be where DirecTV comes in... providing some way to watch the content live over you 360 using some kind of streaming tech to the LIVE datacenter... maybe has something to do with that big upgrade yesterday??? And lets not forget that we will soon see a LIVE service on Windows... does that mean that the Video Market Place may also make its way to the Windows world?  Maybe not... at least not yet... because then we need to worry about securing that content on the PC and we all know how that kind of stuff goes... but think of how HUGE this whole thing could be for Microsoft... what if they actually can provide the first real freedom from you cable network and ditch the idea of having to pay $X per month for 200 channels when you don't watch more than 3 or 4 shows to beging with??  Of course we know IPTV is coming as well... that just make the offering even more comprehensive!  That would take care of you sports, reality shows, news... etc...
Thoughts anyone?? I know this isn't really XNA news but with a big upgrade to the 360 like this it really got me thinking!

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