Wacom Tablet and XNA

Last night I received my graphics table, Thanks to Wacom. Although I did not really have time I thought I would give a quick going over. For starters (Before Kids Bath) the Tablet installed really easily and went in with out a problem. After Tea, I got another few minutes with it and fired up Photoshop to see what it could do…

Then after the Kids went to bed I finally got some time to sit down, Looking at the bare roots of it the system basically imitates the mouse so my next challenge was to see if I could get it running with XNA. To do this I started a basic application Added my Mouse Component to the base and compiled….. the next thing I new I was controlling the Mouse with the Tablet inside a full screen XNA Application.

Of course moving the mouse or sprite was one thing but the next was to see if I could get a basic game together that would use the tablet. So today I have been playing around wit some different base games to see what I can do. I hope to post more soon.

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

XBox 360 Fall Dashboard Update

The fall update for the XBox 360 dashboard will be going through tonight at 21:00 hours Melbourne Time. Here is the official Announcement from Major Nelson, and the Press Release on XBox.com.

One of the main things that I am looking forward is that the update includes support for the upcoming release of the XNA and Game Studio express systems, as well as video playback from various sources (Read the full list of changes). 

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

XGameLineInput Component

One of the things that most games will need is a way for the client to enter there name or other details. Reading the MSDN Forums this morning I came across a new component site that has posted an Input Component.

What is it ?
XGameLineInput is a GameComponent for the XNA framework that provides the programmer with
the ability to allow for text entry in their game without the need for a keyboard.”

This is a small component that I will be looking at and seeing what projects I could use it in. BTW The author has requested comments on the project.

Link to XGameLineInput Component

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

XNA Performance and the SpriteBatch

Over the last few days I have been helping someone with a small application and some performance issues with it. When looking at the code I found that the application was calling several sprite batches. To test the effects of running multiple batches I put together a base application that did nothing fancy.

The basic layout and functions in the application included the default application template with events added to the base for the loading of managed and non managed resources. To test the performance I added three sprite batches (background, main, and UI). Testing was done by disabling all of then and building the app, then in turn adding one in between builds. While the application was running I just did a simple check on the processes tab in the task manager and recorded the memory usage of the application.

When testing I found that each time I added another sprite batch to the code the memory increased in the usage…

  • 0 sprite batches configured – 16920
  • 1 sprite batch configured – 19744
  • 2 sprite batches configured – 20172
  • 3 sprite batches configured – 20640

When testing the system all of the results where expected and the main purpose of the application and the tests was to prove a point. In summary we really need to look at our applications and make sure that we are only making calls that are needed. In the case of the sprite batches, why do we have multiple batches? Can we do it all with just the one batch?

When developing with MDX I used to used multiple calls to the sprites, but during the stages of the managed DirectX system a 2d Sample was released that showed a method to batch the sprites. From that point on I began to batch the sprites into the one call… and now with XNA I do the same.

On a Side note I am still working on Setting up an Australian based XNA User group, those who are interested can contact me through my site www.virtualrealm.com.au.

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

GRAW 2 Takes Aim

Going through the normal blog and forums search for new and information I came across an article on IGN regarding UBISofts earnings Statement.

Over the last couple of weeks I have really gotten into playing GRAW, included in the statement was a reference to GRAW 2.

“The company also announced that anticipated sneak-and-strike action adventure Assassin’s Creed and sequel WWII shooter Brothers in Arms Hell’s Highway will not be released in the fourth fiscal quarter. Instead in that timeframe Ubisoft will offer Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter 2, the sequel to the future-soldier first-person shooter. This means we’ll see GRAW 2 before the end of March 2007. No further details on GRAW 2 were available at this time.”

This now makes it easy for me to decide on the game to buy that month :), I will have to keep a watch on what is happening with the Title.

Link to IGN: GRAW 2 Takes Aim, Assassins Waits, More Wii from Ubi

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

XNA and GSE Beta 2, using Oct DirectX SDK and Vista

Microsoft have announced that they plan to release the next beta of the XNA Framework and Game Studio Express. We should see this release over the next few weeks.

One of the most popular requests has been for a second beta and on behalf of the XNA Game Studio team, I’m pleased to announce that we will indeed be releasing another beta of XNA Game Studio Express and that it will be available in a couple weeks. “, Michael Klucher

You will be able to use this release with the latest version of the DirectX SDK.

“Works with new DX SDK? Yup (remember, all you optionally need are the audio/image tools, so there’s no real dependency)”, David Weller

Please note that the XNA System and the Game Studio Express system is not supported on the Vista OS. There have been cases where people have been able to get it running, but it is unsupported and not advised.

“However, even if you were successful, it is STILL an unsupported OS at the time.”, David Weller

I know that there are people out there that want to get the Vista OS Running, but for the time being we are just going to have to wait.

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

Using VB.Net for XNA Development

For those who are or would like to use VB.Net for XNA Development have a look at this site.


Alan Phipps has started working on a series of tutorials using VB.Net and XNA, so far there are the basic steps like creating the main device and displaying textures… but the most inportant one is the first one “How to set up and configure VB.Net to use XNA”

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

Migrating from SQL Express to SQL Server 2005 Part 1

I have been reading several posts in the Forums where people are having trouble migrating there data from SQL Express and the Visual Web Developer onto a full version release of the software (SQL Server 2005 Workgroup, Standard or Enterprise).

Attaching the Database Files

This is actually an easy task and can be completed in several ways, the main method is to just attach the files to the database server. In many cases this can be an easy task, but it you need make sure that you have access to the server on a file level as well as the database. To use this method you would take the MDF and LDF files and copy them to the server making sure that you locate them in the correct directories on the server.

Once the files are located start up the management studio and connect to the server. Next step is to expand the tree so that you can see the database item, right click on this item and select Attach. This will open the Attach Database Dialog, select the Add button and browse to the location of you MDF File. Note that at this point you do not have to select the LDF File as if the file is in the same directory it will automatically be added to the dialog. The next step is to change the name of the database that you are attaching, by default the file is attached and the name of the database is set to the full name and path to the database files. This makes the Database name long. To change this in the Attach Database Dialog change the Attach As label to the name of the database (This does not need to have the full path to the file in it only the name of the database).

I Have used this method several times with out any major problems. One thing that you will have to remember is that you will have to change your connection strings to reference the new server.

Sometimes when I have used this process I have come across a problem where the database has no valid owner. To fix this I have written another post that may help, here is the link (http://www.virtualrealm.com.au/blogs/mykre/archive…).

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space

Database does not have a valid owner

I started to do some work with a SQL Express database that I received from another person. The problems started when I tried to add a Database Diagram to the project. Normally when you do this you do need to create the diagram objects in the database, but this time I received an error message saying that the database did not have a valid owner.

Here is a copy of the error message that I received.

“Database diagram support objects cannot be installed because this database does not have a valid owner. To continue, first use the Files page of the Database Properties dialog box or the ALTER AUTHORIZATION statement to set the database owner to a valid login, then add the database diagram support objects. “

To fix the problem I first needed to attach the database to the management studio, this can be done in either the full product or the SQL Express Management Studio. Then by going to the properties for the database with the problem and selecting the files tab, change the owner to the [sa] account and select apply. Or you could use the following script.


USE [<DatabaseName>]
EXEC dbo.sp_changedbowner @loginame = N’sa’, @map = false

Cross Post from Virtual Realm – Mykre’s Space