I have not abandoned this site I'm still here and still playing wow, as a lvl 54 hunter named landasoar. I have also, believe it or not, started to write a little bit of code again. This time I have written some mmo related code for handling items and character knowledge (aka skills). It's just some code I wanted to write to get the feel for how complicated or simple it would be to write an item and character knowledge system. Turns out it rather easy and simple. That was until I broke the code earlier today trying to move it over from vs2008 to vs2005 and xna as well as add a few more features.

I will try to finish the port and get a simple working demo uploaded to this site ... whenever I can stop playing wow for a few hours.

Also, I still keep forgetting to upload the remaining 2 gigs or so of 4mp pictures I have taken these last two years. You can see what I have uploaded so far on the gallery page.

Have I mentioned ...

Published 11/25/2007 by createdbyx in News | Programming
... how I hate web development. Everything always works perfectly fine on my local machine but as soon as I upload it to the server, Poof! It all goes to shit. Oh I'm so glad that I am getting near the end of this fiasco. As you can see the new site is up and running. Kind of. There are still issues with performance and it has not been fully tested yet but it is pretty much feature complete.

I am using the blog publishing system I implemented using MSDN My.Blogs code to make this post. So hopefully when I click the post button, it will work this time and not give me another bs security error. Here goes nothing ... Click

( EDIT: Grrrrr another frikin' error! IE: this post was made by editing the feed file directly! )

If you have been fallowing my blog and read my last post it stated that I would have Release 2 of my xGameConsoleXNA library up and posted within a week. Well a week has come and gone. 2 weeks, ... 3 Weeks, 4 Weeks, ... What can I say. When a person sleeps when there tired and not when social doctrine declares when it is time, the days seem to blend into one another and time passes. 4 whole weeks. Hmm, seems like only yesterday that I made my last post.

Anyway it has been a busy few weeks. The house has been sold and we need to be out by mid July, so we have been packing and getting ready to move. And I am destined to be home less for the next few months until the mushroom season starts up again in late august. Which means my computer use and internet connection will be severely limited for some time.

I have also started working on a new project with my brother these last two weeks. I don't want to say too much about it because it's not finished but suffice it to say I have written some apps that have crawled over 1.2 million page links in just a few days, and out of those 625000+ are blog related. We are thinking about creating a service and doing a search engine designed for a select group of people, that will offer much more detailed info that a standard Google search can. My brother seems to think we could make up to $20,000 a month each if we can get it working and it really starts to take off. It would also be the first project I have worked on whose end result is intended to put some money in my pocket. For someone who can live comfortably on less then $4800 a year, $20,000 a month seems like millions. But until that happens it is a wait and see game.

And lest you think I have forgotten about the xGameConsoleXNA library, check out the xGameConsoleXNA page for the link to the Release 2 download as well as some how to articles. Better late then never!

I have gone back and finally done some more work on my xGameConsoleXNA library for the XNA platform. The next release will be Release 2 and will mainly contain updates to how the user interacts with the console.

  1. It can now do things like scroll through the text that was written out to the console
  2. Pressing the left and right arrow keys on the keyboard you can set the insertion point for typing text
  3. If you type a really long line of text in the entry line that is too long to fit within the console the text will now gracefully scroll left or right depending on where the insertion point is
  4. More comments in the code as well as xml 'summery' comments for the methods
  5. Made a number of optomizations so some parts of the code are more simplified
  6. There are some breaking changes such as some properties have been renamed to better more understandable names. I also moved a few methods and properties out of the console class and into the ConsoleComponent class because they really were more suited being in the ConsoleComponent class.
  7. I also added a WordWrap property to the ConsoleComponent class so that text that gets written to the console will now wrap to the next line if it does not fit.
I should hopefully upload Release 2 within the next week. I would also like to mention that I noticed some of the xGameConsoleXNA code may not be 360 compatible, even though I cannot test it on the 360 because I do not have a creators club subscription. For example the LoadAlias command was using the IO.File.ReadAllLines method and the 360 xna api's do not contain the ReadAllLines method. I will try to keep an eye out for more code like that. I modified the code so that it no longer uses the ReadAllLines method but I will not be able to ensure that xGameConsoleXNA will seamlessly run on the 360 until I get a creators club subscription.

It is my intention to eventually get the xGameConsoleXNA working on the 360 but I promised myself that I would only purchase a creators club subscription after I had completed or had come close to completed a working game. So yeah, being more of a tool developer it might take me a while to get a subscription. :(

The first release of the xMessages component was really just a introduction to what I was working on. I have yet to see any other components out there that does what the xMessages component does. Anyway I updated the code (Release 2) so that it now supports a interface driven modal so that text effects and image effects can be created and applied to the message. I am still no where close to being done. There are still some minor bugs here and there, and I put a little more comments in my code. Future releases will continue to improve the code as well as provide better documentation.

Eventually I hope to write some content pipeline processors so that an entire conversation can be created and stored in a xml file and then use the content.Load method to load that whole conversations in one line of code rather then having to write many lines of code by hand to get it to do stuff. i am also thinking of writing a tool for authoring conversations and saving them out to xml files so that you do not have to write the xml files by hand. But that will not be for some time.

If you watch the updated video you can start to see what the end goal for the xMessage component is trying to achieve.

I have posted a video of the xMessage component in action to give people a sense of what it can do. You can find the video here.

I have added a new XNA based project to the XNA page called xMessage. The xMessages component is designed for in game chararacter dialog to be displayed similar to games like Final Fantasy for the NES. This component makes use of xFripperyXNA and StreamContentProcessor. Both are included in the download.

Being the first release ther are some minor issues that still need to be worked out, such as when the component is typing out text if the word being drawn will not fit within the rectangle, the partly drawn word will dissapear from the end of the line and reappear at the begining of the next line.

Other then that the component allows an image to be displayed with the text, and the text is also dynamically changes acording to the size of the dialog. When running the demo use the left mouse button to move the dialog and the right mouse button to resize the dialog.

Future editions will have support for animated images so your game could have a picture of a talking head for example. As well as better text drawing support, and the ability to display the image on the right hand side. Also planning on adding more text drawing animations.


I just uploaded a new XNA content importer/processor library to the XNA page called StreamContentProcessor. The StreamContentProcessor allows you to use simple stream based importer and/or processors, so you can read your content files as a stream using content.Load("AssetName");

I thought it would be cool having 3 computers. Boy was I wrong. I have been spending the last few months consolidating all my files down to a more manageable level. I just got a new HP nx9420 laptop and am trying to move all my files from my three old computers over to it. Little did I know I had about +500,000 files to transfer. Yikes. Not to mention I had numerous duplicate files and trying to sort through the old duplicates from the new is a serious time waster, but at least I can start to see light at the end of the tunnel.

I have also posted a new image browsing application on the projects page called xImageSV. It's not actually new, I have been using it for some time but I have decided to post it on the site in the off chance anybody wishes to use it.

I have just uploaded the third release of my still in progress Zider game engine for XNA. You can find the download on the Zider page.

Features or changes for R3
  • Updated the xGameConsoleXNA library so commands now have an array of string arguments and a new "usedAsFunction" boolean parameter. usedAsFunction when set to true means that the command is being used as a function and allows the command logic to be aware of that.
  • Added Actor support
  • Added a SceneManager to the
  • Added an abstracted "UserInputService" service (Work in progress)
  • Full 360 controller support added. So virtually everything can be done using just a gamepad controller.
  • Added layering support, so a map can have multiple layers.
  • The zider project is no longer a standalong exe, it has been change into a class library.
  • Added SMLOP: Heroes which is a game that is being developed by me that uses the zider engine to run it.
  • The engine now makes use of the content pipeline for loading game files

Created by: X

Just another personal website in this crazy online world

Name of author Dean Lunz (aka Created by: X)
Computer programming nerd, and tech geek.
About Me -- Resume