Board'em - My First Foray into Unity2D

I have been developing with XNA for a little over a year now, and have been enjoying my time on it. But I've also known that XNA is a dying platform and most developers have already jumped ship. Unity2D was the most commonly mentioned successor (in terms of where developers are going, not in terms of similarities between XNA and Unity2D). It was a tough choice for me to move from XNA, but I did it and don't regret it at all.

How to Create an Image Button in Nuclex

The Nuclex framework's GuiManager is an extremely well written, easy to use tool for creating GUIs in an XNA game. It comes with built in functionality to support buttons, sliders, progress bars and text inputs, and is capable of being extended to support custom controls. One custom control that I had a need for was an Image Button. An ImageButtonControl would be similar to a regular button, but using an icon instead of text. This would be used to create hotbars like the ones seen in an MMO or RTS.

Implementing the A* Pathfinding Algorithm in XNA

The vast majority of videogames use pathfinding to aid in the movement of on screen avatars. Anytime you tell a character to move to some distant spot, and that character must avoid obstacles in between, an algorithm is executed to determine the most efficient path from point A to point B. If you've ever played a Real-Time Strategy like StarCraft, a 4X game like Civilization, or a Strategy RPG like Disgaea, you've seen pathfinding in action.

Using sandbags to control avatar movement

When designing a game, it is important to define what areas the player’s avatar can access. This lets you define the outer bounds for the map, as well as mark off blocked areas, such as spaces occupied by a chest, a building or a tree.

In my work developing Armadillo, I experimented with the concept of a sandbag grid to aid me in this. In this multi-dimensional array, each cell represents an X,Y coordinate, with a value indicating whether or not that square is accessible in the game.

Creating games using XNA

I wrote my last game, Fusion, using cocos2d-javascript. While I liked the library, I wanted to branch out before committing to any framework. As a veteran developer, but new game developer, I knew the trap of falling in love with the first viable framework and ignoring all others. So for my next game, I wanted to really change things up and explore other languages, platforms and frameworks.


Updating my portfolio and skills

Over the past few months, I have been involved in a number of new projects, as well as hardly touching older tools. I haven't had a chance to update my blog, and don't plan to write a full summary for each subject (except the Arduino turret), and instead will just give a brief overview. The Arduino turret will be covered in much more detail once I have it completed.


A Long Overdue Update

I haven't posted an article in over 2 months, but I assure you that is not for lack of interesting development thoughts racing through my head. It is merely a side effect of switch from a web developer role into a software / firmware developer role - a lack of confidence.

My Post-PHP Experiences

A few months ago, my work duties changed and I've been spending most of my time on languages other than PHP, namely VB .NET and C, with occasional forays into C# .NET and Basic. In those few months, I've learned a few things about what it's like outside of the PHP ecosystem.