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      GameDev.net and CRC Press have teamed up to bring a free ebook of content curated from top titles published by CRC Press. The freebook, Practices of Game Design & Indie Game Marketing, includes chapters from The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, and An Architectural Approach to Level Design. The GameDev.net FreeBook is relevant to game designers, developers, and those interested in learning more about the challenges in game development. We know game development can be a tough discipline and business, so we picked several chapters from CRC Press titles that we thought would be of interest to you, the GameDev.net audience, in your journey to design, develop, and market your next game. The free ebook is available through CRC Press by clicking here. The Curated Books The Art of Game Design: A Book of Lenses, Second Edition, by Jesse Schell Presents 100+ sets of questions, or different lenses, for viewing a game’s design, encompassing diverse fields such as psychology, architecture, music, film, software engineering, theme park design, mathematics, anthropology, and more. Written by one of the world's top game designers, this book describes the deepest and most fundamental principles of game design, demonstrating how tactics used in board, card, and athletic games also work in video games. It provides practical instruction on creating world-class games that will be played again and again. View it here. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing, by Joel Dreskin Marketing is an essential but too frequently overlooked or minimized component of the release plan for indie games. A Practical Guide to Indie Game Marketing provides you with the tools needed to build visibility and sell your indie games. With special focus on those developers with small budgets and limited staff and resources, this book is packed with tangible recommendations and techniques that you can put to use immediately. As a seasoned professional of the indie game arena, author Joel Dreskin gives you insight into practical, real-world experiences of marketing numerous successful games and also provides stories of the failures. View it here. An Architectural Approach to Level Design This is one of the first books to integrate architectural and spatial design theory with the field of level design. The book presents architectural techniques and theories for level designers to use in their own work. It connects architecture and level design in different ways that address the practical elements of how designers construct space and the experiential elements of how and why humans interact with this space. Throughout the text, readers learn skills for spatial layout, evoking emotion through gamespaces, and creating better levels through architectural theory. View it here. Learn more and download the ebook by clicking here. Did you know? GameDev.net and CRC Press also recently teamed up to bring GDNet+ Members up to a 20% discount on all CRC Press books. Learn more about this and other benefits here.

shawnhar

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  1. The project that has been occupying most of my work energies for this past year shipped today![quote] Introducing PIX on Windows (beta)[/quote] Source
  2. Attached to the wall outside my office:   Source
  3. Attached to the wall outside my office:   Source
  4. My colleague Cooper is on Channel 9 today. Source
  5. My colleague Cooper is on Channel 9 today. Source
  6. Stuart is a contrivedly acronymed Windows 10 photo editing app which I wrote during a recent Win2D app building exercise.  I’m posting it here because I’m pleased with how it turned out.  XAML + Win2D makes it really easy to do this sort of thing!   Where to get it Download from the Store Or clone the source from github                                     Features Use a rich set of image effects to tweak your photos Apply effects to the whole image or just selected parts of it Feather selected regions for smooth transitions Runs on Windows 10 PCs and phones   Screenshots Starting with this photo from a dawn hike on Mount Rainier:     Stuart can make the colors more intense:     Or brighten the foreground rocks and trees without changing the sky:     Or we can go retro:     Or completely stylized:   Source
  7. Stuart is a contrivedly acronymed Windows 10 photo editing app which I wrote during a recent Win2D app building exercise.  I’m posting it here because I’m pleased with how it turned out.  XAML + Win2D makes it really easy to do this sort of thing!   Where to get it Download from the Store Or clone the source from github                                     Features Use a rich set of image effects to tweak your photos Apply effects to the whole image or just selected parts of it Feather selected regions for smooth transitions Runs on Windows 10 PCs and phones   Screenshots Starting with this photo from a dawn hike on Mount Rainier:     Stuart can make the colors more intense:     Or brighten the foreground rocks and trees without changing the sky:     Or we can go retro:     Or completely stylized:   Source
  8. Today the Visual Studio team shipped a project template for cross-platform graphics development.  This uses the Visual Studio shared project mechanism to target the Windows Universal Platform, Android, and iOS, with identical OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering code shared across all three platforms. I'm posting this here partly because I think it is cool, but more importantly because I had a hand in making it happen.  In order to run portable GL rendering code on Windows, this template uses a version of ANGLE that is maintained by my team.  When you compile it for Windows, Visual Studio will automatically pull down our ANGLE binaries from NuGet.   The Visual Studio project looks like so:     Let's be honest, this is not the most visually exciting graphics demo ever :-)  But hey, just insert some different draw calls, different GLSL shaders, different vertices, maybe a few textures, and you could make it draw something far more interesting! Source
  9. Today the Visual Studio team shipped a project template for cross-platform graphics development.  This uses the Visual Studio shared project mechanism to target the Windows Universal Platform, Android, and iOS, with identical OpenGL ES 2.0 rendering code shared across all three platforms. I'm posting this here partly because I think it is cool, but more importantly because I had a hand in making it happen.  In order to run portable GL rendering code on Windows, this template uses a version of ANGLE that is maintained by my team.  When you compile it for Windows, Visual Studio will automatically pull down our ANGLE binaries from NuGet.   The Visual Studio project looks like so:     Let's be honest, this is not the most visually exciting graphics demo ever   But hey, just insert some different draw calls, different GLSL shaders, different vertices, maybe a few textures, and you could make it draw something far more interesting! Source
  10. tl; dr If you are developing your own Windows Runtime component using WRL, you might be interested in borrowing these implementations of standard interfaces: https://github.com/Microsoft/Win2D/blob/master/winrt/inc/Vector.h https://github.com/Microsoft/Win2D/blob/master/winrt/inc/AsyncOperation.h More detail: Windows Runtime components can be implemented using .NET, C++/CX, or standard C++ with WRL. We chose WRL for the Win2D project, because it's the lowest level option and gives the most control over every detail of the implementation. Of course, this also means it is the hardest to work with and requires us to do the most work! The Windows Runtime defines standard interfaces representing collections (IVector) and asynchronous computations (IAsyncOperation). Both .NET and C++/CX provide rich language projections on top of these interfaces, mapping them to specialized APIs that make it easy to create and consume them. WRL, not so much :-) We looked around for existing WRL vector and async implementations that we could use in Win2D, but could not find anything that met all our requirements (complete, robust, well tested, under a suitable open source license, and not too badly tangled up with other code). So we rolled our own. Each interface is implemented in a single header with no dependencies on the rest of Win2D, so we hope these will prove suitable for anyone else who finds themselves needing the same thing in future. Vector.h This header provides the class Vector<T>, which implements the Windows Runtime interfaces IVector<T>, IVectorView<T>, IIterable<T>, and IIterator<T>. The vector can be fixed size or dynamically resizable, and tracks a dirty flag so you can efficiently check if its contents have changed. T may be any value type, interface, or runtime class, but strings are not currently supported. Usage example (error handling skipped for brevity): IFACEMETHODIMP CreateVectorOfInts(IVector<int>** returnValue) { ComPtr<Vector<int>> v = Make<Vector<int>>(initialSize, isFixedSize); // Access the vector using Windows Runtime interface methods. v->Append(42); v->InsertAt(0, 23); // Internally to your implementation module, it is also possible // to get direct access to the underlying STL collection. std::vector<int>& raw = v->InternalVector(); std::sort(raw.begin(), raw.end()); v.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; } AsyncOperation.h This header provides the classes AsyncOperation<T> and AsyncAction, which implement the Windows Runtime interfaces IAsyncOperation<T*> and IAsyncAction respectively. It runs arbitrary code on the system threadpool, and reports the result or error status through standard async interfaces. It is also possible to register one async operation to run as the continuation of another. Example (error handling skipped for brevity) which uses an asynchronous thread pool task to add two integers: IFACEMETHODIMP AddAsync(int a, int b, IAsyncOperation<int>** returnValue) { auto asyncOperation = Make<AsyncOperation<int>>([=] { return a + b; }); asyncOperation.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; } Even sillier example, which runs an asynchronous multiply task as the continuation of an asynchronous addition: IFACEMETHODIMP AddAndThenMultiplyAsync(int a, int b, int c, IAsyncOperation<int>** returnValue) { // Start the first asynchronous computation. // This computes a + b. ComPtr<IAsyncOperation<int>> addOperation; AddAsync(a, b, &addOperation); // Register a second asynchronous computation to run as the continuation of the first. // This computes <previous async result> * c. auto multiplyOperation = Make<AsyncOperation<int>>(addOperation, [=] { int addResult; addOperation->GetResults(&addResult); return addResult * c; }); multiplyOperation.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; } Source
  11. tl; dr If you are developing your own Windows Runtime component using WRL, you might be interested in borrowing these implementations of standard interfaces: https://github.com/Microsoft/Win2D/blob/master/winrt/inc/Vector.h https://github.com/Microsoft/Win2D/blob/master/winrt/inc/AsyncOperation.h More detail: Windows Runtime components can be implemented using .NET, C++/CX, or standard C++ with WRL.  We chose WRL for the Win2D project, because it’s the lowest level option and gives the most control over every detail of the implementation.  Of course, this also means it is the hardest to work with and requires us to do the most work! The Windows Runtime defines standard interfaces representing collections (IVector) and asynchronous computations (IAsyncOperation).  Both .NET and C++/CX provide rich language projections on top of these interfaces, mapping them to specialized APIs that make it easy to create and consume them.  WRL, not so much We looked around for existing WRL vector and async implementations that we could use in Win2D, but could not find anything that met all our requirements  (complete, robust, well tested, under a suitable open source license, and not too badly tangled up with other code).  So we rolled our own.  Each interface is implemented in a single header with no dependencies on the rest of Win2D, so we hope these will prove suitable for anyone else who finds themselves needing the same thing in future.   Vector.h This header provides the class Vector<T>, which implements the Windows Runtime interfaces IVector<T>, IVectorView<T>, IIterable<T>, and IIterator<T>.  The vector can be fixed size or dynamically resizable, and tracks a dirty flag so you can efficiently check if its contents have changed.  T may be any value type, interface, or runtime class, but strings are not currently supported. Usage example (error handling skipped for brevity): IFACEMETHODIMP CreateVectorOfInts(IVector<int>** returnValue) { ComPtr<Vector<int>> v = Make<Vector<int>>(initialSize, isFixedSize); // Access the vector using Windows Runtime interface methods. v->Append(42); v->InsertAt(0, 23); // Internally to your implementation module, it is also possible // to get direct access to the underlying STL collection. std::vector<int>& raw = v->InternalVector(); std::sort(raw.begin(), raw.end()); v.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; }   AsyncOperation.h This header provides the classes AsyncOperation<T> and AsyncAction, which implement the Windows Runtime interfaces IAsyncOperation<T*> and IAsyncAction respectively.  It runs arbitrary code on the system threadpool, and reports the result or error status through standard async interfaces.  It is also possible to register one async operation to run as the continuation of another. Example (error handling skipped for brevity) which uses an asynchronous thread pool task to add two integers: IFACEMETHODIMP AddAsync(int a, int b, IAsyncOperation<int>** returnValue) { auto asyncOperation = Make<AsyncOperation<int>>([=] { return a + b; }); asyncOperation.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; } Even sillier example, which runs an asynchronous multiply task as the continuation of an asynchronous addition: IFACEMETHODIMP AddAndThenMultiplyAsync(int a, int b, int c, IAsyncOperation<int>** returnValue) { // Start the first asynchronous computation. // This computes a + b. ComPtr<IAsyncOperation<int>> addOperation; AddAsync(a, b, &addOperation); // Register a second asynchronous computation to run as the continuation of the first. // This computes <previous async result> * c. auto multiplyOperation = Make<AsyncOperation<int>>(addOperation, [=] { int addResult; addOperation->GetResults(&addResult); return addResult * c; }); multiplyOperation.CopyTo(returnValue); return S_OK; } Source
  12. If you had asked me a couple of years ago the probability that I would find myself in 2014 paid by Microsoft to work full time on open source code, I would have said near zero. And yet here we are! Win2D is not my first open source project. I ran what grew to be a substantial one while in college, and more recently a smaller side project that sat alongside my regular day job. But this is my first time trying to combine the worlds of open source and software development at a large corporation. I have seen companies approach open source in many different ways. Sometimes they just throw code over the wall without any support when a product reaches what would otherwise be the end of its lifespan. Other times they release periodic snapshots of code that is developed internally, with no path for others to contribute to it. Or they ship code without its tests[sup](1)[/sup], or code that requires tools not available to outsiders to build it. [quote] [sup](1) [/sup]Yup, I'm guilty as charged of this with DirectXTK :-([/quote] Plus of course, companies often do open source enthusiastically and whole-heartedly, which is what I hope to achieve with Win2D. For me this includes: Share everything. Not just the product code but also tests, source materials used to generate the documentation, scripts needed to build and validate the product, etc. Don't depend on anything proprietary or hard to get hold of (building and testing Win2D currently requires nothing more than Visual Studio, plus the open source Sandcastle Help File Builder if you want to rebuild the documentation). Ship early, update often, and share a roadmap. Accept contributions from others, as long as they are of sufficiently high quality and fit the goals of the project. Use a standard license that people are already familiar with. My last few months have involved many round-peg square-hole problems as we worked out how to apply existing Microsoft processes that were designed for very different goals (such as building and shipping Windows) to this new way of working. I'm feeling good about how things have turned out so far...http://blogs.msdn.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=10560585 Source
  13. If you had asked me a couple of years ago the probability that I would find myself in 2014 paid by Microsoft to work full time on open source code, I would have said near zero. And yet here we are! Win2D is not my first open source project. I ran what grew to be a substantial one while in college, and more recently a smaller side project that sat alongside my regular day job. But this is my first time trying to combine the worlds of open source and software development at a large corporation. I have seen companies approach open source in many different ways. Sometimes they just throw code over the wall without any support when a product reaches what would otherwise be the end of its lifespan. Other times they release periodic snapshots of code that is developed internally, with no path for others to contribute to it. Or they ship code without its tests[sup](1)[/sup], or code that requires tools not available to outsiders to build it.[quote] [sup](1) [/sup]Yup, I’m guilty as charged of this with DirectXTK [/quote]Plus of course, companies often do open source enthusiastically and whole-heartedly, which is what I hope to achieve with Win2D. For me this includes: Share everything. Not just the product code but also tests, source materials used to generate the documentation, scripts needed to build and validate the product, etc. Don’t depend on anything proprietary or hard to get hold of (building and testing Win2D currently requires nothing more than Visual Studio, plus the open source Sandcastle Help File Builder if you want to rebuild the documentation). Ship early, update often, and share a roadmap. Accept contributions from others, as long as they are of sufficiently high quality and fit the goals of the project. Use a standard license that people are already familiar with. My last few months have involved many round-peg square-hole problems as we worked out how to apply existing Microsoft processes that were designed for very different goals (such as building and shipping Windows) to this new way of working. I’m feeling good about how things have turned out so far… Source
  14. Chuck Walbourn has been hard at work on a new project which is now available on CodePlex: [quote] directxmesh.codeplex.com[/quote] This is a shared source library for performing various geometry content processing operations including generating normals and tangent frames, triangle adjacency computations, and vertex cache optimization. Basically it does for geometry processing what DirectXTex did for textures. It's mostly intended for offline tool usage, and finally replaces the need for content pipelines to depend on the legacy D3DX library.http://blogs.msdn.com/aggbug.aspx?PostID=10538141 Source
  15. Chuck Walbourn has been hard at work on a new project which is now available on CodePlex: [quote] directxmesh.codeplex.com[/quote]This is a shared source library for performing various geometry content processing operations including generating normals and tangent frames, triangle adjacency computations, and vertex cache optimization. Basically it does for geometry processing what DirectXTex did for textures. It’s mostly intended for offline tool usage, and finally replaces the need for content pipelines to depend on the legacy D3DX library. Source