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Procedural Planet models generated in XNA

Show how to generate a random planet based on midplace displacement noise and
a simple height map color ramp. Note that you typically want to add some cloud
cover for the best effect.

Press Space / A to generate a new planet.
Press Backspace / B to view the height map.
Press Y / Y to view the color map.

Released into the public domain by Jon Watte. You may freely use this in your

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Mouse Picking in XNA Framework using Viewport.Unproject

When developing a PC program for the XNA framework, you usually find that you need to do mouse picking. This means taking the mouse coordinates, and turning them into a ray that you can then raycast in your world to see what, if anything, is being hit when the user clicks the mouse.

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The Direct3D/XNA vertex transform pipeline -- how to go between model coordinates and screen coordinates, and back again!

1) WORLD matrix. This takes vertices from object-local space (0,0,0 in the middle of the object) to world space (position and orientation applied based on 0,0,0 at your "world origin" position). This is a convenient space to do normal mapped lighting and environmental reflection in.

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Scheduling jitter measurement for UNIX

2009-03-12 latency2.txt README -- jwatte@forterrainc.com

This program measures scheduling latency/jitter for a CPU bound process on a UNIX system. It is intended to determine the suitability of various virtualization products to hosting real-time processes such as game servers. To compile it, use g++ (make sure it has been properly installed!):

$ g++ -o latency2 latency2.cpp

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Ultimate Sleight of Hand (MMO FPS where everybody wins)

Thinking about how a MMO FPS like Planetside was most fun when you were in a good group, and you were winning, I started thinking about how you could set up a situation where each side can have the impression that it's winning. Playing FPS against NPCs is not as much fun as playing against other people, so it seems like a preposterous idea at the outset.

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Evaluating paths in XNA games; how to run triggers and dynamically configure properties!

Inside an XNA game, you invariably start needing to wire things together. "When the player steps on this tile, run that action" or "when this timer expires, open that gate." For simple levels, you may be able to write this using code, but once your game reaches a dozen levels, each with hundreds of possible actions, hard-coding each and every one of them becomes a real nightmare!

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.NET Reflection, Boxing, and Properties in XNA games

System.Reflection is great! You can find all public properties on an object, and manipulate them programmatically, without knowing the exact type of the object. You can also treat properties generically, by passing a PropertyInfo and object instance around. This allows you to build generic animation systems (similar to how the Windows Presentation Foundation dynamic animatable properties work).

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Bad font antialiasing in WPF menu items

I'm using WPF 3.5, Visual Studio 2008 SP1, and developing for Windows XP SP3.

No matter what I do, the menu bar and menu items of my application are ugly, blurry, anti-aliased. WinForms, MFC and Win32 applications however have nice, crisp, clear menu items.

I've tried checking the "align to device pixels" box, but it only gives a marginal improvement.

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XNA, light mapping, specular

I've been working on a GPU accelerated light map generator for XNA for a little while. I'm using the light map only to tell shadow/light for each surface for each light, and then solving the basic light equation (ambient + diffuse + specular + emissive) per pixel, multiplied by shadow.

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HLSL and Effect file syntax highlighting language definition file for the Notepad++ editor

Attached, please find a syntax highlighting file for HLSL and Effect files for Notepad++. This file is substantially better than the one available on the Notepad++ main download site:

  • It adds all of the Effect file tokens, in UPPERCASE and ProperCase forms.
  • It defines operators to let the built-in functions be recognized.
  • It recognizes preprocessor directives.
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