Intermediate

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You've been doing it for a few years.
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More about that dungeon

While I'm thinking about lighting, I'm dropping in a camera, and a player model based on kW Animation and kW X-port. This is mainly for proportion, and to get a feeling for what a unified scene will look like.

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Theories about lighting a dungeon

So, I'm generating a dungeon-like structure procedurally (in Rogue-like tradition).

Initially, I just lit it using a "sunlight" type directional light. However, that looks approximately like ass. Mainly because that's not how dungeons are actually lit, I guess :-)

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Software quality rant

Last week-end, I lost the boot disk for my Linux server. Mostly, that server just serves as a file server for MP3 files, photos and ripped DVDs these days, but not being able to listen to music or watch movies does cramp your style a little bit.

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How to structure a reusable game networking library

I recently have answered several questions about how to structure a networking library such that it can be easy to use for users of the library and/or when expanding the game you're writing. Here are some thoughts on that. (Code examples in C++)

Networking generally ends up needing to do three things:

1) Mirror state updates from one object to another.
2) Request remote services ("RPC").

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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.

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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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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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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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