Tuesday, 19 December 2006

My First XNA Game

I've had an XBox 360 for almost a month now. It's a really awesome console, and I can almost see myself giving up PC games for it, mainly because my gaming Shuttle system is getting long in the tooth (it's not PCI-E) and I can't upgrade it without getting a whole new machine.

That's a whole other post though.

The main reason I set up this blog was to have somewhere to write about
XNA development. As a member of the XNA Creator's Club, I'm able to take code that I've written and compiled on Windows and deploy it to the 360 with little or no hassle. It's really cool seeing the same game you can play on the PC suddenly running on the 360, projected onto the wall in the lounge. Sure, it's not groundbreaking but it's the potential for the idea that excites me. If Microsoft expand the Creator's Club to include some kind of online distribution for your games through Live (think a Live Arcade, but for XNA games), then many people would be able to grab a game I made and enjoy it on their 360 without even touching a PC.

I hope Microsoft listen to their Creator's Club members and really expand the service to include something like that.

In the meantime, the ease of creating a Windows installation package means that I can make my game available to non-coders without lifting a finger, and I can make the code available to Creator's Club members so that they can enjoy my creations on their 360 as well. Exciting stuff.

For my first XNA project, I jumped right in and decided to re-write an old Amiga game that I made as part of my high-school bedroom programming team, Team Mango. It's called GravSheep and involves a spacecraft flying around a gravity-affected level collecting floating sheep(?!).

So far I've got most of the game mechanics in place, some reasonably tidy and commented code, class-based object orientation and really horrid hand-drawn sprites! Here's some screenshots of the work in progress:

I'm making all of my code for my XNA work available, and will update it as and when I work on things. A standalone Windows install will also always be available, but may not reflect the latest version of the code.

All XNA games require Windows XP SP2 and the
XNA Framework to play.

Saturday, 9 December 2006

So I got a Blog

I'm late to the party, but here's my blog. You're here because you know who I am, or you're interested in gaming or heavy metal or XNA programming. I figured it was about time that I got somewhere to write down all the things I mean to write down but never do because I don't have an updateable site for myself. Well, now I do.

This is progress, people.

So for those of you that don't know:
  • My Name is Gareth.
  • I'm from the UK. The Isle of Wight, to be accurate. Ryde, to be precise.
  • I'm in my twenties.
  • I go by the handle of FatboY or Fats (I use the latter more these days).
  • By trade, I develop Training Administration software.
  • I love Metal and other heavy music. I'm in a band.
  • I play guitar, and I sometimes write songs when I'm feeling inspired.
  • I have a shitload of amazing friends.
  • I really, really enjoy computer games.
Thanks for stopping by :)