Achievement Unlocked: C# Expert, they say?

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ImageI’m fortunate enough to say that I have passed the first exam required for my Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer (MCSD) certification, exam 70-483 Programing in C#! I always looked forward to do this but never actually thought of it as something reachable in a short-term.

Whats next? Essentials of Developing Windows Store Apps Using C# next month or so, 2014 is going to be another great year !

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Meditation and introspection

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And a new year begins, isn’t that great? For me it’s just “another day” but, I try to always take some time to meditate about the past, recent events and what I want to achieve in the future, in my opinion this is something people should start doing with more often and I, for one, am in that group so, meditating on this in the beguining of the year is my way of filling that gap.

In retrospective, 2013 was a year full of extreme ups and downs for me: came home after 3 years abroad studying; got my first job in my field of expertise; went to Barcelona for the first time with my girlfriend (and loved it); one of my dearest friends – a brother – passed away; and other as important that I choose to keep private. Intense, was the first word that came into my mind while trying to describe it.

This year, I have a lot of professional goals that I want to achieve, earn a Microsoft Certified Solutions Developer certification, *try to post more often*, finish my college degree, learn more, travel more, know more,… And by the end of it, I want to do this exact same retrospective and feel like it was just another great year.

I wish you all a great 2014 full of achievements, knowledge and love !

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog, loved the work they did on this so, I’m sharing it with you.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 40,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 15 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Eclipse IDE dark theme

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One of the most things I love about Visual Studio and Sublime Text for that matter is how great they look, I’m an advocate that if you are going to look at something for long periods of time, at least look at something that visually pleases you and doesn’t make you go “D’OH” every time you loose your focus and realize what you’re working with. And then comes their ugly cousin, Eclipse

Eclipse

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Let Me Explain: Install XNA on Visual Studio 2013 and 2012

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XNA

Although XNA is dead, it’s still a great framework if you wish to develop to Windows, Windows Phone 7.5 and Xbox 360, even if you start using MonoGame, you will still need XNA for those platforms. As XNA doesn’t support any Visual Studio (VS) above 2010, you’ll need to do some manual steps to install it in VS 2012 and 2013. Fortunately, VS2013 didn’t change much in regards to application architecture, therefore, the same steps to install it in VS2012 apply to 2013.

That being said, this is the steps I always follow:

  • (For Windows 8 users) Install Games for Windows Live client. You just need to install it, no further input is required.
  • Install Visual Studio 2013 or 2012
    • This will install VS 2010 Express for Windows Phone and, with it, XNA
      • If by some reason the XNA installation fails, reinstall
    • Alternatively, you can install any Visual Studio 2010 and XNA standalone
  • Copy XNA from VS2010 to VS2013
    • Copy the folder named XNA Game Studio 4.0 from “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 10.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft” to
      • For VS2013 “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft”
      • For VS2012 “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\common7\ide\extensions\Microsoft”
  • Open the extension.vsixmanifest file with your favourite text editor (with Administrator privileges), inside the copied XNA Game Studio 4.0 folder
  • Change the supported Visual Studio version
    • Change this: <VisualStudio Version=”10.0″> to
      • For VS2013: <VisualStudio Version=”12.0″>
      • For VS2012: <VisualStudio Version=”11.0″>
  • Tell VS to rebuild the Extensions cache
    • Run this command (Win+R):
      • For VS2013 “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe” /setup
      • For VS2012 “C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 11.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe” /setup
    • If you get an error doing this, run it in a Command Prompt with Administrator privileges
    • This isn’t always necessary, specially if you have just installed Visual Studio

That’s it, now start creating great games ! Btw, do you know what XNA acronym stands for?

 

Achievement Unlocked: Writing articles, are we? Learn about LoomSDK!

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loom-logo-640px

Quick update on something I’ve been working on, my first article for a blog other than my own, for the “How to Learn” series in GameDevTuts+, about LoomSDK, created by TheEngineCo !

Quoting my own words,

Loom SDK is an open source cross-platform development kit, written in C++, that enables you to create games and applications for different platforms very quickly. It offers a command line interface and features such as live asset reloading, live code compiling, and multiple devices deployment, while preserving the flexibility of a native and open source SDK.

If you want to know more, check out my article here !

Task-Based/Parallel Game Engine Architecture

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Look at me now, uh, look at me now, yeah!

Lately I’ve been looking into creating a game engine to learn more about C++ and low level game development, which lead me into thinking about topics such getting the most out of any rig through multithreading. The answer for the time being are task-based architectures.

I’m going to leave some useful resources I’ve found.

Videos (watch them in this order if you are new to the topic, skip the first one if you aren’t but want to gain more technical knowledge):

Articles

UPDATE 31/08/2013

Changed the videos order to be content wise. The first video will explain the practical usage/results of the topic (showing a live 3D demo of a particle system with AI) while the latter two will indulge your technical/implementation need.

“The windows 8.1 preview isn’t available right now. Please try again later.”

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Well, it’s still just a preview, #dealWithIt

Yet another problem with the Windows 8.1 Preview update.

The iso images files are already publicly available here (which should solve all of this language hurdles) but, here’s a possible solution that Marco Enxuto found if you still want to install it from the Windows Store:

“1. Change your Language and Region to EN-US through Control Panel – Language

2. Ensure you have installed the EN-US language pack.

3. Open registry editor and navigate to HKLM\System\CurrentControlSet\Control\NIs\Language. Find “InstallLanguage” and change this to 0409 (En-US)

4. Save and reboot. 

5. Download and install the preview installer from http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-8/download-preview 

6. On reboot, check the reg key above is still set to 0409, then run WSReset.exe in an elevated command prompt. Let this complete, then you should be able to download the 8.1 preview update!”