Wednesday, December 28, 2011

KODU Game Lab

I was looking for an approachable, kid friendly, programming environment and found KODU Game Lab from Microsoft Research.  Seems fun so far.  Also has an online community web site (KODU Game Lab Community) where you can share games.  The system is built around Microsoft’s XNA for Windows PCs and XBox 360s.  The GUI works with a keyboard and mouse on a Windows 7 PC. Also, works OK  with an XBox 360 Controller for a Windows PC.  I usually end up using the controller for in game play for a second player and almost never for editing.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Games with constructible/destructible environments

If you enjoy Minecraft you might want to check out  Voxatron.  It's a voxel based constructible/destructible environments.  If you grew up playing Robotron you’ll likely enjoy Voxatron.

Another two games that feature a sandbox - constructible/destructible - environment are Terraria and StarBound.  Unfortunately, even though it is still available via Steam, Terraria is no longer consistently updated and StarBound hasn’t been "officially" released yet.

I used to recommend Ace of Spades and Cube World.  Ace of Spaces was bought out by a game house and Cube World development seems stagnant at the moment.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A# (ADA for .NET) with Visual Studio Integration

I decided I really needed to build RAPTOR from source.  The program is written in C# and and Ada targeting .NET (A#).   Dr. Carlisle released his last version of the A# compiler and a Visual Studio 2005 plugin via SourceForge in May 2006.  I installed the tool set into Visual Studio 2005 as described here on Windows 7 64-bit.  Although the integration installed it did not work after I patched  VS2005 for Windows 7 (KB928957, KB929470).

Since 2006 maintenance of the A# code was taken over by AdaCore.  They have released a downloadable version of GNAT that targets .NET 2.0 in the GNAT GPL packages at their LIBRE page.  Look for the package that targets dotnet-windows.  At the time of writing it was in a file named “gnat-gpl-2011-dotnet-windows-bin.exe” dated 11 May 2011.

The dotnet-windows package  includes Visual Studio integration.  Appears to be built around ProjectAggregator2 technology from the now defunct Visual Studio Integration Program (VSIP) SDK.  It successfully integrated with Visual Studio 2010 when I installed GNAT.  It might be possible to install the GNAT integration into the Visual Studio 2010 Shell (Integrated) Redistributable Package if you don’t have a full up VS2010 install.  My understanding is that VS2010 Shell can be used to support languages like F# and Python.

Anyways, after I installed GNAT GPL for dotnet I was able to open the raptor.sln in Visual Studio and start tracking down dependencies (missing dlls, files, x64 issues, etc.).

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Java Decompiler project

I wanted to check out some compiled Java byte code from a .class file.  Unfortunately, the tool I historically used (JAD via the DJ Java Decompiler) didn't handle Java version 5 byte code.  Luckily for me a project by Emmanuel Dupuy has released a similar tool called JD-GUI.