It has been a while since I actually got a day off from school/work or whatever right on my birthday. Usually they tend to always ‘celebrate’ MLK’s birthday on the 2nd Monday of the month. It finally, got around to being where it should be :). I didn’t do much on my birthday except relax. I did get a cool new cell phone as a gift though. It’s pretty slick.

In development news, I’ve released WildBoarders for the Xbox 360. The source is around 120MB so beware, slow connections. If you want more info on what’s changed in the release you can check out my post on xbox360homebrew. So scratch one item off my ever growing to-do list. I’ve still got WildBoarders for PC on my plate. On top of that I’ve got a 4-player xbox 360 XNA game I’ll be hopefully wrapping up soon. Then I’ve got another bigger project that we’re prototyping at the moment, which is exciting but can’t talk too much more about it.

If that’s enough I’m still doing some personal hobby project to learn a bit more about shaders. Remember that 2D camera tutorial I keep talking about? Well, it’s been a bit transformed for a different purpose. Honestly, I don’t think I’ll have enough time to write a detailed tutorial on writing a camera system from scratch. I’m revamping alot of the lower-level functionality to use XNA’s helper classes and be able to take full advantage of HLSL shaders. It sure beats writing manual matrix operations, but it was a good exercise nonetheless. And as a result of the design changes, I simply won’t be in the position to write an in-depth tutorial of everything from top-to-bottom, including the shaders since it’s a learning process for myself also. One of my biggest gripe in XNA was the lack of ability to write shaders for 2D sprites with the spriteBatch class. While I imagine I’ll be doing 3D sometime in the future, I really don’t want to at the moment and 2D suits my needs so far in terms of being able to visualize gameplay. At the same time, I’ve always wanted to fiddle with simple shaders just to learn the ropes but in a 2D environment. Well, since XNA’s sprite capabilities doesn’t allow you to overwrite the vertex and pixel shaders I’ve opted to implement one on my own. On top of that, it’ll have a camera-like API and scene graph that’ll allow for zooming, rotation, and movement. The plan is to make as much of it as possible be GPU accelerated with minimal CPU computation. I’ll quit rambling now as people like results rather than ideas. See ya later.