6 April 2012
Sorry about the long delay, guys. Work has been very busy. And then I got stuck playing Mass Effect 3. I absolutely loved the game! Best series I've ever played, right up until the end. What a terrible way to ruin the whole series! For all you future/current game developers out there, learn as many lessons as you can from all of this about how not to end your game, and how not to respond to your loyal fans. Oh well.
In other news, I wrote up a tutorial detailing all of the inner workings of generating random numbers. It's a good read, even if you're already a game dev master! As always, I appreciate suggestions for improving it and other tutorials, as well as any other suggestions you might have for future tutorials.
Also, I want to give you guys who responded to my announcement about my C# book (see the last update): I'm still working on it. I thought I would have had it done a very long time ago… but then scope creep set in, and I'm still not done. Rest assured, it's coming soon!
28 January 2012
I don't know how many people actually read this recent updates page, so I'm planning on posting this elsewhere on the site as well.
One of the big things that I've been working on over the last several weeks is taking my C# Crash Course and turning it into book form. It includes everything the tutorials have and quite a few other tutorials as well, and on top of that, the formatting is much better than I could ever get with Wikidot (an issue I'm intending to address as time goes on). I think it is actually turning out to be a very nice book. Plus on top of that, I've added more to each of the tutorials, including little problems/challenges to do to help you ensure that you really understand the information.
I really think the book will be great, and well worth buying, even though I'll still have everything on the website still. (And the new content will eventually end up on the site as well.) Buying the book goes a long way to support this site and allow me to keep pushing forward with it.
As I'm finishing up the process, I would love it if some of you took some time and reviewed a chapter or two of my book, looking for (1) spelling/grammar issues, (2) verifying correctness, (3) finding technical issues with sample code, etc., and (4) letting me know how easy it is to understand/learn from. If you think you might be interested in helping out in that way, I'll send you a chapter or two to look over. In exchange for your help, I'd be willing to give you a free PDF copy of the book, or a print version of the book for only the cost of printing and shipping, depending on what you want most. Of course, to get the deal, you have to provide feedback of some sort.
I honestly can't imagine that there will be tons of takers on this offer, but in the event that there's tons of people asking to help/get a free copy, I'd have to choose based on a first come first serve basis.
I'd love to have people from all sorts of backgrounds. I'd love to have people who are just learning how to program and get feedback about if it is easy to understand or what particular topics are still confusing. I'd love to have people who are jumping from another programming language over to C#, because one of my big goals was to make it easy for people who know Java or C++ to jump in. And I'd love to have people with a lot of experience with C# look over it and make sure I didn't say anything incorrect, or give too much or too little emphasis on particular topics, or if they think I'm missing an important topic or anything like that. So it doesn't matter what you background is. If you're interested, I want your help.
If you'd be interested in being involved in this, please contact me and let me know, and I'll get you started!
5 January 2012
I've now also made a pass through the Getting Started and 2D Tutorials to clean up spelling and grammar issues. Once again, if you don't see me post any progress with this little project within a couple of weeks, send me an email to remind me. I've found, in the past, that that's the best way to keep me moving forward. If I know you're going to bug me about it, I get it taken care of!
30 December 2011
To answer the #1 question I keep getting, yes, I'm still updating this site!
I've been working on a couple of other things, related to this site, that you probably are blissfully unaware of, as of right now, but be assured, I haven't deserted this site.
When I can finally clear off some of the things I've been working on, I'm planning on returning to this site and adding in a whole set of tutorials on making a complete game from scratch. Right now I'm leaning towards a Galaga/Galaxian clone, though I'm open to suggestions.
Also, after some prodding from the nicest Grammar Nazi I've ever met, I took some time today to go through the C# tutorials and correct a bunch of grammar and spelling mistakes. Considering everything, I think they were already pretty good in that aspect, but now they're even better. I have not yet had the time to do so for any of the XNA tutorials, and I'd appreciate some additional prodding from any other Grammar Nazis out there if you haven't seen an update on my progress on that within a few weeks.
31 October 2011
I've been out of town for a while (doing this), and work has been busy, so my updates have been a bit rarer. Having said that, though, things are still coming along nicely, behind the scenes.
I just published my newest software, still in beta form, called Realm Factory. It is a simple level editor that works for a wide variety of 2D grid-based games (that is a surprisingly high number of games, by the way). Of course, there are plans to develop it further, beyond just basic bug fixes, but a part of that depends on how many people are actually using it.
While I ultimately intend on selling the program (for relatively cheap), anyone who downloads and participates in the Beta will get a free copy of version 1.0. And anyone who has a copy of the 1.0 version will probably be given free upgrades to the 1.2 and 1.4 versions that are planned.
At any rate, go over to my other site, starboundsoftware.com to get your free copy of the beta!
12 October 2011
I'm in the beginning stages of putting a form of breadcrumb navigation into these tutorials to prevent people from getting lost. The beginning of the C# tutorials has this now, and if you've got a sec, I wouldn't mind it if you'd jump over there and take a look (it's at the top—the Roadmap, Previous, and Next) and then give me your honest opinion about what you think about it.
Also, I can't believe I forgot about it before, but I've added in a tutorial on switch statements to the C# tutorials.
3 October 2011
I've made several small changes to many of the tutorials, especially the C# tutorials. Thanks to everyone who has given me feedback to make these tutorials better!
23 September 2011
OK, it took a few days longer than I had wanted, but I've got lots of updates today. The entire C# Crash Course is complete! Well… sort of. It's all there, but I'd imagine that there could be problems with it, like broken links, or parts that are just plain confusing. Not to mention that there may have been important stuff that I skipped. If you see any problems with it, please let me know so I can get it fixed.
This, by the way, is a huge step! I've been working on this set of tutorials since the summer of 2010, and thinking about it for about two years before that. (Though, admittedly, I didn't have much of it there until the last month or two.)
Now I've got more time to work on some other things, including a reboot of the Evolution project that I put on this site forever ago, but has been broken since about day 20. (I honestly don't know what went wrong with it--it just doesn't work for anyone, including me. I suppose it was some sort of problem with Windows Vista and Windows 7 being different from XP?) Anyways, that program wasn't very well designed (it had been a very long time since I had done anything with WinForms, and I just did whatever it took to make things work, which resulted in a terrible UI) but the program did fill a gap that was missing--animation of 3D models. I know a lot of people have asked about it, so one of the things I'm going to do is… uh… take it in a little bit of a different direction, and get something going for your guys.
I also intend on adding in more tutorials in the near future. In particular, I've gotten a lot of requests for a set of tutorials that make a "complete" game, and I think that is a great idea.
I'll see what I can do….
20 September 2011
Well today is update day! But unfortunately, there's no updates today. I've got about six new tutorials in the C# crash course almost done, but I think I'm going to have to rewrite the tutorial on generics, and split it in half. It's huge. I've also added in a few more tutorials to my plans. Basically, I've got pieces everywhere, and I need to finish things up, but I'm almost there. I think by the end of the day tomorrow, I'll have all of the C# crash course complete, but until I put everything together, I can't be sure.
So expect a significant update tomorrow evening some time.
11 September 2011
Well, I've added nine new tutorials to the C# Crash Course. I knew I'd get one done, and I predicted I'd get more done, but even I am surprised by how much I completed. I think I'm looking at only five more tutorials before that set is complete, which would give me time to go back to some of the other things that I've been working on behind the scenes.
I know I keep alluding to the fact that there's a lot going on that isn't visible, and I promise you you'll be able to see some of the results of all of that soon.
In the mean time, there's enough of the C# Crash Course in place that I'd love to hear what people think from everyone—people who are brand new to programming, people who have done programming before, but not C#, people who have done C#, but it's been a while, and also people who are very familiar with C#, and can perhaps provide some technical feedback on what the tutorials contain, or suggestions for what you think isn't actually needed, or things I've skipped that ought to be included. Don't hesitate to let me know!
6 September 2011
It's my normal update day, but in case you didn't see all of the other posts over the last week, all of the tutorials have been converted to XNA 4.0! That's a really big accomplishment, because as far as I know, there's nothing else like it anywhere on the Internet. There's no set of XNA 4.0 tutorials this big out there—anywhere.
Also new this week, three new additions to the C# Crash Course. One was added last Thursday or something, the other two are brand new today.
I'm still committed to at least one new tutorial in that series per week, on Tuesdays. So the 13th one will be there by next Tuesday for sure. But I've been on a roll lately, and I'll honestly be surprised if I don't have about five more by then. I expect there to be about 25 tutorials in that set total. Then I'll be ready to move on to the next big thing….
5 September 2011
After a late night, and a busy day working on these tutorials, they're all converted to XNA 4.0!
It's been a long time coming, but it's finally done. Now I can concentrate on the C# Crash Course, completely. But of course, I'm already looking ahead at what's next.
One of the big things that I've gotten a lot of requests for is a tutorial set that goes through the process of making a game from scratch, rather than just the pieces.
I also want to revamp the content pipeline tutorials (which now has a couple of other options that may make making a content pipeline extension easier) as well as the 3D tutorials, which now have many more options with the BasicEffect class and other (new) related classes.
Another thing that I'd love to do is to fill in the physics and math tutorials better.
All of this aside, there's a lot more in the works for this site, besides just the tutorials. Now's not the time to bring up everything else (I don't know what parts are going to be completed, and what parts aren't) but I'll let you know when some of those things get closer.
Of course, if you've got opinions about what you'd like me to work on next (after the C# Crash Course) I'd love to hear about it!
4 September 2011
This has been a TON of work. There are so many changes with XNA 4.0. But I think it is important to do. There doesn't appear to be a whole lot else out there on the Internet that is up-to-date with XNA 4.0, and it needs to be there.
1 September 2011 (Update #2)
Well, the HLSL tutorials have so far required very few changes. I've converted the first four tutorials to XNA 4.0, getting me 1/3 of the way done with that set. Also, just looking ahead, I think most of them are going to be fairly easy to convert, which is a huge sigh of relief for me. This is a set I've been worried about updating, because I thought it would take a lot of time to update them.
While I'm not going to set any official goals, it isn't unrealistic to think that the entire set might be updated by the end of the day on Tuesday.
Oh, and I also was able to update the Game Math tutorials (all two of them!) to be compatible with XNA 4.0. I don't think they were out of date, but apparently, Wikidot made some changes to the way math formulas were displayed without telling me (another one of those reasons why I get a little tired of Wikidot, not that they should have personally called me to tell me they broke my site—I realize they're just doing their jobs) and my equations on that page looked horrible. I don't know how long it's been that way for, but it looked ugly! It's much better now.
So, lots and lots of progress today!
1 September 2011
A lot has changed in such a short period of time. I'm on a roll! We'll see how long that lasts for. All of the primitives-tutorials are now working for XNA 4.0, and I just put out yet another installment of the C# Crash Course on loops.
I've met my goals that I wanted to finish by next Tuesday way early. I guess I'll just keep pushing ahead with both the tutorial conversion to XNA 4.0, and the C# Crash Course. Those are my two priorities at the moment.
31 August 2011
It was a very productive evening! I got tutorial #9 of the C# Crash Course about if/else/and if-else statements finished and put up on the site, as well as converting the first of the primitives tutorials converted to XNA 4.0.
So much has changed for that tutorial! Essentially NONE of the code was the same.
So now that tutorial set is sort of in a state of limbo, where one tutorial has been converted, and the others have not. But then I suppose that the entire tutorial set was already in a state of limbo, where no one could actually use it, because it was for XNA 3.0 anyway, so it's an improvement.
My plans are to get the next C# Crash Course tutorial finished, as well as the second Primitives tutorial updated by next Tuesday, on September 6th.
Tuesday has unofficially become my update day. (Though it is worth mentioning that I'm doing work on this site on other days of the week, not just Tuesday. A new tutorial usually takes about four hours of my time, while updating a tutorial can take anywhere from ten minutes to four hours, depending on if I'm just verifying that it all works, or if it is a complete rewrite.) We'll see how long the Tuesday pattern lasts for.
30 August 2011
I spent another 10 minutes today cleaning up more spam. As soon as I say anything about it, I get more of it….
Anyway, I promised another C# Crash Course tutorial today, and it is almost finished, but it will have to wait until tomorrow to be completed. I also hope to finish converting one of the Primitives tutorials updated to XNA 4.0 by the end of the day tomorrow as well.
29 August 2011
Well, I just spent about 20 minutes deleting a bunch of spam comments from the forum and the comments pages throughout the site. It really bugs me that people (or more likely, robots) are getting on the site and posting comments filled with ads or worse—links to… er… questionable sites.
Here's the dilemma. I want to make it easy for people to make comments and contribute to the site, and a part of that means not needing to create an account and log in (though you can do that if you want) in order to say stuff on the site. But it is getting abused by people who are here (and lots of other places on the Internet) for their own gain.
My one option is to prevent "guests" from being able to post by requiring people to create an account in order to comment. With that, there won't be any more spam, but there will probably be lots fewer comments as well. Not to mention that by "creating an account" I mean creating an account with Wikidot. And I don't intend on staying with Wikidot forever, so getting people to create a Wikidot account seems like the wrong move.
If only I could just use a captcha….
I guess for now, my plan is to leave things the way they are. My grand plan for this whole site is ultimately, likely, going to make this problem a non-issue some time over the next few months, so perhaps it's not worth worrying about…
Any thoughts? Has anyone else noticed the spam? (By the way, I see every comment and forum post immediately after it is posted, so I can go clean it up as soon as I see it in my email.) Is it worth the extra burden of needing to log in to post to be able to have a clean forum?
24 August 2011
I just added a new tutorial in the C# Crash Course series about more advanced topics in math. It is a day late from my promise, but it is there now. It was kind of a long tutorial. Next up: decision making, due by next Tuesday.
Also, I got a request to update (I think) the primitives tutorials, since a lot changed there. Since it is the only request I've gotten for updating anything, I think I'll focus on it. Working on the C# Crash Course is my first priority, but I'll make my second priority be updating those primitives tutorials. I'll work on them simultaneously, so you should expect to see some updates to those primitives tutorials soon. I'll tentatively commit to getting one of those updated per week, also on Tuesday. We'll see how that goes.
3 August 2011
Slow but steady progress….
2 August 2011
There's now a grand total of 7 tutorials in the C# Crash Course! There's a lot more to do there, but it is coming along. I also am still planning (and making slow progress) on converting all of the tutorials to XNA 4.0.
These two pieces, though, are really just the tip of the iceberg, and there's a lot more going on below the surface that will change the future of this site. I'll let you know as things progress. As the weeks move along, there will soon be more features on this site for you to enjoy!
5 July 2011
I've completed the second installment of the C# Crash Course! For many of you returning visitors, you are probably well beyond the point of needing this, but I have a lot of new people coming to the site and asking about it. I intended to get done with it forever ago, but I'm hoping that the trend will change, and I'll be able to get that set of tutorials up and running.
9 January 2011
While I haven't made a whole lot of updates here, I have still been making changes behind the scenes without telling you. Sorry. At the moment, my biggest project has been updating all of the tutorials to XNA 4.0, which is no small task.
Also, as I have mentioned before, I'm in the process of making my own games and other software to help game makers, and I'm eventually moving all of these tutorials over to another site, off of Wikidot. That hasn't happened yet, and it will likely be a few months, but I'll let you know when it happens.
In the mean time, thank you all for your support over the years, and your patience as I update the tutorials to the newer version.
22 June 2010
I've begun work on the C# Crash Course tutorial set, which will give people new to programming a brief introduction to programming in C#. I intend on having quite a few tutorials in the set by the time it is done.
Also, for those of you who may be having problems with the bump map shader, I have uploaded a complete working sample for the tutorial, which can be found on that page.
12 June 2010
Well, my masters thesis is finally done. It is a huge relief. I suppose I should be honest, though. My thesis was completed a month and a half ago. For the last little while, I've gotten hooked on watching Lost and playing Mass Effect 1 and 2. I'm a sucker for a good storyline. That has taken up all of my free time, and so I haven't been able to really get back to this web site. But now I'm back (at least until Mass Effect 3 comes out) and I'm hoping to be able to put a lot more time into this site.
For the moment, my plan is to spend enough time here that I can add one more tutorial a week. I've gotten a lot of good suggestions for what to add, and I'm taking them into consideration.
Secondly, I want to go back through all of the existing tutorials and make sure they work for both the Xbox 360 and the PC in XNA 3.1. I've been told a number of places where things aren't working quite like they should, and I need to get them fixed.
Lastly, in the big scheme of things, I'm very tired of Wikidot. They have added in a large number of restrictions, while providing me with few additional benefits. While it is fine for the moment, my ultimate goal is to move everything off of this site to my own platform altogether. It will probably be a while before that happens, but consider this fair warning.
Thank you all for sticking with me through this. It's good to be back!
2 April 2010
Sorry that it has been so long since I have been able to update this site. I have been working diligently on completing my Master's degree in Computer Science. The good news is that I'm almost done! The bad news is, I still have about two or three more weeks. My defense is two weeks from today, then after the defense, there will be some additional small things that I need to do to finish it up and get it done and out of the way. Let me tell you, it will be a huge relief to be done with it.
I feel really bad for neglecting this site during the last several months. I know it has been four or five months since any real updating has happened. Thanks for sticking with me! The reality is that at the end of last year, I said to myself, if I'm going to finish this thesis this semester, I need to drop all side projects and just focus on it. Even though I've missed working on this site, and making my own games, it was definitely the right move. As you can see now, if I had been distracted, even just enough to delay me two more weeks, I would have gone past the end of this semester as well. And without going into any details, elapsing past the end of this semester would have caused HUGE problems for me.
I promise, though, that as soon as I'm finished with my thesis, that you'll see lots of improvements and additional tutorials!
15 December 2009
I apologize for being away from this site for so long. It has been nearly six months since it really got updated. I have to apologize even more because I have a project that I need to finish up that is going to be taking all of my time from now until the beginning of March, so there will be very few updates for a bit longer. After that, I should be freed up.
I added in a single new math tutorial, introducing the kinds of math that might be useful in a game, and I'm planning on some serious expansion of the game math tutorials. I'm also hoping to add in a set of tutorials on C#, and on using Visual Studio. The other thing that I'm planning on adding is a couple of sets of tutorials for making a complete game, both as an alternate to the other tutorials, and also just for an example of putting together a complete game. I've had a number of people ask about these things, though it probably won't be until the beginning of next year.
On top of that, I've gotten increasingly tired of Wikidot. For years I've been recommending it to people, but I would no longer do that. In fact, when I get the time and money for it, I think I'm going to be moving off of Wikidot, probably to my own platform, giving me the flexibility that I've been needing, without the hassle that Wikidot is giving me.
So there are some big things coming along, but they're on hold for the most part, until March 2010.
30 June 2009
Things have been quite busy for me lately with starting a new job, finishing up my thesis, and some family medical problems that have been going on lately. This morning, though, I decided to go to work a little late, and write a tutorial instead! I've just created the Video Playback tutorial for XNA 3.1 users!
3 June 2009
It's been a couple of months since I updated this site! We had a "family emergency" that lasted for quite some time, and so I haven't been very worried about this site for a while. Also, now I've started my new job, which I'm really enjoying. In addition, I still have my thesis to finish up, so I've been quite busy. Soon enough, though, I'll be done with my thesis, and that will give me a lot more time to work on this site. Today I took a break from the usual stuff, and decided to start working on a 3D modeler. This is fairly similar to my normal editor that I was working on a year ago, though the goal of this is to be a full fledged editor. I have already implemented the winged edge data structure, and things are moving along. You can take a look at it on the Modeler page.
Hopefully, I'll have time to work on this website a bit more over the next little while!
26 March 2009
I've got a lot more stuff that I'm planning on doing with this website over the next little while. But for now, progress will probably be kind of slow. I'm finishing up my Master's thesis, and that is going to be taking up quite a bit of time over the next month, so don't expect any radical changes over that time. I'll most likely have enough time to answer questions in the forum or on individual tutorials though. And hopefully, also to make a few small changes here and there. Just expect progress to be slow. Also, XNA 3.1 has been unofficially announced!
25 March 2009
Well I haven't been updating this recent updates page, but slowly over the last month, I've been adding a troubleshooting page for each tutorial. I'm now done, and all of the tutorials have troubleshooting pages! Hopefully this will help me better understand where people are having problems with these tutorials, and improve them.
5 March 2009
I've been adding the troubleshooting stuff to more tutorials today. They're now in the Getting Started tutorials, as well as the 2D, 3D, and input tutorial sets. It will probably still take some time to get them in all of the tutorials, but I think it will really help people give and get quick and easy feedback, and I'll be able to improve these tutorials a lot for you guys.
25 February 2009
I've been doing a little here and there on this site, but I've been extremely busy lately, and haven't had too much time. Today, though, I got started on adding troubleshooting pages for each of the tutorials. This should give people instant feedback on problems that they might be having with the tutorials. So far, I've only added it for the Getting Started tutorials, but now that I've got the important stuff in place, it is only taking me about one minute to add the stuff to each of the other pages, so the rest should happen pretty quickly. I really hope that this will help me quickly fix problems or address concerns with these tutorials that you guys might be having.
6 February 2009
I've added a tutorial for reflection using environment mapping. Also, you may have noticed my little icons on the HLSL tutorials page, which I've begun adding to make it easier for people to see what the tutorial is about. Hopefully it is helpful!
5 February 2009
I've added a tutorial on making a skybox shader and added little screenshot icons to many of the tutorials on the HLSL tutorials page. I also uploaded a bunch of skyboxes for people to use. That leaves us with 65 XNA tutorials!
4 February 2009
I've done a few random things here and there, like I'm sure you've noticed some of the social network icons on the left panel. Also, I've fixed a few audio tutorials that were out of date, and added a new one about playing sound effects in a simple method using XNA 3.0.
25 January 2009
I've added a few more HLSL tutorials as well as redone the primitives tutorials now. This means that I've updated ALL of the tutorials! Today is a great day! At last count, I have 60 tutorials here, which is pretty good, I'd say. Maybe now I can slow down a little bit with these tutorials, though I'm still planning on adding more tutorials here.
22 January 2009
Well, now I've completed a couple more advanced shaders for the HLSL tutorials. I've got the bump mapping tutorial and the toon shader tutorial going. Both of these do things that BasicEffect can't do. I'm hoping to put a couple more HLSL tutorials online, but I think that for now, I'm planning on going over to the primitives tutorials, which still need some work.
21 January 2009
Over the last few days, I've been hard at work on the HLSL tutorials, and I've gotten quite a few up. This should satisfy the needs of many of you who want to learn more about HLSL and shaders, and more is still coming. I have tutorials that take you through the basics of shaders, HLSL, and effect files, as well as how to use shaders in XNA, ambient, diffuse, and specular lighting, and texturing.
18 January 2009
I've been working on the new tutorials for quite a while now. I finally got around to converting the tutorials over to the new organization that I've been talking about for months. The xna-tutorials page should look pretty different now. I hope no one got messed up in the process. The old tutorial organization is still around, though, and can be found on the old XNA tutorials page. Wow, this was a lot of work!
17 January 2009
I've completed the first three tutorials on HLSL and shaders in XNA. These tutorials cover the basic concepts of the programmable graphics pipeline, writing a simple ambient light shader, and using a shader in XNA. I'm going to be continuing on with this set of tutorials, but probably at a slower pace after this. I've got about five other tutorials in that set that I would like to do. Additionally, I'm thinking that this semester, it might be pretty easy to update the primitives tutorials as well. I also still need to update the ordering of the tutorials to make it more simple to get started.
14 January 2009
This semester will probably be a little lighter than last. So hopefully I'll have time to keep updating this site during the semester. Additionally, I am taking an advanced graphics class, which may make it easier to work on a lot of these tutorials, since some of the work I do for the tutorials can also count as class work. I am now complete with the basics in this plan. I just started developing my plan for .FX files and HLSL shaders. It will be a while before that really gets up and going, though. But I know people have been asking for it. Additionally, I might go back and rework the Primitives tutorials along with an advanced graphics class that I'm currently taking. Nothing has been decided for sure about the Guitar Input tutorial or the Bone Animation tutorial for now.
5 January 2009
Well, I've completed all of the necessary tutorials now, I think. I just got done with the custom content pipeline extension tutorial and it was a monster. I split it up into smaller parts, but there are eight parts! I think the previous high was three or four parts. So it was big. There are, in reality, ten more tutorials that I listed in the Battle Plan, but I might skip them for the moment. Two of them are going to be difficult until I get the resources I need (a guitar for the guitar input one, and a model with bones for the bone animation tutorial). Four are about shaders/effects which I will be adding more on soon, but there has never really been any tutorials here about shaders, so I don't feel too bad if I skip over them for now. The last four are about working with primitives, but I can't imagine that these would really be part of a decent introduction to XNA. Once again, I don't feel too bad about leaving them out for now. But I've already done the work for most of those in the past, when it was XNA 1.0, so I'm planning on updating them still. But I feel like the tutorials here are relatively complete at this point, and I might just go ahead and reformat the tutorials now….
23 December 2008
I got two more tutorials updated today, including the tutorial about the content pipeline, and the tutorial about collision detection. That leaves me with 14 more to go. Like I said before, though, eight of those are tutorials that I may not worry about until later. Additionally, there are two more tutorials that I might drop altogether. The guitar input tutorial has never been here, and now I don't have my guitar anymore. Also, the bone animation tutorial might be dropped because I haven't been able to get ahold of any models with bones. So I really only have four more tutorials that are *mandatory* to update: picking, mesh-by-mesh animation, a content pipeline extension, and a tutorial on 3D modeling programs. Don't expect me to update anything tomorrow or the next day, because it will be Christmas, and I will be visiting family. The same thing might be true for the day after that as well….
22 December 2008
I haven't been adding things to this page, even though I have made many updates over the last few days. Once again, you should check out the Battle Plan page to see my progress on updating my XNA tutorials. I now have 44 out of the 60 total tutorials up-to-date. Also, out of the 16 that are left, four are HLSL stuff that has never been on this site yet, really, and four are primitive drawing, which originally was one of the first things that we did, but I'm now going to push way back in the list of tutorials, since most people don't really want to do all of this. I might make the conversion to the new system before completing those tutorials and add them in later, depending on how much time I have over the break. But I still have at least eight more tutorials to go. I have been doing a couple of tutorials a day on average, but now I am getting to some of the harder tutorials, and progress is a little slower.
Once I have these tutorials done, I will be making a significant switch in the way users access these tutorials. YOU'LL HAVE TO PAY FOR IT! Just kidding! I've already decided that I'm not ever going to do that. But I'm going to be reordering just about everything, and categorizing the tutorials, and give users more options about what tutorials to do that better fits their needs, rather than forcing them down a linear path. I'm planning on keeping the old list still functioning for a couple of months for the people who have it built into hyperlinks on other pages and stuff, but eventually the old list will be removed entirely, since it is less effective.
I would also like to eventually add a few tutorials that go through the steps of making an entire (simple) game, to put everything together. I might possibly do a 2D and a 3D game. This is a little while off, since I need to focus on updating the tutorials first, and then I will also need to focus on finishing up my Master's degree.
Thanks to all of you who have made this web site so popular!
18 December 2008
Last night I got some more work done on this site. In particular, I completed a tutorial about managing content in an XNA game, and updated all of the stuff on the Battle Plan page, so that you can see what is left to do. I have about 63 tutorials that I'm getting ready, about half of which have been updated. Once the tutorials are in place, I will modify the main tutorials pages to reflect the changes, but I'll keep the old stuff around for those of you who link to the site, or for the people who have the URL memorized or something. After a few months of that, I'll eventually remove the old stuff, since the new stuff will be a big improvement over it.
17 December 2008
I'm finally done with this crazy semester. We are talking about doing several XNA Special Interest Groups for the ACM Student Chapter, and so I really want to make sure this website is up-to-date before the semester starts, because we could be going through the tutorials again. With the (little bit of) extra time that I have now, I've begun updating the tutorials again. Today I got done updating the Setting Up XNA and Creating an XNA Game from the Template tutorials. Take a look at my Battle Plan to see what I'm planning on doing. Also, let me know if you have suggestions.
19 November 2008
Well, I don't have much time for updating this site still, but things should get better after the semester is over. Today I reworked the CSS in the Forum, so it looks a lot nicer now. It used to have white text on a very light gray background, which was difficult to read. This is kind of a leftover from the orginal CSS, and I haven't gotten around to fixing the forum until now. So now things should be much more readable there. I've also decided to start keeping all of my update logs around, so now at the bottom of this page you can see older updates.
4 November 2008
While doing all of my course work, I've made two other small projects that I've put up here on the web. The first is my test practice program, Quiz Program, and the second is my web search tool, Web Pilot. They are both pretty primitive so far, but I just put up the second version of both of these. You should check them out.
23 October 2008
Finally! Java 6 Update 10 has been released! I've been waiting for this for months. It's about time. Now I can start expecting people to start using it on their systems, and I can use the Nimbus Look and Feel in my programs! This is really good news.
22 October 2008
Well, things remain very busy for me. I still have a pile of school related things that I need to do before I can worry about this website, unfortunately. I just wanted to make a comment that is similar to the one I made on October 8th. The last three days have all had the highest number of unique visitors of all time, each beating the previous day's high. This site continues to grow, and I'm excited about that. I'm really glad this site is helping you guys!
By the way, when I first made this site, I said that I won't ever start charging people for it, or clutter it up with ads. Of course, then, nobody was using the site. Now that it has become more popular, I want you all to know that I'm still going to keep that promise! I made the site for you, not for me! Let me know if there is ever anything that I can do to help you better.
18 October 2008
This semester has gotten extremely busy. It's been a while since I've even been able to think about updating this website, let alone actually doing it. The next couple of weeks are likely to be very busy as well. Perhaps after that I'll have a little break before the final push at the end of the semester…. Then maybe I'll be able to do something. Don't plan on anything new this week though!
8 October 2008
Well I haven't updated anything since the weekend, but I thought I would put a comment up here. Yesterday I had the highest page load activity ever for this site. I'm pretty excited about that! Ever since I moved these tutorials to Wikidot, I've been getting a lot more hits. And ever since I moved here, a Google search for me gets my website. (I don't think Google even crawled my old website.) Anyway, thank you all for making this site so successful, and keep letting me know how I can help you better!