[MVC 3] Entity Framework and Serializing JSON–Circular References

[MVC 3] Entity Framework and Serializing JSON–Circular References

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[XNA 4.0 GAME] X-typed – DRAFT Spec

UML for the Specification design pattern
Image via Wikipedia

Hi All,

Ive been asked by a couple of people how my design specification for a game i hope to write an release on XBLIG is coming on. In my last post, in described how im writing a design document before i even start writing a piece of code. This has been extremely helpful in fleshing out the world im going to be shaping and i hope it will help when i tender for 3D Modellers (Peter McSorley i hope!),  Music/FX Composers etc. I hope by doing it this way, it organisers my thoughts and ideas properly for the final game design, which i hope will be finished for Jan 2011, so i can begin coding straight after that.

Using this methodology, which if your in I.T., should/is used alot. Yes, sometimes over documenting projects can be a pain, but doing it this way is helping a great deal. Because i dont have a time-frame for completion, which is bad in it self, im in no rush. I think this is the most important step in creating a roadmap for the actual game development. Hopefully i may use UML for the class design, i dont know yet, but whatever i decide, i will post it hear! Anyway, if your hungry for info, read the below document – let me warn you this is just a DRAFT and is noway finished. PLease feel free to leave comments to this post, i would love to hear your thoughts, good or bad.

X-typed DRAFT Specification v1

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Info – My Various Helpful Links

Hi Everyone,

Im still hard at work on my Xtyped game design specification, and hope to publish this soon. Im just threading some links which other indie developers may find helpful:

2D Particle Emitter

3D Misc:

3D Optimisation

Vector Addition/Subraction (Very Interesting)

Matrix vs. Quaternion Rotations

Verlet Mathes



NVDIA Shader Library

HLSL Introduction



Transformation and Collision of Sprites

Metanet Collision Techniques


3D Modelling:

Softimage – Linking to XNA Game Studio 4.0

Softimage – XSI Modelling Demo

Softimage – Video Tutorials

Maxs Realms


Misc Tutorials:

Nics GameDev

XNA Videos Course 101

XNA Videos Course 201


I will add more when i come across them 🙂 Obviously there are links to other Devs pages on the front left handside of the blog (blogroll) so feel free to browse”

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X-Typed – Planning/Scope/Design


Ive decided to start acting alittle more professional while working on my 1st game, X-Typed. This game will be a side-scrolling space shooter, sort of on par with R-Type (See what ive done there!). So ive decided to:


  1. Build a Project Plan – Instead of using MS Project, which i hate, im using a open source piece of kit called ToDoList, from AbstracSpoon. As you can see below – there is alot! This process i use at work everyday, is really helping me to cut it into pieces. At the moment (like work) these are guessimates. Im still learning XNA, so scope creep will definatelly start appearing.
  2. Write a Design document – This is the first thing im doing before anymore coding. Im writing down all my ideas, fleshing out the background, story, and laying the ground work for what actually im going to code. In addition i can use this in trying to attract potential artists/modellers to my cause!

    Im busy with this as we speak, and i intend to spend a good few weeks making this, so i will publish it here when its done.

  3. My plan is to get 1 level demo up and running by Jan/Feb time. If the game/code is in a good enough state, i will think about releasing forDream.Build.Play 2011, which has recently been announced.


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8Weekgame – Competition 2 – Named & Shamed


Hi Everyone,


Just a quick post to show you the awesome model a pal of mine done, Peter MacSorely (“Thanks Pete”):


Im now cleaning up my code to create some enemies flying around, and looking at doing some afterburner effects. LOTS to do:

  1. Enemies and AI
  2. PLayership weapons and upgrades
  3. Parallex scrolling
  4. Particle Effects for the starfield
  5. Shatter effect for exploding enemies
  6. Scoring system
  7. HUD
  8. Menu Screens
  9. Music and sound effects

I dont think im going to get it done the pace im going. Last week was meant to be immense coding, but due to a screaming/poorly Jude, only Collisions was done! DOH! I will be carrying on after the 8Weeks is up so i can release it via Xbox Live Indies Games and look to create a Windows Phone 7. I have also named the game X-Typed, as this is a R-Type like game, and i couldnt have XType because Jaguar has nicked that!


On a plus note, i did manage to purchase a HTC HD7 Windows Phone 7 phone, and i can say, its AWESOME.





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8WeekGame – Competition 2 – 3D Collisions – Oh My….





Right, i have a week off this week to:


1) Code lots

2) But a Windows Phone 7 HTC HD7

3) Fable 3 of course…..


The “Code Lots” statement  couldnt ring more true. Im now doing to move onto 3D Collisions. I have an asteroid and ship model loaded, and i was going to move onto spawning lots of asteroids that moved in random directions, but i thought i would do the hardest part first – 3D Collisions! Now the recently launched App Hub (AKA Creators Club), has a particular sample im interested in here. This sample displays the 3D models name when the players cursor is crossing the models BoundingSpere.


Now in 2D games, the basic theory of collisions (Per Pixel or Intersection), is that if two objects (Say a PLayer and Enemy) share the same screen space (Your preference on how much should be specified as a “Collision”) or intersects a bounding oject (usually a rectangle) – then a collision is detected and you perform your own game logic depending on what you want to do (Like a player loosing a life if it hits an Enemy). Screen space is made up of X & Y coordinates of the screen and XNA uses the Right Handed Cartesian Coordinates:




Its little different in 3D, because you are dealing with World Space, which is the area of the game that is used to determine where to render your models. And models are composed of lots of Triangles within a 3D coordinate syste, ie the Z coordinate (X,Y,Z), in terms of the depth. What the sample from the App Hub teaches you is to convert the World Space of the models to screen space (Top left of the screen to bottom right), and check a BoundingSphere intersect between two objects. This is how ive intrepreted it, but please tell me if im wrong!

SO thats what im doing today!  Good luck to me! Hopefully once this is done i can build my HUD for lives and start to actually build some game play, because at the moment ive just been experimenting with ideas.






3D coordinate system
Image via Wikipedia


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8WeekGame – Competition 2 – 3D Model Loaded….Just!

The game im doing is a 2D sidescrolling space shooter, with 3D Models. Im using free models from Turbosquid, and to be fair, there are not alot of free ones, and the one i wanted, i couldnt get the textures to load, so it just looked black:

As you can see, in the blackness of space, no one can hear (or see) you scream. So i decided to to change the model to something else, and what do you know, it works! All i changed was the model name i was loading to the Model class in XNA, so the original ship1.X file must of been corrupt somewhere. All i know is this 3D malark is stressful!

Now i need a fixed orthogonal view, then move onto the movement of the ship!  Anyway, here is a quick but boring vid:

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8WeekGame – Competition 2 – Starts Today!

Its finally started! For 8 Weeks me, Shaw and Martin will be fighting it out to see who can make the best XNA game, the only brief, side scrolling + 1 playable level (Yes Gareth, playable!). Unfortunately our matey Paul Ledger has pulled out for being too overworked, “All Work, NO Play….” and all that!

Anyway we will be posting more information on our games and our progress on the offical 8WeekGame website, so please check there. I will be posting here also, so please stop by! Once the 8Weeks are up, the games will be downloadable on the 8WeekGame website and playable on PCs.
This will be my last 8WeekGame as a competitor. I want to actually release a Xbox Live Indie Game (XBLIG) using Creators Club membership,  so i wont have the time to competite in the 3rd comp. I will though be hoping to create a whole new website to be released Feb 2011, when the next competition starts, which will hopefully allow other members of the public to sign up and participate. Watch this space on that one….

Microsoft XNA
Image via Wikipedia
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8WeekGame – Wordle

Hi Everyone,

The following is a wordle image for 8WeekGame:

Wordle: 8WeekGame

Its alittle fuzzy here, but feel free to click on it and have a look! 🙂

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Info – (Dont Worry Shawson) XNA Evil and Not So Evil Check Lists….Oh My!

I was talking to my 8Weekgame colleague Shawson today, pertaining to XNA considerations when designing an Xbox 360 Arcade game and what to look out for before the submitting to Peer Review. Its a good idea to read the following to get an idea that its just not the game design in terms of logic, textures, physics, models etc that you need to consider, but more fundamental aspects like, what apsect ratios the user has for their TV, HD images for 1080p, localization considerations for other languages other than English. THe list is quite comprehensive, so all you wannabe XNA developers, dont be put off by it. WHat i think is nice, is the Creators Club Community also have a “Not So Evil” wishlist, as not to be too negative:

Xbox360 Programming Considerations

Evil List

Not So Evil List

So dont be scared, as this is a great way of saving time and helping the community, so “Dont Worry Shawson….”

Xbox Live Arcade on Xbox 360.
Image via Wikipedia
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