Note About Writing Shaders for Windows

customShader
So you want to write your own shaders do you? OK, I agree, custom shaders really changes the way the game looks. You can quickly and easily stylize your game to look very different from all the other games with a few simple shaders applied to your models and sprites.  But you have to write them well.  I have helped port a few games over to windows the past few days (5 I think).  Anyways, all 5 games had issues with their custom shaders on windows.

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Persistent Game State and Switching Scenes – Memory Leaks and Crashing!

TitleScene

So I wanted a really cool menu scene where I have actual characters from the game and a 3D world as the backdrop.  You can see the image above for an example.  When you click New Game, the camera zooms in on a single character with the others slightly out of view on either side but still visible.  Swiping left or right takes you to the next character you can choose.  While you are on a character, you can interact with the character via normal input, switch between attack and spell phases, create a minion etc.  These characters are powered off of the same state management system that centrally controls the state of my game.  This same system also includes my event management system, which is also persistent.

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NCSU Video Game Development Club – PUBLISHED!!!

 

So the NCSU Video Game Development Club has finally published their first game to the Windows 8 Store!!!  This is a huge milestone not only for the individuals who now have a permanent piece to their gaming portfolio and a shipped piece of software, but also a milestone for the club.  They have legitimized the club as a club that not only acts as a central hub for aspiring developers at NC State, but also in shipping real product to the world.

Download version 1 here:  http://apps.microsoft.com/webpdp/app/1d2eb593-97be-4ab1-9a98-1025a44bb6c3

 

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AthleTECH – DATA ANALYTICS CHALLENGE!

Do you love sports?  Do you love data analytics?  Are you a STUDENT or a PROFESSIONAL?  This is a call for student teams and mentors to participate in the AthleTECH challenge!  Teams consist of 1-4 students and potentially a professional mentor.

 

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Test Your Unity Game on the Windows Phone!!!

Mobile devices are very popular choices for game deployment.  The Windows Phone Store has over 4 billion store downloads, which makes it a great place to market your games.  But before you add a game to the Windows Market, is a good idea to test your games on an actual mobile device .  This article explains step-by-step how to get your Unity Game deployed to a test device!

Karl on phone

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Optimizing Mobile Games in Unity

I had a great meeting with the Charlotte Area Game Development Group last Monday night. The Group is sponsored by Meridian Technologies, and is hosted by the Charlotte Microsoft Office.  I met the team leader, Matt Duffield, who is doing a fantastic job running and organizing the Group. The key presenter that evening was Dan Russell Pinson, the creator of Monster Physics and the upcoming game Tower Math!  Dan’s work can be found on his website.

The focus for Tuesday’s meeting was on Optimizing Mobile 3D Games in Unity and exploring some of the tools, tips and tricks for deploying to the various platforms.  Continue reading