Thursday, 20 September 2007

Day259 Microsoft XNA, IOTBS

Microsoft XNA Presentation
Went to a little presentation by Luke Drumm (from Readify) covering the new wonders of Micsosoft's XNA. This new game development platform creates a higher level VM (in much the same way as the .net Framework) which allows much faster, simpler and perhaps better developmet atop DirectX 10. Apart from the development advantages of handling a large swag of issues around graphics handling, multi-core programming and interfaces, we also get ... wait for it ... cross platform development. Well to be honest, we get applications built or Windows DX10 also portable over to the XBox360.
This sounds amazing, and perhaps it will be one day, but for now they make the shuffling process for doing this so annoying that it really isnt worth it. Well yet.
Though v1 has been around for while, V2 is arriving as we speak and could propel this idea much further with networking and other enhancements.
Some links for more:
XNA Developer Centre
XNA Team Blog
XNA Development: game development for the masses.
XNA Creators Club
Dream Build Play

By way of an example here are some screenshots from the Contest on the DreamBuildPlay site. First from Blazing Birds, then Gravitron Ultra and lastly Burning Angels:

[screenshots from the contest on the DreamBuildPlay site]


Invasion of the Body Snatchers

I havent seen the 1956 version, but I loved watching the more recent 1978 version directed by Philip Kaufman. He is credited with bringing us all manner of nifty cinematic things, like The Right Stuff and the story from Raiders of the Lost Ark. IOTBS really feels like a movie from this period, displaying many of the qualities that mark this time in film making. Things like the type of leading lady (as with Superman, Raiders of the Lost Arc, etc) and the shot and music treatment. Anyhow, Geoff Goldblum is great as always and seeing a relatively young Donald Sutherland is a treat. It is funny how actors like Leonard Nimoy bring so much baggage from signature roles (Star Trek in this case). Though the pacing dates by today's standards, it did have some very nicely suspenseful sequences (altogether too much running as is the 70's way).

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