C#, Game Development, XNA

Game Camp – The Gathering 2008 material

We held an Xna workshop at the Gathering 2008 in the Easter and most of the material is now available for download from here.

The workshop went very well. We held a 10 hour introduction to Xna with interactive tutoring the first day, the second and third day Petri Wilhelmsen (also known as digitalerror0r) had a standby function for those who needed further help. In addition to having a workshop we held an Xna competition. First price was a Xbox360 Halo 3 edition with Halo3, second price a Windows Vista Ultimate and third price was a wireless network adapter for Xbox360, all the prices was courtesy of MSDN Norway (thanks again Rune Zakariassen).

We videotaped the different sessions we had, but the sound quality was really bad, we’re working with different tools to see if we can enhance it and publish it on Game Camp.

C#, Game Development, Silverlight

Silverlight 2 – rendering in a Storyboard event

During my “port” from Silverlight 1.1 to 2 of the Balder game engine I started working on last year, I’ve ran into a couple of gotchas. When I was optimizing the engine I discovered that Silverlight 1.1 had a speed issue when working with any Visual from managed code and adding it to the rendering pipeline of Silverlight. There was a very large interop overhead involved and I changed the rendering strategy to use a singleton Control that all primitives was added to and this would convert them all to Xaml and call the InitializeFromXaml() on itself. This proved to give a serious boost in performance.

This same approach for Silverlight 2 proved to be a killer for the engine all together. It turns out that doing this from the Storybard completed event that the engine was built around to serve as the “rendering thread”, is really bad. It’s all OK as long as you don’t spend more time in the completed event than you’ve set the duration property to for the storyboard you’re using. Default the storyboard is set to 0, but for Balder we set this to 20 milliseconds, which is just the game programmer in me coming to life; 20ms = 50 Hz = the refresh rate of the PAL standard (50 field changes a second, that is).

So, what to do with this..  Well. To be honest, I haven’t figured it out yet. I’m still looking into it. Any thoughts on the matter can be emailed me at einar_at_dolittle.com. One of the things I will be looking into is to revert to rendering by creating the visuals programatically and adding them from managed code, I guess this won’t solve the entire problem since the Storyboard implementation seems to be the one with a problem here, or at least the usage of it. After all it was not designed for the purpose of doing what I’m trying to do. 🙂


Comeback in the blogosphere..

I’ve been quite busy with moving from our old house to the new one and have just recently (the last couple of days), gotten all my computer equipment gathered in one place and all the furniture needed to be able to sit down and hack away at the keyboard.

This means that I can finally return to the blogosphere and get something out there. 🙂  

Today I’ve added the DotNetKicks kick it link to the blog and all its posts. Feel free to start kicking any of the posts, if you find it interesting ofcourse. 🙂


NNUG Vestfold – March 2008

We’re holding our 9th user group meeting on the 27th of March 2008. The entire evening will focus on MVC (Model View Controller) in ASP.net and on the Windows Mobile Platform.

Christian Schiffer will hold the ASP.net talk and Raymond Holmboe will hold the Windows Mobile talk.

Are you in the neighborhood and feel like getting the details on MVC, register here.

Game Development, XNA

Game Camp at The Gathering 2008

Another event just appeared out of the blue.
We got approached by Microsoft yesterday and was asked if we had the resources and capacity to hold a workshop of some sort at The Gathering 2008.


Good news: Game Camp is showing up and will hold a full day at the Gathering 2008 with the focus on learning XNA. We’ll get back to you within a day or two with more specifics. Keep watching the Game Camp news feed for updates. 🙂

Game Development

Nithro in Imagine Cup

A group of people calling themselves Nithro has joined in the Imagine Cup competition in the category of game development. The group will blog regular on Game Camp in their own blog that can be found here.  They will primarily write in Norwegian.

You will always find a link in the navigation area of the Game Camp site linking to their blog.

What can you do to help out the group to win this years Imagine Cup? One simple answer; contribute to the community. Whenever a question is raised in the forum or on their blog and you know the answer or think you do; answer the post.

We wish you guys good luck in the competition and for you members out there, please don’t hesitate to help them out.


Silverlight 2 beta 1 available

Finally, the beta release we’ve all been waiting for (at least me and a couple of other guys out there.. 🙂 ) .

The runtime can be found here

Microsoft Silverlight tools beta 1 for Visual Studio 2008 can be found here.

and finally the Silverlight 2 SDK Beta 1 can be found here.


And now, I need to download from the same URLs myself and get started. I will most likely return to this blog with some thoughts, at least I think so..


Happy hunting everyone..


Nokia + Silverlight = true

In a press release today it is announced that Microsoft teams up with Nokia to bring Silverlight to devices.
During the keynote at Mix’08, Microsoft will demonstrate Silverlight running on a Nokia S60 device.

This must be one of the coolest news thus far in the lifespan of Silverlight. The ability to actually do cross platform development with this kind of technology really gets me going at least. 🙂

Read more from Nokias’ press release.