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Animated illustration of how a networked game server works

Here's a general illustration of how a networked game server works. While the animation is somewhat fast, you can just fix your eyes on a particular spot and read the explanation text as it shows up.

Meter measurement texture

This texture comes in handy when you want to align things to a grid.

grid

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Software Outsourcing and Mass Form Email -- a funny combination!

If you combine software outsourcing (seldom a good idea) with bulk form email (also not a good idea), what do you get? Can two wrongs make an unny-fay?

funny bulk email

Really gives you a good feeling for the quality of work these people do, right?

Funding a game project

Every once in a while, a new game developer will ask himself The Question. And, if he realizes that he doesn't have the answer himself, he will often go online and ask The Question of some web forum or mailing list.

What is The Question, you may ask yourself?

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It seems the screen grab for XNA Device Center is broken

The XNA Game Studio has a component called the XNA Device Center. You can configure your X-boxes in this tool, if you have more than one, and switch which one is active. You can also right-click on a connected X-box and choose "Screen Capture."
However, I think something broke in the latest update (3.1). What do you think?
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Engrish is funny

One of the Google Adsense advertisers that showed up on this site have a sign-up page with the following beautiful ad copy on it. You'd think that if you had the money to develop a computer game, and host servers, and pay for advertising, you could find someone to proof-read your Engrish for another $50...

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HouseMaker -- simple cutout creation from texture images

Recently, I had the need to turn a hundred different texture images into "profiles." A profile, in this case, was a 2D shape that follows the outline of some feature in the texture (like a house facade), texture mapped with that feature. Rather than build them all in a modeler such as 3ds Max, and separately exporting them, I came up with a simple tool for loading a bunch of images, building those profiles straight on a copy of the image using clicking, saving all the profiles I've built (for later re-use or editing), and exporting to a bunch of .DAE (collada) or .X files in one fell swoop.

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Microsoft Connect issues

Microsoft has the Connect site, which works as a public feature request and bug report database for most of Microsofts products. At times, I do file bug reports on that site. The bugs have a "vote" feature, where the Microsoft groups apparently may pay more attention to a bug with higher votes.

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Static reflection in C++ using minimal repetition

Don't Repeat Yourself.

That's a great rule for writing code. If you find that you repeat yourself in code, then you're probably doing something wrong. Writing code should be about expressing what's unique about something, not filling out standard forms of data. (Copy-and-Paste coding is the worst version of this)

Unfortunately, when it comes to providing serialization and editing information about classes in C++, the language falls down. In C#, and other .NET languages, and even in Java, reflection is rich and allows you to build nice, automated editors and serializers using minimal mark-up. Also, if you need mark-up, that mark-up can be done in-place where members are defined, typically using custom attributes.

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The onward march of complexity (LRBni)

It used to be, a microprocessor was simple. It had instructions like "Load the accumulator from the address stored in the X register (LDA(X))." Or "Add register B to register A (ADD B, A)." And that was pretty much it. Time marched on, and we got more esoteric instructions, like "load effective address of scaled register indirect with offset" (LEA eax, [ebx*8+ecx]).

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