Pixel Art Tutorial on Game Dev

Rich Grillotti has put together a good introduction tutorial on Pixel Art on Gamedev.net. The article goes though the basics of what is pixel art and wat can be done with it. He also talks about setting up your Photoshop application to make the job easier.

At the moment he has posted Part 1 of the series and will soon release the second part. For all those working on some sort of Retro game and would like to get your own Pixel art into the project, this article is a good start to get to moving.

Direct Link to the Article, if you have any questions you can post in the Forums on Gamedev.net.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

XNA – Domination

 John Sedlak has been working on a small game for the Dream Build Play Warm Up Challenge, now that the entries for the comp have finished he has posted the game he has been working on.

Domination is a game of Global Domination.

Domination is my entry into the Dream Build Play 2.0 Warmup. It is a simple boardgame based on global domination. You are given control over a large amount of armies placed in regions all over the world with the ability to take over neighboring territories. Utilizing a good strategy is key to winning.



Included on the page is a link to the binaries and the source code for the project, here is a direct link to the Domination page.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

Creators Site – More Updated Content

The XNA Team have been busy and have again release a new round of Updated Content. Included in this release is 1 new sample, a conversion and updates to a Starter Kit, as well as a new tutorial series.

Today we have released two new and four updated pieces of educational content.  We are targeting next Thursday to finish updating all content to XNA Game Studio 2.0, as well as continue to deliver new content.

New Samples

Updated Starter Kits

Updated Utilities

New Tutorials

At this time that is all of the content converted except for the Racing Game.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

Nazeeh talks Game Design and XNA

Nazeeh has put together a really good article on Game Design. This article is just the begriming but it will give you enough to get started on before his next post “When he puts it into Practice”

This is the first post in my “Building a game” series! The aim of this series is to walk through building a game from scratch and try to include as much of the thought process involved as possible. So how about you grab yourself something to drink and let’s sit and chat about game design!

Before I sat down to write this post, I walked to Shawn Hargreaves and Eli Tayrien’s office and talked about game design with them. These guys know a whole lot when it comes to game development and I highly value their input. The question I asked was “How does one go about designing a game?”

During the article Nazeeh Talks about a small game that was put together by the Rare team. I wonder if this is a game that we could see released for the community.

Here’s another example for you, I am just so full of them today 🙂 We had a game internally developed by some dude from Rare studios while we were working on version 1.0 of XNA Game Studio. The game just couldn’t be simpler than it was. You and up to 3 other people control 2D ships on the screen and you all have to work together to destroy all the asteroids on the screen. Every level, you have to destroy more asteroids. The hook though was when one of your buddies died. You can bring them back to life if you collect a randomly spawning star that is the same color as their ship. Once your buddy would die, they would instantly start yelling “BRING ME BACK!!! QUICK!!” and everyone would be searching all over the screen waiting for their resurrection star to show up. Once it did, we would ALL rush to it to bring them back and more often than not, we’d all ram into an asteroid and die together. Such a simple concept but it was so fun that we played that game for hours! Probably caused us to delay the release a little bit 😉

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

Creators Site – Updated XNA Content

Last week we were given an update to the Creators site, and told that for the next 3 weeks we would be receiving more.

The Next update has arrived, included in this update is 1 new sample and several updates to some old favourites.

New Samples

Updated Samples

Updated Starter Kits

Updated Mini Games

Here is an update on the current state of the Updates,

As of this time, all existing Samples and Mini Games have been converted, joining Tutorials and Articles. There are still a few Utilities, and Starter Kits to be converted and released.

Our next content release is planned for January 24th, 2008.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

Very Silly Games

Rob Miles has put together a new Web Site called VerySillyGames, with this site he plans to put together a collection of Very Silly Games that you can download that will include the full Source code.

Over time we are going to build up a “Library of Gameplay silliness” from which you can pull down fully working XNA games you can play instantly on your computer or, once you have joined the XNA Creators Club, on your Xbox 360.

Currently there are 4 games online that you can look at and try.

Gamepad Racer

“Perhaps the ultimate example of a Zero Graphics Game, with nobody watching the screen but all eyes on the gamepads as they jostle for position, using the mysterious, ancient power of gravity to traverse a treacherous course at the end of which there can only be one winner”.

Mob Reaction Timer

“Recreate the gladiatorial thrill of warrior against warrior in this game in which the very essence of human competition is exposed in a test of one of the fundamental survival skills. Sixteen players can take part in a single game, each straining to hear the distinctive sound of wooden spoon on pan half full of water, and respond in the briefest possible time. To the winner go the bragging rights, writ large in well formed white letters. To the loser goes the bitter taste of absolute defeat. Until next time…..”


“The cool hypnotic mood squares provide a colourful, ever changing backgrop to the crisply rendered text with perfectly formed shadows behind each ivory letter which is lovingly rendered to three dimensional perfection. The time, obtained from a precision quartz mechanism which ticks to an atom-synchronised beat, is also provided at no additional cost and take this remarkable application to an even higher plane of wonder.”


“Stretch your mind and test your perception at the very bounds of endurance. The simple premise of picture matching finds its ultimate realisation as you struggle to connect each picture with its mate against a steadily ticking clock. With a huge number of different images and more possible combinations than there are atoms in the universe, truly this is a game that only those with the strongest mental capacities can grapple with.”

Go a head and try them, look at the source code and please give Rob your feedback. Also remember that Rob is also putting a book together, maybe this site is a good indication of what is coming up in his book.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

XNA Game State Menu System

For those of us who like the Game Stare Sample that you can Download from the Creators Site, RandomChaos has made some adjustments and developed his own. At the moment the source is not available but there is a cool video showing what the system can do.

Inspired by the Example on the Creators Club I decided to write my own so it would do the stuff I needed it to. As always the one on the Creators is great and a nice starting point.

This is written from scratch and instead of releasing the code I might just put it up as a binary for you to bolt into your projects, naturally you will be able to inherit from it and create the menus you want from it.

As the image I put up does not really show what is going on I have put up a short vid (here) to demonstrate some of the things it can do.


  • Based on GameComponent so you can just add it to your game via Component.Add

  • Ability to texture your fonts

  • 2D shader effects on both the menu, fonts and cursor

  • Menu cursor driven by the keyboard or 360 Controller

There are only a few effects at the moment but I plan to add more, still much to do, but once done I think it will be useful.


I had a quick look at the video and it looks good, keep up the work and I hope to see it in a releasable state soon.

Here is a Direct Link to the Post.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

XNA Challenge Brazil 2008 Final Results

Yesterday I posted about the XNA Challenge Brazil and the top 5 entries, well today I have the final Results.

“Recicle” was given the First Place Position

Recicle” (portuguese word for “recycle”), by Vitor Antonioli from UNICAMP. In the game, you should control a series of recycling baskets in order to collect specific gargabe in a flowing river. The game innovates by providing a very ambitious input system: in some advanced stages, you control the baskets by using both Xbox controller sticks, the D-pad and the triggers… at the same time! Sounds simple and insane at the beginning, but it is actually fun and challenging.

The winner was awarded with an all-paid trip to the the Third Annual Microsoft Academic Days Conference on Game Development in Computer Science Education, that happens in a cruise leaving from the States towards Cozumel, Mexico. The game also won the “People’s Choice” award, whose prize was a kit containing a Xbox 360 wireless controller with a PC wireless receiver.

In the second place, the game City Rain, by Guilherme Campos from UNESP. It is a creative mix of Tetris and Sim City, in which available constructions fall from the sky and you have to properly select and place them in an isometric grid, considering key environmental aspects such as pollution. The prize was a kit containing Windows Vista Home Premium, a Microsoft mouse and 5 Microsoft games for PC.

Finally, the third prize winner was the game “Alice, os Parasitas e o Livro do Tempo” (Alice, the Parasites and the Time Book), by Bruno Evangelista from UFMG. This is a very beautiful game in which Alice, the main character, should free the population of small villages from evil environment-destroying monsters, using special powers. The prize was a kit containing a Microsoft mouse, a finger print reader and 5 Microsoft games for PC.

With the entries that I have seen for this event it looks like there will be some good examples of XNA Programming coming up in this years Imagine Cup.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au

XNA Challenge Brazil – Top 5

I have been trying to follow and read about the Brazil Challenge for a while (Language Barrier), but the finalists have been announced and the winner should be announced soon. Good luck to all of the Entrants…

Here is a link to a Video that has been put together to show the Top 5 Entrants.

Here are the links to the Sources of the Information.

Cross Post from www.virtualrealm.com.au