Christmas is around the corner (for those that celebrate it), along with New Years. It’s a busy time of the year that’s for certain, and I’m busy just like the rest of you. Mark Coffman announced the winners and prizes for the xbox360homebrew contest over the last week, and I’m certainly happy at the results :). In regards to WildBoarders, the game has reached over one thousand downloads this past week! Exciting news for me anyway. I won’t be updating for about a week after tonight’s update as I’ll be up in Ohio for Christmas. I figured I’d leave an update on “what’s cooking” and a taste of things to come.

I’ve gotten my subscription setup for the XNA Creators Club, but haven’t deployed anything to the 360 yet. I’m currently staying at my parents’ home so the network setup doesn’t make it easy for me to connect a 360 with ethernet cables. I did start porting over WildBoarders to a 360 project, and it’s proved to be rather interesting. Some of the libraries I used had to be rebuilt as 360 projects, while parts of the game code are going to have to be redone because some features I used don’t exist in the 360 .NET version. That’s the easy part anyway. WildBoarders was started in XNA Beta 1. As a result, I had to code my own little resource management system along with some custom loading code for the maps. I now have to fully convert the system to use the XNA content pipeline since the 360 XNA .dll is missing Texture2D.FromFile(). I used that function for loading assets from binary map files that were, in turn, loaded into memory first. So I guess I’ll have to write a custom pipeline importer to load 2D textures from memory streams. WildBoarders on xbox 360 before New Years? A possibility.

In other news, I’m still working on the camera tutorial. I finished most of the code last night and it’s a fully functioning system that can move, scale, and rotate. I just need to add one more feature, and then I can sit down and write a tutorial that’ll hopefully be easily readable by XNA beginners. It is going to involve some basic Matrix and Vector math, but there really isn’t any way to avoid it. On the bright side, it could be used as a good primer before you delve into full-blown 3D math ;). I decided to enter the Great Games Experiment beta. This community that Garage Games is building is looking to be very cool. The whole system makes it very easy to release new games, chat with gamers, developers, and publishers alike. Exciting indeed. That’s about all I have for this update. I’ll be back around the 27th or 28th, and during that time I will have limited internet access so expect some delays in responses to e-mails. Happy Holidays!