Welcome to this website! This started out as a temporary location for my tutorials and projects, which has become quite popular, and as a result, fairly permanent. As long as Wikidot keeps cooperating with me, I'm planning on staying here.

This site is designed as a place to help you get going with game development (or just software development in general) and provides you with tons of free amazing tutorials, software, and resources for you to use.

Take a look at my XNA Tutorials as well as my MonoGame Tutorials, and my Realm Factory program, which is a basic (free) level editor for XNA. Or see what other people are saying in the Forum.

Recent Updates

8 January 2015

Here it is, 2015 already.

Sorry if you sent me an email or forum post that I didn't respond to over the last couple of weeks. I've been extremely busy. Playing games. (I know some of these are quite old at this point, but I highly recommend Portal and Portal 2, as well as Mount and Blade: Warband (it has a free demo) and Space Engineers.) You can probably see… I spent my Christmas money on Steam's holiday sale!

I regret nothing.

Anyway, things are getting back to a normal routine now, so expect better responses to email (I still can't promise to get to them all, but I try) and more updates to the site!

Speaking of… it's probably time to go start making some final plans for our next collab. Or maybe some more Warband.

7 December 2014

Well then. 5 Months just disappear like that! If you've been around the site, you know I've been here. I've just failed to update this page.

And it would appear my weekly one-liner tutorials fell by the wayside. I'd like to pick that up again, but it won't be today. Stay tuned on that front.

We recently finished up Competition #3, which I think turned out quite nicely. Lots of cool games were made in the month of November, so congrats to everyone who participated!

If you haven't heard, Visual Studio Professional is now available for free, under the name Visual Studio Community! This means the Visual Studio Express edition that I've been recommending is now out-of-date. I just update the C# tutorials to account for this change.

This version lets you do educational stuff and open source stuff for free, but it also lets you do commercial development if you have 5 or fewer developers and you are in a company that has less than 250 computers and makes less than $1Million USD in revenue. For almost everyone who visits this site, that has them covered.

If you're in a company with more than 5 developers or that has more than 250 computers or has more than $1Million in revenue, they can probably afford a few hundred dollars to buy Visual Studio Professional anyway.

7 July 2014

Sorry guys. A lot has been going on lately, and my free time has had to go to things besides this site. I'm still here, and I still owe you another one-liner tutorial from last week.

If you've sent me an email in the last few weeks and didn't get a response, it's not because I didn't see it. I've just been so busy, I haven't responded to most of them. I'll get to them as soon as I can!

2 July 2014

I just found a bug in my XNA installation script. It doesn't work on 32-bit Windows because I was a dummy and assumed it was 64-bit, and hardcoded paths. There's a lesson I've "learned" a dozen times already… There's an easy fix, and I'll take care of it as soon as I can, but it may be a couple of days…

25 June 2014

I've been pretty busy lately, but congrats to everyone who got something completed for Competition #2! (My entry kind of fell apart because I had a bunch of things come up, and I spent a couple of weeks doing GUI framework stuff…)

Also, I just published #3 in my weekly one-liner tutorials on the Math class's Sign method. Go check it out!

12 June 2014

Well apparently my NuGet package for event driven input from yesterday was broken. I didn't have a chance to actually test it out until this morning, when it failed spectacularly. I've updated the NuGet package to fix the problem (basically, I'm a dummy who doesn't know how NuGet works) so you ought to be able to try again and have it work. (In theory, you also be able to run the update through NuGet in Visual Studio as well.)

11 June 2014

Three big items from the last day or so:

  1. I've posted the first of eight "one-liner" tutorials that cover a small (usually one line) piece of code. These one-liner tutorials can be found here.
  2. I've published a NuGet package for event-driven input in XNA and MonoGame (instead of the traditional polling model). Here's the NuGet package (it is probably best to download it in Visual Studio itself) but you can also find the source code on BitBucket. I don't have a lot of documentation, but the best source for now is probably the sample project in the source code.
  3. I've now made the C# Player's Guide available as a digital PDF download via GumRoad. The price is the same as the physical book (minus shipping), but you can pick whichever format you like better. GumRoad has been a great experience so far, and I'd highly recommend it for digital sales. This might be a temporary thing. I still haven't made up my mind on the digital format yet, so get it while you can.

4 June 2014

Collision detection has been a very popular topic of conversation in this competition, and so I went ahead and added another tutorial on doing collision/intersection detection using circles.

Circles, obviously, doesn't cover all situations. But it does cover quite a few.

28 May 2014

Competition #2 is now underway, but that doesn't mean you can't still sign up! Last time around, we had several people jump in late in the process, and they still learned a lot, had a lot of fun, and still came away with actual functioning games. We're only a few days in, so you really haven't lost much time.

In fact, there's even an achievement that can only be unlocked by getting a late start…

Come check it out!

1 May 2014

I've just put out a new XNA install script that is drastically improved over the previous one. The previous one required Visual Studio 2010 and XNA Game Studio to already be installed. The new one requires no such thing. You can now just download Visual Studio 2013 (or Visual Studio Express 2013 for Windows Desktop), download and run the script, and you'll be good to go.

This is good if you want to do XNA development, but it's also great if you want to do MonoGame development, since it still requires XNA to be installed.

Check it out here: [http://rbwhitaker.wikidot.com/setting-up-xna].

If you have any problems with the script, let me know so I can get things fixed for you!

27 April 2014

I've got my MonoGame tutorials updated now for MonoGame 3.2. The process is now much smoother than it was before this version, but it still relies on XNA's content pipeline, which is a huge hassle. MonoGame is improving. It's at a very slow pace, but they're headed in the right direction, at least.

I've also fixed the navigation on the C# tutorials to use the new appearance, which looks and works much better than before.

24 April 2014

I don't know why I have't updated this page. I've been doing stuff!

I added a new tutorial to the Java section (on comments). That's not a big deal, and it doesn't add a whole lot. But you can't do it all at once. One step at a time.

I've also been giving some much needed attention to the MonoGame tutorials, since the release of version 3.2.0. I'm not done. I'm still trying to address how to get the XNA content pipeline (which is still required). But the first few tutorials are much cleaner now. 3.2 is a big improvement, but MonoGame still needs work.

Also, we're well into the planning stages of Competition #2, which will probably be starting in about a month. Come check it out, and help us define how it should work!

10 March 2014

The Game Development Competition just wrapped up yesterday, and I have to say, it was a blast! I think we all had fun making our various games, and I think it was nice to have people to talk with when there were rough times. It was also nice to have people to talk to when there were good times as well.

We'll be doing another competition sometime in the near future. I don't think we've settled on the details, but we'd love to have you come over to the forum and help us discuss it!

30 January 2014

I'm announcing today that we are planning a month-long Game Development Competition here on the site! See this category in the forum for the details: http://rbwhitaker.wikidot.com/forum/c-867602/game-development-competition-1-space-invaders.

The competition has a loose "Space Invaders" theme, but you shouldn't feel limited by it. Out of the people who helped get it set up with me, I think at least a couple are planning on doing something else.

I personally am using this as the starting point for my game-from-scratch tutorials, so my pain (hee hee hee) over the next month is your gain!

The whole thing starts on the 7th of February, a little more than a week away. Everyone is invited to join. If you were looking for a kick in the pants to get started working on your own game, this is it!

26 January 2014

I just finished off the tutorials on Mercurial and BitBucket. These tutorials feel a little more unpolished than any tutorials that I've done as of late, so please report any problems or confusing statements to me so I can get it cleaned up.

26 December 2013

I just put together a tutorial and script that walks you through the process of installing XNA in Visual Studio 2013 (and 2012, if you want). You can now use the latest and greatest version of Visual Studio to make XNA games!

20 December 2013

I'll be attempting to do a live video demo/tutorial of version control, Mercurial, and BitBucket tomorrow, 21 Dec 2013, at 17:00 UTC. This thread has all of the details.

Keep in mind that this is the first time I've done this, and who knows if it will actually work.

But… you're invited to come along for the ride!

9 December 2013

The voting page for XNA 5 now has over 9000 votes. We're on final approach for 10000! To my knowledge, there has never been something with that many votes that has been rejected, but also, this is a pretty big request, so take that for what it's worth.

If you haven't already, please take the time to go vote for XNA 5 on Microsoft's User Voice page. Doing so helps show Microsoft how useful and helpful XNA has been to us as indie, hobbyist, and student game developers over the years.

You do not need to create an account, and you can spend three votes at a time. You can vote on all of your devices, so if you've got a smartphone or a secondary tablet or something, you can add a few extra votes as well.

Feel free to actually register (then you get email notifications when they respond) or to leave a comment (comments help the item stay "hot"), but those are just icing on the cake.

Thanks to everyone who has voted so far. I think 9000 votes ought to be pretty convincing. 10000 should be even more so.

2 December 2013

Thanks to everyone who reminded me that my MonoGame tutorial that describes what to download was out of date because of the new Visual Studio 2013. I finally got around to fixing it!

It was a crazy November. Sorry for the delays in responding to emails. I'll post about what was happening soon!

21 November 2013

So I spent a little time the other day building a little mockup/prototype of what most of the pages on this site could look like some day, and I want your feedback on it: prototype.

This has a number of notable features:

  • Breadcrumb navigation at the top and bottom. This should make navigating the website much better.
  • Tabular main content page.
    • Content: Includes the tutorial content.
    • Comments: Where the comments/discussion on the tutorial will live.
    • Troubleshooting: A place where common problems can be addressed individually. (Note, this means the traditional troubleshooting links that most people have will go away. That would also imply the high potential loss of all comments so far, but I'll do what I can to salvage them.)
    • Resources: Some pages will have resources (project/source files, content) that can be downloaded. Tutorials that don't, won't have this tab.
    • Quiz: Some tutorials (the more the better) will have a quiz that you can take before or after to see if you understand the material.
    • Challenges: Some tutorials (the more the better) will have additional hands-on coding challenges that you can do to solidify what you're learning.

Please take a look, and if you have any comments or suggestions about it, please let me know. You can send me an email, hit me up on Twitter, or leave a message in the forum.

14 November 2013

I've begun the process of updating the visual appearance of my site. The biggest motivation for this is the fact that I want to change from white text on a black background to black text on a white background. (Or replace "white" with "light" and "black" with "dark".)

I had initially planned on doing this "big bang" style, by building a completely new style and deploying it at at once. There are some technical limitations to this and some time limitations to this. I don't really have massive blocks of time to dedicate to building and tweaking CSS.

Instead of that, I'm going to do it step-by-step, and refactor the appearance instead of trash and rewrite. That means that you'll see the site's appearance evolving over time. Obviously, some changes are going to be very clear and obvious, while others are more subtle.

I'm hoping to finish this up within the next 30 days, by the middle of December. (That's an estimate though, not a commitment.)

I'm always open to suggestions about what to change, and feedback on the current state and the trend/direction that the changes are heading in. I don't consider myself a graphic designer, so I don't want to make these changes in a vacuum.

If you see something out of place or broken (like white text on a white background) or even just something that strikes you as ugly, don't hesitate to tell me. You can comment on my User Voice page, or email me directly. I'd rather have you bring it up and have me say, "Yeah, I'm working on it," or "Yeah, 7 other people have already said that," rather than have a problem persist for months or years because I never noticed it.

In other news, the XNA 5 proposal on Microsoft's User Voice page is now approaching 5000 votes! We've picked up about 1700 votes in the last month alone, so that should give you an estimate of the velocity at which we're picking up votes. It's more than any other proposal over there. If this is your first time hearing about this, please go vote for it. Enough votes will almost force Microsoft to reconsider their plans.

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