Showing posts with label XBox360. Show all posts
Showing posts with label XBox360. Show all posts

Monday, December 29, 2014

XBOOK Duo - One XBox 360 and one XBox One crammed into one semi-portable "book"

Make: - The XBOOK Duo: A Custom Gaming Console Ready for the Road

A guy by the name of Ed has created a beautiful custom gaming laptop that contains an Xbox 360 and an XBox One, thus solving the backwards compatibility issue of the original system.

Gamers can now play both new and old games with a simple flip of a switch while they are on the go!

The inside fits all the circuitry, wires, HDMI outputs, and a built in 22″ Vizio 1080p LED LCD monitor allowing for a splitter to alternate between the two consoles. Surprisingly only one power supply and power cord is needed, and so far Ed hasn’t encountered any overheating problems despite all the that is found within.



How crazy is that! Man, I wish I had these kinds of skills. Awesome that he spent the time to show us all how to build our own too... :)

While this is still pretty big, I think my first notebook was bigger and about 1/10,000th of the

Thursday, November 21, 2013

cough... cough... feeling a little [Xbox One delivery tomorrow] coming on... cough...

Play Xbox One - Doctor's Orders

It's time to spend some quality time with your console for a day (or three). That means you might have to get out of some obligations. Luckily, we have the solution. Simply fill in the blanks below and send your official Doctor's note to whomever is making you do the thing that is not Xbox One. You're welcome.


Not that I'm going to be sick tomorrow or anything... um... err... um... yeah.  :/

Friday, April 12, 2013

What would the Xbox 360 “Achievement Unlocked” sound look like? Like this...

Major Nelson - Xbox 360 “Achievement Unlocked” sound as a visual


When I read what Born Of Sound was doing with audio I was intrigued. They take the mechanical vibrations of audio that we hear, but don’t normally see, and turn them into a visual is if they are traveling trough air. They call this a “sound-form

I contacted them and asked them to do a sound-form for the familiar Xbox 360 Achievement Unlocked Sound.  They came back with this ethereal image.

I’ve got a larger version of the image above on my Flickr if you want to use it as your device wallpaper, or you just want to get a closer look.   ..."

Yep, that's cool... :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The killer SkyDrive app? SkyDrive for the Xbox 360...

Inside SkyDrive - SkyDrive comes to Xbox 360: Your photos and videos on the TV

Starting today, we’re bringing even more value to SkyDrive and Xbox customers with a new SkyDrive app for Xbox 360. This means your favorite content is now only one click away, whether you are using the web, your PC, your phone, or now, even your big screen TV.


The entirely new SkyDrive experience for Xbox 360 spotlights your photos and videos. The app connects the cloud to your Xbox and TV: every photo, video, movie, and other file you put in SkyDrive from Windows or the web will be available on your Xbox-connected TV. Your Windows Phone is also now connected to Xbox and every photo you snap can be available on your TV automatically.



When we thought about all of the possibilities of introducing SkyDrive to the Xbox 360 environment, there were lots of features we could have tied together but we wanted to focus on the scenarios that people have told us they would find most valuable. So in building a SkyDrive experience for the living room, we’ve spent our time on making these three primary scenarios feel great:

  1. Shared photos & videos. Share a meaningful event with your friends or family by viewing photos & videos on your TV, or view photos & videos others have shared with you through SkyDrive. Imagine being able to view cherished photos and videos shared by friends and family —like a musical performance, a kid’s birthday, or baby’s first steps—on your TV.
  2. Snap and see. For Windows Phone users, snap a picture and see it appear almost immediately in your camera roll on the big screen. This feels like magic! For example, you could take a quick snapshot of your child making a funny face, fire up the SkyDrive app on your Xbox, and view it right away on your 50” screen. Just make sure you’re using the same Microsoft account sign-in for both Xbox LIVE and your Windows Phone.
  3. Party slide show. Plan a great slide show to play in the background of a dinner party. For example, you could start a slide show of a recent trip for friends, or have holiday-themed photos and videos playing during a holiday party.

Plus, the SkyDrive app for Xbox supports Kinect voice controls and gestures as well as remote and controller input. Yes, this means you can view a slide show of your SkyDrive photos just by talking to your Xbox… which is very, very cool. (Kinect voice controls are not available in all languages.)

Get started now

Here's how to get up and running with the SkyDrive app on your Xbox:

  1. Turn on your TV and your Xbox.
  2. Go to Apps, and then select Browse Apps.
  3. In the Social category, select SkyDrive.


I'm willing to bet this could be the thing that pushes SkyDrive over the edge, from a "kind of cool", MS Fanboy cloud service to a "omg, what do you mean you're not using it?" service. I've been thinking of backing up all my photos to SkyDrive... hum....

Monday, July 30, 2012

IE for the XBox 360, a Dev's Guide (13 pages)

Microsoft Downloads - Internet Explorer for Xbox Developer’s Guide

This paper provides information about Internet Explorer for Xbox.

Version: 1.0

Date published: 7/27/2012

Language: English

InternetExplorerforXboxDevelopersGuide.docx, 782 KB

From the DocX;

This paper provides information about Internet Explorer for Xbox. It provides guidelines for developers to who want to optimize their site for Internet Explorer for Xbox. It contains design recommendations, and it describes some of the technical differences between Internet Explorer 9 and Internet Explorer for Xbox.

This information applies to the following product:
Xbox® 360


I've heard from a reliable source (cough...  NDA... cough...) that IE on the XBox is not as weird as you might think and with a chatpad works well. While there's no Flash support, HTML5 video seemed to work well too.

What media elements and formats are support? This doc tells you stuff just like that...


Friday, June 01, 2012

Updated Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 RP Released

Programmer Payback - Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework for Windows 8 Release Preview

In case you missed the news, Microsoft just hit a major milestone on its road to shipping Windows 8 with the public launch of the Release Preview version. With this new version comes new features and as expected: a number of trivial, yet importing changes that will affect app developers and their apps.


One such effort that we were proud to release alongside the launch of Windows 8 Release Preview is the update to the Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework (an open source video player component for Windows 8 metro style apps).


While Windows 8 includes some essential and great components to help building top notch media apps (namely the MediaElement for Xaml developers and the Video tag for JavaScript/HTML developers), the purpose of these components is primarily aimed at providing the fundamentals and low level support for playing audio and video. We here at Vertigo Software know video and we know that there is still a mountain to climb before you can ship a great media app. In a joint effort with Microsoft, we’ve worked hard to fill this gap by building a media player framework to make it simple and straightforward to accomplish the vast majority of your media app needs in Windows 8.

The Microsoft Media Platform Player Framework ships with a JavaScript and Xaml version of the framework that offers out of the box features to build great video apps without the fuss and months of development required to build your own media player. Besides support for the Windows 8 Release Preview, our latest update also includes support for major features such as player DVR controls (scrubbing, FF, RW, play/pause, …etc), player styling and branding, closed captioning, and just released today: video advertising!


Player Framework: an open source component of the Microsoft Media Platform

An open source, robust video player framework for Windows 8, HTML5, Silverlight, Windows Phone and other application platforms.

Video players can be incredibly difficult to build. When developers require support for adaptive streaming, closed captioning, advertising standards integration, DVR-style playback control, and other advanced features, the complexity of their video player grows exponentially. Over the last few years at Microsoft we have helped build some of the most advanced video applications on the Web including the browser-based experience for the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics with NBC Sports, the last three seasons of NBC's Sunday Night Football (including the 2012 Super Bowl), the CBS March Madness college basketball tournament, Wimbledon, and a number of other major, live events with millions of simultaneous users. As a part of those projects we have developed one of the most powerful video players on the planet. And we've decided to share it with everyone, for free.

The Microsoft Media Platform's Player Framework is an open source video player that we continue to develop and evolve. It is available for Silverlight, HTML5, Windows Phone, Xbox, and now, in our latest release, Windows 8 Metro-style applications. And it's fully open source!

The Player Framework supports a long list of advanced features including:

  • Adaptive streaming and advanced playback heuristics via the IIS Smooth Streaming Client SDK for Windows 8
  • Closed captioning support via SMPTE-TT and TTML
  • Advertising standards support including VAST, MAST, and VPAID
  • Advanced DVR-style playback
  • Robust skinning and styling
  • A number of other powerful features


Friends don't let friends write their own advanced video playback controls...(when instead they can just use this!)


Related Past Post XRef:
MMPPF - Getting started guide for the Silverlight Microsoft Media Platform
That's smoooootttthhhh... The Smooth Streaming Client SDK Beta and Player Framework Beta for Windows 8 Metro
Building your first HTML Metro Style app with the Style Smooth Streaming Player walk through

IIS Transform Manager 1.0 (RTW) An extensible media transform engine with "watch folder" job submission, queuing, management, integrated media transcoding/container format repackaging
IIS Media Pack 1.0 – Helps make IIS7 a happy, media serving, camper

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Inside Xbox is out...

Major Nelson - Changes for Inside Xbox (U.S.)

"In the last 10 years, Xbox LIVE has transformed in so many amazing ways, and as a community we’ve experienced so much together. I’ve personally witnessed many changes that have helped Xbox LIVE improve and together with our members we’ve created a community we all value and rely on.

At Xbox, we are focused on making entertainment and gaming more amazing, and we must continue to invest our resources and talents wisely. Consequently, we’ve decided to discontinue production of Inside Xbox in the United States, and as a result this content will also no longer be available in Canada, Australia and New Zealand. [GD: Emphasis added] Xbox LIVE in EMEA is currently looking at its operating model for Inside Xbox. This could potentially result in some changes, but we have no news here to share yet. Xbox LIVE in Mexico and Japan will continue to produce first-party content for its members via other media outside of the Inside Xbox brand.


Seems a little weird to be killing off anything Xbox. Sure the 360 has likely has its last XMas coming up (maybe'ish), but seems a little strange to kill off Inside Xbox, doesn't it?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Microsoft GDC 2012 Deck Dump (A bunch of Pptx's from GDC 2012)

Visual Studio 11 for Game Developers

The upcoming version of Visual Studio brings a slew of innovations for game developers with first-class access to build DirectX games on Windows 8. Learn how it enables you to write modern, cross-platform code while unlocking ever more performance from today’s hardware. Speaking of modern hardware, we demo how VS11 embraces the GPU like never before. From new integrated diagnostics support for DirectX to new language extensions for GPGPU, these demos will blow you away.

Game Data Anywhere Using Xbox LIVE Cloud Storage

With gaming capabilities spreading rapidly across devices, there is an ever-increasing need to have service-based data sharing support. With our new scalable and flexible title storage service, developers enjoy the ability to persist user and game-specific data to the Xbox LIVE cloud! Come learn how to leverage these new RESTful APIs to enable cloud-based data storage and sharing for your cross-device game titles.

Developing Metro Style Games on the Full Range of Windows 8 Devices

Windows 8 runs on the broadest range of form factors, from super-light, low-power tablet devices to high-end gaming rigs with 3D displays. This session teaches you essential techniques for getting the most out of the GPU across the full range of form factors. This is a must-attend session for developers who want to reach the broadest possible market for their games.

Innovative Solutions to Gesture Detection

Many successful and innovative games use gestures as input. These games range over a wide variety of genres, platforms and input technologies, from a touch screen of a smart phone device to a full natural motion controller input device such as Kinect. Developing high quality reliant gestures is a non-trivial time consuming engineering task. In this talk we present an innovative new technology for developing high quality reliant gesture detection using machine learning. Demos, results, implementation and optimization details is discussed. Two case studies are also presented where solutions to gestures from Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports: Season Two are discussed.

Xbox LIVE Services - Entertainment Powered by the Cloud

This talk describes how developers can create compelling entertainment experiences on any device by using Xbox LIVE services by way of our new RESTful APIs. Learn how your application can obtain secure access to our service, make HTTPS API calls from a variety of clients, as well as how to use the expansive set of Xbox LIVE services, including some new services, to keep your customers engaged with your experiences. This session provides you with a broad understanding of Xbox LIVE from a platform perspective, as well as insights into the API roadmap.

Xbox LIVE Multiplayer Gaming on Windows 8 and Other Devices

Multiplayer features make a game more fun, and are the driving force behind many successful games today. Cross-device gameplay provides publishers with a unique opportunity to delight players on any device, at any time, wherever they are. But how can a game have compelling multiplayer experiences when a player may be interrupted at any time by a phone call or a business meeting? With Asynchronous Gaming! Come learn how to build great multiplayer games for Windows 8 and other devices using Xbox LIVE services. We cover everything from asynchronous game patterns to best practices for managing sessions, matching players and using notifications to pull players back into the game.

Asynchronous Gaming with Xbox LIVE

Multiplayer features make a game more fun, and are the driving force behind many successful games today. Cross-device gameplay provides publishers with a unique opportunity to delight players on any device, at any time, wherever they are. But how can a game have compelling multiplayer experiences when a player may be interrupted at any time by a phone call or a business meeting? With Asynchronous Gaming! Learn how you can use Xbox LIVE services to create the best possible end-to-end asynchronous gaming experience on a single device or across multiple devices!

Building Cross-Device Xbox LIVE Games

Cross-device gameplay provides publishers with a unique opportunity to reach and delight players on any device, at any time, wherever they are. This type of gameplay experience is going to be a fundamental part of future gaming on Xbox LIVE. Come learn about the platform and experience components that Xbox LIVE is introducing as a means to help create the compelling cross-device experiences that people want to play with their friends, on the device of their choice!

Xbox LIVE Web Games

If you’re not building games for the web, you’re not capitalizing a captive audience. Web games are an easy way to reach millions and millions of eyeballs and integrating Xbox LIVE services keeps customers engaged and allows them to truly play anywhere at any time. Learn how your web games can be even better with Xbox LIVE Achievements, Title Managed Storage, Multiplayer Services and more!

Xbox LIVE on Windows Deep Dive

Xbox LIVE on Windows 8 provides a rich and robust set of APIs that enable game developers to accelerate the integration of Xbox LIVE services. This session is for developers who want to understand how we've taken advantage of the new Windows Runtime model to provide quick and easy access to Xbox LIVE services such as profile, achievements and leaderboards as well as value added scenarios, such as offline support, authentication and Windows integration. We dive into the code and design to ensure you walk away with the knowledge you need to quickly enable your Metro style games with Xbox LIVE.

Monetization Strategies for Windows 8 Games

Windows 8 delivers the opportunity to reach a huge worldwide audience for your games. This session shares key information and insights to help developers and producers maximize gamer engagement and game revenue. We introduce the Windows 8 Store, and discuss revenue-enhancing strategies including app trials and DLC. We discuss Xbox LIVE for Windows 8, and share insights based on real data gathered from successful Xbox LIVE titles on Xbox 360 and Windows Phone.

Kinect Human Tracking - Better, Stronger, Faster

Kinect’s human-tracking algorithms represented significant advances in computer vision when launched just over a year ago. And luckily, the team didn’t stop there. Learn about the new features and quality improvements added since launch, as well as best practices for incorporating this new functionality into your Kinect title.

"Xbox, Play" : Harnessing the Power of Speech

Speech provides the opportunity to create uniquely engaging experiences to delight your audience. Explore the new capabilities of voice recognition for Kinect, focusing on the user interfaces and types of experiences that mesh well with this technology. We present several case studies, including Mass Effect 3 from BioWare, Kinect Sports 2 from Rare Ltd. and BigPark Game Studios, and the Xbox 360 Dashboard. We discuss the benefits of evaluating and incorporating voice UI (VUI) early in the design; share our discoveries and best practices in testing and tuning speech for an optimal experience.

Creating a Great Metro Style Game for Windows 8

Windows 8 delivers the opportunity for you to create engaging games that reach the broadest audience, and run across a wide range of devices. In this session, learn the essentials of the new Windows 8 game development and application environment, including the Windows Runtime, CoreWindow, DirectX 11.1, Process Lifetime Management, asynchronous execution, and C++/Cx. We will also demonstrate Visual Studio capabilities for debugging 3D applications, managing code and basic content types like shaders, textures, and meshes in both design-time and run-time formats. Each key step will be illustrated with code from a Windows 8 SDK sample app such as MarbleMaze or Simple3DGame.

A bunch of decks, no videos or other documents, but something to give you an idea of what we'll likely be seeing in the coming months and years...

Here's some snaps from the first deck in this list, Visual Studio 11 for Game Developers







Friday, January 06, 2012

Official Xbox Magazine Subscriber? Read this! (The DVD's are no more and how to get your three free months in recompense)

Kurt Shintaku's Blog - NEWS: 3 FREE issues for Official Xbox Magazine Subscribers… plus access to digital versions of past issues!


Are you an Official Xbox Magazine subscriber? Then you may have noticed that this month’s issue (February 2012) has something conspicuously missing.

The DemoDVD is GONE.

At first I thought that someone had ripped off my disc as my copies always came in plastic with a DVD along side the magazine inside. But alas, Future, the publisher, has the decided to stop shipping the DemoDVD. After 131 discs, that’s all she wrote. SOB!

Yeah, they know that. As a result, they are providing all subscribers with 3 extra issues of the magazine to compensate for not having DVD’s any more. Yeah, I know. Kinda weak sauce. But at least it’s something. And they’ve spent the money in another way

To get your 3 complimentary issues of Official Xbox Magazine – IF YOU’RE AN EXISTING MAGAZINE SUBSCRIBER:




If you're a XBox Mag subscriber, like I am, you'll want to read this post. In short, there's no more Demo DVD's and to recompense use, they are offering to extend our subscriptions for three months if you ask for it! It's not automatic, you have to take some steps, simple ones, but still, steps to extend your subscription.

<vent> Loosing the DVD's is okay'ish in my mind as I'm not sure we've open many in the last few months, but it does bug me that they are taking something away, something I paid extra for, and yet not automatically even throwing me a bone at least. IMHO that just smells bad and doesn't feel like great customer service. Great customer service would have been reaching out to us (they have my email) and tell us about this change and that they've automatically extended our subscriptions, that no action is required on our part. But no, it's up to us to even know about this, and then up to us to take action... hum... </vent>


Well I think I have to eat my own words, a few at least. The mag just came in the mail and in there they do make it pretty clear that this change is coming and how to get the free three months. And I'm sure it will be made clear in future editions too...  Still I don't like having to know we have to redeem this offer, that we have to take this action ourselves or lose out. whine... whine... whine... :P

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

I've got my XBox Live Avatar, right here.... on my T-Shirt!

cafepress - xbox

Order your Avatar on t-shirts & gear (what a score!)

Bring your Xbox LIVE® Avatar to life & share it with people in the "real" world. When you're sporting your own fun Avatar on gear, who knows who you'll bump into (and be recognized by — because of your Avatar!). It's easy to make yours, just pick from the many poses. Then order your stylin' Avatar on t-shirts, drinkware and more.


So of course I have to check it out. I'm a little bummed my accessory doesn't appear (which is a WP7 device... lol )



Also it would have been nice to allow for a different background or something.

Still I think this is kind of cool. Now to get off my cheap butt and actually buy one... :P

(via The Road to Know Where - Get Your Custom Xbox Avatar T-Shirt Here!)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Halo ATLAS app + Windows Phone 7 + XBox 360 + Real time connection = About time... :)

WM Power User - Hooray! WP7 Halo Waypoint ATLAS app will offer real-time maps for Xbox 360 players

"It has been a long time coming, but it seems we will soon see some actual Windows Phone 7/ Xbox console integration.

The new Halo Waypoint app will offer many new features, including sending challenges to other Halo players.

The most interesting feature however is the ability to provide a secondary, top-down display of Halo maps in real time, featuring the location of your team and also the location of important objects in the game.

The feature will work with any Halo: Anniversary or Halo: Reach map but not custom maps.

“We tried to imagine what a Spartan in the field might actually have if they had an assisted system from the future,” explained CJ Saretto, lead producer for Halo Waypoint. They posited that future soldiers would have satellite imagery as well as floor plans for facilities, all annotated with notable information such as where weapon drops and vehicles could be found, what weapons players’ allies are wielding, the match’s score, and so on.

The maps themselves can either be viewed as satellite imagery or “what might think of as map view from Google Maps.”




This is a capability I've been dreaming of since I first heard about the changes in Microsoft's Phone OS direction that became Windows Phone 7. What I wonder is why it took so long? (Also I wonder when the API/SDK will be made available for indie dev's to add this in our app's... ;)

Thursday, October 06, 2011

XNA Game Studio v4.0 Refresh Released (Think "The Bug fix, Windows Phone 7.1 and VB.Net" Update)

Microsoft Downloads - Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh

"Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh updates XNA Game Studio 4.0 to fix bugs and add support for developing games that target Windows Phone OS 7.1 and developing games in Visual Basic.

Version: 4.0 Refresh
Date Published: 10/6/2011


File Name: XNAGS40_setup.exe, 40.0 MB



  1. Install Microsoft Visual Studio 2010.
  2. Obtain the latest updates for Visual Studio from Microsoft Update.
  3. Download and run the Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh installer.
  4. Follow the setup instructions
  5. Launch Visual Studio 2010 from Microsoft XNA Game Studio 4.0 Refresh on the Start menu.


The future of XNA seems pretty currently kind of cloudy, but for now it's good to get this refresh/update...


Related Past Post XRef:
Windows Phone 7.1 SDK RTW

XNA Game Studio 4 News (GDC 2010)
XNA Game Studio 3.1 Zune Extensions Released – Get your Zune HD Dev On
As promised, XNA Game Studio 3.0 RTM’ed today

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Your Windows Phone 7 will be your next XBox 360 Remote?

Windows Phone Blog - Control Your Xbox with your Windows Phone Using the Xbox Companion App

"Earlier today you probably spotted the big, big news from our pals over on the Xbox team. They’re bringing a new world of entertainment to your living room and making it faster, funner (yes, that’s right, funner) and easier to find. If you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend checking out the killer video that shows all of the new things that will be possible with an Xbox 360, Xbox LIVE and Kinect in your living room.



I was lucky enough to get my hands on a beta copy of the app to try out with my Xbox and I have to say that it’s really impressive. Here’s an actual scenario I ran through with the app and my Xbox the other day:

  • Finding Content: Just like on your Xbox, the Xbox Companion gives you instant access to the Xbox LIVE Marketplace catalog of games, movies, music and TV shows. I used it to search “Featured Content” and pulled up the X-Men: First Class.
  • Learn more about what you’re watching, listening to, or playing: Once I found the movie and touched the movie tile, the Xbox companion app took me to an info page that has all the related details about. And the content is really rich, too – for example, when I swiped to the “cast” page and touched an actor’s name, like star James McAvoy, I was taken to other movies starring him. From there, I could easily learn more about the other movies, their cast, etc. It’s an infinite road of interactive content.
  • Control & Play: Once I selected the content and hit play, the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote.

By now, you probably want to know more and find out when the Xbox Companion app will become available. Rest assured that it’s coming soon and that when it gets here, it’ll be a free download for Windows Phone customers. You can be sure that when it’s baked, I’ll be back with a full video review of the app.

..." [GD: Post Leach Level: 95%]

I first thought it was just some local to the phone XBox thing, but they got me at "the Xbox Companion flips into “controller mode” in which I could navigate my Xbox, or control video playback of your video. The best part here is that controls are virtually instantaneous – easily as fast as using my controller or a TV remote."

That's shiny!

But now I want to build like apps. Where's my SDK/Toolkit to build something similar? :P

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Teaching XNA with class with the "Game Development with XNA: Semester 1" class

Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 1 Basics

"Part 1: Basics includes 6 units of teaching resources for the “Game Development with XNA: Semester 1” material. This is an exciting CS course that allows students to apply their programming knowledge to game and simulation development using C# and the XNA framework. The complete curriculum is available below


C# is a modern and professional object-oriented programming language which when combined with the Microsoft XNA framework creates the XNA Game Studio – a professional game development environment for Xbox 360 and Windows Phone development.

Students will:

  • Explore game and simulation development as communication and art.
  • Apply knowledge of variables, conditionals, loops, Object-Oriented programming, recursion, and data structures to game creation.

The free curriculum package includes:

  • A Teacher Roadmap
  • A semester curriculum framework
  • Daily lesson plans
  • Demonstration projects
  • 14 video tutorials
  • 22 lab assignments and solutions
  • Student activities
  • Assessment tools with keys and exemplars

The lessons are aligned to CSTA, ITEA-STL, and ISTE-NETS standards. An online community provides support for teachers.


Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Part 2 Games for All

"Part 2: Games for All includes 7 units of teaching resources for the “Game Development with XNA: Semester 1” material.  ..."

Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Appendix

"The Appendix provides additional resources for the “Game Development with XNA: Semester 1” material. ..."

Game Development with XNA: Semester 1 - Teacher Roadmap

"The Teacher Roadmap provides instructions for teaching the “Game Development with XNA: Semester 1” material.  ..."

If you're teaching and want to teach what looks like a cool CS course, then the price on this is just right...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Portable Library Tools RTW (think "One library binary, many platforms")

Krzysztof Cwalina - Portable Library Tools Release

"We just released the official version of the Portable Library Tools. The set of tools and updates to .net platform allow you to create dlls that can be used in .NET Framework, Silverlight, Windows Phone, and XBOX projects. You can download the tools here and read more about them on MSDN." [GD: Post leached in full]

Visual Studio Gallery - Portable Library Tools

"Portable Library Tools is a new Visual Studio add-in from Microsoft that enables you to create C# and Visual Basic libraries that run on a variety of .NET-based platforms without recompilation.


image ..."

MSDN - Portable Class Libraries

"The Portable Class Library project enables you to write and build managed assemblies that work on more than one .NET Framework platform. You can create classes that contain code you wish to share across many projects, such as shared business logic, and then reference those classes from different types of projects.

Using the Portable Class Library project, you can build portable assemblies that work without modification on the .NET Framework, Silverlight, Windows Phone 7, or Xbox 360 platforms. Without the Portable Class Library project, you must target a single platform and then manually rework the class library for other platforms. The Portable Class Library project supports a subset of assemblies from these platforms, and provides a Visual Studio template that makes it possible to build assemblies that run without modification on these platforms.




One Binary * Many Platforms = Good Thing


Related Past Post XRef:
Write (.Net library) once, use everywhere (in .Net world)? The Portable Library Tools CTP Released. (Think “Reusing/Sharing the same Project between SilverLight, XNA, Windows Phone, etc” or “DRY .Net Project Style” )

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

IRL XBox Avatar's? Well how about 3d replica figurine or 6 foot poster?

WinRumors - 6ft Xbox Avatar posters and 3D miniature figurines now available

"Ever wanted a huge Xbox LIVE Avatar poster or a 3D miniature figurine? Well they’re available now.

Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has partnered with FigurePrints to create fully detailed 3D replica figurines. Using 3D modeling techniques pioneered by special effects houses and manufacturing technology that allows even the most complicated of these models to be created ...

Microsoft has also partnered with Fathead to produce giant Xbox LIVE Avatar stickers/posters. The leading brand in Sports and Entertainment Wall Graphics will allow you to create a custom Fathead of your avatar. Just enter your gamertag, select from one of ten poses, pick your size up to 4 ft x 6½ ft, and ...



Shame that some elements cannot be used due to licensing issues. Above is what FigurePrints can show, below is my real avatar. (FatHead has the same restriction)


Still I dig the thought of having a figurine or poster (though $60 for the figurine to $150 for a poster is a little much for me)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Write (.Net library) once, use everywhere (in .Net world)? The Portable Library Tools CTP Released. (Think “Reusing/Sharing the same Project between SilverLight, XNA, Windows Phone, etc” or “DRY .Net Project Style” )

Visual Studio Gallery - Portable Library Tools CTP

“Portable Library Tools is a new Visual Studio add-in from Microsoft that enables you to create C# and Visual Basic libraries that run on a variety of .NET-based platforms without recompilation.

Simplify code sharing
No more complicated build scripts or #defines, and stop copying and pasting code; portable libraries enable you to easily share code between apps that target different platforms.

Share between platforms
Create a Portable Library project and reference it from any .NET Framework, Silverlight, Windows Phone or XNA project.


Interesting. I like seeing this formalized and supported.

Note: Requires VS2010 SP1 Beta

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

XNA Game Studio 4 News (GDC 2010)

XNA Creators Online - GDC 2010

“This week at GDC, we’re unveiling XNA Game Studio 4.0! This latest version provides a powerful, productive, and portable technology for game development on Windows Phone 7 Series, Xbox 360, and Windows PC.

New to XNA Game Studio 4.0

  • Hardware accelerated 3D API’s on Windows Phone 7 Series
  • Visual Studio 2010 integration with our toolset
  • Added buffered audio support to the Audio API’s
  • And much, much more!


It makes me a little sad that my Zune is being ignored… Poor Zune… :(

I’ve been keeping my fingers crossed that the Zune deployment story was going to get better. When I heard WinPhone7 was going to be a Silverlight & XNA development platform my hopes increased even more.

We’ll see…

(via LiveSide - XNA Game Studio 4.0 unveiled at GDC)


Update #1 03/09/2010 @ 11:55AM:

XNA Creators Online - XNA Game Studio 4.0 FAQ


Q: When will XNA Game Studio 4.0 be available?
A: XNA Game Studio 4.0 will be available for download in the coming month. Additional information can be found online at the XNA Creators Club Online site at


Michael Klucher's Blog - Achievement Unlocked: XNA Game Studio 4.0 for Windows Phone


When we first announced XNA was a development platform for the Windows Phone 7 Series last week and followed up with some real-time Twitter Q&A (@WP7Dev), we got a lot of questions about Zune/Zune HD and how that will work with XNA Game Studio 4.0. Development for the Zune and Zune HD will continue to exist in XNA Game Studio 3.1, however, in XNA Game Studio 4.0, we’re encouraging you to migrate your games over to the Windows Phone 7 Series platform. [GD: Emphasis added]…”

Poor Zune… Pisses me off a little. I hate seeing the power of my Zune pretty much wasted and locked away.

Now if WinPhone7 devices come out and are even better than my Zune HD (more storage, a great phone, a great media player, works with the Zune Pass, works seamlessly with the Zune software, etc), I might feel better. I need a new phone anyway… ;)


(via @majornelsonTweet)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Kodu, the Microsoft Research visual game programming language targeted at beginning programmers, now available for PC’s (Tech Preview)

Channel 10 - Larry Larsen - Kodu Now Available for PC

“You may remember seeing the Microsoft Research project Kodu for Xbox last year. The game allows programming novices to develop robust games on the Xbox and control interactions between the characters. Now the PC version is available in beta form which is great news as most schools don't have Xbox 360's.

With Kodu, the idea is to give kids a way to accomplish something they didn't think they would be able to do while strengthening their design, math, and problem-solving skills. …”

KODO Game Lab

What is Kodu?

Kodu is a visual programming language made specifically for creating games. It is designed to be accessible for children and enjoyable for anyone.

Key Features

Kodu provides an end-to-end creative environment for designing, building, and playing your own new games.

  • High-level language incorporates real-world primitives: collision, color, vision
  • Runs on Xbox 360 and PC
  • Interactive terrain editor
  • Bridge and path builder
  • Terrain editor - create worlds of arbitrary shape and size
  • 20 different characters with different abilities

Announcing: Technical Preview of Kodu for the PC

Kodu for the PC incorporates several features that have been requested by schools in our early access program:

  • Mouse and Keyboard user interface – game controller no longer a requirement
  • Key improvements to the programming language
  • A game export feature which allows users save games as documents that can be emailed or placed on servers for sharing
  • Support for a broad range of hardware (an objective of the technical preview is to find hardware configurations that need additional work)
  • Easy installation process for lab environments

The programming environment also runs on the Xbox, allowing rapid design iteration using only a game controller for input. Kodu Game Lab can be found in the Xbox Marketplace in the Indie Games channel.

image …”

Sounds like something fun to play with during those long meetings… err… um… I mean… um… on the weekends at home… yeah, that… ;)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

[Humor] Microsoft + Target = :|

Gizmodo - Image of the Day: If Microsoft Ever Bought Target


As a RROD veteran, yet still happy XBox360 owner, this made me snort-laugh (which I hate when it happens… LOL… ;)