XNA Text Input Component

We have just released our first XNA Game Component!  One thing that is missing from the first release of XNA is a way for people using just a controller to enter text... since in the first release of XNA we dont get access to the Xbox 360's onscreen keyboard we have decided to develop our own... in doing so we wanted to make and look and work just like the OSK that we may some day get access to... that way if you use this componet in your game right now and in the future we do get access to the real OSK on the Xbox we can all transition our games to use the real one and there wont be a big visual change for our users!  Hop on over to our new Game Components page and check it out! Oh and a special thanks to Sinnix for his Xbox 360 buttons!

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Mykres Tutorial 02 - Turning Your XNA App into a Starter Kit

Jump over to Mykre's Blog and take a look at his latest tutorial!  It covers how to turn your XNA app/game into a starter kit!  The tutorial is short and sweet and easy to follow... that a look!



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Rocket Commander XNA Port

The folks over at exDream.com have just released a XNA port of their already cool Rocket Commander game!  The release is available with source and can be downloaded in a bunch of different varieties!!! Windows... XBOX... Full XNA Source... Source only no content... The cool thing about this is it gives everyone a great opportunity to take a look at the source code for a complete game!  There is a lot everyone can learn from poking around in the source for this.  I hear its actually a pretty fun game too! 
 
For everyone out there with a Creators Club subscription its like getting a free arcade game this week!
 


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Mercury Particle Engine

This is a little late but we just stumbled across the Mercury Particle Engine project over at CodePlex... the project was developed by JimJams and is pretty impressive!  It aims to be a powerful, efficient, and yet simple 2D particle system that can be integrated into your XNA with relative ease... below are some of the features:
  • Extremely fast, a basic emitter won't make a dent in your fps...
  • Definable random variation of particle speed.
  • Modular architecture, only add the modifiers you need to get the efect you want. Saves on processing time.
  • Includes a selection of handy modifiers that can be applied to Emitters, such as OpacityModifier, ColorModifier, GravityModifier, RandomColorModifier, ScaleModifier and more.
  • Extremely easy to create your own custom modifiers, simply choose which method to override and modify away!
  • Includes flexible emitter shapes including point, spray, circle, ring and spiral.
  • Extremely easy to create your own emitter shapes, simply override one method!


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Managed Code Performance on Xbox 360 for XNA

The guys over at the .NET Compact Framework Team have a pretty neat set of articles up about CPU Performance and Garbage Collections on the Xbox 360... its a good read... now that you can put managed code on the 360 isn't time we all started looking at optomizing performace of that code?  Take a look at the set of articles:
 
 


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3D XNA Tutorials...

Reimer has just finished updating his second series of 3D tutorials to the XNA final build code!  Some of the concepts covered in his tuts:
  • Textured triangles
  • Importing a model using and using a custom effect to render it
  • First person camera positioning
  • Basic 3D position updating mechanism
  • Basic boundingsphere collision detection
  • Point sprites
  • Alpha blending
  • Textured model loading with storage of its textures
There is also another series of tutorials at his site that cover many other concepts!  Take a look...


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XNA Launcher on the 360

Here are some screenshots of the XNA Launcher on the XBOX 360... This is right after a purchase of the XNA Creators Club on the 360... just in case any of you developers out there don't have a 360! (Kurt) :)
 


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Launch Day!

XNA LaunchIt's here!  XNA Game Studio Express v1.0 is now available for download from the Microsoft web site.  The XNA page hasn't been updated yet, but a download search on Microsoft turns up 1.0.
 
I'm installing it right now, and when I talk to Jason we'll be experimenting with transfering to the XBox 360. 


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Where have we gone? Don't worry...

Hopefully some of you may have noticed that there hasn't been much activity here in the past 2 weeks... well with Thanksgiving and about 4 family birthdays smashed around it things have been pretty crazy lately!  We haven't left the scene though!  We have some exciting things in the works here and are really looking forward to the actual release of XNA on the 11th!  Many of you know that after BETA 2 hit most of the community sites needed to spend a good deal of time converting tutorials over to work with BETA 2... well... with the release right around the corner we didn't want to through out a bunch of stuff that we need to scramble and update right away.
 
Things should start picking up in the next few weeks... not just at XNAResources.com, but around the entire XNA community!  These are exciting times!!!


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New Tutorial : Off-Screen Color Keyed Map

Color Key MapI have uploaded my latest XNA/GSE tutorial, this time in response to a forum post asking how to determine what color pixel is under the mouse cursor.  The intent was to determine what country the player's mouse was over on a strategy-type game map.
 
This tutorial explains how to use an off-screen color-coded map to make this process simple.  The same  technique can be used if you overlay a game interface onto your 2D/3D game by making a color-coded image of the interface to determine what controls the user is interacting with.
 
Check out the Full Tutorial for details.


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